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Vision

to create a better future

By Thomas DurbinPublished 3 years ago 4 min read
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Vision. It's more than simply the ability to view the world through a set of eyes. It is also what you see when your eyes are closed. It's a view not blinded by hype or myth or preconceived notions. It’s the ability to dream, to imagine, and to create.

The ability to envision a positive future where the problems of yesterday have been resolved, the worries of today have been quieted, and the foundation to hold the possibilities for tomorrow has been built, compels me to continue working to create a better future. I want to be positive. I want to communicate about possibilities that are amazing despite the damage done to the environment and the degradation of society during the past few centuries and especially during the post-WWII era. We have a lot of work to do on behalf of future generations and all live on Earth, but we must first care enough about ourselves to start taking the actions necessary to make a better world. I believe we can break the bonds of materialism and dependency and focus on taking care of people and being content with each other. Try reading about Minimalism. Try reading the works of the Stoics. Try meditation. Simply start by drinking more water and taking a walk each day to clear your head and your palate.

Vision. I want you to hold onto a vision of endless positive possibilities. I believe in what I see and envision and, with the support of you and enough others, a positive future for life on Earth is still possible. Some say it's too late. Sure, we cannot bring back opportunities lost, deceased loved ones, extinct species, or decimated ecosystems. However, we can restore enough of the landscape and the seas to create a fantastic setting for our children and grandchildren. Of course, they will have work to do, but we can do some serious heavy lifting now and spare them the cost of past indifference, ignorance, and inaction.

Vision. What is the picture of the future you want to make a reality? Sit with me and imagine it and then make it a reality. Turn your dreams into goals.

I have spent most of my life studying science and wildlife and nature and history and more. Never stop learning. I have spent many days as a professional engineer observing and analyzing the impacts of modern society on the environment and on the people. We must do better. Change is inevitable. The key is choosing the best changes before choice is no longer an option.

I believe this vision of a cooperative, technologically advanced, sustainable society on a healthy planet is one that is worth your support.

What future do you see for your children? Is it appealing or are you not sure how they will handle the messes that have been ignored by society for decades? Will they, too, be plagued by the ravages of unintended consequences of society’s past activities and greed? Will they have no choices other than survive in a wasteland or perish?

Vision. Dystopian novels have nothing on the reality we now face. Most disturbing to me is the lack of belief in the facts, the realities of science and engineering, and the lack of will to change. Antiquated political structures and antiquated individual mindsets are the most dangerous vestiges of society. Better is possible. A fantastic future is still within the realm of possibility for both human society and the environment, all life on Earth, if we take advantage of what Nature has left to offer and preserve and protect both the people and the planet.

Vision. A specific example. Society is in the process of trading one mess for another. Personal transportation has been deemed a necessity and people are being led to believe that trading fossil fuel vehicles for battery-electric vehicles is a grand solution. It is not. Battery-electric vehicles have many advantages from an owner’s standpoint, but the planetary result is merely trading one set of massive environmental problems for another. There is no ready solution for the massive problem of accumulating battery waste and the damage to the environment done during the extraction and processing of resources. The manufacturing of batteries and battery EVs is a new catastrophe, not a solution. Trading the known set of problems associated with fossil fuel vehicles for a new set of major problems isn't really progress. All that stated, as a professional engineer, I need to offer another option that is closer to being a solution then simply another catastrophe. I currently recommend third-rail and overhead-cable electric vehicles and electric trains and trolleys for mass transit, shipping, and personal travel instead of battery-based vehicles. Sure, I want to end the burning of fossil fuels in mass quantities, but we need a much more viable replacement than battery EVs because of the damage done to the environment during extraction and processing and manufacturing and the huge problems posed by massive quantities of battery waste for which there is not a readily available (or economically viable) clean recycling system in place. This example is one of the most important issues we face today. World leaders refuse to face these problems with honesty. We must do it ourselves and work on change from both the bottom and the top. You must do more than demand change. You must become part of the change and part of the better example. It is possible. Join me in resolving to live better, healthier, happier lives.

Vision. It's not all doom and gloom. I see a world with cleaner air, clean water, restored landscapes and habitats. We may need to mine landfills for resources, and we certainly need to remediate waste left behind by industries and individuals during the past few centuries, but, yes, emphatically YES, it can be done. The path isn't easy, but it is possible and worthwhile. Set your sights on new goals and give your support to make the future a bright one.

Vision. May it spark our imaginations and fuel our efforts to let beauty emerge and flourish once again.

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About the Creator

Thomas Durbin

Raised in rural east-central Illinois, I appreciate nature and the environment. I'm a father, grandfather, professional engineer-scientist, leader, scouts leader, coach, stoic, minimalist, costumer, historian, traveler, and writer.

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