Posted to AIA COTE forum 1/11/07
A great old oak that’s been the center of it’s neighborhood for decades, home to wild life and children’s play, a long labor for leaf raking and thing of beauty in every season, began it’s life with exponential growth that was equally splendid in its transformative magic even if also quite brief and left it quite small. A tree’s period of explosive growth and change ends about when it has it’s first two leaves, before it knows what branches are, or a trunk, or seasons, while it’s skin is still shiny, before it’s had a life.
The question is what would you say to a young little shoot who thought that this was quite unacceptable, and was inconsolable about the apparent fact it’s explosive growth was ending and it could imagine nothing of interest that could ever happen to it again. The idea of seasonal growth was like a vulgarity to it and completely unthinkable. What would you say to persuade it to take a sustainable path?
After trying and failing to set it straight again and again, would you give up and snap at the little shoot, “Fine, go ahead, grow spindly get stem mold fall over and rot, see if I care”? Much too often, people seem to listen about as well as trees!
Let’s see, if we keep adding by percents, and do it efficiently, that solves everything all at once, a nice neat package! Because the growth spiral is what is actually overwhelming the earth, (organizing our world around adding percents) and is produced by investors reinvesting their returns, anyone leading the way to a sustainable earth unavoidably must also take a lead in spending their returns.
Undoubtedly, it’s better natural system physics than politics or economics, but then you can look at the models each uses (life, power & greed, respectively) and think for yourself.