Headline, technology is depleting this planet’s most valuable resource, humanity. An environmentalist might beg to differ and would probably say that our most valuable resource is nature and the environment. That humanity and the tools it has developed in its struggle for self-awareness has cursed this earth. But we are the eyes and ears of this universe. Humanity being the state of conscious cooperation and procreation is a manifestation of this universe’s desire to create. Advanced string theory has shown this. Great minds such as Stephen Hawking’s have explained it. And as Carl Sagan has eloquently put it, “we are a way for the cosmos to know itself”. So how can our tools be negative or bad when they are an expression of universal will?
Let’s talk about energy for example and please forgive the following simplistic argument. CO2 emissions may destroy the atmosphere and cause lung cancer, but they also can help create machines that can restore the atmosphere and save peoples lives across the world. The punch line is that destruction lurks behind every creation. Even if this whole planet ran on fusion energy generated from water there still would be a level of environmental degradation no matter how small.
Although fusion is truly the energy of the future in its efficiency and low carbon footprint, it still breaks down water which although is much more abundant than oil, could someday also lead to problems of global warming. Someday billions of years down the line? But still, someday. So this means that one cannot deny that humanity’s desire for energy comes at the expense of destroying this planet’s natural habitat; a habitat that would remain intact if humans were not present.
But what is this planet without humans? What is this planet without desire? Scientists from across across disciplines have long described earth as a planet with ideal conditions for life. It is truly ironic that these ideal conditions for creating life are also ideal conditions for destroying it. So the question is: Can humanity satisfy its legitimate desires for self-fulfillment without harming the natural order of our planet’s ecosystem? And the answer is unfortunately, no.
However, if we rephrase the question and ask: Can humanity satisfy its legitimate desires for self-fulfillment without jeopardizing the natural conditions laid down for life? And thankfully the answer is yes, there is a way to fulfill our desires as conscious organisms without degrading the conditions that have allowed us to be conscious in the first place. But this requires a fundamental shift in how we view technology and what we use it for.
Technology should not be judged from the rudimentary viewpoint of its impact on our planet and its natural ecosystem. But rather, technology should be judged from how it impacts humanity, and the shared value of universal procreation. As human beings we are a perfect embodiment of the natural organization of things. We are organically linked to our natural surroundings including our great planet earth.
We live in unity with earth and nature because we are organically one. And our technologies should be focused on preserving this unity. So the way we define the ecosystem of our planet should factor in human beings and their desire for technology and innovation. Our technologies should be focused on fulfilling human desires without endangering humanity’s ability to survive.
This obviously is the notion of sustainable development. But the difference here is that survival does not necessarily mean the preservation of earth’s natural order. Survival means a combined evolution and progression between humanity and this planet as one. This is the only way that we can ensure the survival of our race indefinitely and that we can honor the life that has been given to us.
However, today technology is breaking us apart from this organic unity with earth. With increasing carbon emissions we are changing the face of our planet at a rate that is much faster then what we are capable of handling. Our technologies are focused on warfare, and the ones that are not, are focused on commercialism and are profit-oriented. Has technological advancement ever been focused on human development without the need for profit?
Today the sum product of technologies focused on the fulfillment of human desires creates an outcome that is not conducive to the maintenance of the natural conditions set forth for these desires to exist in the first place. These natural conditions are not only related to earth and its natural ecosystem but also to society, its values, and the broader concepts of human dignity and self-fulfillment. Our technologies should be humane. Our technologies should be natural. Our technologies should be focused on preserving this organic unity between earth and the human race.
How do such technologies look like? What is the rationale behind their development? I do not know. But we need to start asking these questions. All that I can say is that I feel immense joy while watching those post-apocalyptic movies in which humans use crazy-advanced technologies but still walk barefoot in their village and climb trees. So the real question is I guess, how can we live in a post-apocalyptic world without an apocalypse? Good luck answering that.