Friday, 27 February 2009

New Thinking!

During a recent talk on the three dominant crises: food, climate and economics one of the points raised was that it will need “new thinking” to make it “Through the Bottleneck”.

Thinking when using our own individual brain’s capacity and methodology might not easily be altered; but thinking definitely needs an upgrade; this download of the latest version of “thinking” must include thinking any issue, subject or object to its end; to think it to completeness, to think integrating all. Previously in the blog I mentioned
lateral thinking as trying to look across the board to perhaps get a glimpse of the future. It is time to finally take responsibility for what we have done and do to our habitat; this indeed requires lateral completely integrated thinking and accepting the outcome by taking the consequences.

While rationality demands
sustainable solutions our thinking must follow exactly that route and by doing so will be forced to leave the beaten track; a throw-away society featuring a purely growth based economy has taken us to where we are; we need to question how we got here not for the purpose of being negative or questioning anybody’s competence; the purpose must be to understand in full the impact, the footprint of anything, any activity, any technology, any product, any decision, just anything. Often “tradition” is made “first priority” followed by “it ought to be preserved”; traditional buildings, traditional technologies, traditional forms of living. Fine, that is good in some places, may be for a museum or to keep an historic setup as an example of our roots; but tradition may not be taken advantage of by trying to protect the “status quo” in order to benefit established but progress hindering, often destructive configurations.

What is tradition? Did Scots traditionally live in thatched cottages, roundhouses or caves? Do we normally eat venison and fish or rather Kentucky’s Chicken and Italian Huts; if every one of these makes the tradition, then why would a highly energy efficient and highly comfortable sustainable future proof building not write the next chapter of tradition?

Traditions made us what we are; thinking always was and is part of us but we remain far behind our capacity; often we hesitate to think beyond the norm as it might reveal a different truth behind something that is taken as a given.

  • To calculate the overall footprint of a Japanese Hybrid car, which is in the mind of many the ultimate solution and “saviour of the Californian climate in persona” might end up as a disaster.
  • To ask “What’s so neutral about wood?” causes panic and raised eyebrows from those who have a hard time trying to get people to think about C and CO2, only.
  • To question the efficiency of a wind generator asking from what point during its life span the 300ft cast-iron pole based in >1,000 tons of concrete will net generate electricity is seen as an anti sanctum.

Questioning the above is necessary to find sustainable answers – taking the consequences will not be any easier.

Carpe diem!


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