Posted to the AIA Committee on the Environment Forum 1/6/07
…… It violates normality… but isn’t the more remarkable thingourrelative national silence about the whole torrent of authentic new evidence of rapid change in the climate ? No one anywhere seems to be up in arms about it, when beating the lag times is EVERYTHING in having any real impact on the eventual heating of the globe!Its a lot like another curious disconnect, that has been raised time and again but has always been pushed aside for ‘more immediate concerns’.
When you’re multiplying your consumption, doing it more efficiently doesn’t really change anything. That’s been brought up time an again during the 40 years I’ve been watching the environmental movement. It just dies as a topic of discussion, even though it actually does directly invalidate the dominant conservation centered approach to saving the world’s environments.
Al Gore even went out of his way to avoid mentioning the problem, the simple and clear fact that the main cause of global warming is humanity’s concerted public plan to endlessly multiply economic activity, in a world where that multiplies C02. Reducing unit impacts doesn’t matter if your going to multiply the units.
It’s as if the brightest and most caring of us are simply missing some lever of thought needed to tell the difference between the relative and the absolute. Conservation is necessary, for many fine things, but it’s simply insufficient to change the direction of growth’s multiplying impacts.
What conservationists care about would recover from a period of needless waste, IF that period were spent fixing the real underlying problem, that the global consensus model for ‘prosperity’ is endless exploding consumption. If we only slow our rate of multiplying ourabuse of the planetwe commit a true and complete waste of our efforts.
We mostly just don’t get it, though. No matter where you find it in nature, growth is always an imperative for change, an exploding demand that must be addressed, an absolute challenge to its own world, and to itself, a creative process with a heart of instability.
One of the great beauties of growth systems is that they’re always fundamentally out of control, whether it’s the tiny reflex explosion that triggers the blink of an eye, or our 500 year explosion of creativity and self-deception now on the way to producing a grand global flame-outinstead of a more modern kind of man, growth systems are unique in their originality and aggressiveness in producing change.
The physics principles of growth systems are fairly simple, but like much of science also a little dry, they have a simple four part succession of evolving organizational phases (¸¸¸¸.·´ ¯ `·.¸¸¸¸ ).I think learning howto read these natural phases of change shows you what phase things you see around you are now in, giving you a glimpse of the real future,and letting youstop living in the past.ItsJust like reading events as part of ecologies, though itdoestake a fair amount of study.There’s also the problem that science does not have established conventions for how to talk aboutgrowth in this way.
The logic of growth systems representsmore or less the opposite of what science has been looking for in nature since the beginning of modern science.The subject of growth hasbeen of little or no actual scientific interest.I put it on the Wikipedialist of great unexplained physical phenomena, and it was erased.
Growth systems are out of control,they’re local eruptions that serve as nature’s main workhorse engines and triggers of change, and science, instead, has beenlooking for what controls everything, looking for the global rules that things follow.Growth doesn’t care for rules…preferring to beradically inventive instead,making up it’s own rules as it goes.Growth isan outside symptom of something erupting from the inside, the invention ofsome new inside world, and science has been looking for how everything is determined from the outside.
So…. there’s some reason for the criticalinterest in the problem of growth to go silent.It appears our cultural knowledge doesn’t help us,but actively suppresses the discussion.Still, it’sthe one centralthing we need to solve to make civilization sustainable, and avoidingdiscussion of itis apparently built into our widely shared model for solving problems.
Maybe this would help.Growth is a lover’s irresistible seduction, a terrifying scream at night, a rupture in the pleasant cycles of harmony,demanding a response,…definitelynot least from itself.From the inside of the storm the explosion of it’s heart in flames of passion disguises what it must always discover,an arriving flurry ofsmall invitations to change yet again, that can not be denied.
Phil Henshaw¸¸¸¸.·´ ¯ `·.¸¸¸¸