Chapter Twelve: Civil Ascension

"Whatever good things we build end up building us."
- Jim Rohn

Up until now, this writing has primarily focused on the technologies Scarcity Zero proposes to solve resource scarcity. The reason for this is unambiguous: resource scarcity is the core human malady. It’s the primary cause of large-scale conflict, the major driver of environmental destruction and climate change, and both the facilitator and accelerant of economic decline, poverty and state-level enmity. Scarcity has been a determining factor in our existence since civilization became civilization. It’s solution, therefore, is the central factor in determining our evolution beyond the dynamic that’s limited us from that time-onward.

The question thus becomes: what happens once we reach that zenith?

Concretely, we’ll have a game-changing abundance of resources. Resources sourced not only from next-generation and highly scalable technology, but also from freeing up immense resources that were previously devoted to mitigating the consequences of scarcity, both at home and abroad. Mainstays of state spending will experience a paradigm shift: defense, security, finance, agriculture, manufacturing, energy, healthcare, construction, communications, education and beyond will all be forever changed by such abundance.

This cyclical effect has the potential to reshape our future and improve our quality of life on a scale unrivaled. This goes beyond thinking bigger and building larger. The very foundations of our civilization will be on a trajectory of collective ascent to heights that were never before possible until we reached this threshold.

To put that statement in perspective, recall that humanity has existed for about 200,000 years, although some estimates say it’s as long as 300,000.[1] For 95% of that timeline, we were basically cavemen. If we characterize “actual” civilization as the start of the Bronze Age, that period started only 5,000 years ago. From the year 200,000 B.C.E. until the mid-1800s, the fastest a human could travel was on horseback. Yet by the start of the 20th century we had the train, automobile and aircraft, and we landed on the moon less than 70 years later. The light bulb, internet, cellphone, computer, skyscraper, satellite and spacecraft were all invented in roughly the past 1/2,000th of our history.

We achieved each of those advances through technological ascension, and advances that were limited only by our ambition of vision and our knowledge present at the time – ever-accelerating the former through advances in the latter.

Scarcity Zero accelerates our rate of ascension by providing effectively unlimited energy and resources in which to build practically anything to a superior civilizational scale and sophistication. In doing so, we are presented with unique potential to advance our social infrastructure – especially within areas of civil engineering, transportation and aerospace.