The Quest for Natural Intelligence in the World

Unplugged at the Root, so Makes Sense that We've Earth Overshoot


We tap into central intelligence to assess trends, to make important decisions, and to launch sensitive missions. We pool our national intelligence from different agencies and resources to optimize our foreign relations and national security interests. We build artificial intelligence platforms, software, robotics to perform work faster, organize knowledge more efficiently, and even begin to create new knowledge. We encourage natural talent in different areas; like sports, medicine, music, philosophy, art, and science. But whatever happened in today's world to sourcing our inherent natural intelligence as I coin it here for solving intimately personal and globally shared challenges? Perhaps we have simply forgotten what natural intelligence means to us in our lives.

Natural Intelligence refers to principles of life and to our lifestyle choices that respect the natural limits and boundaries of earth's resources.

Natural Intelligence refers to an emotional impulse inherent in our universal myth that stimulates us to value and to protect the integrity of all living beings.

Natural Intelligence refers to an intellectual quest to understand nature's survival strategies accumulated over 3+ billion years and etched into the DNA of circa 8.7 million species alive today in order to tool ourselves with tips, tricks, and strategic design traits for adapting to increasing rates of global change.

Natural Intelligence refers to the celebration of our own unique natural wisdom, which we pass down through generations across cultures and time in art and story.

Natural Intelligence refers to our intimate, interdependent connection to the larger web of life in the biosphere, whereas even in our physical bodies 80% of the biological DNA is foreign to our personal DNA. We are of earth.

Natural Intelligence refers to our innate, universal quest to touch and to expand the brilliant and sacred nature of the living universe.

Given the definition of natural intelligence, I want to be clear that in our quest to rediscover Natural Intelligence in our lives and in our world I am not suggesting a return to the romantic notion of the "noble savage". Rather, I am proposing that we resolve forward to increase the vibration of our pure and primal selves, so that we may again harmonize with the rest of the living planet, singing naturally together as an integral ecological choir. Given Pope Francis' Encyclical on the Environment, I imagine that will be his message to the world in his visit to the United States, celebrating also this International Day of Peace.

Clearly, we are primed for a re-tuning as a global society. This past August 13th was Earth Overshoot Day for 2015. Each year the date moves father back into the heart of our Northern Hemisphere's hot and dry summer. It is aberrant that humanity (on average/as a whole) currently consumes 1.6 earth's worth of planetary natural resources per year. And, imagine that by 2030 we may even consume 2 earth's worth of resources per year if we continue on our current development track, as cautioned by the Global Footprint Network. How is it even possible that our global society has the capacity to produce an ecologic footprint so gigantic, so as to walk the knife's edge of biological bankruptcy and to create a nature debt overloaded with interest so high that our seventh generation future will surely struggle to re-pay it?

Indeed, we may seek relief in Peter Diamandis' Abundance theory. Yes, advanced technologies, more efficient tools, naturally intelligent design solutions, and circular-service economic protocols help mitigate our heavy earth impact; stretching the value and use of our natural capital. But the truth is that we still live on a planet with finite resources and an ever-increasing demand on them. Imagine, we are 7.2 billion people strong and growing toward 9 billion in the next 20-30 years--every one of us with greater energy and resource needs leading into that next now future. Clearly, our ecological footprint will continue to grow on a linear trajectory... unless....

We do not inherit the Earth from our ancestors. We borrow it from our children. --Native American Proverb

Or... Unless we start course-correcting the tell tale signs of ecosystem collapse-- water shortages and extended drought (California, Mexico), dried underground aquifers thirty for recharge (Yemen, Qatar), expanding deserts across once biodiverse savannahs (northern Sahara), erosion of organic soils and increased salinity (Pacific, SE Asian islands), reduced cropland productivity (India, US), overgrazing (Eastern Europe, CA), deforestation (SE Asia, SA), rapid rates of species extinction (globally, as urban jungles expand), fisheries collapse (Nordic region), pollinators (bees, bats) at risk, and increased carbon concentration in the atmosphere (accounting now for more than 50% of our eco-footprint)--signs of ecological collapse in big, bright neon signs all around us.

How on earth did we do that...right? How on earth did we ever become so disconnected at the root to have so grossly earth overshoot? We are a good people. We love our children, families, and friends. We work hard for companies and governments, mostly with the right intention to make the world a better place. We are social and communal creatures, who want to live a life of purpose in service to others. So clearly, somewhere in the midst of survival, progress, industry, and production we lost our way.

"A technological and economically developed world which does not leave in its wake a better world and an integrally higher quality of life one can not be considered progress." Pope Francis

Moving so laser-net fast across a myriad of smart and mobile platforms, relating to one another in our physical world behind virtual screens, playing war games in violent alternate realities that skew our perceptions of reality itself, constructing modern life into sky cities so distant from our indigenous earthen roots, rocketing off planet to explore new stars when the one we inhabit already uniquely supports the narrow requirements of life, manufacturing even more stuff for transient human use from minerals now mined on meteors, knitting global economies together so deep and so intimate, yet paper-thin...we risk having viscerally, virtually, vitally unplugged from the life force of planet earth. And this is our home!

There is no other place in the infinitely vast star-studded space that we've yet found, traveling to distant galaxies 120 light years away, that is close enough or comfortable enough for us to realistically consider colonizing today or tomorrow. There is no Plan B here and now for inhabiting any other planet anywhere else in the universe. There is no Second Earth. And even if there was, there is no second human+nature again because more than 80% of the biological DNA in our bodies is comprised of DNA from organisms foreign to our personal DNA. Fascinating and scary at the same time... right?

"Humans are like dust devils, which swirl up from the elemental earth, dance on the surface for a time, then fall back into dust. We are of the earth. " Kim Stanley Robinson

So we better start treating our Eikos (home) as if we intend to stay... lest the natural evolutionary levers that pull species in and out of their time-space earthly existence...may force a permanent eviction.

Depressed? Oh no. Now is NOT the time to fear and fret! It's the time to be fierce and fast moving! It's the time to "turn on" our creative brilliance and regenerate the planet. It's the time to chime into a global innovation dance ... that has already begun.

Homo sapiens...we are a special species. When 100,000 years ago we set out from the Horn of Africa to bugle and battle and build our way into every living biome on every continental shelf and in every corner of the earth; we innovated and adapted by tuning into our communal nature and honing creative design teams comprised of unique, unrelated others. We invented and healed. We became heroes and explorers and adventurists. Over the millennia we expanded our intellectual horizons, our collective boundaries of being... and when given right motivation and right Apollo 13 Mission...we met our future head on with brilliant solutions to our global challenges. Like Uber in mobility, Apple in the world of IT, Google in the universe of knowledge, NREL in renewables research, MIT in robotics design, Stanford in medical, and Space X in... well, space ...we are constantly disrupting the past and inventing the future. So, as ecological overshoot is only possible for a limited time, we better get on NOW with building bold and brilliant solutions to our Climate-Development Mission Possible Challenge. Why wait and risk hitting "more" ecological tipping points that trigger irreversible feedback loops (already happening with the melting of Himalayan glaciers, Arctic sea ice, and Siberian permafrost)... set earth evolution on a different future trajectory that may not support humanity, and watch biomes crash with our grandchildren?

This future scenario is fast becoming our reality, so it's time!

It's time to rediscover our connection to the natural world and to reclaim our primary nature- our Natural Intelligence. It's time to be heroic actors in the design of a future that celebrates and preserves our natural existence. It's time to better understand our stewardship role in the biosphere. It's time to intensely study nature's strategies for survival and create a playbook for humanity's future "thrival". It's time to learn to live together generously and regeneratively (not just sustainably) in a way that respects nature's finite resource limits and perceives our happy and healthy existence tied to that of others--all others. It's time to LIVE those transformative stories that reinforce the ethics, values, and virtues of being in harmony and balance with the Nature that sustains us. It's time to really ACT--to finance, to design, to engineer, and to construct the Next Now Future that not only regenerates Nature, but also regenerates our peaceful, prosperous, passionate nature. Isn't it time to choose living on Earth in a more consciously evolved way, so we can adapt to rapid global change at the pace and scale necessary to ensure our survival and the survival of many other species?

Time to Reconnect at the Core, and Change our Earth Score

Now: My commitment to you as readers of these NEW Quest for Natural Intelligence blogs is to hunt for brilliant examples of Natural Intelligence in the world. My intent is that these blogs inspire us to steward our spaceship earth again true north and ignite in us the right motivation to make regenerative deposits into our earth bank account. Welcome to Natural Intelligence.

Now- September 23, 2015:

We are launching our NEW Natural Intelligence World Web- an educational platform for learning, growing, inspiring, reflecting, creating, and collaborating toward the re-construction of our naturally intelligent cultural narrative. Ensure that you are invited to our Virtual Grand Opening and receive our First FREE Nature's Gift by visiting:

Natural Intelligence World

Now to the end of this Earth Overshoot Period (December 31, 2015):

We invite you to explore our Nature's Reflection- an interactive, virtual, fine art photography gallery. During this Earth Overshoot Period (135 days) 20% of net profits from print sales will go directly toward the Global Footprint Network's Earth Overshoot program around the world.

Visit: NEW Nature's Reflection Photography

Visit: NEW Earth Overshoot Day's web resource.