Let us join together as true equals. We can use our individual unique gifts in a cooperative effort to depollute and regenerate the Earth in preparation for the birth of the Butterfly (Homo Ahimsa) stage of humanity.
Everything we do is in service of the Greatest Transformation in Human History (GTiHH) – from Homo Sapiens Sapiens (the Caterpillar – a narcissistic, predatory “taker” species) to Homo Ahimsa (the Butterfly – a compassionate, climate-regulating caretaker species).
We tell stories in service of the GTiHH using documentaries to reveal why the time is imminent for transformation to occur (2026!), along with books, position papers and webinars to show what we can achieve if we put our minds to it.
We launch apps to help people understand that they have all the resources they need already to solve global problems if we tackle them collectively. The FoodHealers App enables communities in food deserts to access healthy, immune-boosting meals for their community at lower cost than fast food. The Aquarius App helps people understand the ecological impact of their lifestyles and self-regulate them to within planetary boundaries. The United in Heart App helps people direct their surplus resources towards regenerative efforts.
We imagine a world in which people can put on their Chrysalis avatars to leave their Caterpillar past behind and join together as true equals but each with unique gifts in a cooperative effort to depollute and regenerate the Earth in preparation for the birth of the Butterfly (Homo Ahimsa) stage of humanity.
In December 2005, I happened to see Vice President Al Gore’s Climate Change presentation on TV and was shocked to the core. I realized that if half of what he was saying was true, I was wasting my time working on 10 Gigabit Ethernet, making the internet backbone 10X faster. I spent the next three months studying the environment and realized that the situation was actually far worse than what Mr. Gore was saying. Then I wrote to Mr. Gore offering to be of help and he asked me to come and get trained to give his presentation. I joined his Climate Reality Project in November of 2006.
I spent the next year delivering presentations on behalf of the Climate Reality Project, but I had the gnawing feeling that I wasn’t doing enough. Therefore, in December of 2007, I founded the Lighting Project whose objective was to use the United Nations Carbon Offset mechanism to fund a global replacement of kerosene lamps with solar torch lights. My initial spreadsheet calculations showed that the Lighting Project can be revenue positive if Carbon Offsets fetch at least $11 a metric ton, which was within the range of values that were being discussed at that time.
To initiate the Lighting Project, I purchased 1000 solar torch lights from Houston and had half of them shipped over to Rajasthan, India, to be deployed in the village of Karech in Udaipur district and the other half to Orissa, India to be deployed in the village of Hadagori in Dhenkanal district.
The village of Karech is within the Kumbalgarh Wildlife sanctuary on the Aravalli hill range, but it borders the Thar desert and therefore experiences a relatively dry climate. Consequently, it was possible to study all three of the major environmental problems identified by the UN, biodiversity loss, ecosystems collapse and climate change, just in that village.
In contrast, the village of Hadagori experiences wet monsoons during summer and therefore, I felt that if the Lighting Project can be made to work in these two villages, then it can be made to work anywhere.
I visited Karech in May of 2008 and within 30 mins of reaching there, my business model fell apart. The villagers were perplexed by my talk of kerosene lamps and lighting. One of them asked,
“Why do you want to change the night? God gave us night so we can go to sleep.”
It seemed that they were mostly using Kerosene in that village to start their cooking fires and not for lighting. Then I found out that while each household consumed an average of 3 liters of Kerosene a month, it consumed over 9 kgs of firewood a day. Therefore, I asked them,
“If I give you solar cookers, will you use them?”
They replied, “Show us how to cook our food with solar cookers and we will use them.”
At that point, the Lighting Project became Climate Healers. However, since we had 500 solar torch lights with us, our Non Governmental Organization partner, the Foundation for Ecological Security, distributed two solar torch lights per household in July of 2008.
During my next visit to Karech in December 2008, I discovered that these solar torch lights had become the most important possession in each household. The lights helped the villagers expand their day time and improve their productivity. They were able to work at night indoors and their children were able to study at night with the help of the lights. In addition, the solar lights helped the women in the village avoid snake bites during their early morning forays into the forest for their ablution. Every year, during “snake-bite season”, 20-30 women used to get bitten by snakes in that village and 2-3 women used to die from snake bites. But in 2008, there were ZERO snake bite casualties in the village of Karech. This deliverance from snake bites was an amazing, unexpected outcome of the solar torch lights.
Best of all, using the solar lights did not require any change in the daily routines of the villagers as they charged the lights on their rooftops or porches unattended during the day, and used the lights at night once they returned from their field work. The solar lights also served to enhance their community experience as they were used during festivals and weddings to light up the night for dancing in the village commons.
Science is not bad, there is only bad science. We can use science to transform our world to make things better not worse and bring about permanent change.