Ahmed Ben Yaghlen

Student, Youth & Science Association of Tunisia

This conversation is closed.

How to build our future without destroying the Earth ?

I want to talk with the members of TED community about our future and our children's future because it is important to us, how to develop without destroying.

Closing Statement from Ahmed Ben Yaghlen

In this society the young people from the cities and from the countryside, professionals or not, often the world's leaders , have all means to join and reinforce our efforts to raise the brave torch of the protection our home that illuminates the way in which the future of us all is decided.

  • Jul 24 2012: Don't wory about earth. We are not destroying the earth, the earth can take care of itself. We are destroying ourself.
    The question is why?
  • Aug 1 2012: For me, working to find ways to live simply and sustainably has freed up some of my personal resources to support things that I care about. By going without some luxeries, by consuming few animal products and few processed foods, by buying second hand items when possible, by choosing to not have children, by living in a small (500 sq. ft) home and sharing an efficient car, my partner and I have made it possible to have more time to volunteer and more money to give to causes that we believe will help make the world a more peaceful place. We have also been able to pursue education in ways that would not be possible if we had become entagled in a more expensive lifestyle.

    Ultimately, to answer your question, I think that if people can demonstrate that there is real value in living simply, we may begin to build a culture that can "build a future without destroying it."

    If those who are motivated (and as they are able to), can live artfully, we may show that by living simply we are actually able to enjoy more personal freedom, have more control over where our money is directed and demostrate the ability to make some tangible and postive changes in our community (and world.) By this, we may begin to develop a broader culture that realizes that "wealth" is not something that is attained from the puruit of money but is aquired through the pursuit of a meaningful life.

    People may learn to value and pursue a quality of life that is not dependent upon the accumulation of material "valueables." Life itself will become the treasure.
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      Aug 1 2012: Juniper Blue,
      That is so beautifully expressed, and apparently "lived" by you! I totally agree that there is GREAT value in living simply, in that we learn more about our own creativity, while artfully enjoying more personal freedom and having more control over where our money is directed, while making changes in ourselves and our community.....including the global community we all share. When we realize that life itself is the treasure, as you insightfully say, we learn more about the meaning of our lives, which many people seem to be seeking:>)
      • Aug 5 2012: Thanks for the support Colleen ... there are days when I am not sure I am making a difference but we all do what we can. We are in this together!
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          Aug 5 2012: My pleasure Juniper Blue, and you too!

          We are indeed in this together, and the more we remember that, the better for all of us. There are days when I'm not sure I'm making a difference either. When we look at the big picture, making a difference sometimes seems overwhelming. On a deep level, however, I believe every small, or large step we take DOES make a difference....if even in my own heart and mind:>)

          I am grateful to grow up in a family (60+ years ago) which recycled, restored, renovated, reused, EVERYTHING, as well as grew our own food. These practices were carried out partly because of limited financial resources while raising a family of 8 kids, and partly because my parents were aware of protecting the earth.

          Back then, I do not recall any talk about the earth being threatened...they simply did things to respect and protect the earth, which sustains us. So, I learned the "simple living" practices as a child, and would never change those practices regardless of the circumstantes. For me, it is the most natural way of "being" for my own peace of mind and heart:>)
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      Aug 5 2012: I would invite you to take a look at

      The Quixote Project at http://jpssis.com/index.html

      And help us in our quest of the perfect windmill.
      A simple idea that could help in a significant way
      to build our future without destroying the earth.
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    Jul 30 2012: I think we must change our "economic" philosophy.
    We have to pass from the philosophy of consumer to the philosophy of balance and recovery.
  • Jul 29 2012: A fundamental change in outlook is also required. Dump GDP and HDI and use a new term which maybe called ODI or optimised development index. this index would define how much do you impact the environment to lead a reasonable quality of life. that will give a clear picture of how countries are performing. for example developed countries may have high GDP and high HDI but if they spend 10times as much than othe countries for the same level of HDI they will rank lower. So ODI would be HDI / environmental impact ( in very rough terms) that will change how we look at development.
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      Jul 29 2012: Siddharth,
      I agree with what you are saying....especially that a change in outlook is required. How do you perceive a new term helping to move us forward with a new outlook? We know how countries are performing....do we not? I'm sorry to say the country I live in is the highest consumer, and knowing we are the highest consumer hasn't seemed to change our use of resources. So, how do you see changing the terms we use facilitating change?
      • Jul 29 2012: i think it will change the way what a common man thinks is good or bad. If you look at how we look at stock market we want to buy stock of companies that make most money, not the most efficient. We demand more and more profits which needs more and more consumption. Now thats what GDP was doing like how big my economy is compared to yours. Then HDI was invented which is a better indicator, but what it still misses is Optimisation factor. You could achieve a HDI of .95 which is very high, but one country may spend half of the other in terms of environment to achieve the same level of HDI.
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          Jul 30 2012: Hello again Siddharth:>)
          Who would implement this?
      • Jul 30 2012: Hi Colleen,

        A reputed economist possibly should come up with this new index and persuade governments via the UN to adopt it. HDI for example was not introduced not long ago.

        I hope someone comes up with a better index soon.
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          Aug 1 2012: Dear Siddharth,
          I am very much in favor of ANYTHING that might contribute to peace, harmony, safe and responsible growth in our world. Although I was understanding what you are talking about on a conceptual level, there was a question popping into my mind...HOW THE HECK DO WE DO THAT???

          I just connected with the link Barry provided, and it makes more sense to me now. I've been involved with this process on local and regional levels, and I simply was not perceiving how it could be implemented on a larger scale....but WHY NOT???

          Thanks to all of you (Siddharth, Barry and Pavan) for helping me to see beyond my own limitations:>)
    • Jul 31 2012: Hello Siddharth,

      I agree with your idea. I think a measure of sustainable growth would make an impact on people, especially students. It is one thing to have a vague idea that we are harming our world, and it is another to see a measure which shows that year after year it is getting worse. It would also point to countries that are better, and give us an idea where to look for better practices.

      Developing this measure will not be easy. It involves placing a value on all of the different ways we impact our environment. How do you place a value on the extinction of a song bird? Check out this talk:

      http://www.ted.com/talks/pavan_sukhdev_what_s_the_price_of_nature.html

      Difficulties should not stop this. It will require an economist, but many others as well.
      • Aug 1 2012: Thanks for that link. Its interesting. As Peter Drucker said - if you can measure it you can manage it.
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        Aug 1 2012: Thanks for the link Barry....very informative, and it helped me understand Siddharth's suggestion:>)

        Barry, you say it is one thing to have a vague idea that we are harming our world, and it is another to see a measure which shows us how and why. This reminds me of when I started serving on the local planning commission and development review boards many years ago.

        We have "Wetland Rules" in this state....it's illegal to fill in wetlands. I knew that, but I didn't really know why. When I got on the boards, applicants came in with arguments in favor of filling in wetlands for development, and I realized that the members of the boards who had served for many years didn't know why either.

        So, I contacted a staff member of the Agency of Natural Resources, and asked the question. Why? What is the impact? Fascinating! In a nut shell, wetlands filter and clean our water. If we fill in a majority of our wetlands, we are compromising the natural water filter, thereby threatening the safety of our water resources.

        I think/feel that developing a measure is easier when we have appropriate information. We cannot place a value on something if we do not honestly know why it might have value.

        In our local process, the developers were oftern simply looking at the value to THEMSELVES, without considering the value to the whole. As Pavan points out...we need to "perceive the difference between public benefits and private profits".

        It is interesting and encouraging to see the progress we have made on the local and regional levels regarding this issue. Developers and engineers are now more aware of the impact of the wetlands, and are creating plans which not only preserve the existing wetlands, but ADD to the function of wetlands by building rain gardens, water detension ponds, using permeable materials for sidewalks/parking lots, etc.

        As I observe this very small change on a local/regional level, I realize we can ALL contribute to the process as a global community:>)
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    Jul 29 2012: Hello Ahmed Ben Yaghlane:>)
    We can develop our future without destroying the earth with awareness. It is important for each and every one of us to do our part to be good stewards of the space we occupy. Science continues to give us information regarding what is good and what is not so good in the goal to preserve our earth for future generations. In addition to attention to what the future might be like, it would benefit all of us to care about the circumstances we live in here and now, in the present.

    There used to be development without concern for the environment, and I believe we are changing that paradigm. As a member of local and regional planning commissions and developement review boards, and transportation advisory committee for the past 10-15 years, I am observing and encouraging the changes.

    We are now seeing more permeable/semi permeable materials used for sidewalks and parking lots, which decreases the impact of storm water runoff. We are seeing developers plant rain gardens, green roofs, install more solar collectors and wind turbines. There is an increase in park and rides, to encourage less use of cars, bikeracks are more plentiful and more easily accessable, and public transportation is becoming more of a focus, etc.

    These steps seem very small, in a small area, when we look at the big picture, and if each of us does our small part, it will lead to change on a larger scale. Each of us also needs to be aware of how, why, when and where we consume resources. We, as a global community (collective intelligence) need to be mindful of our resources and make every attempt possible to protect the earth which sustains us.
  • Jul 28 2012: The answer is pretty simple - optimize consumption, stop and reduce population growth and invest in education and awareness. Less number of people means less resources required. This will also put an end to blatant number based capitalism, put less strain on earth's natural resources and make world war free...
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      Jul 28 2012: I always wish to ask each person with this proposal if they are proposing that they themself not exist or is this the mantle they expect someone else, someone less ;"worthy' in their estimation to assume?
      I always feel like suggesting " you go first and perhaps we will follow"!
      I am the mother of five kids who were born in a country that needs immigration to survive and I cannot imagine undoing any of them. The world needs each one and so do I.
      • Jul 28 2012: Hi, What I mean is it is not a forced decision. So I would never ask anyone to have less number children. That's entirely their own decision. But I would not hesitate making them aware of the consequences and especially for their own children in the future in a resource constrained world. Also I believe that every one may not be aware of the big picture. People like to live in their little worlds and don't blame them for that. What I am trying to say is raise the awareness so people at least have the information of the big picture so they can take wise decisions for themselves and their children. p.s. Americans (5% of world population) consume 40% of world resources. China and India want to be the same as US i.e. consume more and more. So you can see for yourself what's going to happen 20 years from now.
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          Jul 28 2012: Siddharth Malani , thanks for caring enough to address my concerns. I am fully aware of all of your stats, as I live in a country which accepts a huge amount of immigration from the countries you mention and accords those persons greater human rights than they found in their home lands and as I am a woman who lives in Canada, who has an MA and an MBA. I rasied responsible people who contribute greatly and who consume in proper proportion.
  • Jul 26 2012: The only way to advance and save the the earth is to just be mindful. In the past, when the first internal combustion engine was developed, no one was worried about CO2 in the atomsphere causing global warming. Now we know. In the past we didn't know eating fatty foos was bad, we just ate it cause it was good. We now know. We now know so much about the world, compared to what we knew in past. The problem with mankind, is that we seem to be a species of apathy, and afterthought. we do for the sake of doing, and we don't consider the long-term. if we want this world to be a better place for us and our children, then we need to strive for long-term benefit, rather than short-term satisfaction. We need to think about the power we possess as aspecies and our effect on the earth we live on. We cannot live without advancement, in technology, in medicine, etc... but we have to understand what that advancement will cost, and be prepared to deal with the consequences. If we wnat a better future, we need use our prefrontal cortices, and plan ahead.
  • Aug 17 2012: By implementing a resource-based economy as fast as we can. A resource-based economy is a holisticsocio-economic system in which all goods and services are available without the use of money, credits, barter or any other system of debt or servitude. All resources become the common heritage of all of the inhabitants, not just a select few.

    The premise upon which this system is based is that the Earth is abundant with plentiful resource; our practice of rationing resources through monetary methods is irrelevant and counter productive to our survival. Modern society has access to highly advanced technology and can make available food, clothing, housing and medical care; update our educational system; and develop a limitless supply of renewable, non-contaminating energy. By supplying an efficiently designed economy, everyone can enjoy a very high standard of living with all of the amenities of a high technological society.

    A resource-based economy would utilize existing resources from the land and sea, physical equipment, industrial plants, etc. to enhance the lives of the total population. In an economy based on resources rather than money, we could easily produce all of the necessities of life and provide a high standard of living for all.

    A resource-based economy would make it possible to use technology to overcome scarce resources by applying renewable sources of energy, computerizing and automating manufacturing and inventory, designing safe energy-efficient cities and advanced transportation systems, providing universal health care and more relevant education, and most of all by generating a new incentive system based on human and environmental concern.
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    Aug 9 2012: It's not primarily about wealth, jobs, or resources. It's about mutual respect. Respect for knowledge and understanding and willingness to work. By taking care of the "least able" first we can then assure the future. Until then Wealth, Jobs and Resources will remain just something to be jealous about.
  • Aug 8 2012: You need to understand that everything in the universe is connected, we will develop, but life as we know it will change. This is true just now and it will always be true.
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      Aug 17 2012: When one man dream is just a dream. But when many men dream together, it is the beginning of a new reality
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    Aug 8 2012: By colonising other planets. Industrialisation has been shown to destroy the environment. Just look at the mess China is in as they become industrialised. The UK had its industrial revolution and now we import our needs from China and other countries. The Earth will not be destroyed by human beings although we will probably do a good job at destroying ourselves and other fauna and flora in the meantime. The Earth will continue: its been going over four billion years! Humans have been around for a mere 200,000 years. It is our nature to breed and to consume all available resources and then move on to greener pastures. As the greener pastures get eaten up we will end up being forced to colonise other planets to mine their resources and so on.....Without colonisation of other planets the Earth will simply end up stripped mined of all commodities and when this happens the population will naturally decrease due to wars over the remaining resources until what is left of the population is in balance with the environment. The cycle will start again most probably.
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    Aug 8 2012: For every step that you take, try your best to make sure that you won't be sorry for it.
  • Aug 6 2012: IMO, the best way to build our future without destroying the Earth is to mimic nature and the environmental systems it has established.
  • Aug 5 2012: Are we the only animal which consciously builds toward the future, hmm? This puts us in a very strange position in regards to nature as a whole. We also may be the only species which will live in misery believing that the suffering will bring about a better future for us and those we love. This trait is easily manipulated by those willing to do so and as long as there are those willing to use the kindness of others as a stepping stone to a "better future" while giving none in return, we won't be able to realize the society that we want to be a part of. We may still have many, many thousands of years ahead of us, learning the basics of civility. But there is nothing wrong with that.

    Basically, the end never justifies the means. The means is all there is. We need to learn this before we can live peacefully together on this earth.
  • Aug 2 2012: Denied emotions in each individual act out in behavior Such unconsciousness is the root of the problem we face in developing a sustainable value structure. Objective science has convinced us all that the subjective only leads to distorted knowledge. This the essential process of self realization through introspection has not developed.

    If we learn to value and understand the subjective aspect of our being we will be on the way to sustainable prosperity
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    Jul 30 2012: I think we need to go back to understanding what being a "civilized" society means. We are a very "uncivilized" society with the way Governments treat people, the way corporations treat each other, the way we treat the Earth, committing acts that just aren't deemed civil at all but justifying it with words like "But it's just business" or "It's the Law". Why "just"? Why "The"? and why does that make it OKAY? I think we need to find a civil and moral backbone and pull the reins in on going "too far" and letting our egos get in the way of "doing the right thing by society".
  • Jul 29 2012: Live closer to nature .
    Eat fresh food , drink fresh water from nature ,
    walk , jog and bike instead of cars.
    Avoid staying up late.
    Build house from wood and bamboo instead of concrete and glasses .
  • Jul 28 2012: Use the almost limitless information at your disposal via the Internet, and make sure that you convert that knowledge into solutions that will help the generation after
  • Jul 27 2012: Bicycle more! We need a pedaling revolution. Old tech that will easily solve many of our current and future ills. Congestion, urban sprawl, obesity, co2 emissions, depression and anxiety, road rage. We don't need high tech solutions but simple behavioral change.
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      Jul 28 2012: I would argue that, at this point time, high tech solutions are the easiest kind of solution. Behavioral changes are much harder. Behavior is embedded in the structures of our society, in both abstract structures like our cultural narratives and concrete structures like our infrastructure. How do you create this bicycling movement? There are some things you can't do without a car to the same level of convenience. Our road systems and building placements were built as though cheap oil was a given. How do you undo the inertia of existing systems? Starting a revolution is much harder than creating a piece of high-tech equipment, in my opinion. [At the least, the economic incentives and opportunity cost make starting a revolution much less attractive, even though I think plenty of people are capable of driving such changes.]
  • Jul 27 2012: We need people to come together and collaborate no matter the cost. Our global community is lacking in acceptance and the ability to communicate together effectively. Once we as a race can move past our own wants and beliefs, we can truly prosper. Science isn't what needs to be improved to save our world. The human population needs to be improved.
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    Gail .

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    Jul 25 2012: If we first fix the economic model that too many cherish, we can do almost anything. It is the economic model that encourages pillaging of our resources and destroying our environment. Such rewards are paid for such behaviors! There ARE other economic models that do not do that, where the amount of money that you have does not constitute your worth or value to a society. Money isn't even necessary, unless you want to establish a class system.

    As it is mathematically guaranteed that the Ponzi scheme that we call our economic model is going to collapse sooner rather than later, in addition to learning how to live differently, we should all be learning about possible alternatives, so that those who enslaved us with such corruption as we see all around us, are not re-entrenched.
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    Jul 25 2012: Truly an interresting question. Of course we have our money-based system which can help us to invest more money in greener solutions for our planet. But i think that this system is basically destroying itself. So we can't get a greener world with just having invested a lot of money.We have to have people who have the WILL. Unfortunately that's what we have a lack of now since we have learned that money can solve our problems. We need to come together and DO things instead of waiting for investments, cause the investments are not the problem. It's the want of saving the planet.
  • Jul 25 2012: I will do my part by stop consuming; by supporting local micro farms and by using bicycles. This is not something the government or big business is going to fix and as long as we support companies and products we truly believe in we'll can teach our children what is right.

    Community is what we relied on to survive for many years then economics changed that but truly nothing changed except our beliefs and expectations from ourselves and the people around us.

    It does not matter whether we find the next big thing if we do not know why we are living for. When we can stand shoulder to shoulder and sit down for one cause then we may have some hope.

    Be vigilant and be true to self finding the communities we once loved, preparing the family and friend dinners, socializing quarterly celebrations, helping the neighbor without expectations with a simple smile. Because we are what we eat and our brains are like sponges soaking up anything and everything, do onto others as...

    Integrity...

    I will do my part... How about you?
    • Jul 31 2012: Ahmed and Joshua, I think you are both right.

      This mess we have created must be fixed with both short term action and long term thinking. We all have to do our part, and we have to change our governments.

      In the west we can change our governments for the better in two ways: First, vote for people who think long term. Second, teach our children the meaning and consequences of sustainable and non-sustainable. Then they will vote with more wisdom.
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    Jul 24 2012: 1- It is finally time we talk about the 800 lb gorilla in the room, the worlds population.
    2 - We need to stop governments around the world from prevent competition and innovation.
    3 - We need to produce products with no planned obsolescence, with ease of recycling as a design criteria.
    4 - We need to create the cheapest possible renewable energy we can in the $5-$10 / Mwh range.
    5 - We need to look at the fact that we have been using the same horrible design for car engines for 100 years, and replace the design with something more efficient.
    6- etc
    7- etc

    I could go on for hours.
    David
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      Jul 26 2012: 1- It is finally time we talk about the 800 lb gorilla in the room, the worlds population.

      I agree, this is our largest impact, the billions of humans. Even with energy efficiency, better farming practices, and densification, population will continue to be the biggest factor in the stress we put on our environment. If we do not find a way to make our population growth sustainable it will correct itself. I don't like Malthusiasm, but it is a hard argument to refute.
      It looks as though education, prosperity, and good healthcare slow down population growth. That can seem a little counter intuitive. Some projections for population growth suggest we will plateau at 10 billion people.

      Suggested Ted Talks on this subject: 1) Bill Gates: Mosquitos, malaria and education 2) Hans Rosling: Religions and babies. There are others, but these two are quite insightful.
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      Jul 26 2012: 2 - We need to stop governments around the world from prevent competition and innovation.

      I had to read this a couple of times. I think I know what David means. Maybe not. It touches on quite a few important topics, governments, competition and innovation. It may be a question of terms but I may be disagreeing with David on this one. Again, maybe not. First the terms.

      Government - I think government is doing a much better job than we give it credit for in protecting ideas, and regulating the marketplace. Government is an improvised invention and varies from state to state, country to country and by level, levels being city, state, federal and world levels. For comparison consider China and the USA. China does not protect patents, USA does. China has a tradition of decision making with a timeline measured in generations, USA's decision making (at the Federal level) of the first 100 days of a presidential term and the next sound bite. Both are doing much better than my sound bite comparison can account for.

      Competition: This is a hot word. Most of what is created in this world is the result of cooperation, not competition. Companies may compete with other companies, but most of the effective delivery of products and services is the result of finely tuned cooperation within the company. Competition adds juice to the creative process, but the creative process is 90% cooperative through the free flow of ideas, the synergy between individuals and the lattice of cooperative mechanisms we have built; roads, schools, telecommunications, shared laws, monetary systems, etc, all of which are usually glossed over in the discussion of competition. Competition is best when it gets us to do our best.

      Innovation; My favorite fantasy, write a book, invent a product, write a song, get it patented/trademarked/copyrighted and become a millionaire from the fees. My best ideas come from wanting to solve problems, not from mucho monero.

      I ran out of ...
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        Jul 26 2012: ""2 - We need to stop governments around the world from prevent competition and innovation. ""

        With the way we currently structure and run businesses, every business is driven to monopoly. After companies reach the end of their growth cycle and fill a given space, they tend to push for laws and regulation at the local, state, federal, and international levels to prevent competition.

        As an example, the telecom provides have gotten zoning codes, laws, and regulations enacted that stifle any competition in their given markets. We have local laws that prevent the installation of new cables on telephone pole, underground, and in apartment complexes. We have state laws that prevent towns and counties from installing competing systems. At the federal-national level we have a push to close down super WiFi (US) and Skype (Ethiopia, Russia, etc).

        You also see this with Pharma (All of them), Content (RIAA, MPAA), Software (Microsoft), etc.

        "Competition adds juice to the creative process, but the creative process is 90% cooperative... "

        One thing to say to that ... Agreed.
  • Jul 24 2012: Stop listening to the fear mongers and.....
    stop listening to the faith mongers too.

    Faith it will all work out, means not wanting to have to do something.
    Faith also means not wanting to know the truth.

    Somehow, someway and someday it will just work out.
    Well it won't and it will. It will work itself out, but without compassion, caring, nurturing, help or safety and security.

    That's not fear-mongering (it's sanity), but action is what works. Hope is false, faith is blind and both don't work.

    Ghandi said, "nothing you do will change anything. It is only important that you do it." That's not faith. That's action. It isn't hope 'cause hope is no action.

    It's action and action breaks paralysis, especially the paralysis of fear, which is only masquerading as....
    False Evidence Appearing Real.
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    Jul 24 2012: to find alternative ways for energy which are earth friendly.
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    Jul 23 2012: We already have a stable of exciting ideas that need to be implemented and allowed a chance to work. Just because they did not get implemented 10 years ago might only mean that the time and other resources were not ready. Let's try them now. All of the old experts should still observe but try to be positive and include all the periphrial advancement. In psychology that giving up thing is called a stage of dispair by some theorists. Its contrast is generativity and its time that a lot of us got on board.
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    Jul 23 2012: This is an interesting debate. As you may know, earth's resources are not unlimited and the way we are consuming today we are going to run out from vital resources and the aftermath will be chaotic. We have to lower our consumption, develop greener, promote sustainability. We have to act before we reach a irreversible point. But to do so, everyone must follow this move and I'm not sure that we have reached today this way of thinking.
    • Jul 23 2012: I agree and I also think that governments need to put more money toward green projects and research and gradually penalize over consumption through fees and extra taxes?
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      Jul 24 2012: how is that possible by lower our consumption? when everyone is competing with each other? when everyone wants more? I
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        Jul 24 2012: Well, that why I said that we are not (yet ?) in the spirit of making a viable future for our planet. Sadly, everyone is trying to grab more profits at the expense of earth's resources. If I had to change something today I would change the way people are thinking and raise the priority of this topic. Governments have others priorities but time won't forgive us when it will be too late to act.
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    Aug 19 2012: We need to create Banks that helps the people, and in turn the people helping the banks
    For example, you have a debt to pay and don’t have the money at this time, you can go to this banks and ask for their help. These Banks can do 1 of 2 things,
    1. Set up a way they can pay of their debt. Could be by working for the bank and help their local area and community
    2. The Banks should start a Community with the people and know the general information about them (what they do for a living so on...) Example: There’s a big project going in the area to put up a solar wind turbine and not enough man power or right tools.
    The company can call their local bank and ask for helping hand, and see if the rite person is available to contribute.

    I think this is a very good idea, because it brings use together as a hole and makes use fill like we are part of something bigger then are self’s. This opportunity can really help use out in the long run.
    What do you guys think?
    Thanks for your Time.
  • Aug 15 2012: Overpopulation is what lies underneath this issue. Better technologies to increase the human lifespan, will increase the population problems. we live on the resources that the earth gives us, air, water, food. But this resources need their own "time and space" to replenish. Overpopulation means then that this resources will have less "space" to replenish and at the same point less time, because of the urge of feeding more people in shorter periods of time. To build a better earth 1 we should cut off the use of fossil fuels, And look for natural alternative ways of feeding, Maybe algae or something that can be produced fast and that can supply our daily consumption needs
  • Aug 10 2012: Ahmed:

    Human nature (expressible on large scales only through/by collective intelligence) is not adequate to develop a livable future world. We are sufficiently blind to the future desperate plight of our descendants to succeed in rendering the world unlivable for our species, and unfortunately, simultaneously obliterate most other species which would be key to restore (in some far, far future) any similar ecosphere to our present ideal one.
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    Aug 7 2012: The first way to go forth is cleaning up the mess we already are in. If we are pumping more carbon in the system more than it can absorb, we have a serious threat. The biggest challenge of the day is alternative energy which is truly clean (unlike some of our bio-fuels like ethanol which damages more than the repair.) Also educating the masses is a concern. Most of the people take the Earth for granted.
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    Aug 6 2012: David:
    www.transitionnetwork.org

    It's large enough to engage the planet.

    Thanks
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    Aug 5 2012: I would invite you to take a look at

    The Quixote Project at http://jpssis.com/index.html

    And help us in our quest of the perfect windmill.
    A simple idea that could help in a significant way
    to build our future without destroying the earth.
  • Aug 2 2012: GO BACK TO STONE AGE!!!! LIFE!!!!!!
    • Aug 5 2012: I am typing into a marvel of technology, connected to the entire globe, and wondering if perhaps my descendants will indeed find happiness in a second stone age. I think we should try to avoid that, if only because of the misery of illness that our technology can prevent and ameliorate.
      • Aug 5 2012: I agree, how many of us has personal experience with average day to day life in the stone age? I'm willing to bet is wasn't a walk in the park. Hungry animals eating your family wouldn't make for a fun afternoon. Watching your clan starve off due to 1 year of drought, no thanks. We take so much for granted as far as technology is concerned. Now is all we have, we need to start cherishing it and helping others do the same.

        Happiness is only found in the subjective reality, objective reality is devoid of emotion.
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          Aug 5 2012: Sub Saharan Africa doesn't look like much fun from our perspective does it?
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    Jul 30 2012: Begin a "Leaving" tradition for the 65's and overs.

    By the time that comes to fruition i should be inline to be one of the first to walk down that path,it's in the back of the younger generations minds as they become more aware of global issues.

    Abhorrent? yes it is but governments worldwide are making inroads to tap grey wealth and if we all leave, it will give the young the chance they see in surviving in this world without us older ones reminding them of their fate and the fact that they believe the net offers all wisdom past and future.

    Many has stated here, we're not living younger for longer but living older longer.Some believe that an ordered society is the only way,a system of control but that only works if you are valuable constantly throughout your life,it doesn't take into account the myriad of mishaps that can befall an individual as life goes on.

    We love our children, we should be able to clear away for them,immortality isn't just around the corner,so what's stopping us taking that step?
  • Jul 29 2012: Learn to in habit areas comfortably that were once thought were near impossible. Because the downfall of society is the mass number of people that will be joining the already living. While people aren't dying as soon either. We will be over populated so wee need to populate areas like a building that is under water, or underground.
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    Jul 29 2012: Resilience to an Oil Dependent Economy and Permaculture.
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      Aug 5 2012: I would invite you to take a look at

      The Quixote Project at http://jpssis.com/index.html

      And help us in our quest of the perfect windmill.
      A simple idea that could help in a significant way
      to build our future without destroying the earth.
  • Jul 29 2012: The single most impactful thing people can do to better orient ourselves towards a sustainable way of life, fundamentally changing the way we live in and interact with our environment, would be to rid ourselves of the very most diabolical of human inventions, religion. Ignorance and myth hinder humanity's struggle to overcome instinct with intelligence.
  • Jul 28 2012: What about MONSANTO?
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    Gail .

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    Jul 28 2012: We need to understand the nature of the global economic model - that cannot exist without war, poverty, ignorance, violence, and most recently - illness. There are alternative economic models, but I have yet to talk with anyone who has even read about them - with the exception of one PhD economist who is running for U. S. congress and says that the idea of educating people about the problems with their economic model is not something that any politician (who understands it) is willing to talk about. Can't get elected that way.

    With the earth's population spiraling toward 8 billion, combined with global warming that is spreading the drought that jeopardizes our food supply, combined with an economic model that values profits over lives (During the Great Depression, many died of hunger while food rotted in the field because too many couldn't afford to buy any), along with poor farming practices by mega farming corporations who destroy aquifers in the name of profits, and will move on when the water is no longer usable - leaving the people to fend for themselves, global governmental support for plundering our resources, educational systems that are designed to teach people how NOT to think rationally, etc, we are approaching and end to the troubles. It's all falling apart. The economic model is mathematically guaranteed to fail because it is a Ponzi scheme, and with it the rest will go.

    If we do nothing about these forces that are gathering into a perfect storm, a minimum of 28% of the earth's population will be starving/thirsting to death by 2030. This starvation will not be limited to Asia and Africa. Spiraling inflation will take food out of the reach of the common human, and we will then be able to try to fix what is broken. But how to do THAT when education refuses to teach anything that does not serve corporate profits?

    We need to educate ourselves & lower our numbers, or they will be lowered for us.
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      Jul 28 2012: Maybe it cannot exist YET.
    • Jul 31 2012: I would like to educate myself. Where can I find reading material about "alternative economic models" that work in a free society?
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    Jul 28 2012: Firstly we should minimize our needs, we should be happy with basic needs i.e. food, cloths and shelter.
    Minimize our expectation. Minimize our comfortable level.Four people can easily resides in flat, instead of 1 or 2 story bungalow. We can develop our future simply by doing farming only.And last but not the least we should remove EGO completely then only it is possible.
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      Jul 28 2012: While all of these proposals would work, I highly doubt they would be adopted. It doesn't matter if 5% of the world's population takes your advice because they are willing to change because they feel like it is a necessary sacrifice. How could you convince an entire society to follow these measures? I think you'd have more luck with clever designs that provide the same utility for less. Start with fundamental questions like "Why would 4 people rather live in a flat than a 1 or 2 story bungalow?" Does it provide more utility? Is it some form of investment/security? Is it for social status? There has to be a reason. Unless these deeper reasons can be addressed, change will not happen.
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        Jul 30 2012: Change surely will happen if we start from ourself first.... 5% of world population accept my advice then very soon that will convert into 100%. We always should think in positive way not in negative.
        if we are happy with our basic necessity then people will not go for any bribe or crime to get more money. And at the end everyone wants to be more richer than other, this will surely change.
  • Jul 28 2012: Nothing will change until the people in charge stop making money from the destruction of the planet. If CEOs could earn their companies billions from a water powered car, it would be on the market right now. Greed is destroying the planet. Some people continue to say that global warming is a myth, but I can't remember a warmer year than this last year. I'm scared for the next generation. The earth will survive, but our place on it may not.
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    Jul 26 2012: More from David Fuchs list:

    2 - We need to stop governments around the world from prevent competition and innovation.

    I had to read this a couple of times. I think I know what David means. Maybe not. It touches on quite a few important topics, governments, competition and innovation. It may be a question of terms but I may be disagreeing with David on this one. Again, maybe not. First the terms.

    Government - I think government is doing a much better job than we give it credit for in protecting ideas, and regulating the marketplace. Government is an improvised invention and varies from state to state, country to country and by level, levels being city, state, federal and world levels. For comparison consider China and the USA. China does not protect patents, USA does. China has a tradition of decision making with a timeline measured in generations, USA's decision making (at the Federal level) of the first 100 days of a presidential term and the next sound bite. Both are doing much better than my sound bite comparison can account for.

    Competition: This is a hot word. Most of what is created in this world is the result of cooperation, not competition. Companies may compete with other companies, but most of the effective delivery of products and services is the result of finely tuned cooperation within the company. Competition adds juice to the creative process, but the creative process is 90% cooperative through the free flow of ideas, the synergy between individuals and the lattice of cooperative mechanisms we have built; roads, schools, telecommunications, shared laws, monetary systems, etc, all of which are usually glossed over in the discussion of competition. Competition is best when it gets us to do our best.

    Innovation; My favorite fantasy, write a book, invent a product, write a song, get it patented/trademarked/copyrighted and become a millionaire from the fees. My best ideas come from wanting to solve problems, not from mucho monero.

    I ran out of ...
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    Jul 26 2012: Interesting question. I liked David Fuchs list.

    1- It is finally time we talk about the 800 lb gorilla in the room, the worlds population.

    I agree, this is our largest impact, the billions of humans. Even with energy efficiency, better farming practices, and densification, population will continue to be the biggest factor in the stress we put on our environment. If we do not find a way to make our population growth sustainable it will correct itself. I don't like Malthusiasm, but it is a hard argument to refute.
    It looks as though education, prosperity, and good healthcare slow down population growth. That can seem a little counter intuitive. Some projections for population growth suggest we will plateau at 10 billion people.

    Suggested Ted Talks on this subject: 1) Bill Gates: Mosquitos, malaria and education 2) Hans Rosling: Religions and babies. There are others, but these two are quite insightful.
  • Jul 26 2012: The root of the problem is that in order to run our society we have to exchange goods or services. It is a simple and primitive rule wich has been in place forever. Unless we replace this rule with more efficient ones, than we will have the rotten society that you live in today, and it will only get worse.

    If we replace this rule then every decision that we make would have to be in the interest of human kind and not for the single person. Oil companies, car manufacturers the drug cartels they all run based on the same rule.

    Can I suggest that we come up with a set of rules where exchanging is not required? Instead come up with a set of rules where the common goal is the survival and progress of human kind. For instance a rule could be that in a future world we should all give and get from society no one exempt.

    Can anyone suggest any more rules?
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    Jul 25 2012: First, have a Kid.. It will Change your Mindset on everything.. but finding 'Love' isn't that easy, or is it? this opens a new can of worms for pessimist/ realist thinking; However, its a global world now, we have sites that tell us who are "perfect Match" is and aside from finding anyone we can find anything we need anywhere in the world to make us happy which will attract like a magnet someone who is into the same things your into. It's easy to find anything on the net, the hard part is transferring from the Web to the Physical Earth. this is where Humans need to develop stronger tools, for bringing your Reality of the Physical world into the Reality of your Virtual World, and visa versa. So if you don't want to destroy Earth, do as we are Intended and have a child and I'll assure you, you will develop your world to better theirs. only problem with this solution is that not everyone wants to find a mate or procreate, and everyone gets their happiness from every possible way.
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    Jul 24 2012: Now it is important in our lives is how to change the human mind that allow us to penetrate the thinking of our future, but most governments today ignore such thoughts are interested in the article when the duty to plan for long-term ideas for a sustainable future
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    Jul 24 2012: Thorium and fusion generated electricity will make all the difference.
  • Jul 24 2012: Simple. GENDER EQUALITY. Males=Females. That truth must pervade all society and then we can happily co-create a future wherein all females and all males get to be who they really are and live in truth, love and joy.
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      Jul 24 2012: That's not really a big issue nor a big key in development of the future. I believe in equality, but gender equality is not a big issue.There already is ALMOST complete gender equality in the major scientific centers of the world. Such as Japan, America and the U.K. Even with just a very tiny bit of in equality, huge scientific discoveries are being made.
      • Jul 24 2012: Kevin, I am delighted that you understand the importance of gender equality and that you observe the positive consequences of gender equality within the scientific community. Just imagine if the rest of the world understood this simple concept! We would be catapulted into a healthy, prosperous happy world for all. I believe it is "really a big issue." You seem to be agreeing with me, though you limit the scope of your agreement to science centers.
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          Jul 25 2012: I'm limiting my scope of vision to scientific centers because scientific centers are what drives the global economy. Think of it this way. Terrorists lived a third world way of life in ratty countries until America developed the internet(which was originally supposed to allow the U.S. military to stay in touch after a Russian nuclear attack) and then all of a sudden, they can communicate with ease. The internet brought countries into a development status. Just that one scientific development changed the world and is now being changed into a type one communications system.

          Science drives the civilized world whether there is equality or not.
      • Jul 25 2012: Yes, science is important. Gender equality is even more important. It's totally okay if you and I hold different opinions. Just think where we would be now scientifically, technologically, economically, socially, et cetera, if males and females shared power equally within all realms over the past ten thousand years. Things would be different. Things would be far better. Peace, health,prosperity, happiness would prevail.
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          Jul 26 2012: I think if women had equal rights through out history, there would have been faster progress, but it's to late to go back now and change the past, but we can at least learn from the past and improve now. But, as I've said, in the technological leaders of the world, gender inequality isn't very bad anymore and will get better on it's own.

          I respectfully disagree with you on importance. Science is the engine of prosperity. If you take away science, you collapse entire infrastructures and destroy the educational systems of the world. if you take away science, you destroy advanced civilization as we know it and throw us back to a dark ages type society. Without gender equality, we would still have scientific progress, albeit, maybe not quite as fast.

          Modern society is now is a society where women are basically as excepted as men are. So, I think your dream has already come true. However, I'm still only talking about the superpowers AKA world leading countries in advanced research. These countries are where equality count's most(That doesn't mean I don't want equality around the world). If you have it where it count's, you'll only get positive results.
      • Jul 28 2012: Kevin, I respectfully strongly disagree with you and suggest you look at a few statistics on the status of women relative to the status of men throughout society and the world. Consider the quantity of women in positions such as full professorships, CEOs, top-paying jobs in government, in private industry, etc. One of the reasons I believe that gender equality is of utmost importance is that the very subject matter and trajectory of scientific pursuit would be totally different, if women were involved to the degree of 50% participation. For example, science has had a big impact on technology, on medicine, and more. We have highly developed weapons of war, stemming from the application of science to technology. We have fancy pharmaceuticals such as Viagra. Women would have directed those scientific resources in different directions. Viagra would not be needed, if women had equality. High-science chemical warfare and nuclear weapons might not exist, if women participated in the decisions about where to spend our human and material resources within science. Prosperity is limited to a tiny minority of people throughout the world. If women participated to a 50% degree, prosperity would be ubiquitous. More importantly, health and happiness would be prevalent throughout the world's societies, if women had 50% of the power throughout all societal systems. If you appreciate science, it seems you would appreciate the truth about the relative position of women throughout the world. Truth is powerful. Let's stick with that and not pretend that women have anywhere near equal power. Pick a continent....Africa, Asia, South America....Take an honest look at the position of women and see the sad impacts of their absence from their rightful place of EQUALITY. It relates to the suffering of humanity.
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          Jul 29 2012: I disagree with you on the scientific path part of your argument. First off....well...there probably would still be Viagra since, to put it simply, some men are not happy with what's in their trousers. There would also still be WMD's. You seem to think of men and women as two different species. Human nature is human nature whether your male of female. Human nature makes us violent. Things wouldn't be much different which means that we would still have atomic bombs and bio weapons. I also don't believe that prosperity would be any better since, just like any men, women can be very selfish and greedy as well. If women had more power, there wouldn't be any different amounts of prosperity in the world because prosperity has absolutely nothing to do with men or women alike. It has to do with access to information, scientific knowledge and research which is the key to a prosperous society .
      • Jul 29 2012: Kevin, men would not need Viagra, if women had 50% of the power.Everything in life is distorted by the dominating lie that men are supposed to dominate women. High class science has been used by men to develop high class weapons of war. If women had 50% of the power, high class science would have been used to develop high class instruments of peace, of love, of harmony among people. Human nature is distorted, neurotic, psychotic due to male domination. The violence you behold is caused by male domination. Things would be very, very, very different and will be as soon as women obtain 50% of the power within all realms of society. Feel free to cling to your preconceptions or your desire to believe something. Truth and reality are a much more efficient and effective approach to co-creating a world that is good for all. Best wishes. Bye.
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          Jul 30 2012: As I've said before, human nature is human nature, whether your female or not. Peace and harmony has little to do with science, it has to do with rational thought and decision amongst men and women alike. I don't want to jump to any conclusions here, but it almost seems like you want women to be completely superior to men. I want equality between both genders, but you seem to almost be saying that women are way better than men.
      • Jul 30 2012: What I am saying is that women are equal to men. Until that is acknowledged and implemented throughout society, human behavior is distorted in ways that do not result in happiness for females or males.
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    Jul 24 2012: Our future depends on our present actions. It's practically not possible to guide every human being.

    The change will start from an individual. If we decide to change our self and restrict our need, our future generation has some hope. It’s important to understand the impact of what we are doing today. We all know that water, air, fuel (in any form) plays a very vital role in our life today. But are we doing anything towards it, do we really think twice before spending them or polluting them?

    Let’s start thinking before spending !!!
  • Jul 24 2012: our future is depends on the science and technologies .
  • Jul 24 2012: Slow down population growth. Develop science studies for pollution control and green technologies and water resources. Japan has invented a new wind turbine. If you have wind, use it. Let everyone have a computer for education purposes and a wider perspective. University degrees in forgiveness and tolerance. Use your local geography and climate to your advantage. For instance other hot countries would use solar power for energy. In the hot climate of Central America they have begun using one litre pop bottles filled with water and a touch of chlorine to provide free interior lighting in the daytime by cutting holes in the roof and inserting the pop bottles between the sun and the ceiling of the house. Free light, no pollution, at a cost of next to nothing, without destroying the earth. Ideas like this can happen and then shared for free across the world with computers and good people to share like interests. Universal healthcare based on Japan's model.
    • Jul 24 2012: how can we slow down population growths?
      • Jul 24 2012: China has a program for curbing population growth. Good things happen with education. Educate people about the perils of over population. Over population is a natural occurrence. Man has to decide if he wants to be like every other species (natural) or if he is truly intelligent.
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        Jul 24 2012: The best way to curb population growth in a country is to increase the standard of living. You have a larger family if you are concerned that they won't all survive and if you are concerned about who will support you in old age. Most G20 nations have negative population growth if you allow for immigration.
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    Jul 24 2012: One way we can really destroy ourselves currently is if some genius hacker obtains control over nukes and decides to nuke the world over to oblivion. If the genius was hateful of society, then yes, I think there's a very good chance he'll blow us up. However, if the genius was a lover of society and humanity, he will not.

    How do we stop a genius from deciding to blow us up? We need to show him compassion and care since birth. We need to accept the genius for his genius, not for his "abnormalities" or "mental disorders."

    How do I know this is right? I'm not entirely sure. But what I do know is, I would never do such a thing, because I love humanity too much. I realize that the majority of us care about someone or something as well, and that we are more alike than we think despite our differences, our strengths and faults. I realize that we all belong in this society whether we like it or not, and so it's better that we like it.
  • Jul 24 2012: What scares me is that there are over Seven(7) billion people in the world. How could one hope to get them to work together Some are hungry now The worst want more now. The ones that have so much and want more just have to make massive political contributions See Citizens United. Only in the US would we hear over and over Trust the Fox He'll guard the Henhouse. O.K. we have heard this before See Charles Mckay's 1841 book Popular ;Extraordinary Delusions and the Madness of Crowds. If one payed attention to Economics 101 and History 101 we can identify two big bubbles that are causing real problems in theU.S. and the World. Back to the Question. How do we get everyone in line with the program?
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    Jul 23 2012: Here's the thing, even if the current global warming is natural and self correcting, the push to find oil alternatives will be useful in the long run. As oil use rises at the same time new discoveries are falling you would expect that at some stage the oil price wil start an exponential rise. If nothing else, the fear mongering over global warming is causing us to evaluate alternatives while they are just alternatives. You don't wait for your well to run dry before you start digging a new one, otherwise you have no water to drink while your digging and that just makes digging even harder.
    As to over population depleting the Earth's resources, other than oil, the only one I'm concerned about is helium. What do we replace helium with (in industry) when we have used it all in party balloons. Its the only inert gas that is substantially lighter than air. Everything else has alternatives or is in plentiful supply.
    The one I find most intriguing is the concern about growing enough food. Right now we grow enough food for the projected 9 billion population, its just that too many westerners eat enough for three people.
    • Jul 24 2012: "As oil use rises at the same time new discoveries are falling you would expect that at some stage the oil price wil start an exponential rise"

      Oil use is already falling; strange but true. Natural gas prices have fallen recently, largely thanks to cracking, and gas is replacing oil for some uses. This could (or is already) setting back the development of some renewable energy sources.
      --------------------
      CORRECTION and APOLOGY: Oil consumption is on the rise. Sorry, in the future I will check my sources more thoroughly. Thank you, Peter for pointing this out.
      --------------------
      It would be very interesting and probably very helpful if the US government would just back out of the energy industry and let all of the different sources compete in a fair market, taxing them all at the same rate. People who think renewable sources need a helping hand could choose to pay the higher price. My electric bill gives me this choice.
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        Jul 24 2012: I cant find one source that shows world oil consumption falling! There was a slight dip after the GFC but now it is back to an increase of around 1.5% per annum.
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    Jul 23 2012: Concentrate solar energy, in a way which is portable. The key to peace and prosperity in the middle east, and the world is a sustainable electric grid, owned by individuals. Lower consumption devices + a couple high end car batteries + solar concentration satellite dishes = The sustainable off grid home of the future.

    Also... Electric bikes and motorcycles, the most effiecient form of transportation. It's a growing business and they aren't very complicated.
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    Jul 23 2012: In the US the administration dumped billions of dollars into green technology that had no chance of sustainability. Naturally it failed almost immediately costing the tax payers and many programs the money came from. My point here is that Pat is right it will all work out. The biggest problem is people in power making giant leaps in no hopers. That at least for me put me off of any green projects. Obama personally set back any advancements in green technology by that one really dumb investment and loss of the citizens money.

    The problem is that we do understand problems and probable outcomes. We put a face to it and donate to the cause and every time the upper level takes the money off the top and the project is still on the drawing board.

    Global warming is a giant issue. However, the leadership pays big money to Al Gore to be the face of global warming fight. He has a giant carbon foot print ... energy eating homes in three states ... flys all over in his non-effecient jet .. and laughs all the way to the bank. Hard to believe the cause is serious when they put a clown as the cover boy.

    We have real problems and now is the time for real leaders to step to the plate. There is no panacea. This will take time and must be phased in over time. No one likes rapid change and having their lifestyle disrupted. So lets plan for the long run with a plan that is effective, efficient, and sustainable.

    All the best. Bob.
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      Jul 23 2012: The US dumped far more money into the oil industry during that time. If the United States stopped sponsoring oil companies, solar energy would already be cheaper than gas through concentration. Almost every solar energy company in the country would be profitable, if coal and oil, simply cost what they actually cost.
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        Jul 23 2012: David, When green industries prove their worth people will line up for them.
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          Jul 25 2012: The new Zero electric motorcycle goes 130 miles on a charge, accelerates faster than a car, and can cruise the freeway at 90... You think if gas cost 6.00 a gallon, which it would without subsidies... people still wouldn't be buying them?

          People are not lining up for green technology, because they are stupid, they are being manipulated by government sponsored corporations, and oh ya, the banks just bankrupted them, and the government is using their money to bail the banks out.
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        Jul 26 2012: I have never understood why there has been so much time spent on electric cars and so little on motorcycles. The light weightis perfectly siuted to electric and the battery pack can be small enough so you can change them yourself like a cordless drill. You have one on charge at home while you're out. If all those motorbikes in asia were swapped to electric it would actually make a difference!
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          Jul 26 2012: It's actually a really fascinating topic, that I would love to write a paper about. If one big businessman just paid attention to what I call the "real issues" with electric motorcycles, they'd make a fortune and we'd all switch... but it's very controversial.

          Here's the problem in a nutshell... Like in everything there are 2 special interest groups at odds. Motorcyle enthusiasts, who make up less than 1% of the population, but make up 90% of the consumers for new electric motorcycles. They were the first to adapt electric motorcycles, because they already know how to ride. The other special interest group is... dun, duh, nuh, nuh... women... Who for lack of a better word "F***ing hate motorcycles and will never let their son or daughter set foot near one". They make up 55% of the population, but represent a very small fraction of the motorcycle consumer base.

          I am not blaming women for this problem, in fact, quite the opposite, I blame motorcycle enthusiasts. The problem is, that if you really love motorcycles in the modern world, you might be a green commuter, who gets 60 miles to the gallon, but more likely... You love the feeling of riding a motorcycle. You love the intensity of it... and, you get off on the fact, that while a well trained motorcycle driver is far less likely to get into an accident, than an automobile driver... You're far more likely to die.

          In the words of Karl Pilkington "His head was fine, the helmet worked great, it just rolled on off down the street no longer attached to his body". The consumer base that first adapted to electric motorcycles had no interest in making a "safer" consumer bike. There's no roll cage on a Zero motorcycle... No winged doors with airbags. No training wheels... No trikes. If there were, women would have bought these things, let their kids buy them, and the market would have spoken, and we'd all be far more sustainable in our lifestyle right now.
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          Jul 26 2012: Basically, the market for motorcycles was too alpha male dominated, and too geared specifically towards a gung ho masculine market... for them to adapt to a commuter efficiency model, about safety, weight, and the fantastic wonder of engineering that is Tesla's electric motor.

          They had these things going 20 miles in the 1950's, but they went 50 mph, and they didn't roar like an uncaged animal... How girly is that : p. Meanwhile in the 1950's how often did anyone drive more than 20 miles for anything?... I think the masculine ego killed this market, and it's very unfortunate.

          Oh, in modern days, also... The government plays an important role in licensing. We know that cars are inefficient for transporting single commuters to work... Motorcycle licenses, should be part of car license training. You should have the ability to learn how to drive light 2 wheel vehicles, at the same time as you learn to drive their more dangerous 4 wheel counterparts. People who don't have motorcycle licenses at 30, are unlikely to switch.
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        Jul 26 2012: The deal maker now is lithium ion batteries. They revolutionised mobile phones and should do the same here. The performance power wise has been around for ever as you say, and now they have the range to match. You would think the government should offer free registration to sweeten the deal. It makes so much more sense than a Prius.
  • Jul 23 2012: Politics is above science and logic. Any historian expert can tell me what happens when politics fail?
  • Jul 23 2012: I want to share this video. Sory for the portuguese web page. By the way Rio+20 was a waste of time.

    http://catracalivre.folha.uol.com.br/2012/07/japones-cria-maquina-que-transforma-plastico-em-oleo/
  • Jul 23 2012: IMO, the central challenge is to find a way to use the market place to assure sustainability. Even if we wanted to, we just could not regulate our way to sustainability. All those plastic bottles cluttering up the oceans is a good example. If the price of cleaning up that mess was reflected in the price of the product, there would be no mess.

    Of course, there is also the definition of sustainability. The extreme position of zero environmental impact might be incompatible with modern civilization. Those profiting from the status quo will probably try to delay change by arguing this issue indefinitely.
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    Jul 23 2012: I'd promote education and scientic research.
  • Jul 23 2012: Why do we need to preserve something that can not last forever.
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      Jul 29 2012: What would give you the right to take something away that had not come to it's natural end. Ones who take away life get a slap on the wrists.
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    Jul 23 2012: IN MY VIEW:
    Interlinking our future plan with the future of earth could be the answer. It's more like study of cause and effect. If what we cause to preserve our future has long term negative effect on earth then we should discontinue doing so and try to find out better action. In today's era we might be quite capable in doing so.
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    Jul 23 2012: Quit listening to the fear mongers, it will work out fine.
    • Jul 23 2012: Hi Pat,

      I think you are right, but the details are worth discussing.
      For instance, the globe has become the garden of mankind and many people enjoy discussions about gardening.
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        Jul 23 2012: Their is no question that there is global warming the cause however is debatable therefore what we should do is debatable.

        The fact that we are running out of energy is debatable as the very definition of economics is the study of scarce resources that have alternative uses. When the price of energy rises alternative sources of energy are explored consequently the price of the alternative energy will be lower cost.

        The fact that we are running out of capacity/resources on mother earth is debatable as the current population would not be sustainable a thousand or even 100 years ago, but technology has allowed for 7billion homo saps to cohabitate.

        My only thinking is to stick with science not conjecture based off of junk science.
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          Jul 23 2012: "There is no question that there is global warming, the cause however is debatable, therefore what we should do is debatable"

          In other words... "You can't prove we caused global warming... So lets all just die and say god did it".
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        Jul 24 2012: No ozone breath, I'm saying lets use the scientific method.