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Frances Moore Lappe

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10 Myths That Keep Us From Creating The World We Want

Posted: 09/22/11 04:15 PM ET

From "Diet for a Small Planet" exactly 40 years ago, it dawned on me that humans are actively creating the scarcity we say we are trying to escape. Whoa! Why would our bright species do such a thing? Researching my new book, "EcoMind, Changing the Way We Think to Create the World We Want" (Nation Books), I discovered that it is the power of ideas. I learned that neuroscientists are increasingly finding that while most of us think that "seeing is believing," that, no, for human beings "believing is seeing." Our core ideas about how the world works determine, literally, what we can see and what we can't. From this groundbreaking science, I argue that some of our most common assumptions are perversely aligned with nature, including human nature. They block us from seeing possibilities emerging all around us--the solutions in front of our noses. Here are 10 of those ideas and ways that an eco-mind--one that thinks in connectedness and continuous change--might rethink them. I welcome your response.

Myth #1
1  of  11
Renewable energy would take too long. Our economy is hurting now and we can't afford to wait.

Really? Nearly fifty world energy forecasts have underestimated how fast renewable energy would spread. Globally, we surpassed--more than a decade early--the International Energy Agency's ambitious 2020 wind-energy goal. U.S. wind electricity-generation jumped fivefold in just five years, from 2004 to 2009. Texas utility companies gathered a sampling of citizens in the 1990s and listened to their energy choices, and by 2008 a surge in wind-farm investment in that state helped make the US the world's installed wind energy leader. All this while our tax dollars have mainly gone to dirty energy--imagine if we tried! And some people are. Today, 95% of Costa Rica's electricity comes from renewable sources, and Germany is set to reach nearly 40% of its electricity from renewable in a decade. Then visualize what's still untapped: The sun's energy reaching earth over just five days is greater than all proven reserves of oil, coal, and natural gas.

Flickr photo courtesy of jcwadeaz


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