presentation at the United Nations, New York, 10-10-10
I am giving this talk as if it were my last. I join the Earth and her abundant but dying life in an eleventh-hour appeal to stop the attack on all of us by human greed and aggression.
Like many of my friends and relatives, I grew up believing in the American dream. In my first thirty years spanning the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s, I believed that if someone had a better idea to benefit humanity and the environment, it would be responsibly researched and implemented with the support of a benevolent government and corporate system eager to help, to improve things for us all.
And so as a youth I jumped at the opportunity to serve as an Eagle Scout, Apollo Astronaut and Cornell professor, I was motivated to contribute my talents to national and global goals, only faintly aware of the growing human attack on the environment.
How naïve I was. After all these years I realize more than ever that unless we quickly find ways to innovate ourselves out of the mess we have created, the world will continue to be mismanaged to the point of extinction of our own species and many others. Energy production continues to be controlled by corporations motivated solely by profit for their shareholders rather than the Earth. As a result, the Earth is becoming irreversibly polluted by the extraction and burning of dirty resources including oil and coal while other non-contaminating options are ignored or suppressed. We ignore innovation at our risk and peril.
I am now appealing to those of you with resources to team up with those of us with specialized knowledge to bring forward common-sense, cooperative, ethical, clean breakthrough technologies—or else our civilization and most of nature as we know it are doomed.
Earlier this year I turned 70, and my life ever since has been filled with challenge and opportunity, which also reflects the condition of our world. In August alone I lost a sister and suffered a major heart attack that landed me in an intensive care unit in a hospital. This year feels like an initiation into true elderhood, with its possibly imminent physical mortality along with a heightened sense of maturity and responsibility.
Crisis and Opportunity
Since 1940 we have globally increased our energy use five times, our water use four times, our population three times, and we have more than half depleted our oil, fresh water, topsoil and wood resources. I think we can all agree that we are on a disastrous course unless we change our ways.
In 2010 alone, we are witnessing Jim Garrison’s “climate shock” of extreme weather events, the biggest oil spill ever, dying oceans and rainforests, melting icecaps and glaciers, increasing military and “security” expenditures and a corrupt financial system—all controlled by corporations and governments that have yet to demonstrate they really care about the environment.
We must change this!
I believe technology can change our course dramatically, but we must overcome the resistance of vested interests so that we can allow technology the opportunity to accomplish this. Over the past twenty years, I have seen numerous demonstrations of concepts of clean breakthrough energy, water purification and ecosystem restorations that appear to be miraculous, but are in fact very real and practical. Hard as it may be to accept, these miraculous inventions have been denied and suppressed by our mainstream culture. We have been silenced by the tyranny of vested interests.
How did we get into this mess in the first place?
According to Daniel Quinn in his historically prescient novel Ishmael, civilization originated and became corrupted about ten thousand years ago in what was formerly Mesopotamia when agriculture was discovered and organizations began to spread with the seizure of land and the exploitation of resources (1). And so began the new culture of the “Takers.” Through his main character Ishmael, Quinn wrote:
“The disaster occurred ten thousand years ago when the people of the (emerging) culture said, ‘We’re as wise as the gods and can rule the world as well as they.’ When they took into their own hands the power of life and death over the world, their doom was assured…Takers will never give up their tyranny over the world, no matter how bad things get…they’ve always believed that what they were doing was right—and therefore to be done at any cost whatever…Everyone has to be forced to live like the Takers, because the Takers had the one right way.”
And thus the indigenous cultures were forced to become the Leavers, as they retreated from Mother Culture. Most of the original cultures have sadly been exterminated by the Taker aggressors.
More recently, the oil-propelled Industrial Revolution has only exacerbated the aggression. The Industrial Revolution became the Agricultural Revolution on steroids.
Only 150 years ago, oil was discovered, marking a second epochal change in human history. The discovery of oil has led to the great riches of a new industrial civilization fueled by petroleum, much of which can be found in and within a few hundred kilometers of Kuwait.
This oil-rich land provided the first fertility after the global Ice Age. Ten millennia later, it became a principal provider of the abundant energy needed to grow our cities and industries into unimaginably powerful and now world-threatening proportions.
Through the years, the human hierarchies and empires grew to enormous and unwieldy sizes and the wealth of the few began to flourish during this past century, in large part from oil drilling and consumption.
We now need a third revolution, a Sustainable Technology Solution Revolution, and may it begin to thrive once again in the cradle of civilization. Now, in the year 2010, we sit poised on either the verge of extinction or else on an unprecedented revolution in innovation and consciousness that could just give us the chance we need for our survival--if this can be ethically, responsibly and consciously implemented. Call the new revolution whatever you’d like.
I often call the coming paradigm shift a “Turquoise Revolution,” symbolizing a newly unified and healed Earth with pure oceans, land and air (2). Turquoise combines the best of Gunter Pauli’s nature-friendly Blue Economy (3), the prospects of breakthrough clean energy and the green thinking of the deep ecology movement.
Most of us can agree that the agricultural and industrial revolutions have created both great civilizations and great riches alongside great poverty, the inequalities of which contribute immeasurably to the destruction of our precious environment.
We need to undo ten thousand years of tyranny and transform our Taker-dominated culture into a Giver-dominated culture. But where are the Givers, where can we find those of us who really care about our future? How can the few Takers with a conscience transform themselves to Givers?
The first step in such a process is to let go of our fears and become aware of the magnificent things that are possible. When we do that we begin to realize that there are many innovative solutions available. The problem is that they seem so elusive. A juggernaut of industrial tyranny is cutting us off from these solutions, and the majority of people go along with the charade. Whether it’s our land, water, food, oil, wood, metals or money, the grab is on.
But there’s a missing piece in this puzzle. Those who have correctly pointed out our dilemma almost universally refuse to acknowledge the true possibilities that lie ahead. The missing piece is that we can uncover the truth about innovative technologies and then convince key people to make the wise choice of truly sustainable technologies free of vested interests and promotional biases.
Ironically, those of us who should know better—the scientists, environmentalists, political progressives, academics and media—still join the herd of Takers in not even acknowledging the possibility that our energy could be clean, cheap, safe, abundant and decentralized. So we become unwitting allies with the powerful elite and miss the greatest opportunity we could possibly imagine to resolve our dilemma.
In a recent published essay (2), I urge the scientists, environmentalists and progressives among us to be among the first to embrace the possibility of producing free energy and other breakthrough clean technologies. I consider myself a member of all three communities, whose critiques are spot-on but whose solutions are too little too late.
What we so often fail to realize is what the visionary inventor Buckminster Fuller expressed:
“There is only one revolution tolerable to all men, all societies, all political systems: revolution by design and invention.”
So far, I have received little response from my scientific, environmental and progressive colleagues to my pleas to consider the possibility of an energy solution revolution. Perhaps now, however, as more and more of us become aware of the environmental devastation wrought by BP’s Gulf of Mexico eco-disaster, Pakistan’s floods and Russia’s fires, we may reach a tipping point in our efforts to awaken to deeper solutions.
Breakthrough Green Innovation
There’s a lot of talk about green technology solving our climate and other environmental problems. But what is green technology? Is it the water- and fuel-intensive green revolution of monocultures wracked by fertilizers and pesticides? Biofuel plantations that destroy our forests and soil and take food from the mouths of the hungry? Nuclear power, fossil fuel power and hydropower plants involving massive grid systems? Geo-engineering? Even the seemingly renewable but materials-intensive windmill and solar farms producing intermittent electricity and hydrogen to fuel our fleets?
My radical viewpoint is that none of the above measures will prove to be nearly enough to solve our collective dilemma after we factor in the full life cycle environmental costs.
To co-create a truly sustainable future, we will need to design new technologies, especially energy technologies, from the ground up. Fortunately, there exist hundreds of proofs of concepts of new energy devices, ranging from energy from the vacuum (zero point), cold fusion, and special hydrogen and water technologies, and energy from the thermal environment (4).
All these approaches deserve our closest consideration, research and development, but sadly the powers-that-be have suppressed these initiatives because free energy threatens the continuing viability of existing energy approaches. Consideration of free energy has been quashed from all discussion either because of disbelief or fear of disrupting the status quo.
But as Bucky Fuller said: “Status quo is a multidimensional tapestry of what has been and will never be again. And is, ipso facto, no longer existent.” Not that we should drop everything we’re doing in the near term to improve efforts toward sustainability. I’m a dedicated advocate of Small-Is-Beautiful and the brilliant work of Gunter Pauli, John Todd and others in sustainable bio-systems that work with, rather than against, nature. Ongoing research and development of some of these bridge innovations will become absolutely essential in the choices we need to make. Whether it’s an oil, mining, logging, water, agribusiness or pharmaceutical company coming into the Amazon or Arctic, a missionary or bank incursion into indigenous lands, a gringo coming to the South to become a land developer for short-term profit, the suppression and hijacking of miracle breakthroughs like authentic cures for cancer or research on free energy, political or financial manipulation of vulnerable nations with resources, a coup d’état, assassination or military attack, the story is always the same: the Takers run the show. We’ve been “hoodwinked” says whistleblower-author John Perkins (5). Almost all of us are unaware of how serious the situation has become and how ignorant we are of new possibilities. The key to understanding the roots of our destructive way is to understand the practice of economics. The “dismal science” of Thomas Carlyle has incorporated arbitrary standards that favor the rich and externalize environmental costs. Under these rules the BP oil explosion in the Gulf of Mexico could be considered an economic success (more jobs, more profits for some, higher GDP) but not accounted for as an environmental catastrophe.
I am deeply saddened by our unwillingness to halt our predatory environmental destruction. I often feel I need an eco-psychologist to plumb the depths of my own grief about what’s happening so quickly to our planet (6).
I often feel angry, depressed, betrayed, guilty and fearful about what our species is doing to itself and its surroundings—all because of the bankrupt values of current corporate and political policies. The Industrial Age is crashing down all around us, and no publicly understood strategy for our future presently exists. Most of us don’t even know it’s happening.
But, just as the Agricultural Age replaced the Neolithic Age and the Industrial Age replaced the Agricultural Age, another age, perhaps the Age of Wisdom, is urgently required to replace our current Age of Greed if we are to survive. We cannot go on like this nor allow the ecocide to continue. It’s time for those of us who are consciously evolving to take a stand on behalf of life, to say “enough!” and demand real change and action--not in ten or twenty years, but here and now.
Waiting in the wings is a cadre of enlightened practical visionaries ready to move forward with countless clean innovations. We should begin to provide sanctuary for true innovators so that they can conduct their research and development in peace and help us co-create a much better world. These unsung pioneers deserve our financial and emotional support.
A change in consciousness has become absolutely necessary. Our greatest obstacles are social and political, not technical. There are many good ideas out there waiting for their opportunity, ideas that have sometimes been violently suppressed at the technology development stage because of the greed, avarice and addiction to power of the vested interests. It is time for the many to receive the benefits of abundant sources of energy rather than the few at the expense of the many.
It’s time to ask how we, as a civilization, can best embrace sustainability while minimizing disruptions during the transition period. We all need to become educated about what’s possible and then create teams of passionate eco-scientists and engineers to fulfill our collective mandate for clean energy, clean water, sustainable agriculture, forestry and oceans, and the protection of the natural world and its biodiversity.
Five Technology Solution Revolutions
“Necessity is the mother of invention.” We need new clean technologies to match the boldness of our goal to co-create a truly sustainable future. We can develop them if we just give them a chance. I foresee at least the following revolutions coming out of the work being proposed at the launch of initiatives like the Exemplar Zero Initiative (7):
* An Energy Solution Revolution(8)—Time and again, I’ve seen demonstrations of proofs-of-concept of numerous breakthrough energy technologies, many of which, if properly developed, could solve the energy crisis very soon and eliminate most causes of climate change and rampant pollution. These technologies include: (1) energy from the vacuum extracted by electromagnetic devices (sometimes called zero-point, etheric, space, free, over-unity energy); (2) cold fusion or low temperature non-radioactive nuclear reactions; (3) advanced hydrogen and water chemistries; and (4) energy from the thermal environment. Yet, as a culture, we’ve repeatedly rejected this possibility by not supporting the research; in fact, this research has been violently suppressed.
This situation is the most bizarre conundrum of our time as we continue to neglect even thinking about something that could save us from our collective folly. Consciously or unconsciously, the controlling elite are committing genocide and ecocide, while the rest of us reject the most potent and effective means of preventing these unpardonable acts. We must now demand research, development and assessments of many technologies in order for us to be able to launch a viable program that truly benefits all humanity. According to Buckminster Fuller, “People should think things out fresh and not just accept conventional terms and the conventional way of doing things.” This new energy program should mirror John Kennedy’s vision to place a man on the Moon. Where are the John Kennedys of today? Perhaps some of you may feel the stirrings in your souls for greatness and bold action that our time requires. Take a moment and imagine a world of free energy—no more extraction and burning dirty fuels, no more grid systems, vastly reduced air, water and land pollution, no more murderous trillion-dollar wars for oil. Imagine holding a ten-kilowatt power pack in your hand that could power your home or transport you to work. Is this an impossible dream? Actually, from what I’ve seen and learned over many years, this future is highly likely if we will only give it a chance. Imagine in your daily lives no longer having to pay for an electric or heating or cooling bill or for filling ‘er up when you want to drive or fly anywhere or ship anything anywhere. Imagine having unlimited safe fresh drinking water worldwide from the cheap desalination of seawater. Imagine a world without big power plants and huge dams but rather an elegant decentralized system of distributed power reducing our cost of living by 30 per cent or more. Imagine ending poverty worldwide from this one revolutionary development—free energy—and thus fulfilling the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals. Upon becoming aware of free energy late in his life, Bucky Fuller said, “I am glad I have lived long enough to see this! It is simply wonderful! I hope and pray that you will live long enough to see the principle upon which this marvelous artifact is based become the new energy source for all the passengers on Spaceship Earth.”(9) It’s logical that energy companies earning hundreds of millions of dollars a day would try to maintain their income streams for as long as possible and wring out every drop of oil before changing course. So it’s up to the most enlightened leaders of nations and companies as well as the rest of us to awaken to the possibility of a clean and sustainable future through free energy and other breakthrough technologies. We must compel the largest companies and countries to make ethical and responsible choices that are no longer predicated on industrial self-interest but rather in the interest of life itself. We’re all in this together. Bucky Fuller again: “We are not going to be able to operate our Spaceship Earth successfully nor for much longer unless we see it as a whole spaceship and our fate as common. It has to be everybody or nobody.”
* A Water Solution Revolution—Water is the wondrous substance upon which we each rely for our survival. Sometimes called “the oil of the twenty-first century,” water is declining rapidly in both the quantity and quality. Instead of keeping water pure to ensure our health and the health of the planet, we have treated our bodies and waterways as toxic dumping grounds.
Pure water is the bridge to higher consciousness within and around us (10). Recent research suggests that we can heal our selves and our planet through the medium of water (which could be considered an essential blue element to our green thinking). As hard as it may be for many of us to imagine, much less believe, researchers, including the late Rustrum Roy, Marcel Vogel, William Tiller, Patrick Flanagan and Masaru Emoto, have demonstrated that we can purify and energize water, both inside and outside ourselves, through positive intention, visualization and the vortex science of Viktor Schauberger and others.
The wondrous relationship between consciousness and water suggests that we are far more intimately connected to our world and one another than we ever dreamt of in the old mechanistic paradigm. This is the world we’ve inherited, the world we can re-inherit in a new way, if we can openly discuss what it will take to restore what we have so badly abused. If we are to achieve the immediate goal of sustainability, radical innovations in design using nature as a template must become our first priority.
* ALocalized Sustainable Natural Systems Agriculture/ Forestry/ Water/ Energy/ Waste Management /Economics Revolution—Several innovations enable us to create true sustainability at a local level in balance with nature by conserving and reusing water, topsoil, energy, waste management, and ecological construction. These plus increasing the use of raw and organic foods, permaculture, herbal medicine, ecological economics and the practice of vegetarian lifestyles all add to a sustainable mix that can strengthen communities. Ongoing research on the state-of-the art of these methods, independent of fossil fuels and other unsustainable practices, should become the very foundation for creating locally vibrant communities and bioregions with strength and sovereignty, while contributing to the global commons as well.
A Biosphere Solution Revolution— We not only need to sustain our local communities, we must also preserve what land, water and air is still intact and restore damaged ecosystems worldwide. Research shows that these areas could be brought back into their former pristine state with the return of flora, fauna, rich soil, and fresh water through careful planning as applied to the area to be restored (11). Environmental author Eugene Linden wrote,
“Peter Raven, director of the Missouri Botanical Garden, predicts that during the next three decades man will drive an average of 100 species to extinction every day. Extinction is part of evolution, but the present rate is at least 1,000 times the pace that has prevailed since prehistory.”
“Even the mass extinctions 65 million years ago that killed off the dinosaurs and countless other species did not significantly affect flowering plants, according to Harvard biologist E.O. Wilson. But these plant species are disappearing now, and people, not comets or volcanoes, are the angels of destruction. Moreover, the Earth is suffering the decline of entire ecosystems -- the nurseries of new life forms. For that reason, Wilson deems this crisis the ‘death of birth.’ British ecologist Norman Myers has called it the ‘greatest single setback to life's abundance and diversity since the first flickerings of life almost 4 billion years ago.’ "
Restoration of the biosphere is a fourth mission-critical goal. We will need to leave undeveloped lands alone, use state-of-the art methods in restoring damaged ecosystems to their former pristine state, and develop local organic agricultural methods, standards and certifications that are truly sustainable.
We could create an Earth Corps to restore ecosystems and provide jobs to those who lose them as a result of the transition to a new culture, the funding for which could derive from reduced military budgets and from taxes on pollution. And we could employ Colonel Jim Channon’s vision for a First Earth Battalion that uses the Army to restore the land, the Navy to restore the oceans and the Air Force to restore the air.
* Ongoing Protected Research and Development Centers—We will need to have cooperative international networks of innovators and local teams working at protected centers to research, assess, develop, test, and evaluate the long list of sustainable technologies that can replace our toxic manufacturing waste streams.
So, what if some breakthrough technologies don’t work or turn out to have negative environmental impact? No problem, we just continue researching others. There are literally hundreds of basic ideas and thousands of pathways to achieve success.
Again quoting Fuller: “There is no such thing as a failed experiment, only experiments with unexpected outcomes. I only learn what to do when I have failures.” You don’t even have to believe in free energy to embrace its possibility! That’s what R&D is all about—to invest in many parallel technologies at various stages of development in an iterative, integrated effort to guide us to the best choices based on health and environmental friendliness and not on immediate profits or promotional biases toward particular systems.
New Design Imperative
Imagine a decision-making process that places people and the planet before profits and asks if a potential project enhances life, and only if the answer to that question is yes does the project proceed to evaluate the economics. If it harms people or the environment, it is dead in its tracks. Contrast that with the normal way of evaluating a project that simply says, “This will make billions, let’s go!” We live with the many negative consequences of not thinking about consequences. A new life-enhancing design imperative must become the norm.
I like Buckminster Fuller’s expanded definition of a designer: “A designer is an emerging synthesis of artist, inventor, mechanic, objective economist and evolutionary strategist” and, “Design science is more than the application of engineering and technology. It is more than a plan or a design. Design science means the total responsibility and capability for development, production, and distribution - of not just a product - but a total service system on a worldwide basis.”
My experience in the aerospace community has taught me that the first step in any design process is identifying the design requirements. Here I think most of us agree that the overriding requirement in any significant design for our future is true sustainability. This initiative will need quality teamwork as in the Apollo program. In the long run, establishing properly managed R&D and technology assessment centers would lower the risk of prematurely picking technologies that wouldn’t work in the long run, like internal combustion engines, nuclear power plants, grid systems, bio-fuel plantations, huge dams and other approaches that some day will become obsolete.
Can we abuse free energy and other breakthroughs like we have abused so many others like nuclear energy? Of course, we can. But we don’t have to if we design and implement our systems wisely with true sustainability rather than profit and vested power as our central criterion and focus.
Earlier in 2010, seven of us gathered at Montesueños, the conference bed and breakfast retreat center my wife and I built in Ecuador, to help begin the process. Called the Global Innovation Alliance (GIA), we are beginning to focus on integrating truly sustainable technologies.
The GIA is an international non-profit network of like-minded, competent and visionary innovators inventing, advancing and integrating sustainable technologies to facilitate independence from oil. We are a global organization seeking truly sustainable, exportable and scalable solutions at fundamental levels, free of vested interests. We seek to develop sanctuaries that would support and protect the R&D of innovative systems that are self-sustaining in energy, water, waste management, and agriculture, both near-term and longer-term. We are facilitators, integrators and assessors of misplaced resources, ameliorating existing technologies, and designing solutions that provide a generous return on investment for every passenger on Spaceship Earth. Our mission as described by Buckminster Fuller is “the effective application of the principles of science to the conscious design of our total environment in order to help make the Earth's finite resources meet the needs of all humanity without disrupting the ecological processes of the planet. “ The basket of technologies contained in the Exemplar Zero Initiative represents one beginning of what we need to do. They remind us that many cutting-edge innovations, of which the vast majority of us may be unaware, can change the world very soon. I also envision that once developed, these innovations will be joined by many other technologies that can be integrated and become mature with time as the R&D process and assessments take place. Here I must interject a note of caution. For over one hundred years, since the time of Nikola Tesla, free energy and other disruptive technologies have been consistently and sometimes violently suppressed by a system that favors the powerful, who gladly support research on weapons and dirty energy. The brilliant scientist-author-inventor David Yurth put the situation this way: “The most dangerous of all human undertakings is the practice of science without a conscience. If we do not care for all living things on the planet, we cannot pretend to be genuinely motivated to problem solving.”(12) And the converse is also true: the most dangerous of all human undertakings at a personal level is the practice of science with a conscience. Whether it’s the corrupt patent system, the unfavorable investment attitudes about putting money on the line for perceived “risky” development, inventor naiveté about how the real world works, the overall ridicule foisted on these initiatives by skeptical but uninformed scientists, or the theft or burial of the intellectual property by large corporations or governments beholden to the status quo—history has consistently shown that almost every time a promising but disruptive breakthrough technology has made progress, the effort has been sabotaged (13). In the case of free energy technologies, the suppression has been complete. So any radical new sustainable technology development will need to have the unanimous, transparent and cooperative support of new creative partnerships between governments, entrepreneurs and protected research teams. Again quoting Fuller: “When individuals join in a cooperative venture, the power generated far exceeds what they could have accomplished acting individually.” Likewise, any aspiring Bill Gates for free energy will need to have his own control and money agendas filtered out of the planning. Huge growth, profits and wealth should not be a part of our quest. Fuller once again: “I learned very early and painfully that you have to decide at the outset whether you are trying to make money or to make sense, as they are mutually exclusive.” Truly sustainable technology development needs to be shared with the world, and yet the intellectual property of the inventor needs to be protected and rewarded. This blend is a tall order in a capitalistic world where moneyed interests would like to breed more money—for themselves. Open sourcing, government support, and private donations motivated more by altruism than profit will need to be the new standard we all should strive for. Support is Needed—Not Denial and Suppression Say you felt that practical free energy might be possible—and you don’t have to be a believer at the outset--would you support the R&D, would you ignore it, or would you want to suppress it in order to protect your own current interests? Are you ready to let go of the past and join the dedicated evolutionary energy team? Are you ready to become a hero who might risk wealth and reputation? The choice is yours. And make no mistake, you will choose either by your action or inaction. This is your moment of choice. I am happy to see Mongolia and other nations committing to socially and environmentally sustainable programs like the Exemplar Zero Initiative. The true purpose of governments should be to protect and enhance the lives of their people and ecosystems, to support buen vivar (good living) for generations to come.
The global economic and political landscape is shifting rapidly into a more multi-polar world as the one remaining superpower, the United States, declines under its own economic weight and its overextended military hegemony.
There is good news and bad news about this development. On the one hand, nations, regions and municipalities now have the opportunity to become more independent from international corporate and governmental pressures through sustainable innovation. On the other hand, the temptation to allow multinational corporations to exploit nonrenewable resources for export becomes ever greater as developing countries seek short-term economic gain so they can service debts and enhance infrastructure and social programs (14).
This approach is a losing proposition in the long run. What happens when our resources and ecosystems are depleted in the wake of such shortsighted thinking? Unfortunately, most corporations and governments measure their performance based on quarterly profits and the terms of elective political office and not on long term time horizons like the Native Americans’ planning seven generations ahead.
A prime example of this dynamic is in Ecuador, where I live. The story of Ecuador is the familiar story of numerous countries that have depended on the temporary export of oil, gas, minerals, and lumber to sustain their economies (14). Chevron-Texaco is responsible for leaving behind massive and devastating toxic waste in the Ecuadorian Amazon, resulting in what is the largest environmental lawsuit in world history, with claims of $27 billion in damages for the diseases and wrongful deaths of thousands of people living in the area (15). The threat to the environment posed by imminent oil drilling in the Western Amazon region is extremely serious and widespread, with over 100 leased “oil blocks” embracing much of the rainforests of Ecuador, Peru, Colombia, Brazil and Bolivia (16).
To its credit, the government of Ecuador proposed keeping the oil in the ground in one oil block in the bio-diverse rainforest of Yasuni National Park if the international community were to match funds to cover potential lost revenues (17). That’s a good start but it isn’t enough. Eighty per cent of the Ecuadorian and Peruvian Amazon are earmarked for oil and gas drilling, with associated road building and deforestation.
Currently, one-third of Ecuador’s total revenues comes from petroleum exports. Some of us are proposing that these revenues be replaced by income from new energy technologies, sustainable agriculture, medicinal herbs from the rainforest, innovative water treatment, eco-tourism, health tourism, and the acquisition of conservation land trusts through carbon credits and gifts (18).
We firmly believe that an open acceptance of innovation has the potential to generate sufficient income so that Ecuador can leave the rainforest and its indigenous peoples alone while creating economic sovereignty for itself. We propose that innovation sanctuaries be established, protected by the government, to allow researchers and entrepreneurs to do the necessary R&D on their technologies, the most promising of which would be implemented.
The biggest global challenge we face is to co-create from an altruistic perspective those social, political and economic systems to foster the needed systemic changes in our governments and corporations. So far, we’ve been falling way short of the mark in all respects.
But we’re going to need resources to begin the task.
This is an invitation to those of you who feel the call to redirect your abundant resources accumulated from an oil economy to alternative energy and other solutions that are truly clean and sustainable, to put your petrodollars to work, and to make your great-grandchildren proud of you.
Nelson Mandela said:
“Sometimes it falls upon a generation to be great.”
Ours is the generation that must be great.
Make no mistake: we’re in the midst of an evolution of consciousness. We can co-create a planet that works for everyone. We can redirect success from profit and pollution to true sustainability. We can reactivate an Eden in which our new Fertile Crescents and restored ecosystems grow and grow while we give back to the Earth rather than take from it.
Technology can provide elegant answers to our desperate quandary, but the Taker culture has effectively blocked these solutions because of the greed of the few and the ignorance of the many, and so we find ourselves on a sinking ship. We’ve been denying the best possibilities because of economic self-interest, the fear of the unknown, and a fundamental reluctance to embrace bold new possibilities that await us if only we have a closer look.
Will we collectively shift the paradigm by introducing clean breakthrough energy, pure and abundant water and the best quality of life for all of us? It’s up to each of you to choose to do so fearlessly with love and compassion for all creation. You are the answer to the question. You are the points of conscious evolution. May you choose wisely.
I’d like to leave you with a quotation from what you can gather is one of my true heroes, Buckminster Fuller:
“If the success or failure of this planet, and of human beings, depended on how I am and what I do, how would I be? What would I do?
References and notes
1. Quinn, Daniel, Ishmael: An Adventure of the Mind and Spirit, Bantam, 1992 and 1995.
2. O’Leary, Brian, “The Turquoise Revolution,” Infinite Energy Magazine, Volume 10, Issue 93, Sept/Oct 2010 and posted on www.brianoleary.info and http://drbrianoleary.wordpress.com.
3. Pauli, Gunter, The Blue Economy: 10 Years, 100 Innovations, 100 Million Jobs, Paradigm Pub., 2010, and www.zeri.org.
4. Kelly, Patrick, Practical Guide to Free Energy Devices, 2010, This is an excellent review of the state of the art of new energy technologies, including descriptions of specific devices, can be found on the website http://www.free-energy-info.com/.
6. O’Leary, Brian, Re-Inheriting the Earth: Awakening to Sustainable Solutions and Greater Truths, published by Dr. Brian O’Leary, 2003.
7. Stone, Sacha, www.humanitad.org, 10-10-10.
8. O’Leary, Brian, The Energy Solution Revolution, Second Edition, Bridger House, 2009, and available on https://www.createspace.com/3407065 or as an ebook on www.brianoleary.info.
9. Fuller as quoted on www.projectearth.org.
10. Bartholomew, Alick, The Story of Water: Source of Life, Floris Books, U.K., 2010. This book is a superb review of the special properties of water. Another excellent resource is the recent Russian documentary Water: The Great Mystery, now available on the Internet, 2010.
11. Pauli, Gunter, The Blue Economy: 10 Years, 100 Innovations, 100 Million Jobs, Paradigm Pub., 2010, and www.zeri.org; Aaronson, James et al, Restoring Natural Capital: Science, Business and Practice, Island Press, 2007, and www.ser.org.
12. Yurth, David, The Ho Chi Minh Handbook of Guerilla Warfare: Strategies for Innovation Management, in press, 2010.
13. Vesperman, Gary, “History of New Energy Invention Suppression Cases,” http://www.rense.com/general72/oinvent.htm, 2006.
14. Petras, James,: www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=21377, an excellent review of Ecuador’s politics, October, 2010; also the websites www.amazonwatch.org and www.upsidedownworld. Org have informative postings of the politics of the rainforest.
15. The legal case for reparations from the Chevron-Texaco Ecuador oil spill is well-described in the film Crude, 2009.
16. “Oil and Gas Projects in the Western Amazon: Threats to Wilderness, Biodiversity, and Indigenous Peoples,” http://www.saveamericasforests.org/WesternAmazon/index.html.
17. There are many summaries and status reports on the Yasuni initiative to keep the oil in the ground, for example in the 2010 film Yasuni:Two Seconds of Life and www.yasuni-film.com.
18. O’Leary, Brian, “The Ecuador Initiative: How Innovation could Save the Amazon Rainforest and other Habitats while Creating Economic Sovereignty for Ecuador,” http://drbrianoleary.wordpress.com.
I thank Jeff Hutner for his able editing, quotes, technical help and additions to this presentation, and I thank Chuck Millar for the final editing.