Remember the '70s? Forgive me for admitting that I can. They were my glory years. The decade I started my working life (as a paperboy), got a driver's license, went to high school, graduated, lapsed into substance abuse around the margins, started college. All with little in the way of personal accountability or burden. Pretty good years.
Except for the regular chants that our planet was running short on fuel in all its forms. Turns out we kind of were, but things have a way fixing themselves if you ignore them long enough.
Trade Up - Why waste time putting a perfectly good microchip in your crumby old brain. Transpose yourself into the device instead! Expunges all those organic aspects of ourselves that emit carbon. The only thing you will emit now is Silicon Dioxide. And who's this Huawei company anyway? They scare me.
Ghost in the Machine
Switch to Liquor - When you're sitting around surfing the net or socialing your media you're apt to get thirsty and reach for a beer. Don’t. Beer farts are a rich and odorous form of carbon. The worst possible kind. Worse even than cow farts. Pour some liquor instead, preferably the clear variety. We’ll all turn our air conditioners a little lower in your honor.
We forgot about gas lines, OPEC, price at the pump, Jimmy Carter (yikes). Started to drive Hummers and Tundras and Expeditions without regard to the consequences. Soon we were reminded of another outcome of our profligacy. Consuming cheap energy in volume heats things up. And not just your house. And not just because the complacency that comes with cruising along in armored troop carriers promotes flatulence. (Though it does and there is a correlation between cows farting and global warming - I did one of these diatribes on that very topic many years ago.)
At about the same time we got all worked up about personal fitness. Fitness, the opposite of complacency, is another one of those things that gets the metabolism working overtime and promotes organic methane emission, contributing to the cloud of carbon that surrounds us. Seems there is nothing we can
What if we could reverse the cycle? No internal combustion with its hazardous exhaust, human or vehicular. What if our handheld devices hypnotize us to the point that we forget to move about in ways that promote carbon emission in all its forms. We wouldn't be driving about as much. Not walking much. Not doing anything that contributes to the net carbon canopy.
arsTechnica beat me to the punch today. Citing a University of Texas study, they report that "on average, Americans spent 7.8 more days at home in 2012 than they did in 2003, a significant shift. That time appeared to be subtracted from time spent in non-residential buildings (6.7 fewer days in offices and stores) and time spent traveling (roughly 1.2 fewer days traveling per year)". All of which contributes to less severe hurricane seasons, falling sea levels, and generally moderate climates and happiness everywhere.
The logical conclusion of this handy trend is foreshadowed by the scary advances in artificial intelligence. Imagine the day, not too far off, when we will each be the surgical recipient of a microprocessor relieving us of the need for carbon-causing movement to quench our thirst for connectedness. We would drift mindlessly into the matrix.
Kind of like I was doing back in the '70s. And I didn't need a chip.
What can we do to accelerate our march to the matrix? Here are some ideas: