The Earth Needs a New Operating System and You are the Programmers

Paul Hawken is a personal hero, someone who has led the way in progressive thinking and action for an ecologically sound world. In terms of ecological intelligence, he’s a genius.

I was deeply moved by the address he gave to the University of Portland graduating class of 2009, and want to share it:

“…You are going to have to figure out what it means to be a human being on earth at a time when every living system is declining, and the rate of decline is accelerating. Kind of a mind-boggling situation – but not one peer-reviewed paper published in the last thirty years can refute that statement. Basically, the earth needs a new operating system, you are the programmers, and we need it within a few decades.

This planet came with a set of operating instructions, but we seem to have misplaced them. Important rules like don’t poison the water, soil, or air, and don’t let the earth get overcrowded, and don’t touch the thermostat have been broken. Buckminster Fuller said that spaceship earth was so ingeniously designed that no one has a clue that we are on one, flying through the universe at a million miles per hour, with no need for seatbelts, lots of room in coach, and really good food – but all that is changing.”

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5 thoughts on “The Earth Needs a New Operating System and You are the Programmers

  1. How about we as programmers work towards building this new operating system as an open source project? I mean start this as an open source science project on site where people can share innovative ideas to make earth a better, cleaner & more livable place?


  2. I think what we need is to build a “Verantworung” based Society, to have a total transparency of our day per day action. We have enough Computational Power to build a Ecological Navigator on our socio stream.At this moment we have completely lost our contact with nature, our naive consideration of interaction must to be transformed in a “bewusst”one.

  3. It’s an interesting thought – a new earth OS
    but again here, this needs to happen in the regions that are the new economy today
    these new economy regions today are doing exactly what the developed economy countries did a few decades back
    the practices there have shifted here..
    it has always been that the developed countries invented better ways of life though that got lost along the way somewhere in the whole drama of consumerism but now the consumers are in the new economy nations and they are rushing at consumerism akin to how prisoners react to a jail break.

    the new ideas wherever they come from have to be powerful at the political level and leverage the new political balance of power on the planet – SOONer than even a couple of decades…

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