As readers of recent columns on this site know, I think the most critical problem facing humanity today is the fossil fuel crisis. For those seeking a comprehensive discussion and explanation of this problem, I recommend Jay Hanson’s web site.
In Barry Carter’s book Infinite Wealth, he recognizes and discusses the danger of our entering another Dark Age. He explains that if humanity doesn’t embrace the synergic alternative then there will be no worthwhile future for our children and their children. I find myself in full agreement.
Most of those aware of the fossil fuel energy crisis (today Jay Hanson’s mailing list has grown to over 6000 subscribers) are focusing on trying to find ways to produce more energy. So far this has proved very difficult. Jay Hanson and many first rate Energy scientists see no solutions. Hanson fears a “die off” in which billions of humans could die with only a small nucleus of 10-40 million surviving as new hunter-gatherers.
Many of his followers are peeling off and preparing to head for the hills, and return to a pre-Industrial Age lifestyle. This reminds me of the “survivalist thinking” that was common during the gas crisis of the 1970s. But our problems in the 1970s were political and blew over. Our problems today are physical and won’t blow over.
Richard C. Duncan, Ph.D. of the Institute on Energy and Man, has revised his predictions of the coming fossil fuel energy crisis to an even more urgent status. He says that the rolling blackouts that have started in California this past month (February 2001) are only the beginning. His latest calculations show:
“This ‘electrical epidemic’ spreads nationwide, then worldwide, and by ca. 2007 most of the blackouts are permanent. The ‘modern way of life’ is history by ca. 2025.”
If Dr. Duncan is right, then we have only a handful of years to change the world. We are indeed facing crisis.
As I have mentioned elsewhere, the Chinese word for crisis is written by joining two ideograms together. These two ideograms presented separately stand for danger and opportunity.
DANGER—Danger of injury if we humans fail to understand. Danger of extinction if we humans act in ignorance.
OPPORTUNITY—Opportunity for growth if we humans understand. Opportunity for survival if we humans act in knowledge.
If we examine our crisis in terms of life, things will become more clear. Crisis is not unique to humankind. Crisis is the general condition of all life forms. It is the driving force of evolution. Risk and opportunity. Survival of the fittest. The life form that survives and evolves is the one that can grasp the opportunity and avoid the danger. This is the very process of life. It is the engine of evolution.
Today’s crisis is simply our turn. We humans are at a point of major transformation. In fact Barbara Hubbard says in her book Conscious Evolution that only crisis will make humanity change. Therefore we need danger to get the collective attention of our species, i.e. It took a Hitler to get the attention of humanity so that Winston Churchill would conclude that the free world’s response to Germany in WWII “was our finest hour”.
The fossil fuel energy crisis also represents both a danger and an opportunity. Unchecked, this crisis will produce a Dark Age that humanity may not recover from. However, if those of us with synergic knowledge grasp this opportunity, we can demonstrate synergic power to our fellow humans, and help save our world.
It is from this perspective that I began working on an idea for a project that could attract strong attention to synergic options.
Currently, those few humans aware of the fossil fuel crisis assume it is a crisis caused by underproduction of petroleum. However, synergic analysis reveals that our real problem is not underproduction, it is overconsumption.
If we humans reorganized synergically, we could reduce our energy consumption to 10% of current levels. And this can be done much more quickly than most might imagine.
It only requires us to change our minds and then reorganize.
Some preliminary ideas as to how we might reorganize ourselves is stated in my paper Synergic Consumption. These proposals are just a beginning. But the fossil energy fuel crisis is not a problem that will fall to one individual no matter how talented or brilliant he or she might be.
We need a community of minds to work on this one.
I would like to organize a synergic thinktank to solve this problem. I would use a system of co-Laboration modeled after the “Open Source Software Community”. This is well described by Eric Stevens Raymond in his paper The Cathedral and the Bazaar.
I have committed myself to take a lead in organizing this, but I need your help. I honestly believe that we can develop a viable solution to the fossil fuel energy crisis, and that if we post our solution on the internet, humanity will beat a path to our door.
I invite you to join with me on this. I think we could combine and use our synergic power to solve a big problem.
We need a project that will bring us together, and something that will attract the attention of our fellow humans. Then we can begin bringing all of humanity together. It is a complete waste of time to expect big government, big business, or big religion to help us. They are the problem. They are invested in a model of society that depends on separation and scarcity. We need individuals of integrity to join with us to build a new model of society that depends on co-Operation and abundance.
What better way to attract those individuals of integrity than by solving a problem that threatens everyone on the planet and for which no one else has an answer.
That is why I have proposed as the seminal problem to be solved: The Fossil Fuel Crisis
Yes, I know it is a big problem. I also know that some of the brightest minds on the planet think it is unsolvable. That is why it is perfect for us. Fortunately, the reason they believe it is unsolvable is they are trapped and looking at it from the old paradigm of the Industrial Age.
I have started designing new website which I call Synergic Solutions.
Synergic means win-win-win-win. I win, you win, others win and Earth wins.
Solution is the compliment to problem and it is plural because there won’t be any one solution to the large problems we seek to solve. There will be many small solutions that will then synergically interact to create a whole that is larger than the sum of the parts.
The new Synergic Solutions website will act as the co-Ordination center for a growing group of Co-Laborators who will be invited to join us in proposing, defining, describing, candidates for the synergic solutions list to address various aspects of the problems selected by the group to be solved.
All group decisions will be made using Synergic Consensus.
The new Synergic Solutions website will be used as a tool to co-Ordinate an “Open Co-Laboration Project“. It will be modeled after the “Open Source Software Projects“ used to create Linux.
Our developing solutions can be viewed by the public, but they cannot post to the site unless they demonstrate they can make helpful valuable contributions. You may apply to join the development group by passing an entrance exam. Our entrance exam simply requires you to propose a way to make a developing solution work better, or identify a problem with a developing solution, or repair an already identified problem in a developing solution. In other words if you can do the work, we want your input and help. Applicants can post their suggestions which will be reviewed by a “co-Ordinator” who will then post those that are appropriate, and screen out those that do not help the project. Once you post a suggestion that helps the project, and your suggestion is incorporated into the developing model, you gain the status of a co-Laborator and can post at will.
The quality and power of our developing solutions will grow as the best suggestions are incorporated into our model solutions. Any “bugs” in these developing solutions will be fixed or removed. When a solution reaches final stage. No more improvements can be found. No more bugs to find and repair, then it is ready to be used.
At that point it will be moved from the DEVELOPMENT list to the ACTION list.
Solutions on the ACTION list will be made completely available to the public and the public will be encouraged to begin using those solutions immediately. The solutions will be released as TrustWare and protected by TrustMark. This will open up a revenue stream for us which will benefit the development teams, our users, humanity and the Earth. Win-win-win-win.
I am presently finalizing the design for the website for Synergic Solutions. It will be a Manila Site and co-Laborators and co-Ordinators will be able to access it using their web browsers or by using the new tool Radio Userland. Initial proposed solutions for the The Fossil Fuel Crisis will include the prototypes I presented in my paper called Synergic Consumption .
In addition to these, I am working on finishing my descriptions of several other types of solutions that I think have great merit. The new website and this group of proposed solutions should be finalized within the next ten days. Stay Tuned.
Bound through synergy,