Humanity’s Adolescence

  1. I believe that humanity is in a period of adolescence.

2. For many years we were just kids.

3. The Earth was our mother. She gave us food and cleaned up after us. She loved us. And we loved her. And then, at some point, we decided, “I want to be an adult!”

4. So we threw a hissy fit and started a revolution.

The Industrial Revolution!

5. We replaced horses with horsepower!

6. We built factories, and eventually started making beautiful plastic bottles…

7. And then we walked away, and left our shit all over the place…

8. Humans act as if we exist separate from the Earth. We feel more independent than ever, but this is an illusion.

The price we pay

9. Today our #1 metric for success is economic growth…

10. Yet muffled below the stock market bells, the Earth is on life-support. Scientists all around the world are warning us that bad stuff is coming…

NASA report on climate change effects over the next few decades

11. But when adult problems arise, no one knows how to take responsibility.

12. Humanity’s biggest flaw is that it hasn’t quite figured out how to co-exist with the Earth.

How Adolescents Learn

13. When I was young I wanted to make a tuna-fish milkshake: tuna, whole milk, rye bread, and mayo. The drink was an invention I came up with so that I could get all my daily nutrients from just one drink. Brilliant right?

My dad didn’t think so. “You’re cruisin’ for a bruisin,” he warned me. That was his way of saying something bad was about to happen. “Please??” I pleaded. Yet he firmly warned me against it.

14. I made the tuna-fish milkshake! (cos I’m so rebellious!)

I remember the surprisingly dark color. All the ingredients together created something…horrific. My dad called it Black Mayonnaise and he made me drink every last gooey chunk (fuuuuuck!)

15. What I’m trying to get at is that adolescents learn by experimenting and failing. The same thing happens when you burn your hand on the stove. You learn quickly not to touch it when it’s hot.


16. When I read the news, it’s as if the adults are telling us, “If you keep acting this way bad things are going to happen! Or to say that more precisely, last year scientists reported that “17 of the 18 warmest years on Earth have occurred since 2001!”

Weather data on this chart is 100% real [NY TIMES]

17. Yet we live like teenagers, making short-term decisions with long-term consequences. In 2017, the United States pulled out of The Paris Accord to keep the America Economy #1. Today billions of people have pulled out of their responsibility for the Earth. And with all this pulling out — accidents happen.

Raising Our Collective Consciousness

18. I think about this quote nearly everyday…

“Science gathers knowledge faster than society gathers wisdom.” 
How does society gather wisdom?

19. Climate change is a problem created globally by all humans, over many decades. And therefore, the solution can only come from all humans working together, over many decades.

20. If you wake up tomorrow and decide you want to fix the pollution in your city, you’ll need the help of your neighbors. You can’t do it yourself.

21. If the United States wants to stop climate change, they’ll need the help of China — who seem to be doing more than us at the moment, which is terrifying — and they’ll also need the help of the other top contributors to climate change like the European Union, and India. We need each other, because no one country can do it alone.

22. And if your children 40 years in the future want to stop climate change — they won’t be able to do it alone. They need your help now.

23. It’s one system. There are some problems that transcend the borders of nations, and time.

24. So how do we communicate this idea to 7 billion people? Or to put that another way: How do we successfully convince someone not to drink a tuna-fish milk shake?