Reality Blind - Vol. 1

The Human Problem, and the Human Brain

“ The human brain claims 20-25% of resting metabolic energy, compared to 8-10% in other primates and just 3-5% in other mammals 18 ” -Vaclav Smil

Summary: Humanity faces an unprecedented array of physical, environmental, and social challenges — and for the first time, these exist on a global scale. Many analysts look at climate change, oil depletion, species decline, pollution, poverty, water shortages etc. and suggest policies to address “these problems.” But are these issues inter -related? If so, how? Which remediation policies will actually help, and which will make things worse? Before any useful and lasting policies dealing with our environment and natural resources can be designed, we must look to the beating heart central to all these issues — the modern human . A closer look shows us that humans are one species of animal among many, subject to behavioral tendencies and constraints conserved from our long history of developing as organisms. Our bodies (and brains) were sculpted via natural selection over tens of thousands of generations of living in small hominid bands on the savannahs of Africa (and millions of generations of pre-human organisms before that). The traits that enabled a naked ape to


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