Sorry! You can’t re-design me.
Anyone who listens carefully hears the universe whisper “Sorry you can’t re-design me.”
We did not design the earth, the solar system or the universe. So sorry we can’t change the design. Our massive technological advances make us believe that we can do it; be it the climate system, Flora, Fauna, Water Cycle, Oxygen Cycle, Nitrogen Cycle, Marine system, Genetics, or Evolution. Armed with Newtonian physics, we also believe that we can repair or replace one piece at a time as we fix a machine. But, sorry we are in a closed system.
Materially nothing is created or destroyed on earth. We recycle everything and in the end we too get recycled. “Dust thou art and unto dust shalt thou return.” Finally, we become the elements of nature that sustain us. The only inputs from outside are solar energy and gravitational forces. The cycles on earth critically depend on them. It is not open to re-design.
We can debate forever about divine creation Vs evolution. But both accept that the universe and the earth existed before we came on the scene. These theories argue only about how we got into this house and who designed us. Did we become smarter apes or did god specially design us? Let us park that debate as it is irrelevant to this discussion.
Are what we call natural calamities - more accurately called Acts of God or maybe Acts of Nature for the non-believers – actually system corrections? Re sets? If so, given the man-made trends in global warming, environmental degradation, depletion of groundwater reserve, deforestation or marine pollution, shouldn’t we expect more resets? And bigger ones? Like when we don’t know exactly what is wrong with our computer that has hung, we just re-boot it. The system comes back but some programs that negatively affect the performance of the overall system get deleted. When might we hang? What would get deleted? We don’t know. And again the system is not open to us for a redesign.
Every intelligent and auto-balancing system works with pre-set thresholds. Sensors constantly monitor critical parameters and initiate corrective actions. Simple pressure cookers or complex guided missiles do it. Earth, as a super-organized system with many complex subsystems, has many feedback loops in place. But we don’t know what they are. At what temperature would the system decide to unfreeze the entire polar ice caps? At what stage would earth re-set the Oxygen balance and wipe out a large part of the population? At which point would it unleash typhoons, winds, massive earthquakes, droughts or Tsunamis of such power to reset? Such re-sets may not be gradual but drastic. When would earth show us again that we are just helpless travelers and spectators with no significance to the overall system? Show that the system is bigger than us and can create other forms of life if required? Load new software. When might it do a full reset? This is not open to us for re-design.
We have enough indications to anticipate some of these. And bright scientists are doing enormous work to understand these phenomena. But there is enough powerful political ignorance, short-sightedness, and corporate greed driving us to ridicule and discount such views. Add the arrogance of our species to the mix and we are Rambos or Supermen outside the system ready and willing to manipulate it.
Of course, it is easier to live with the myth that the earth is a dumb system and so, we can re-design or manipulate it the way we want. And that it cannot retaliate or reboot! Or that we can control even the reboot it the way we want! But sorry. It is a super-intelligent, closed system and we are just one of its million products.
So, the redesign of the new world has to be based on this reality and has to work with the cosmic system in sustainable ways. We can safely depend on the free energy sources – sun, gravity, wind, waves etc. And design food, medicines, buildings, forests, consumer products and services respecting Mother Nature that sustains and protects us. If we don’t want to be suicidal, that is our only choice.
In Einstein’s words “We cannot solve our problems with the same level of thinking that created them.”
It is now critical for us to scale up a few levels in our thinking.