How the species killing the planet can save it

We live in the Anthropocene, a geological epoch defined by the influence of one species over everything else, including the planet itself. That species is ours, and we are a pestilential one, altering, consuming, and wasting everything we can.

Specifically, our civilizations have advanced on the planet like a cancer, parasitically metabolizing materials we call “resources” (without their permission) as if their sums were not finite. Oil and coal will be gone in a few hundred years. Uranium, titanium, tungsten, helium, lithium and other members of the periodic table may be gone far sooner, thanks to our boundless appetites. And yes, we can raise crops of corn and other plants to make fuel for cars and jets, but only at the many costs of monoculture on the biodiversity required for sustaining every form of life.

Vinay GuptaI bring all this up because we’ll be talking about it on Monday at this month’s Ostrom Workshop salon at Indiana University and live on the Web. Our speaker will be Vinay Gupta (@leashless), inventor of the Hexayurt refugee shelter, founder and CEO of Mattereum, a progenitor of Ethereum, and source of wisdom on all that and much else. The title of his talk is the headline above. His case is that we have to get our per-person environmental consumption down by about 10x. Or else.

It helps that there are people and regions in the world providing living examples of how that is done. Vinay is deeply familiar with those and will share what he knows in ways that help us co-think and work to save the planet’s butt, along with our own.

The salon is at 2 PM Eastern time. It is also free, but you need to register first, here.

If this follows the pattern of our prior salons—all with the theme Beyond the Web—the presentation and discussion will be lively, informative, and productive. See you there.

  1. NZ’s avatar

    There is any video available with this presentation?

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