Deepak Chopra just might have the answer to our big challenges in biosolids!
Now, if that name means nothing to you, you might ask: “Who is he?” But if you do recognize the name, you might instead ask the even simpler question: “WHAT???!!”
Chopra has written literally dozens of books on human happiness, meditation, yoga, spirituality, reincarnation, spiritual laws, brain-power… you get the idea. Your interior dialogue at this point might be reasonably something like “what the heck does Deepak Chopra know that Metcalf and Eddy can’t tell me?”
It was one of those Facebook video clips that popped up on my iPhone 5S because Facebook has used its big data mining capacities to figure out that I have an interest in environmental issues. Facebook offered me a video clip on the topic of the “low carbon economy.” Little would I have guessed that I would learn, in his own words, that Chopra regards climate change as a crisis of humanity beyond all other crises, one that requires an entirely transformed human mindset with regard to humanity’s place in the world’s ecosystem. Chopra is all about “CHANGE,” and not change nibbling at the edges, but transformative, world-wide CHANGE.
To learn a little more about what Chopra had in mind than provided in the 2 minute clip, I went to one of Chopra’s several websites (personal and Facebook) which linked to one of his several YouTube channels.
I am convinced, he is on to something of value to us. These are excerpts, with minor cuts for readability: “Our biology is the biology of the ecosystem. We are the ecosystem, right here. We are the recycling of the Earth; our body is recycled dust. We need to start doing science in a way that makes sense, that we include our body as an expression of the ecosystem, and recycle it… You are the environment localized.”
Chopra understands that people don’t yet see themselves as recycled dust. So, he has teamed up with another “big thinker” and “change agent,” David Gershon, the author of "Social Change 2.0: A Blueprint for Reinventing Our World" and "Low Carbon Diet: A 30 day program to lose 5,000 pounds". Gershon proposes a “new level of transformational change, a second order change strategy, that engages people, systems, and communities” to meet the crisis that is climate change. A practical tool of that proposal is his Cool Community Campaign, with a good number of sustainability actions involving wise water and energy use and recycling.
But even the biggest thinkers seem to miss the great opportunity we have with resource recovery from biosolids.
A decade ago, the United Nations released the “Closing the Loop” publication as part of its Millennium Development Goals initiative. That report argues, as would we, for resource recovery from “human excreta.” The world has barely committed itself yet to a principle that no person should lack access to clean water and sanitary facilities. The world has even further to go to recognize that resources recovered from humanity’s daily eliminations can become the “dust” from which life can arise again, using Chopra’s metaphor.
But these messages have not been swept up by Social Change 2.0. And, how can that happen unless we, those of us professionally committed to waste treatment and resource recovery, are willing to take up Chopra’s challenge to become “sacred activists” for the health of all people and of Earth itself.
No pressure here, you understand! Chopra just expects you to go out and save the world. And, while you are doing it, you will manage to