Nature’s solution for sustainability, sustainable development and biodiversity protection
The biggest challenge faced by humanity at the end of the first decade of the 21st century and approaching the beginning of the second decade is one of survival. It is perhaps because of rather than despite the fact that humanity has such enormous potential to do more than just survive that this question of survival is particularly poignant. Here at the nexus of the human potential we are presented with an equation. We have survival on one side and giant-step evolution, transformation and growth on the other.
The survival side of the equation presents great problems, difficulties and challenges. The problems are unsolvable, the difficulties too great, the challenges beyond our ability. Surely just as presented in The World Scientists Warning to Humanity 1992 there will be a series of earth-shaking catastrophes and cataclysms that could result in the deaths of tens, even hundreds of millions. Scenarios where the death toll goes beyond the billion mark are not to be dismissed.
While the approaching disaster may seem inevitable to some, on the other side of the equation is the opportunity to live in a world of abundance, cooperation, freedom and responsibility. Will the positive opportunity and possibility call forth a positive response from enough people? Will we choose to live in harmony for our common good and for a secure, just and sustainable future? Or will it be the commonality of struggle, difficulty and hardship that we choose?
The entire range of future possibilities is now open. This represents choice, as much personal as collective. In a world in crisis if we are to understand how to affect transference from the personal to the collective we must ask critical and essential questions. For example in a world of interconnected and interdependent systems just what can individuals do to transfer the personal vision and transform the collective reality? Could it be that all or any of the possibilities for both transference and transformation exist inside frameworks, inside of containers, and inside “seeds” of reality?
The equation presented to humanity is not static; rather it is fluid and dynamic much as the weather. Each and any of these dynamic mini-systems are capable of expanding and unfolding into whole systems of dynamic interrelating fractal patterns. These patterns are expanding and contracting, they are patterns of freedom and of limitation, of growth and loss, of the miraculous and the disastrous. And there are patterns of the personal self, of the social self, patterns of the global unity and, if we are to accept the fractal model this probably extends to levels including patterns of the cosmic self.
When we look to the basic pattern of biological life on earth we see everywhere the living cell, and here is a clue. As Einstein has remarked “look deep, deep into nature and then you will understand everything better.” The fact is that life on earth is made of cells and these upon close examination are part of the universal fractal pattern of life.
A Natural and Biomimetic Model
The Evolutionary Living Fractal (ELF) is a natural and biomimetic model. Biomimetics is an emerging scientific discipline that mimics nature’s design to arrive at solutions. The Evolutionary Living Fractal model arrives at solutions for sustainability, sustainable development and biodiversity protection by mimicking firstly the living cell.
The Living cell is the framework solution for all of biological life, as we know it. The cell has an informational core – the nucleus, surrounded by a protected area of resources and process functions. From this resource/process area raw materials are selected via a filter; stored, transformed into other substances, the process structure maintained and wastes eliminated. These wastes then go on to form part of the raw materials for other cells, and other lives within the biological domain. Nothing is wasted. If we examine other systemic levels of the known we can see the same pattern, similarly repeated. The same basic pattern is happening on an atomic level, we also see the same cellular pattern occurring in the formation of galaxies. This self-same pattern of similarity is known as a fractal.
But what do we know of the intimate functioning of atoms and galaxies? The answer must be: probably not as much as we would like to. However there are other self-same cellular patterns that function in this way that we can examine in greater detail. They are all to a greater or lesser degree, examples of naturally self-organising systems. For example a house or a building operates in the cellular manner. So too does a business or a community. The fractal nature can be seen easily wherein the individual units are functioning as cells but so too are the broader entities they inhabit; the businesses, the communities, the regions, states, nations and ultimately in our own localised version of this our planet.
It may be of great interest for ecologists to know that once we begin to understand how sustainability works for any of these systems, and once we can identify the critical points of systems and how they function we can transfer this information to other systems by way of metaphor and through understanding sets of laws. The unique contribution of the Evolutionary Living Fractal model to living system theory is that it identifies the nature of living systems as being part of a fractal design.
The fractal explains functionally how everything is interconnected. The idea of interconnectivity is central to an understanding of ecology and biodiversity protection. In addition this fractal interconnectivity assists the integration of our ecological understanding of biodiversity protection with what might be termed Social Ecology and Deep Ecology. The Evolutionary Living Fractal Model uses the primary example of the living cell to understand how this fractal sustainable system functions. From a biological, cognitive and social point of view we can then apply this Evolutionary Living Fractal as a sophisticated reference point for sustainability.
The fractal interconnectivity that is all around us, indeed of which our world is constructed, is viewed from the point of view of one understanding of quantum physics as being an energetic reality par excellence not merely a metaphorical model. Nevertheless the model appears to work quite well at the level of metaphor.
Physicist David Bohm (worked on Manhattan Project – Doctorate under Oppenheimer) has asserted that the underlying wave enfolded sub-space in an area of approximately one cubic centimetre – or even the size of a pinpoint according to other accounts – contains as much energy as the entire space-time continuum x 10 to the power of 40. Here we must at once confront the possibility that not only is the energy potentially available within a given small area effectively infinite but that could we understand how to direct this energy through some means of integrating energy dense quantum fields with the present time-space coordinates, powerful modes and methods of transformation could be technically possible. But what quantum integration tool do we have at our disposal for such a purpose? One highly suggestive answer would be Human Consciousness.
Applying human consciousness to the task of ecological sustainability and sustainable development: how could we effect change and transformation in such as way as to be deeply congruent with the greater fractal cell of the planetary system, the planetary ecology, the biosphere and perhaps even the living planet, and at the same time be deeply congruent with ourselves and our human desires? For herein lies probably the greatest clue to integrating the energy dense quantum fields via human consciousness – as part of a fractal solution framework that necessarily includes and indeed harnesses if you will, people in the equation.
The Evolutionary Living Fractal or ELF Model is my contribution to the worldwide conversation about ecology, the environment and sustainability. I suspect this is a conversation that we should all be having. It willlead in very short order to the matter of the disadvantaged, malnourished, poverty stricken and unrepresented peoples of the world. These people are our very selves and must not be ignored. I like to quote Einstein who said: “A human being is part of the whole, called by us “universe,” limited in time and space. We experience our self, our thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest – a kind of optical delusion of the consciousness. This delusion is a prison, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons close to us.
Our task must be to free ourselves from our prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all humanity and the whole of nature in its beauty. Nobody is able to achieve this completely, but the striving for such achievement is in itself a part of the liberation and a foundation for inner security.”