That’s not what we usually hear. To have “us” we often need “them.”
To make a profit (or a commotion) in social media, the math is usually division, not addition.
And as media has crept into every corner of our lives, it often thrives on discord.
The irony is that the network effect that powers our culture (it works better when others are using it too) depends on connection.
When Stewart Brand put a picture of the Earth from space on the cover of the original Whole Earth Catalog, it was a revelation for many. The photo was new, but the image was also a timeless reminder of how futile it is to forget the very nature of our finite world.
Ideas can spread and multiply, creating new opportunities and new frontiers. But we’re still on the same planet, no matter how much a few people spend to go (almost) into orbit.
As we begin to move beyond a century of industrialism, all of us are coming to grips with the impact that the industrial engines we depend on have created. The chronic shift in the climate of the entire planet is going to be the most significant driver of change of the next twenty years. For all of us, not just a few.
Unlike current events or politics, this is neither local nor temporary. It’s hard to fight the weather, as it changes all of the inputs and the outputs of our life.
The first step is to realize that we’re in it together.
In the old days, when I was a book packager, I created a series of bestselling almanacs. Almanacs have been around since Benjamin Franklin, and even in the age of the web, they serve a useful function. Collecting relevant tables, facts, explanations, lists and history in a format that’s easy to reference and share gives us a chance to agree on what we agree on, a common foundation for moving forward.
I’m putting together a worldwide team of people who are interested in volunteering to contribute to the new Carbon Almanac. It’s a zero-profit venture, a group effort designed to create a print and digital document that fills the vital niche between the cutting edge and apathy.
There are currently 40 of us, from 20 countries, working on the early versions. If this is something you have the time and inclination to contribute to, I hope you’ll take a minute to fill out this quick form. We’ll be inviting some folks to join us next week. Thanks.