1. How is information about urgent environmental issues facing humanity being communicated to the public from the private sector? What about between scientists from different fields? Public/Private sector collaborations have proven to be successful since the unveiling of Nylon at the World Fair in Chicago in 1939. Who will make money? Who will lose money? How is information and protocol communicated along vertical and horizontal organizational levels of local, state, national, international, non-profit, and corporate environmental groups/agencies/supports/etc.?
1. Within a few Google searches of environmental graduate programs and scholarship sources, I found that there are several hundred environmental causes, organizations, and institutes. What are the 15 most important and powerful? Is it wise to spread out our responses to environmental issues in this manner as we have in the past or would it be beneficial for the groups to cluster into nodes and then nodes into hubs and hubs into a centralized task force? What are the responsibilities and capabilities of an organization such as the IPCC? Are there political, social, economic, and/or ideological outcomes that can be attributed directly to the efforts of this massive project? What will it take to convince them that they need a team of young, creative, and talented people maintaining their image, appeal, and selling power?
1. In terms of environmentalism, what are the important differences and similarities between the words in this list of possible response to many environmental issues: preservation, conservation, restoration, prevention, preparation, adaptation, and mitigation? In what circumstances would one be more appropriate than another? How would one determine that? Who would be responsible for that on a local, state, national, and international level? Do we have a set of criteria or a knowledge base that can be used in determining which response would be the most effective and efficient action to take. How we determine importance of the response in order to properly and fairly allocate our time, money, and resources?
Are the environmental issues that we face today going to force us into a global transitional state of social, political, psychological, economic, and religious upheaval and change? Are there certain issues that are more volatile than others? What factors are important in determine this? Which social memes (beliefs, customs, stigmas, mantras, doctrines) did we allow to override the respect that our human ancestors held for the Planet? Are we capable of discarding whichever we decide did not work for us or will human survival of environmental change require an entirely new way of thinking as some have suggested?
How does the concept of “systems thinking” help to unify the various and often-disparate cause/effect relationships brought on by human activity? How is this different from how most people think about the planet? Will changing the way people think slow or reverse cumulative damages being caused by current thinking?
What is being done to prevent disastrous and irreversible damages to the natural world? Are we too late? How would we know? Is it better to use our resources to prepare for the challenges we will face if that happens?
Is there a central theme, overriding current, or anchoring idea that can be harnessed by people around the world as a rallying force to drive positive progress in all of the other areas addressed in question 1?
We make our decisions, and then our decisions turn around and make us.
They had a map of the brain, a model of the body, and a pretty good idea of how to build the environment. Their artificial intelligence might not be embodied, but it would be “situated.” The brain would direct the body and the body would interact with the environment, and all three pieces would be connected by the intricate feedback loops that permeate biology. Their goal became clear: they should build, as they put it on the website, “a fully digital lifeform — a virtual nematode — in a completely open source manner.
What are our most pressing environmental problems/issues? How is such a judgment made? Who makes it? What criteria are used? Where and when will they manifest? Will we have had the foresight to prepare for them?