Image by InfonomÃa, illustration by Sergi Rucabado
In his series 2020: Possible Futures, Alfons Cornella, founder and president of the Spanish innovation network InfonomÃa, says: "'eco' is 'ego', it is time we get out of prehistory".
In his article, Cornella makes reference to James Burke's documentary After the Warming (1990), that predicts what the world in 2050 will look like, so that when people in the future look back on the last 50 years, they could see how wrong we were about climate change and how little we did to solve it until the first obvious signs were visible in 2010. Cornella believes that we have already reached that stage with repetitive disasters due to hurricanes (like Katrina) or the rising of fuel prices, even if it's just the beginning.
The article continues remarking on the movie The 11thHour in which only the best minds and technologies can save the problem of global warming. Cornella agrees that the idea makes sense: " The planetary transformation is a company of gigantic dimensions, that should mobilise the best resources and energies". He continues that science can probably never assure 100% what the causes of the problem are, and hence, will always leave space for opinions. This leads the author on to analysing the debate between evolutionism (Darwin) and intelligent design, with reference to Edward Wilson's text The Creation, where saving Paradise (our Planet Earth in this case) is always the common objective no matter how different the approaches of religion and science.This is where Cornella introduces a new argument based on the fact that "we cannot build a better world without better people". He continues: "The future of the planet depends on people with a personal mission that coincides with the common mission of the species. The future of the planet is the future of every one of us. Without an active willpower of the citizens of the planet, there is no science or public politics that can save us from the disaster."
Relating to Hiroshi Tasaka's 'To the Summit: Why should you embrace an idea in your heart', Cornella talks about caring for and spoiling one another to grow together. He also admits we have to understand how ridiculously short our lives are compared to the length of the universe. Here he discovers that in order to overcome eternity, we have to overcome our ego "to embrace the project of a specie, the conservation of the planet." Cornella argues that an eco future is not possible without re-approaching the ego.
Going back to Tasaka who believes "we might be in prehistory", Cornella points out that "our collective ego" makes us believe that the moment we live in is the most advanced one possible, and "the past a ridiculous show of backwardness of our ancestors". But the author is convinced we can do better than "a world full with conflicts, wars, poverty, misery (moral, intellectual, economic) and inequality".
Cornella suggests connecting all networks of the best minds for collective projects to do better. He also urges us to not only talk about sustainable development, but rather about responsible evolution in order to act on our evolution (of which we now know the mechanism) and move from prehistory to history. Cornella based this on Tasaka's opinion that we are in the right moment now, "to work towards 'opening' history to make it a collective project."
Alfons Cornella concludes:
The problems of climate change, of an excessively tense society, of a lifestyle where the economic reigns over other discourses are maybe the big opportunity of history (or our current prehistory). They say that in California, more investments are made into alternative energy than telecommunications. That shows the economic opportunities that the crisis brings with itself. [ ] There is no future quality of life if we don't change our attitude towards life. It's not only a question of changing the fuel. A world of egos is incompatible with an eco future.
This truly inspiring article with this rather new perspective on tackling global warming could be seen as a follow-up of Cornella's article 'Re-Greening', published six months earlier. Here the president of InfonomÃa believes that the Re-greening of the economy could well be the "next big thing" investors had been waiting for since the last big boom in 1995, the explosion of the internet.