Andy Revkin had asked the question on Twitter:
Thomas Edison, with energy breakthroughs, “invented the 20th century.” Who’ll invent the 21st? http://shar.es/m8ziQ #energy #innovation
The way nature engineers her highly dramatic smooth changes in complex systems, her“punctuated equilibria”, is to begin with explosive reorganization and energy flows.
The “catch” is that initial spurt is also their end, producing nothing lasting… *unless* the reverse cycle leading toward the resolution of all those multiplying loose endskicks in, called “maturation”.
So, if Edison invented the 20th century, the author of our explosion as it were, “Who will invent the 21st century”? It’s already quite clear, and already done. It just hasn’t taken hold yet. It was Keynes, actually, in more or less a footnote that was widely misinterpreted. He called it “the widow’s cruse”, defining the crystal clear and necessary steps a market economy must take to avoid destroying itself financially when approaching the operating limits of the earth.
Everyone who first considers doing what is quite physically necessary finds it “unthinkable” is one reason we’re in danger of not carefully looking into it, and failing as a global system. It would be unquestionably a huge relief, and assure our future comfort and security…two very positive things we could get to like,… IF we could just get over the shock of dealing with physical realities we hoped we’d never have to!
Blog entries linking Keynes’ ideas about general systems ecology with current issues. fyi http://synapse9.com/blog/category/natural-economy/