Sometimes it's important in our turbulent times to get a shot of vision, to see the positive on the future horizon, to see what's already being envisioned and created for a different kind of human society. I meet a lot of (mostly young) people today that've taken on the 'collapse' meme. According to this view, we're doomed and going down fast. There's a partial truth in this. The visionary futurist Barbara Marx Hubbard recently stated that, "It's natural that an intelligent species would be successful enough to hit the limits of its own growth without knowing it was going to do so. It's natural that through our successes we have overindustrialized, overpopulated, polluted, and used up our environment. It may be that this whole predicament is a natural phenomenon and that this intelligent species, which has finally gained an understanding of the atom, the gene, and the brain, is now getting a signal: evolve or die".
Collapse is indeed a possibility. Luckily, there's lots happening on the evolution side of the street too. This first video is a short trailer for an upcoming documentary called Resilient City:
One of the things that's contributing mightily to the possibility of collapse is a type of reductionist, instrumental thinking at the heart of the modern mindset. The French philosopher Edgar Morin, a systems and complexity thinker, is deeply critical of this type of thinking- "Intelligence that is fragmented, compartmentalized, mechanistic, disjunctive, and reductionistic breaks up the complexity of the world into disjointed pieces, splits up problems, separates that which is linked together, and renders unidimensional the multidimensional...The reductionist approach is less a solution than the problem itself" (1). In the second video, we get a sample of a kind thinking that's moved beyond this limited modern approach. In this Ted talk, architect Michael Pawlyn describes the use of biomimicry and permaculture principles to help design a future society that I personally find very inspiring. Enjoy.
(1) Morin, Edgar. Homeland Earth. US: Hampton Press, 1999. p.125-128.