“There is no challenge faced by mankind; technical, social or otherwise
for which Nature does not have a solution.” ~ Chris James
Every problem or challenge (as I prefer to call them) that we face as the human race, no matter what that challenge is, whether it’s technical, social or otherwise has a solution within Nature. Nature has already solved all the challenges that we face.
Using A Hammer To Crack A Nut
Yet as human beings we sometimes feel that we are superior to Nature and that we can come up with better, more efficient or faster solutions. Sometimes I like it to, using a twelve pound lump hammer to crack a nut. Yes it works and yes it’s quick but you end up with a mush of nut and shell that is neither use nor ornament!
Using this cracking a nut analogy, a solution can be found in Nature, look to the animals and birds that survive by eating nuts, they have to get the nuts out of the shells somehow otherwise they wouldn’t survive.
Some birds drop the nuts from a height onto rocks, other animals use a combination of small stones to crack the shell, and some know that all nut shells have a weak point or line that if gently tapped cause the shells to open easily.
This analogy may not be that relevant as we already have a solution to the challenge of cracking nuts, but it makes a point the solution IS out there in Nature.
The Benefits of Natures Solutions
When you consider that Nature has evolved these solutions over thousands or millions of years, wouldn’t you think that they have been tweaked and changed to be as efficient as possible? Of course they have, the one thing that I have learnt from Nature is that she IS efficient, that what she does works… period!
Also consider that solutions found in Nature are inherently environmentally friendly in all ways. Nature will not come up with a solution that causes more damage than the initial challenge, unlike mankind.
Sunlight To Energy
In this modern world the human race has a massive hunger from energy; the solutions that we have come up with are far from ideal, although we are starting to embrace some of Natures solutions in various forms.
The human solutions to this need for energy results in the burning of coal and gas or bringing together large amounts of radioactive material are just two methods, neither of which is sustainable nor environmentally friendly.
Nature on the other hand has been producing energy from the word go, it uses an (almost) inexhaustible supply that is free and available all around the planet further more this supply is most definitely environmentally friendly and not mention available in abundance… sunlight.
Plants have been converting sunlight to energy since they appeared on the surface of the planet; the green pigment in the leaves of all plants is cause by chlorophyll. Chlorophyll is the vital ingredient in photosynthesis, the process of converting carbon dioxide and water to energy, in the form of sugars.
It is only very recently that mankind has turned its attention to the sun as a source of energy and indeed the process of photosynthesis to make electricity. In fact scientists around the world have been working on using photosynthesis to make electricity for the last two years.
Finding Solution In Nature
I’m not saying that I know the solutions for all of mankind’s challenges but Nature does, and the solutions that Nature has come up with are so often overlooked.
I found this video clip from TED which discusses this very same subject. It’s food for thought that if we as a species are going to survive then we need to start looking at the solutions presented by Nature to the challenges that we face both now and in the future.
Photo courtesy of Jade Sibley