We are unique and brilliant creatures. Humanity has expanded into every corner of the planet. With our extraordinary tools, we are stronger and faster than any other species. And we are improving. We are more powerful and more mobile than any previous generation. We can circumnavigate the Earth in 90 minutes. We travel to outer space and plumb the depths of the oceans. We accumulate information. We build on the knowledge of our ancestors. We record our ideas in colorful and astonishing forms.
We are the brightest, loudest, most powerful living things.
We are the most creative and potent creatures in the universe, so far as we know.
Generation after generation we have visualized – and then realized – one astonishing invention after another. Wheeled vehicles. Agriculture. Sailing ships. Automobiles. Aircraft. Smartphones. Every day entrepreneurs bring a new idea to market that supersedes a million previous good ideas. It seems that each generation can visualize some previously unimaginable goal, and reach it.
Humanity needs that entrepreneurial energy today more than ever. We face a definitively human challenge that is testing human ingenuity. We are the only species that can conceptualize its own impact on its habitat. Today we are becoming increasingly aware that the planet’s capacities are limited. As our population has expanded we have also developed technologies that consume natural resources at unprecedented rates. These converging forces are damaging the natural systems on which we, and all other living things, depend. Common sense tells us our expansion can’t go on forever, but no species has ever intentionally limited its own growth. No species has ever conceptualized the limits of its habitat and adjusted its behavior to live within those limits. If we are to change our course before some natural calamity forcibly curbs our expansion, the solution will be delivered by human ingenuity.
Human ingenuity gets its energy from visualization. We need to visualize a successful human future on this planet before we can create that future.
We imagine newlyweds celebrating their golden anniversary, not getting divorced. Why do you think we can’t we stop focusing on potential disaster and make the same mental effort for our planet?
Bryan Welch is the Publisher and Editorial Director of Ogden Publications, the parent company of MOTHER EARTH NEWS. Connect with him on Google+.
For further optimistic discussion about our future, read Beautiful and Abundant by Bryan Welch.