"...The solution of current human problems does not lie with transhumanism or with the Singularity or with anything of that sort.Together with online jobs, that even without deep VR are progressively coming anyway, dating tools may even be partly as useful as the above explained interest of deep VR, to reduce the need of transportation with its fossil energy consumption that abuses the Earth's resources. Indeed I can testify that my need of flights and other transportation means would have been quite smaller if efficient information tools had quickly provided me the address of what I was looking for so that I simply need to just go there once for all (or just a few tries would suffice), instead of letting me waste lots of trips continuing my search in vain.
(...) The strongest reason is that transhumanism, if it comes at all, will come too late. Environmental and resource problems, and social problems along with them, are a gathering storm. They will not wait until 2045 (the approximate date Kurzweil has predicted for the Singularity). Humanity must solve humanity's problems, or there will never be any transhumanity."
This idea was put forward in A Rope over an Abyss by Laurence Hitterdale
"The best I can do is to imagine that today I received a message.(...) The message reads somewhat as follows:
What I have to say is unusual, and it may appear even strange. I ask, however, that you please take a little time to consider these thoughts.
From what I have been hearing and reading lately, I have become increasingly concerned about the world in which our children and grandchildren will have to live. I note, for example, in a recent issue of Scientific American the warning about a climate crisis in the near future. (...)
After due consideration, you may come to believe, as I do, that here are problems which demand both personal commitment and changes in public policy. At a personal level, I have decided to begin by reducing my travel by automobile. Rather than specifying details, I shall simply add that my longer-term goal is to reach a point where automobile travel is only for a few special occasions or emergencies. In addition, I intend to make my house more energy efficient.
At the level of public policy, I have been persuaded of the importance of two steps. The first is changing the market prices of energy supplies so that those prices include the real-world costs of those commodities. The second is encouraging efficiency in order to decrease energy use or at least to slow the rate of increase. I am aware that there are technical difficulties in implementing these policy changes. I am acutely aware that both of them, especially the first, mean higher monetary prices for energy, and that the prices will be paid by industries and consumers in developed nations. Nonetheless, I advocate these steps. I am prepared to bring them to the attention of policy makers, just as I now mention them to you. "
This idea of correcting the market by taxes that introduce the
expression of external costs (or grants that reflect external
benefits) in prices, is a crucial step to turn the concept of
money into it a fully coherent concept, to make it really mean
what it should have always meant and that it only partially meant
until now, as it lacked its full sense and only was an incomplete,
pseudo-concept yet, as I explained
this meaning here.
Of course, green taxes must be applied worldwide. What may
John C Hodge mean in his text Steering
humanity's growth :
"Competition must be allowed between religions, between approaches to technology, between approaches to society, and between approaches to the environment."
How can you ensure a proper economic competition in approaches to climate change, between the proper scientific understanding and climate-skeptical views ? We have only one planet that we need to save ! We cannot make a competition between a planet that is joyfully spoiled by greenhouse gases, and a planet that is preserved.
Still a market mechanism is possible even in this case, of the
presence of a real or imagined "scientific controversy" (a
political controversy on the topic of whether there is or not a
scientific controversy). This solution consists in opening a prediction
market about future scientific discoveries on how harmful to
the planet the release of greenhouse gases will turn out to be,
and use this unit of exchange (the value of the future observed
harmfulness of a ton of CO2) in guise of a currency in which the
taxes on the use of fossil carbon will have to be paid. And the
collection of this tax will have to be not consumed in absurd ways
but accumulated as a price we pay to future generations for how we
are spoiling their planet.
"The whole of humanity now faces a situation which several human societies encountered in the past: their success depended for a long time on unsustainable exploitation of their ecosystem, which they thereby destroyed. Many of those societies perished, typically at the height of an exponential growth. However, some of them changed their ways, and survived for a long time in equilibrium with their environment. There are many well known reasons for us to do the same and change course as quickly as possible. In this essay I want to stress a further such motivation: we need to save the biodiversity of our planet from the mass extinction we have triggered. The reason to do so is, apart from our immediate survival, the fact that on a very long timescale we will end up valuing this biodiversity more than any other resource present in the Universe. In fact Terrestrial Life is a unique feature of our planet, not to be encountered anywhere else in our Universe, while all the other (energetic and mineral) resources we consider so important are absolutely abundant. We value them only because they are hard to get with present technology. But in the future, if we survive the impending ecological collapse, we will have to colonize and `terraform' other planets, and the huge diversity of life forms on Earth will become the most precious thing in the Universe, for it will be necessary to create functioning ecosystems on other planets. Life forms which we have little regard for now, and we are bringing to the edge of extinction while pursuing our immediate needs, might turn out to be essential for our survival in the future."External link : Everything Connects