You Can’t Solve The Problem, With the Thing that Makes the Problem

sam L
2 min readSep 6, 2022

You can’t solve drugs with drugs. Maybe at the beginning but in the end you have to tackle the root cause. You can’t solve alcoholism with alcohol. And you can’t solve Climate Catastrophe with “technology”, that’s what got us there in the first place.

I’ve written before about causes and symptoms. The climate catastrophy we see is a result of a cause, but we keep treating the symptoms. We try to make cars more efficient instead of trying to understand why we rely on them so much. We try to make flying cheaper instead of trying to understand why we have to have planes. We try to make our energy more green without asking why we use it so much. When we make energy greener without tackling the high energy use, we don’t make it greener, we just end up using more of it.

The perfect case of this is recycling. In the 1970'ies plastic was already becoming a problem. When the government tried to regulate it, the industry came up with a technical solution, recycling. As a result people assumed that plastic problem was solved and its use exploded. Yes there’s a recycling industry and some of it is being recycled, but majority of it does not.

Same goes for cars. When we no longer fill up, we will assume it is free and use of cars will go up. But cars are still using batteries with minerals mining for which destroys environment. Those batteries require electricity that still puts out carbon into the atmosphere. We are having a hard time replacing carbon as is, so if we increase demand for electricity, we will be forced to slide backward, not forward.

So what is the solution? Look at the cause. The cause of car reliance is poorly built communities with large homes, big roads and nothing near the community. We have to go to remote work, we have to become ok with many parks and multi-story living. We have to learn to live with less to get more life.

This will also reduce electricity and water usage. A multi-story home is a lot cheaper to construct, it requires fewer materials and is better insulated requiring less in energy costs and usage. Denser living means easier to create an efficient public transportation, walkable neighborhoods with stores and parks and schools.

To accomplish this we have to deal with even deeper issue, of why we as Americans have trouble with our families more than other countries, why we have trouble living together in one home, why we need large homes far from neighbors that forces us to pay more for water, more taxes, and spend more time in our cars?

I have outlined that in the previous article on this as well. These are deep issues that require hard work, but we have to face them and deal with them, because our survival depends on it.