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Ever since I followed your documentary series at BBC – Anthropocene, The Age We Made, I have been greatly inpired by your passonate way of making the most important topic of science accessible. As I read your new book, Transcendence, last year, it strengthened my morale to start publishing, after 16 years of preparation. Today, independent think tank right2unite has gone public, with a freely downloadable Introduction to a forthcoming work – Third Phase Transition: Solving the Anthropocene Crisis.
Me and my life companion, Susanne Westling, start out with empty hands and heads full, in this venture. I would be thrilled, if you’d care to take a look at it.
I feel very related to your understanding of human nature, and your thoroughly referenced conclusions. Except for one: The central one, that we are developing into a new species.
I prefer understanding what you very strikingly denote as transcendence, as being a phase transition in socio-natural co-evolution.
If hominin speciation was a phase transition out of the animal kingdom, global proliferation of homo sapiens (and closely related species) as hunter-gatherers was a phase of harvesting metabolism within the earth system, a looming plunder crisis of late late Pleistocene and early Holocene (the latter turning upon agricultural society itself during proto history) represented a second phase transition, and the class societies of civilisation was a second phase of linear metabolism, I interpret twentieth century as a third phase transition – the Anthropocene Crisis being its acute expression.
If this were to be true, there is no reason to believe that a natural historic change of lesser proportion is underway, than during the previous two phase transitions, into humanity, and into its civilisation, respectively.
Only humanity’s transition into globally advanced circular metabolism needs to be incomparably faster. But, then again, human evolution has become so much faster, and globally interconnected. If only we manage to get things straight, rapidly enough.
This, I believe, requires an understanding of human nature as constantly evolving within socio-natural co-evolution, as self-organising right of association. That path is now in a life crisis, and as all crises, it implies denial – as well as true nature coming to the fore. The means of cooperation, acceleratingly developing within humanity are becoming abandant now, while application of them in globally equitable association for solving the Anthropocene crisis is the missing link.