Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Let's Make America Great Again: We Need Change Now More Than Ever

The reality that we live in is not as promising as we once hoped.  Industry has created seemingly boundless opportunity as well as explosive population growth, but, with this excess of people of and technology, we have damaged our earth (some say irreparably).  The sustainability crisis we face now is not one that will simply go away.  Deliberate, long-term action is required to reshape our society to survive in an uncertain future.

As does any generation, ours has seen both the vast benefits, as well as the overwhelming issues of our current lifestyles.  Knowledge, medicine, and technology have made terminal illnesses disappear, and shortened formerly months-long journeys to just a few hours of travel.  Almost everyone, today, goes everywhere with a brick of electronic innovation in their pocket.  The iPhone has become as ubiquitous as the wallet.  In fact, we no longer need to carry cards or cash, because our phones have that capability now, too.

On the flip side, we have mounting issues with respect to sustainability and have made little progress, if any, in solving them.  Our landfills are overflowing.  We’re running out of gasoline and fresh water.  The ozone layer is flooded with enough greenhouse gas emissions to irrevocably alter the climate.  Inequality has reached levels that are difficult to even qualify—Alex Rodriguez makes about $500,000 a day, yet much of the world’s population is earning the equivalent of $1 a day or less.  The human brain can hardly count 7 objects at once.  Nevertheless, the 1% has succeeded in accumulating wealth that we cannot even conceptualize in magnitude.  What’s the difference between $10 million and $1 billion?  I don’t know.  You tell me.

The fact of the matter is that we need to change, before it’s too late.  We need to innovate and create—like we always have—but to a new end.  The focus of our next 50 years must not be economic growth, but rather, creating renewable energy, minimizing waste, and reversing climate change.  We must provide adequate education and healthcare opportunities to everyone, not just the wealthy minority.  We need to bring manufacturing back to America and jobs back to our cities (I never thought I’d say that—don’t call me Trump, please).

Our time is now.  Not tomorrow, not next week, not next year, we need to start today.


Who’s with me?