My Personal “Why”
Emmanuel has challenged us on the subject of “Why YARcce.” This topic should be about our overall mission, but I don’t think it’s inappropriate, in building that, to understand the personal motivations of each of us. So here is mine.
I’ve spent a lot of time mulling over why, over the last year, I have dedicated so much time and energy to this fledgling organisation, and why I continue to want to do so. I’ve finally come up with a clear answer:
The World is Broken
It’s that simple. At least, this is my personal opinion:
- Climate change threatens immense populations. Since most of them live “somewhere else” for those of us in rich countries, we don’t notice, but human migrations due to climate change are already happening – rising sea levels, drought, desertification, famine, upheaval, pandemic. Even the famous charters of French vineyards are being forced into change as the climate warms up.
- Representative democracy is disappearing in a hugely underestimated crisis of trust. The corollary of that is the rise of authoritarian regimes, what you might call “dictocracy” since the autocrats are elected and then rule almost by fiat.
- Everywhere you look, individualism is on the rise, solidarity in the community – whether through voluntary means or through government action – is on the decline, efforts related to the current COVID crisis notwithstanding; where individualism is not on the rise, the flip side – a kind of groupthink – seems to prevail, rather than real community engagement.
- Technocracy has won over humanism. Productivism has won over rationality. Political correctness of varying sorts has won over intelligence and common sense. We have quickly forgotten that the various forms of Fascism (as promoted by the likes of Franco, Mussolini, or Hitler) and Stalinism all had as a main feature the instrumentalisation of human beings as interchangeable parts of a social machine. It doesn’t matter if these ideologies come from the right or the left – what matters is their soul-destroying nature because they seek to make us all “equal” in the sense of all equally meaningless.
Cheer up, there’s no hope!
So, why don’t I slit my own throat?
You know the expression, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” – well, the flip side is, “you can fix what is broken.” And we should. And we can. And all is not bleak. I said the world was broken, not dead. And fortunately, we have in this world a certain stock of experts, home handyfolks, and DIY-ers who have already started projects to fix it.
So, is YARcce going to fix all that ails the world? Obviously not. But in doing what it does, it contributes to fixing little corners of just about all the things I mentioned above. Should YARcce try to be all things to all people? No, no, a million times no!
For me, YARcce has a purpose and a means to get there. The purpose is, “out of the lab and into the world.” In other words, to help projects – by whatever means we deem suitable – become reality in our chosen domain of clean energy.
For those who question what the “alternative financing” experiments recently begun have to do with that goal, I answer that it’s part of the means to get there. If we can develop effective models for alternative financing of energy research, and those models can scale, we’ve done our job of accelerating.
The same goes for using distributed, networked organisation methods. The social experiment we’re embarked on has been selected because we believe that it is an effective way to create massive participation in the process of accelerating and incubating new research that helps fix climate change. It’s not our goal, it’s how we achieve our goal. And we’ve chosen that methodology in accordance with certain ethical principles that I believe we all share, regardless of where in the world we find ourselves, or what side of various political spectra we come from.
The multiplicity of experiences, views, and temperaments (which we still need to improve on) is a strength for us – as biodiversity is to survival of species in general. It will keep us from either too much individualism or groupthink. It will keep us on our toes.
End of rant.