Saturday, March 17, 2012

Technology is Not the Answer

I can't count the number of times I've been discussing environmental issues with someone when they offer technology as a solution to the problem - "Just wait for cold fusion!" they say, or "We should ramp up nuclear" or "Electric cars!". Leave it to the innovators.

Ehhhh. Wrong answer.

I've long felt that the problems are deeper than that. That we need to hold up a mirror to ourselves and scrutinize what we find: our culture, our economic systems. I was pleased to discover a film last night at the DC Environmental Film Festival that so succinctly captures this idea, Surviving Progress:


The filmmakers don't offer a prescription, but they do suggest a theoretical way out. Nature is running the human experiment, they say, and it's looking like it might not work out. The problem is that we're running high-tech (and technology obsessed) software on hardware - the brain - that's over 50,000 years old. To make the jump, we have to tap into some collective, innate moral potential. It's a long shot, but wouldn't it be transcendent if we managed to make that leap?

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