The Sustainability Principle
 of Energy


Home   First draft Aug  2010

About this Work and Updates  

  Online Etymology Dictionary


The Power of Symbols

What is a Prime Symbol?

Variations on the Wisdom Of Confucius

How to Conserve
the Potential

The Human Condition

General Theory

Practical Application

Index of Denial/Acceptance

The Joys in 
Are you vulnerable to denial?
Review Call
Evaluate your
teachers /media
The Compassionate Curriculum
Defining some Prime Symbols


Energy Efficiency









Climate Change





Peak Oil
Principle of Energy





















The Joy in the Art of Civics
(and how to make Environmental Education sustaining)


Science is a state of being, not just a way of thinking as is commonly taught since the Industrial Revolution in our Anglo-American society. Science is a state of being born of the experience of compassion with the requisites for the experience of the scientific state being:

collegiality, openness and sharing;
honesty and trust;
generosity of time and reflection.

It is our capacity to enjoy these requisites and thus the state of being of science that enables us to develop all our arts, which includes language, civics and all that we know as civilization. 

In this context we understand civics is born of science, which is in turn is born of compassion. All remind us that whether we like it or not, we are stewards amidst the universal flux. Every action we perform is profoundly moral.  

We are mortal beings, transient forms, and thus we can never truly know the impacts of our actions. Essentially the state of science is the art of living with uncertainty while civics is the manifestation of this art in our daily lives.  

A profound element of our state of uncertainty is caused by our incredible capacity for self-deceit. Our ego abhors our mortality and our uncertainty in change. It tends not to have the humility that enables us to embrace our roles as stewards. This is because to embrace our roles as stewards we have also to embrace the universal change and our mortality.

Our ego is ingenious beyond the power of our thought to comprehend in the ways it denies stewardship/change.  

Thus a fundamental of civics is the cultivation of humility and kind ways of acknowledging the incredible ingenuity of our ego. Without this awareness of our fallibility we remain bound by the limitations of our ego. Any communication of the art of civics needs to include this psychology. 

Fortunately we are gifted with ways of transcending the limitations of thought and our ego. Over the millennia of human consciousness sages have tapped the great wisdom of our cells, wisdom that has sustained our cells through over a billion years of eonic change. These sages have explored beyond the boundaries of thought and our ego. 

Thus we inherit wise guides in the great principles of psychology and physics. For example the Conservation Principle of Energy has withstood the most intense scrutiny the human mind is capable of. The Uncertainty Principle of Energy enables the finest technology in existence. And if these great principles hold then we may well have a wise guide in the Sustainability Principle of Energy. 

In particular the Sustainability Principle reminds us that energy is the potential of the universe(s). 

Human beings are of this potential and, just as the universal potential can be manifest from as many perspectives as we can imagine, our human potential can be seen from all those perspectives too. We are each manifest as a multitude of beings. We can be symbolised as Electrical Beings, Chemical Beings, Gravitational Beings, Water Beings, Ocean Beings, Social Beings, Carbon Beings, Earth Beings, Solar Beings, Nuclear Beings, Thermal Beings… 

Thus civics involves our active conservation of the potential of each of those beings.  

For example, as Carbon Beings we act as stewards of our carbon potential by acknowledging any use of we make of carbon affects the whole carbon flux. We can never offset or neutralise it or be carbon zero – such beliefs manifest major denial of change. We can however work to the best of our ability to ensure we live in harmony with the carbon flows and balances that sustain humanity. It is not sufficient to acknowledge that the wealth in a drop of mineral oil burned becomes pollution. We need also remain mindful of the wealth of other possibilities in that drop are gone too. 

For example as Electrical Beings we act as stewards of our electrical potential by acknowledging the myriad electrical phenomena that exist with all their variant properties, giving each its own symbol. We ensure all our uses of our electrical potential whether it be for heating, cooling or moving things, which includes sharing ideas, is underpinned with democracy*. We conserve and use all the intelligence of our local electrical potential to sustain us so as to conserve the global potential of our planet.

*Democracy is understood to be a product of the scientific state of being and thus involves inclusiveness, sharing, trust, honesty etc. 

For example as Solar Beings we act as stewards of our solar potential by ensuring we conserve the solar potential of our buildings by legislating that no dwelling shades its neighbours, we source food as locally as possible and give premium value to all manner of devices that transform solar energy directly into vital useful forms. 

In summary, we are each many beings of many potentials and each needs its own symbol so it can be manifest. Ultimately the survival of humanity rests in our capacity to more fully conserve the potential of these symbols. In conserving those many potentials we are enabled to live in greater harmony with the universal potential. Civics becomes a source of great joy. 

Footnote re Environmental Education.

Since the 1950s much of the potential of the environment symbol has been destroyed. It is now commonly associated with the narrow domain of ecology. A large industry has developed around this limited domain. The industry is characterised by a language generated by and reflecting the flawed psychology of the Industrial Revolution. 

This language has occurred because in reacting to the excesses of the Industrial Revolution many members of the self-styled environmental movement fail to embrace their own roles in the excesses. It also occurs because those who profit most short term from the excesses actively exploit the naivety and vulnerability of members.

The Environmental Education industry now plays a pivotal role in propagating this flawed psychology into our schools and their communities. Its advocates are often very well meaning and passionate people who speak of the need for humans to embrace our roles as stewards. However very often their language and their lifestyles teach the converse. In the process they are destroying the state of science in our schools and thus civics. The focus on ecology diverts school curricula and distracts people in general from the more central psychology of civics.   

A result of the destruction of the state of science is a loss of appreciation of the great principles of physics. Wonderful options are obscured. Thus a central source of inspiration is removed from our lives. Sensations of hopelessness and alienation tend to prevail.

Our loss of insight into our civic beings means we are less able to appreciate the interconnected nature of all, in particular the ways that our mores, legislation and general lifestyles affect aspects of our ecology. In brief: the Environmental Education industry denies the change it calls for and it actively alienates us from the environment. 

As mentioned, the Environmental Education industry is born of a reaction to the dangerous excesses of the Industrial Revolution. It is replacing civics in our schools. When the study of civics is alive and is the central focus of education then there is little need for the Environmental Education industry to exist for people inherently embrace their roles as stewards/change and live in greater harmony with our ecology. They are supported in these roles by cultural mores and legislation founded in civics.

This all points to a far greater role for those who aspire to live as stewards/change and be teachers in our schools and their communities. By promoting the state of science, conserving the potential of our symbols and embodying civics they will become true Environmental Educators. Once again the environment symbol will be associated with all that we are not. We will tend to be the environment.

As Maori in New Zealand-Aotearoa say,

Ko au ko toku taiao - I am the environment
Ko toku taiao ko au - the environment is me


Page last  updated: Nov 2010