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Algemeen

Symbiosis, Living together

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THE ART OF LIVING TOGETHER Life on Earth is complex and interactive, with organisms forming populations, which in turn form communities, or ecosystems, both locally and globally. The ecology is defined by the interactions between species and their composition within that system that drives natural selection, evolution, and genetic composition. The fitness for survival of an organism in any ecosystem is not dependent solely upon the species but includes the interactions of other organisms with that species. Symbiosis, the nature of the interactions between different organisms living in close physical association, is omnipresent and played an essential role in the…

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The converging technology revolution is transformational

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The world now stands on the cusp of a technological revolution that may prove as transformative for economic growth and human potential as were electrification, mass production, and electronic telecommunications in their eras. Will these developments enable people to attain higher living standards, better working conditions, greater economic security, and improved health and longevity? The answers to these questions are not predetermined. They depend upon the institutions, investments, and policies that are deployed to harness the opportunities and confront the challenges posed by this new era. Innovation is being transformed by the penetration of converging technologies, in particular the reliance…

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THE EONS OF TIME, THE EVOLUTION OF EXISTENCE.

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With its unprecedented changes in the earth’s geo-and biosphere, the fundamental and irreversible human imprint and impact on natural systems and processes has turned humankind into a geological agent, which has led to term this epoch and state of affairs, the ‘Anthropocene’. Under the techno human condition, anthropogenic-induced environmental change and the domination of the Earth’s ecosystems have reached a global scope and a permanent geological time-scale. Humanity has become the most successful parasite of any invasive species, a hominiscence appropriating the entire planet—taking without giving and engaging in continual (terrorizingly) territorialization. Conceptual disconnection and practical alienation from materialities and…

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How special (or not) is biology?

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Over seventy years ago, Erwin Schrödinger in his famous book ‘What is Life?’, posed the following question: ‘How can the events that take place in space and time and within a living organism be accounted for by physics and chemistry?’. A fundamental change of metaphors: from seeing the world as a machine to understanding it as a network. The entire material world, ultimately, is a network of inseparable patterns of relationships, including the planet as a whole is a living, self-regulating system. Evolution is no longer seen as a competitive struggle for existence, but rather as a cooperative dance in…

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A reminder to navigate toward a new order of complexity

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The broadest of perspectives can locate the shift underway on planet Earth as the most recent scene in a vast pageant of cosmic emergence. A cosmological panorama takes us beyond the ambit of daily life and beyond even the larger compass of human history, offering a vantage point for pondering the contemporary predicament. About 3.8 billion years ago, life appeared on Earth, opening a new chapter in the story of the universe. Biological evolution has been a wondrous adventure of tenacity and inventiveness through titanic episodes of extinction and proliferation. One uncommonly dexterous line—the primates—proved particularly consequential, giving rise to…

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Concerned about tipping points? YES!

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In a biophysical perspective, the Earth is a system that primarily gets its energy from the sun, while the economy is seen as a metabolic organism that develops within the limits of the biosphere. Anthropogenic pressures on the Earth System have reached a scale where abrupt global environmental change can no longer be excluded. The resilience of the planet has kept it within the range of variation associated with the Holocene state, with key biogeochemical and atmospheric parameters fluctuating within a relatively narrow range. At the same time, marked changes in regional system dynamics have occurred over that period. Despite…

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Focal point of the economic transformation

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We cannot prevent an ever-worsening ecological collapse when we apply a religion of never-ending industrial growth and increasing human population far beyond what our finite earth systems can support. Our economy depends entirely on cheap, affordable energy which, even with today’s massive subsidies of fossil fuel production, is running out. While capitalism sometimes thrives on creating artificial scarcity — even for non-competitive goods —it also promotes the idea of endless economic ​​growth. Economic models where the organizing parameters are scarcity, control, hoarding, hierarchies, and relationships of power being held over others and defined by the production and consumption of goods…

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We can do better.

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Humans are now living within a period of the Earth’s history appropriately named ‘The Anthropocene’. The name is derived from the observed human influence and indeed increasing dominance of climatic, biophysical, and evolutionary processes occurring at a planetary scale. The issue of human dominance is not simply climate change (as bad as that is), it is the whole capitalist development paradigm that is at the dark heart of maldevelopment—that which undermines and destroys the very foundations of all life on earth. During a relatively short period of human history, we have seen the emergence of a growth-addicted industrial-technological society that…

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TOO CLOSE FOR COMFORT

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The persistent march of a warming climate is seen across a multitude of continuous, incremental changes. CO2 levels in the atmosphere. Ocean heat content. Global sea level rise. Each creeps up year after year, fueled by human-caused greenhouse gas emissions. From declining Arctic sea ice and record-breaking heatwaves to melting glaciers and worsening droughts, the increase in global average temperature is being felt around the world. And while climate records are being routinely broken, the cumulative impact of these changes could also cause fundamental parts of the Earth system to change dramatically and irreversibly. Broadly, these impacts reflect gradual changes caused by a climate that is steadily warming. However, there are parts of the Earth system…

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Main lesson from our amazing journey.

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The Universe is all of space and time and their contents, including planets, stars, galaxies, and all other forms of matter and energy. The Universe is immense, estimates suggest at least two trillion galaxies. It comprises all of energy in its various forms, including electromagnetic radiation and matter, and therefore planets, moons, stars, galaxies, and the contents of intergalactic space. The universe also includes the physical laws that influence energy and matter, such as conservation laws, classical mechanics, and relativity. Most galaxies are between 10 billion and 13.6 billion years old. Our universe is about 13.8 billion years old, so…

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