The goals of technology need to be examined very carefully. For example, the goal of making things “more efficient” seems laudable in many contexts. BUT the mindless pursuit of efficiency can become a tragic distraction and dangerous diversion from the larger problem of moving humanity collectively away from its large and growing dependence upon fossilized carbon energy sources.
We need to keep clear in our minds that the goal is not simply to become more efficient in the use of fossil fuels, but rather to displace them entirely and move to a zero-carbon emission fuel system based on the infinite supply of throughput solar energy. Efficiency, properly conceived, needs to foster the transition from our current fossil fuel dependence toward solar sustainability. If it fails to do this “efficiency” itself is not a virtue and may well be counter-productive, since it could serve to keep alive the illusion of heightened consumerism and continuous growth.
- “Transition Studies” … because extinction is not the goal…
- To Respect the Earth’s Limits — or Push Them? – Bill McKibben – The New York Times
- The Wizard and the Prophet: Two Remarkable Scientists and Their Dueling Visions to Shape Tomorrow’s World – Charles Mann
as well as:
- Charles C Mann, “The Wizard and The Prophet”
- Charles Mann: The Wizard and the Prophet
- Wizards and prophets with Charles Mann Breakthrough Dialogues Podcast