We all have a very basic choice which we are required to make every day in life. EVERYONE awakes each day to be confronted with a seemingly endless series of “problems” to be overcome. We must upon awaking, make the choice of how we are going to view those problems each day of our existence. Which way do we go with this ? Do we approach these problems as challenges to be met as mankind has always managed to do, thus making our continued existence to this date possible, or do we view the problems as insurmountable simply because we don’t have immediate knowledge of their entire solution? Obviously, if we wish to “continue to exist”, the only logical choice is the former. It get’s down to what we look for in life. Do we first seek knowledge of exactly how “full “ our “glass” is or of exactly how “empty” our “glass” is? Our current and hugely pressing problems of economic downturn, environmental damage and dwindling and ever more costly energy supply are no exceptions. I see the only viable alternative is to look for the “liquid” first while keeping an eye on “the air space” in the glass seeking solutions for these problems. Since mankind still exists, the “insurmountability” of all such problems has been proven completely false to date. Solutions grow out of “assets”, the “Liquid” in the “Glass” of life.
So how do we do all that’s necessary to solve these problems? One “statement of guidance” I’ve heard many times seems to be pretty universally applicable. That is “Think globally, and act locally”. The examples of successful application of this are pretty much endless. A logical extension of this for me is “Think universally and act specifically”. By that I mean view all of the problems more or less together while focusing on solutions for one of them. That’s all about viewing of the glass “half full” in that one can then see the “asset value” one “problem” may have towards solution of another.
Example: the 2 problems of human society’s waste disposal and our dwindling energy supply
Sewage and garbage both stink and have mass that takes up space in our lives that we need to live in. That presents the problem of disposal. How do we get it “out of our way”. Why does it stink? The stink is a result of microbes which produce stinky waste gasses feeding on it. They feed on it because it contains the energy and materials necessary for them to live.
We are constantly confronted with rising costs, both in purchase price and environmental impact of our main sources of energy. We all see the price we pay at the pump or for the public transit tickets going up and see the huge displacement and unemployment brought on by disasters like the Deep Water Horizon mess and their related nature. We need to find other energy sources less likely to kill off the life of the world we depend on for survival.
When viewing the “glass half full” it’s not that hard to relate these 2 problems, seeking to supplant the need for some of our fossil fuel consumption with waste to fuel technology.