Feedback Systems...

Earthos is creating feedback linkages between the scientific and design communities to better monitor the performance of human activities in relation to natural systems.

We as humans have consistently failed to recognize the warning signs indicating that we are putting too much pressure on ecosystems. We have lacked the information and the ability to understand nature's signals, resulting in extinction of many species of plants and animals, and the depletion and degradation of natural resources. Jared Diamond, in his book Collapse, offers numerous examples of human civilizations that have failed because they have not heeded the warning signs of nature. 

For the first time in human history, we have the capacity to prevent civilization 'collapse'. Scientific development over the last several decades has yielded tools that can help us better understand these feedback signals. As a society, we now have the technical and design capabilities to align our activities to natural systems. Earthos is committed to working with scientists to develop accurate and real time monitoring of systems, and to apply this information to design and planning efforts. 

Global Monitoring...

To live sustainably, we need to not only understand our local consumption of resources, but also how our local consumption impacts available global resources. The goal is to use only what nature can replenish, not just in one area of the world, but everywhere. How do we determine what nature can replenish? 

Technologies such as GIS and satellites–which enable "remote sensing", data handling, and global communications–help us to understand what nature produces and what can be harvested, and how much we as humans are actually using of these resources, locally and globally. By using this information, we can ensure that not only are our households, businesses, and neighborhoods reducing their energy and water consumption levels, but that communities everywhere are working together to align consumption with what the planet can sustain  . What good does it do if one nation curbs its consumption, while another nation increases it?


Fritof Capra,
The Hidden Connections, a Science for Sustainable Living,
Anchor Books, 2004

Leslie A. White,

The Science of Culture, A Study of Man and Civilization,
Grove Press, 1949

© earthos institute, inc. 2010—all rights reserved