Your Royal highness/Dear Sir David
I want ‘Eartthshot’ to succeed. But I have a mild criticism. It will produce many innovations essential to an ecologically sound world, but it appears to be limited to technological innovations. Their effect will be seriously limited without a philosophical shift from an assumption of continued economic growth, to one where new inventions observe, not conflict with ecological; imperatives, as do so many recent technological advances.
They will do exactly what they promise to begin with, but if economic growth remains the normal expectation, new innovations risk having the effect of cooling a bonfire b putting logs on it. My fear – not too strong a word – is that if growth remains the aim, these potentially life-saving inventions will instead accelerate faster than ever towards the destruction of the ecosphere spelled out so clearly by scientific advice.
I shall not be submitting an application. My proposal would not fit any of Earthshot’s five categories. I wish instead to publicise the need for something which answers two questions
1 The reason businesses have resisted ‘repair. re-use and recycle’
2 How to guarantee economic security to millions who have reason the be afraid of ‘downsizing’.
These questions have been answered before – in a wartime setting, but CV19 has created the same economic conditions.
Detailed answers can be decided later. I ’launched’ the universal basic income (UBI) in 1973 with exactly the same purpose as ‘Earthshot’ (not knowing it had already been invented). But the UBI is a philosophical change. I explain how the UBI might operate as a catalyst for technology in my weblog
Earthshot is a bold, positive initiative but unless supported by the necessary philosophical change, innovations risk doing more long term harm than good due to breaking ecological rules.
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I propose to send this recorded delivery at least to the two originators of Eearthshot. There is still time for textual improvements, which will be welcome, and who else this idea ought to go to can also be up for discussion.