Insight

The example of ants and the business of nature

By JURRIAAN KAMP

This fact won’t surprise you: there are many more ants than humans on our planet. But this statistic probably will: the biomass of all these ants together exceeds the weight of all humans together. Ants are, therefore, not a minor species on the planet. Ants are also extremely zealous. They are at work all the time. And all their activity feeds the soil, plants or other animals. Trillions of ants simply do not pollute. Compared to ants, humans are a clumsy species. The enormous advances in technology and prosperity of the last two centuries have been accompanied by an enormous destruction of nature. The activities of ants nourish; the activities of people destroy.

When it comes to business, going “back to nature” is an essential call. Nature can change the way we do business. For centuries, we have plundered nature to get what we wanted. At a closer look, if we use what nature generously provides in abundance, we can serve the needs of people while regenerating and re-energizing our environment. If we use the space and resources available we can grow an abundance of food and fuel as well as create jobs and income for all. In nature, nobody is left behind and all needs are met. That’s the message of the author of The Blue Economy, Gunter Pauli. “We don’t ask the earth to produce more. We do more with what the earth already produces”, says Pauli.

Imagine that you buy fruits and vegetables in a store and take them home in a biodegradable plastic bag. After you have made your salad you can bury the peels and the waste in the same bag in your garden… and generate healthy humus for your plants. That is the promise of bioplastics that are already being produced by Novamont in Italy.

We can regenerate rainforests as ß has demonstrated in Colombia over the past 30 years. Or let’s talk about replacing gas fracking—a source of environmental disasters—with seaweed plantations that produce abundant biogas forever while regenerating marine environments and restoring fish stocks.

Working with the natural laws of physics in a different way, we can provide cheap Internet through healthy light wave—LiFi—connections to every human being in the world . Rob Williams shows in an inspiring photo essay that “nature is the best business consultant”.

When we use all these renewable and sustainable opportunities we can even reverse climate change. With a team of scientists Paul Hawken wrote the book Drawdown: The most comprehensive plan ever proposed to reverse global warming. “Global warming is a gift, not a curse. We caused it, we can undo, and we are doing it”, Hawken says.

At least in one dimension human beings don’t need to remain in the shadow of the ants: we can harness the collective power of our creativity and innovation. Yes, we are in the vortex of solutions!

Published from Kamp Solutions magazine. More information: https://www.kamp.solutions/

 

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