I think that TED talks have become more full of fantasy of late. What I mean by that is most talks bang on about how technology will solve this issue or that, hailing techno triumphalism as the solution of our growing list of problems. The only problem is that it has been our use of technology that has created this complexity, and helped us to grow beyond our planets carrying capacity, and our greedy use of its finite resources. Additionally, the ever efficient ‘market’ will not provide the solution in time either.
One bloke that says all of this much better than I can is Paul Gilding, author of “The Great Disruption“. I wrote a book review in this post titled “Shop Less, Live More” if you want to read about my views of this good book.
Anyway, Paul did gave a talk at TED earlier this year, which was unlike any other that I have seen before. It was raw, real, and just the opposite of the normal magical thinking that goes hand in hand with these sorts of events. He just told it how it is. It surprised and delighted me with its honesty.
So, this TED talk has only added fuel to my fire, and has made me think harder about what can be done. I know that I have no silver bullets, and don’t claim to be a guru regarding solutions to the big issues that Paul talks about.
However, that said, I have been writing about excessive consumption (which I was guilty of once), and the limits of growth and peak everything since I first started this blog. The signs are so very clear for those who choose to look hard enough. Just read a few of my posts on Affluenza and Peak Everything to get the general gist of what I am on about.
By the way, I have come to terms with what Paul talks about, and realised this some time ago. Growth will not continue, although many billions of us expect our economies to grow. We do need to grow up, stop with the temper tantrums of denialism and get past these teenage years we are stuck in.
We need to uncover our blinkers, get over the fear, and start to act. I know we can do this, with existing technology, building simpler and happier lives in the process.
What is stopping us? Penny for your thoughts.