Nate Hagen’s 40 minute presentation entitled “Earth vs. Amoeba”. Our current growth-obsessed consumerist culture is likened to a big hungry amoeba, a super-organism that is eating the planet on which it depends.
Earth Day Talk, Stockholm Wisconsin, April 22, 2019
We have many narratives about our culture; -that we are God’s children; that we are clever and industrious and headed to the stars; that we will continue to grow our economy throughout the coming century leading to a world of material abundance for all humans, etc. All of these stories, among other things – are energy blind. Our society misunderstands energy. This misunderstanding has simple explanations, but massive implications for human futures.
What if we’re part of a different story entirely? One where we members of a social species executing simple optimal foraging algorithms join together with others, and then groups of others (businesses and corporations) towards the pursuit of growth, and that this growth in turn depends on mass/material combinations each of which in turn require energy? We socially self-organize to continue this growth using creative – and even desperate – means? And when we (are able to) do this at 3% per year we roughly double the energy and material size of our endeavor every 25 years or so. Under such a narrative, a college student today will see the size and scale of the human enterprise quadruple in their lifetime. Would this be a good thing? A bad thing? What would be the impacts if it were to happen? Or if it couldn’t happen? Could we alter the momentum of this ‘entity’ voluntarily, or does such growth have a life of its own?
The above ideas are unified into a cohesive narrative with the concept of humans acting collectively as an unthinking, mindless, energy hungry Superorganism.
Hagen’s 5-hour course called Reality 101 is available here.Oxford event March 2019 “Heading for Extinction” featuring spokespersons (Monbiot & friends) from Extinction Rebellion and Climate Strike movements that would benefit from Hagen’s synthesis.
Self-destructive tyranny of growth – earth scientist conclusion.
Australian Report – (May 2019) advocates worst case risk assessment strategy for policy makers to avoid civilisational chaos by 2050. “To reduce this risk and protect human civilization, a massive global mobilization of resources is needed in the coming decade to build a zero-emissions industrial system and set in train the restoration of a safe climate,” the report reads. “This would be akin in scale to the World War II emergency mobilization.”