Hey guys, I just wanted to introduce myself on Steemit as I am new to the blockchain, and take the opportunity to talk about something that's been on my mind since I joined Steemit. Having made a Steemit account last year, and not knowing what to do with it, I soon forgot about it and only started using it just last month when social isolation began. In the year since making my Steemit account I created a wordpress blog called Dizzybee Sustainability (https://dizzybee.home.blog/) because i think bees are awesome and a symbol for nature and dizzy reflects the state of the world right now, to me at-least. I am very passionate about biomimicry and potential sustainability related blockchain solutions. I was inspired by the online exodus the coronavirus has caused, and decided to take up blogging. I want to share my thoughts about the exciting opportunities i think exist when combining the worlds of blockchain and sustainability, both of which i think will play important roles in shaping the future. Let me first of all leave a small definition of sustainability, followed by my views on the matter. According to the Cambridge dictionary, sustainability is:
"the quality of being able to continue over a period of time".
We should remind ourselves of the blue marble we inhabit. How valuable it is, how important to protect. Blockchain provides exactly that sustainable base quality of being able to continue over the long haul, that is so promising for a reinvention of our status quo.
In an interesting manner, the ability to continue living on planet earth as the dominant species of the planet, is actually dependent on multiple underlying factors. Namely, the efficient preservation of the basic needs for human life, consisting of multiple layers of normally self-sustaining ecosystems like healthy rainforests, ice sheets and oceans, the health or malaise of which has a cascading effect onto ours. You may be familiar with Maslow's hierarchy of needs: food, air, water, safety, clothing, shelter, sleep. Well the first 3 are directly dependent on environmental sustainability. It's a codependent sustainability relationship; humans cannot continue over any period of time without safe food to eat, water to drink, or clean air to breath, all of which depend on a healthy environment. The second 3 are dependent on economic sustainability, on an individual and societal level; without a stable income we cannot afford shelter, good quality sleep, warm clothes (the vast majority of humans). The global pandemic currently underway might be the shock we need to take a step back and reorganize our priority list in favor of natural health. I recommend reading the shock doctrine by Naomi Klein (https://amzn.to/3dHyodU) , it elaborates how shocks can be an impetus for growth but also manipulation by those in power. The documentary is also great, i think it’s very relevant today:
We live in a world of big cities, all-encompassing consumption and content production. There is just one stakeholder we have forgotten to include at the decision table, and it's the environment. From A to Z we extract and consume, use and throw away, yet on every balance sheet you will never see a section that includes the cost to the environment, which recorded or not, happens every single day. This very fact of human society is in the midst of causing a paradigm shift, not out of choice as of course the profitability of the current economic model is way to delicious to stop, but out of the shift of the very fabric of our ecosystem as a planet. Indeed, capitalism has brought us to the brink of planetary, climate and geological limits. In the span of less than a century, the exponential growth of Co2 and other greenhouse gas emissions since the industrial revolution have sky rocketed, altering the balance of atmospheric, oceanic and cryospheric (ice) processes around the world. Humans have changed the environment to such an extent that we are calling this era the Anthropocene; from the latin for human 'Anthropos' and cene for age. We have become, as a species, such an influential force to be reckoned with that we rival geological and planetary forces in scale, can you imagine that? Our impact on the ecosystem, biosphere and atmosphere are matched only by forces of nature akin to the wind and waves themselves, and the planet-shaping consequences are yet to be experienced fully. It is often easily forgotten how influential we are on the environment but we should remind ourselves in this age of abundance and prosperity, sometimes Less is More.
So as you can see, we need both environmental and economic sustainability working together as a whole to function normally as human beings, think of it like a sustainaception! The twin pillars of human health: economy and environment. Today's global economic model is linear, and tends to grow at the expense of environmental sustainability which is by definition unsustainable. It's an either/or relationship, which doesn't work, because eventually the environment will say "I can't do this anymore", and we will be stuck without clean air, water and safe food, and nothing to show for it but our fancy technology and shiny gadgets. I think we take for granted the ecosystem services that a healthy nature has provided us for free until now, despite our efforts to extract every last morsel of value for monetary gain. The science and models tell us this cannot continue for much longer, and i think it's better to take the easy way out and change now, rather than wait until it's too late. Sadly, this is all idealism, because as of yet the status quo remains unchanged and we are headed towards deep and dangerous waters. Those with the weight of power to make tangible changes either do not agree with the science, or are not yet convinced of the importance of change towards more sustainable solutions.
That's where Blockchain comes in! Functioning on the principles of 1) shared access amongst all users and low barriers to entry, 2) transparency & immutability 3) Instantaneity 4) decentralized organization, Blockchain technology has the potential to make a difference by giving people the tools to share information in the most democratic and transparent way possible. Governments now have the option to use blockchain as a foundation for implementing important carbon taxes to regulate industries with monetary incentives to help the environment. This is something that has been avoided for way too long, businesses and corporations have gotten away with murder on the environmental level, and the damage needs to be repaired. What better way to implement a carbon tax point system than on a blockchain? The SDG's (Sustainable Development Goals) are an important aspect to consider how to address important issues for potential applications on blockchain to steer the world towards both blockchain technology and an online green-economy.
Moreover, it allows for better supply chain management, reducing fraud and bureaucracy, as well increasing traceability of goods. People also have an opportunity to use blockchain applications like Steemit to share their sustainable business stories and ideas to get rewarded according to merit with money as native aspect of operations making it easier than ever to earn money online; this is akin to an online revolution and seems very promising in regards to developing interest in natural medicine and environmental health. Above all, it is a decentralized system, which is important as it mimics natural ecosystems in its design; "Biomimicry is a practice that learns from and mimics the strategies found in nature to solve human design challenges — and find hope along the way". This is a great opportunity to use nature as a guide and teacher as we embark at the beginning of new age of decentralization on blockchains based on nature's design. "Biomimicry is about valuing nature for what we can learn, not what we can extract, harvest, or domesticate. In the process, we learn about ourselves, our purpose, and our connection to each other and our home on earth" (https://biomimicry.org/what-is-biomimicry/). I think Blockchain mirrors natural design principles in its decentralized approach and brings us closer to nature than we have been in ages. The closer we can get to mirroring nature, the better chance we have of surviving over longer periods f time. After all nature represents 5 billion years of research and development and is sustainable because of it's diversity, decentralization, transparency and instantaneity. By design blockchains mirror these qualities and therefore stands the best chance being sustainable for society over the long run. I'm trying to learn how to develop apps myself for sustainability purposes but as i've never been involved in computer science i'm finding it hard to find out where to start.
Beyond this, developers can contribute positively towards the creation of decentralized applications that give power to the people in ways never before seen, like in web3 (https://blog.coinbase.com/understanding-web-3-a-user-controlled-internet-a39c21cf83f3), cryptocurrencies, and next EOS which have very promising game changing qualities for the future of democracy. The sustainability applications are now possible thanks to these technologies, and it makes it so that governments don't have the excuse anymore of not having the right tools available to make the changes needed. They exist, we exist, and as the great climate activist Greta Thunberg would say, "change is coming, whether you like it or not".
Thank you for reading and I hope we can all be inspired to take some of this time to get closer to nature, as the fog of crisis lifts we will be left with an important decision; do we go back to our old ways, or adapt to the needs of our home planet. I truly believe blockchain in combination with biomimicry and sustainable development goals would put us on the right track, these ideas are just wishful thinking for the moment but I am excited to see how things play out.
Stay safe, healthy, and sustainable,