Home » QUESTION #4: “The Big Secret of Living in Peace (& Prosperity!) … On a Dying Planet!”
Hot Earth: New Master Algorithm!

QUESTION #4: “The Big Secret of Living in Peace (& Prosperity!) … On a Dying Planet!”

Miracle Energy? Survival Fittest? Money? New Jobs? Savior? Zen! Acceptance! Living “The Eternal Now!”

The search for an “energy miracle” is fading fast as the planet’s overheating momentum accelerates. Soon, hopefully, Bill Gates will lead the revolution Planet-Earth needs today, focusing resources back on the world’s biggest problem—out-of-control population growth—which his 2009 Billionaires Club agreed was the world’s #1 problem … yet is largely ignored and minimized even today.

However, Gates recent books and editorials suggest he is still holding tight to the search for miracle energy: “The world is going to need a lot more energy in the coming decades, an increase of 50% or more between 2010 and 2040. But today our biggest sources of energy are also big sources of carbon dioxide, which is causing climate change.”

Fortunately he does acknowledge that alternative energies are “not good enough,” as energy guru Daniel Yergin also predicts. In fact, while alternatives are “getting cheaper, many developing countries aren’t waiting for these tools to become affordable.” Instead, “they’re building large numbers of coal plants and other fossil-fuel infrastructure … their people need energy now.”

More energy? No, no! Over-population is the core problem driving global warming: What we really need is not more energy, but fewer people using energy resources. Deep down Gates surely must know magical thinking will never solve our world’s “Big Problems” in time, given the rapidly accelerating momentum of our planet’s global warming. The point-of-no-return is closing fast. In Physics of The Future, Michio Kaku concludes with this warning: “The future is like a huge freight train barreling down the tracks … Let us hope that the people of this century use the sword of science wisely and with compassion.”

5th Industrial Revolution? “New Earth Consciousness!”

No elusive “energy miracle” will suddenly appear at the last minute, stop carbon emissions, save the world from itself.  Instead, inaction simply means temperature’s increasing momentum will inevitably be irreversible as Gates outdated equation virtually assures disaster by diverting attention for the real issues triggered by over-population. It’s time to wake up, create a new global consciousness.

Yes, we do need a miracle! And fortunately the World Economic Forum’s founder Klaus Schwab points global leaders to a radical path forward in his new book, The Fourth Industrial Revolution. In it Schwab says “shaping the future” will take more than economics, more than technology—we must “be putting people first and empowering them” to lift “humanity to a new collective and moral consciousness based on a shared sense of destiny,” what must go beyond even some mysterious “Fifth Industrial Revolution:”

Schwab sees the future as if must become: Our civilization needs a “collective and moral consciousness.” We must evolve to a higher state of consciousness, take our world beyond the dark selfish world of materialism, denialism and mutant capitalism that’s become The Zeitgeist, our global mindset beyond “industrial” revolutions, an evolution to the Planet-Earth’s collective consciousness … before it’s too late.

Today our world is controlled by an economic system that has lost its moral compass, what Adam Smith saw as the “Invisible Hand” of the capitalism in the context of evolution’s long cycle. Indeed, until recently scientists dismissed all research into “consciousness” as not “real science.” Scientists left consciousness to the philosophers, new age gurus, mystics, psychologists, motivational speakers and religious leaders.

Nobelist Crick’s “Science of Consciousness: Our Soul’s DNA”

All that changed dramatically in 1990 when Nobel Laureate Francis Crick, co-discoverer of DNA, partnered with neuroscientist Christof Koch and published “Toward a Neurobiological Theory of Consciousness.” Then in 1994 Crick expanded their research into the now ground breaking The Astonishing Hypothesis: The Scientific Search for the Soul:

“This book is about the mystery of consciousness—how to explain it in scientific terms. I do not suggest a crisp solution to the problem. I wish I could, but at the present time this seems far too difficult. Of course some philosophers are under the delusion they have already solved the mystery, but to me their explanations do not have the ring of scientific truth. What I have tried to do here is to sketch the general nature of consciousness and to make some tentative suggestions about how to study it experimentally. I am proposing a particular research strategy, not a fully developed theory.

Crick’s hypothesis gave instant credibility to consciousness, moral behavior, ethics and free will as valid subjects for scientific investigation. Our work in behavioral science the past couple decades is an extension of Crick’s challenge. In contrast to Einstein’s goal of wanting “to know the mind of God,” Crick wanted “to know is exactly what is going on in my brain when I see something … how the rather naive ideas most people have about seeing are largely incorrect.”

Crick’s hypothesis became theory in 2002, when Psychologist Daniel Kahneman was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics for his work in behavioral science challenging the long-held assumption of human rationality in decision-making, investment strategies and modern economic theory, later underscored in Psychologist Dan Ariely’s Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions.

Moreover, while the behavioral sciences reinforce Crick’s hypothesis about soul, they do raise serious questions about consciousness as a legitimate science, as we saw in works like Michael Sheerer’s Skeptic. And aside from the theoretical conflicts challenging consciousness is a science, from the behavioral perspective the conflicts are hardening conservative science-denialism, and worse, offer no solutions to the planet’s bigger issues–out of control population and our accelerating the global warming crisis.

Einstein’s “Unified Theory” Evolved With New Meta-Physicists

Nevertheless, after Crick’s work on the new science of consciousness, the works of Gary Zukav, Eckhart Tolle and other physicists who earlier expanded into metaphysics took on new meaning. More recently Deepak Chopra M.D. coauthored How Consciousness Became the Universe: Quantum Physics, Cosmology, Relativity, Evolution, Neuroscience, Parallel Universes with noted British physicist Sir Roger Penrose. Stephen Hawking and Penrose earlier coauthored The Nature of Space and Time.

Gary Zukav’s 1979 Dancing Wu Li Masters was a work on quantum physics. A decade later Zukav published The Seat of the Soul, crediting physicists like Albert Einstein and other scientists as his inspirations because “they reached for something greater than they were able to express directly in their work … they were mystics.”

About the same time, another Cambridge physicist Eckhart Tolle published The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment, and more recently A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose. In New Earth Tolle specifically focused on the link between consciousness, global warming and climate change. In an interview Tolle amplified on the connection: Every human has the power to tap into their own unique “energy miracle” for the survival of the planet:

“Yes, it’s true that we need to save the planet. But let’s not fall into the erroneous thinking that all the solutions are out there somewhere. Because most of the problems—violence, pollution, war, terrorism—all have their origin in human consciousness or unconsciousness. So your primary responsibility is not doing anything outside you; your primary responsibility is your own state of consciousness. And once that is achieved, then whatever you do and whomever you come into contact with get affected by your state 
of consciousness. … The new earth arises as more and more people discover their main purpose in life is to bring the light of consciousness into this world and so use whatever they do as a vehicle for consciousness.”

His message is simple and powerful—step outside the box, stop trying to “save the planet” with external solutions, new technologies, with new investment, new scientific validation. Stop, look within. Endless searching for clean energy alternatives, more jobs, an economic boost, wishfully thinking about energy miracles “out there,” are nonproductive. But neither is climate science denialism and rigid opposition to the UN’s Paris Climate Accord. Extremes waste time, money and scarce resources that we can ill-afford to lose if we’re serious about breaking through the “sustainability bottleneck” to survive and create a sustainable planet.

Final Act: “Sustainable Consciousness” on irreversibly overheating planet

Yes, our planet needs a new kind of energy, but more, we need a whole new way of thinking, new economic ideology, and new leaders. Most of all we need to shift our focus to a “new collective and moral consciousness based on a shared sense of destiny,” go deep into our souls, fast. Our civilization needs a paradigm shift before it’s too late, before we pass the point-of-no-return and become what so many fear has already happened—that we are living on an irreversibly overheating planet. In the final analysis, any solution to the “New God Algorithm” boils down to two very simple questions:

1. The Skeptic:  First, will a “new collective and moral consciousness” solution finally emerge as a  survival strategy, driving us successfully through the “sustainability bottleneck,” saving our planet, our civilization, our global culture?
2. The Optimist: And secondly, if we fail to save the planet collectively, the question remains … can a “sustainable consciousness” help any of us–as individuals–live in peace on a dying planet? That choice is one that each one of us will eventually be forced make for ourself?

The answers to both questions require a personal commitment to living in a  state of sustained consciousness … a real tough job in today’s deeply troubled, endlessly conflicted world, populated and governed by so many myopic, narcissistic and self-serving humans, in denial of the threat of global warming, even openly hostile, aggressively profiting from climate change problems.

Moreover, die-hard conservatives, climate science-deniers and everybody working in the fossil fuel industry are likely to reject out of hand, as a liberal fantasy, the idea of “raising global consciousness,” even though the very real consequences of global warming are accelerating and certain to force even the most rigid denier to eventually change … if too late.

In short, successfully getting through our planet’s “sustainability bottleneck” is unlikely to happen collectively as a society. We will likely need a massive wakeup call now, a catastrophic event triggering the rapid emergence of a renew personal and collective consciousness, a call that is almost certain to occur but most likely will not be triggered until climate problems get far worse, when it’s too late to reverse the increasing temperature momentum.

Solution to The “Master Algorithm” Wars?

True, The Master Algorithm Wars do signal loud and clear warnings: Statistically the odds are stacked against anyone saving the planet from a catastrophic ending, even Silicon Valley’s technology wizards. The warnings have been screaming at us for decades, louder and louder, beginning with Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring and Bill McKibben’s End of Nature in the sixties and seventies, culminating in the 2015 U.N. Paris Agreement on Climate Change.

Moreover, this conclusion is not simply drawn from all the research cited in the Master Algorithm, it is also obvious due to the widespread science denialism imbedded in our genes … to our ever-increasing consumer demand for more energy, more jobs, more personal wealth and perpetual economic growth … to our planet’s out-of-control and accelerating population growth … and to the human tendency to delay the hard decisions on Big Problems until it’s too late to plan ahead, take action and change course.

Ultimately, getting past our “sustainability bottleneck” now depends on creating what Klaus Schwab calls a “new collective and moral consciousness” across the “shared destiny” of seven billion people in the United Nation’s 197 member nations. But unfortunately the MasterCodes warn that it’s unlikely we will act in time to reverse the accelerating momentum of global warming temperatures.

Why? Here we see scientists, scholars and thought leaders in so many disciplines all warning the planet’s global warming momentum is accelerating so fast that climate changes are locked-in, unstoppable. And if not already, we are nearing critical mass, will soon pass the point-of-no-return in the next generation. Why? By 2047 Earth’s average temperatures will become a megatrend that will continue on a natural cycle, in an upward trajectory that is irreversible.

Good News: Spiritual Beings Living in Peace On A Dying Planet

And secondly, if Schwab’s new collective and moral consciousness fails to emerge in time to save our civilization and Planet-Earth, there still is good news for all individuals throughout our species, for each one of us has the power can make a personal choice and commitment to live in a higher state of consciousness. As Pierre Teilhard de Chardin reminds us …

Yes, each of us has the power to live peacefully, in peace on our dying planet. Indeed, even if our population continues rising to ten billion, the one saving grace might be that so many more humans will have the opportunity of choosing to reach for this new consciousness, to live in peace, to “be the change you wish to see in the world” says Gandhi.

Eckhart Tolle saw this sense of inner peace in Stephen Hawking himself, describing it in A New Earth: Although Hawking’s body was totally paralyzed and facing a life one of his fellow Cambridge students said was “the most dreadful fate that can befall a human being,” still, with the aid of his voice synthesizer, Hawking himself was giving thanks for the gift of his life: “Who could have wished for more!”

The Big Secret!
A Sustainable Consciousness
on An Unsustainable Planet!

So no matter what happens as our human civilization confronts Planet-Earth’s “sustainability bottleneck” … as our global warming momentum continues on relentless upward trajectory … as surface temperatures accelerate … as our cities become unbearably hot for working and living … still, each of us can still live in peace … in our own personal acceptance of a new “collective, moral consciousness,” thankful for every moment we have living  on a planet so well captured in music of Louie Armstrong’s “What a Wonderful World.”

In the meantime,  it is unlikely that any of us will ever see signs of intelligent life out there in the universe, beyond the joy of being alive here. And yet, we can leave signs of our own presence, markers that we were here, aware, conscious, alive, living a unique calling, our destiny, why we are here now. We know that “intelligence” is not who we really are, at best it is a beautiful and predictably irrational part of the amazing “master algorithm” created by our brains so we can function during our relatively short journey on the planet, evolving to know why Einstein knew “the distinction between past, present and future really is only an illusion … you’re already living in The Eternal Now!

The truth is, you are a “soul” that never really dies … that existed before you were born a human … that will live on long after your body’s journey here is complete … after you accomplish the task you agreed to perform … and many others. You are a transcendent soul living in a timeless universe, a spiritual being having human experiences … aware that past, present and future all exist at once in an eternal now … and like Einstein, every moment you “know the mind of God,” living a sustainable consciousness on an unsustainable planet, living in peace on a dying planet … namaste!

About the author

Paul B. Farrell

Dr Paul is a Behavioral Economist reporting on the science, psychology and politics of climate change and its impact on our culture, morals and vision of the future. For over seventeen years his columns were published on DowJones MarketWatch.com, which he joined as an editor when originally launched as a joint venture of CBS-News and The Financial Times. He published 1,643 columns between 1997 and 2015, and was their #1 traffic-generating columnist.

Over the years Dr Paul also published ten best-sellers, including The Millionaire Code: 16 Paths to Wealth Building ... The Winning Portfolio: Choosing Your 10 Best Mutual Funds ... Meditation Secrets of the Flawed Buddhas ... Expert Investing on The Net: Profit From the Top-25 Online Money Makers ... The Lazy Person's Guide to Investing ... Zen Millionaire: The Investor's Guide to the Other Side ... and most recently, HotEarthHell: The (New) Master Algorithm, a 2018 selection of his 33 best DowJones-MarketWatch columns on the economic impact of climate change and global warming.

Earlier he was an investment banker with Morgan Stanley ... Executive Vice President of the Financial News Network ... and Associate Editor of the Los Angeles Herald Examiner. Back in the 1990s, he edited and published FNX: The Future News Index, an online investment newsletters for stock traders and forerunner for today's HotEarthHELLO! The Investors Climate Survival Guide.

He has the Doctorate in Psychology, Juris Doctor, Masters in Regional Planning and Bachelor of Architecture. He served in the U.S. Marine Corps as a Staff Sergeant in aviation radar-computer technology.