Engineering the Planet
What Compels us to do so?
Consumption is Good?
This depends entirely on where you are in
Does history have a moral obligation to
Is the highest form of enlightenment really
Is the increase in global inequity worth the
price of consumption?
Can This Century also stand a 4-fold
increase in world population (from 6 to 24
Remember, consumption is good so why not
stay the course?
Will the emerging world market of China
promote this kind of growth in the same way
the industrial revolution did?
A Century of Change
(1900 (=1) vs. 2000)
Industrial Output: 40 (Newtonian footprint)
Marine Fish Catch: 35
CO2 Emissions: 17
Total Energy Use: 16
Coal Production: 7
World Population: 4
Forest Area: 0.8
Probable Climate Change as our Legacy of
Science, Technology, Humanity
We are special (different than other animals)
We are uniquely positioned at the center of
the Universe (reflects our “specialness”)
The Universe is ordered, logical and rational
With the application of Reason, humankind
The Newtonian world shows us the machine
and it is precise
Life is a struggle; competition is natural;
gradual change occurs (Darwin)
Science now certifies Survival of the
fittest and the engineering of society to
protect that outcome (Spencer)
The notion of uncertainty, as a valid
scientific concept, arises too late in this
Example of the Malthusian
Human activities/growth obliterate
equilibrium time scales: for instance, the
current excess injection of CO2 into the
atmosphere is 26% of the equilibrium rate
A HUGE PERTURBATION
Our Current Situation
Lack of complete physical understanding that
the Earth is a connected system.
Inability to enact long term proactive
strategies and decision making
Inability to deal with data ambiguity and
complexity– we want an expert to tell us so
We don’t respond unless there is a
• No Wisdom has yet been applied to
• Whose to blame for this?
Every One of Us
Everything Is Connected to