We stand on the brink of a technological revolution that will fundamentally alter the way we live, work, and relate to one another. In its scale, scope, and complexity, the transformation will be unlike anything humankind has experienced before. We do not yet know just how it will unfold, but one thing is clear: the response to it must be integrated and comprehensive, involving all stakeholders of the global polity, from the public and private sectors to academia and civil society. But where does all of this leave ‘life’ – all life, and how is ‘life’, all life, herself viewed and *used* ?
The First Industrial Revolution used water and steam power to mechanize production. The Second used electric power to create mass production. The Third used electronics and information technology to automate production. Now a Fourth Industrial Revolution is building on the Third, the digital revolution that has been occurring since the middle of the last century. It is characterized by a fusion of technologies that is blurring the lines between the physical, digital, and biological spheres. All of these advancements has ruined our blue planet and the species who rely upon her.
The fourth industrial revolution is indeed upon us now. And these are exciting times but, do we as humans have the capability to recognise the importance of how and what we meaningfully do with this now fourth revolution? Are we capable of looking to history, and comparing our passed errs to the current situation, to then use this technology with responsibility to one another for and to our earth. In other words, at what cost are the next few years going to come at? We have all acknowledged that we have indeed messed things up, and that we have an urgent obligation to make responsible current and future changes. Responsible changes to nonhumans, to humans and to the earth (her waters and her air), in order to survive, to enjoy the fourth industrial revolution.
Should we choose to continue along the path of destruction that the first, second and third industrial revolutions brought with her, there will be nothing ‘real’ left to feel, to touch, to smell, to see, to taste, to hear, to love, and to enjoy. What we do now, in the now, as well as in the near future, how we treat others (both human and non, and how we treat the ecosystem that we have all become so reliant upon), will pave the way for altruistic happiness and freedom for ALL (not just a few). Much of what happens in the years to come is going to rely heavily on conscience, ethics and morality. And that is going to take some effort from all of us, but will make the future for all so well worth living for.
1974 – Steam, water, mechanical production equipment.
1870 – Division of labour, electricity, mass production.
1969 – Electronics, IT, automated production.
? – Cyber, physical systems.
The unnecessary thirst for consumerism is the continuing driving wedge for the industrial revolution which marketing and advertising companies are taking full advantage of at full peril of mother earth and her inhabitants. Since the industrial era began, everyone and everything became a commodity for the big scramble of common wealth. Slavery indeed and exploitation of massive scale and epic proportions with very little concern or thought, and lack of foresight to current and future damage and disasters, of both human and nonhuman life, and natural ‘resources’ from the earth.
What started off as an exciting era of open minded ideology, was followed into the pith of destruction, with a very badly thought out future caring plan that would intimately ignore everyone who’s lives do matter. But, only an elite few would ultimately become meaninglessly wealthy at the demise of others who would and still today do suffer.
The consumer revolution with all it’s trinkets and rubbish, together with an ever exploding population today continues to fuel the greed that has vastly changed a beautiful planet to the disaster that we live in today. As we continue along this unjustified path of ruination, there cannot possibly be a future for billions of species who are forcedly becoming a scarcity and nullity in and from their very own losing and degrading environments. And there cannot be a future for the once healthy, beautiful, and pristine environments which are rapidly shrinking and extensively littered and poisoned with useless, meaningless, human indulgences.
Once magical forests filled with life and the most fragrant of scents, have become mine dumps, logging camps, and barren fields of intoxicating flames. The oceans have become acidic, our rivers are poisoned, our water is sold, and the air has become putrid and toxic. Man continues to lustfully commodify everything: from humans, to nonhumans, to water, and even air. The stimulation of the economy is obliterating earth.
Britain who historically led the Industrial revolution, who were the mightiest industrial power in the world, introduced to us slavery, unleashed nonhuman holocaust of monumental and epic proportions, they stole land and raped the inhabitants who lived there, and taking what was never theirs. In turn they left most hungry and poor, and for much of the time during it’s 150 – 200 year rise to treacherous glory, produced two thirds of the words coal and half it’s iron ripped from the earth and leaving behind barren waste land.
The industrial revolution is the beginning of a fallen, damaged, and vandalised world, which then everyone willingly followed into, and a continuum of a society which is indeed of great need of desperate healing. New ideas, new machines, new processes, are only truly great when they harm no one in the process but enrich everyone and everything, and give back without just taking. When all of these things unlock the ‘resources’ of ‘society’ without any future thought – they become useless corroding, unintelligibly, gadgets of time lost to iniquity that leave lands barren, the stench of death, and strip every living being of their last breath, their dignity, and their right to live.
Imperial power is not everlasting. And when there is nothing left to exploit, is that then when the ‘might’ shall at last turn around, look back, and wish they had taken a different route? Would they then have said that they would have chosen ‘life’ over wealth. Was the fallacious provisional wealth whom only a handful of people benefited from, truly worth the holocaust that disrupted the face of the earth and her inhabitants in such a short space of time? And annihilated everything and everyone, including themselves? Was all of that, the horribilis transformation sincerely worth it? We are now living in the shadow of the ‘achievements’ of those people, and we are now forced to clean up their mess. We all have an obligation to go vegan. We have an obligation to live ‘green’. And we have an obligation to support rural endeavours to slow down our global footprint and boost local economies. Let 2016 and the future be one of many ethical conscientious choices that not only serve mankind, but integrate us all side by side with nonhumans, and green the earth back to her recognisable, beautiful, pristine loving arms and home that we all can love, enjoy and declare safe once more.