What is The Venus Project and Why Can It Never Be Attained?


Something which is difficult to get away from when it comes to the predicament of ecological overshoot and all of its offshoots such as climate change is the wide array of different plans for so-called "solutions" for these predicaments. Perhaps, ironically, the most humorous part is that predicaments don't have solutions, so each one of these ideas can be quickly unpacked and debunked. I've made quite the habit of finding these ideas and then researching how effective (or the lack thereof) each one is at tackling the issue it is supposed to solve.

One idea in particular which has come up time and again over the years is The Venus Project. I had thought that this idea had faded into irrelevancy, but noticed that the idea popped up in conversation in a thread a couple weeks ago. The RationalWiki page gives this description, quote: 

"The Venus Project is a communist cult that promotes architect Jacque Fresco's vision of the future, which involves an economic structure known as a "resource-based economy." Basically it's stock-standard central planning, except with computers!"

There are still many people who believe in the Venus Project (TVP), but because of the core beliefs of the actual plans, one can very easily see that the so-called "plan" is unsustainable due to its reliance on civilization (unsustainable) and technology (unsustainable). Even before actually getting into details, the very first paragraph of this section tells the story, quote: 

"It is far more efficient to build new cities as self-contained systems from the ground up than to restore and retrofit old ones. New cities can take advantage of the latest technologies and be clean, safe, and desirable places to live. In many instances, a circular arrangement will be utilized."

Many cities today are clean, safe, and desirable places to live...at least according to polls. A circular arrangement? Cities by their very nature are unsustainable - circular or not - because everything required for life must be transported in and waste carried out. Once fossil fuels are no longer around, the current infrastructural platforms will become ridden with problems, as spare parts run out and the energy to transport new parts and to fix broken parts of each system also run out. Outages will become commonplace and eventually many cities will become ghost towns as residents scatter to find what they need for survival. I wrote an article about the woes of infrastructure detailing precisely how the platforms that we rely on every day are actually supported by the fossil fuel platform and that due to the fact that fossil fuels provide the surplus energy that no other form of energy can provide, once the fossil fuel platform can no longer be maintained, neither will any of the infrastructural platforms above it be able to be maintained and these systems will fall into disrepair and lose functionality. Even if we could come up with a new source of energy which provided sufficient surplus energy, this would only encourage the same mindless consumption (see also this post) which brought us to this point in time in the first place. I could have used my original article about Problems, Predicaments, and Technology to address the entire subject of TVP, but that would be too easy.

There are actually other issues which also condemn TVP to failure besides the simple facts already mentioned. The lack of proper organization within the enterprise was actually detailed by one person who had been involved with it, and as one can see in the material, six other people also quit the organization and had the same basic story. Now, of course, any organization which makes false promises such as this cannot help BUT have these kinds of issues, considering that the plan's goals simply cannot be accomplished. One cannot turn an unsustainable system into a sustainable one. So, the only way to keep people interested is to market and advertise these false promises and hope that people don't learn the truth.  

I am beginning to notice that some people are seeing through the messages from the greenwashing industries, especially at COP-26. More effort needs to be expended to get society at large to realize that technofixes will only make ecological overshoot worse, and that this will also worsen climate change. Reducing climate change CANNOT be accomplished without reducing ecological overshoot. Kevin Anderson had this to say regarding COP-26 so far, and points out how the messages from politicians and other policymakers are mostly "empty, vacuous speeches" and complete nonsense. 

This clip about climate change from a BBC production demonstrates how dangerous the RATE of change can be with regard to warming and gives more relevance to the post I made recently about the "war" on climate change being more or less contradictory. This current post is yet another prime example of what amounts to contradictory claims of providing solutions for something which is not a problem, but is instead a predicament. One thing a person can do when someone proffers a so-called solution for something is to discover whether what the solution is supposed to solve is a problem (this is possible) or a predicament or dilemma (not possible). See "wicked problem" for details. 

TVP is really just another one of those fantasies, myths, and fairy tales which I have gotten used to debunking, and now that it has popped up once again, I saw the need to put it into article form for those who haven't really taken a critical look into it yet. For those who haven't yet read What Would it Take For Humanity to Experience Radical Transformation, now would be a great time to investigate precisely WHY ideas such as TVP are really nothing more than the same old recycled shiny technological dreams that encompass so many of my articles here. 

Another planned city called "Telosa" mirrors many of the same perspectives that TVP does and is essentially no different in the ideas espoused being entirely unsustainable and unrealistic. Some of the ideas are inspiring however, and perhaps may be useful in some sort of manner in the future.

My aim here, as it has been the whole time, is to provide scientific information regarding where we are as a species which Will Steffen does an excellent job describing. I think that pointing out these facts about ecological overshoot is very important, along with the psychological shortcomings (which USED to be advantageous for us before industrial civilization existed) and lack of agency we possess collectively to deal effectively with these predicaments. I can report that as time has moved forward, I see more and more people wake up to reality and begin to understand these facts. Whether or not this will help matters or benefit society in some way is still to be seen. Live Now!


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