“Perception is the world and the world is perception”, said my spiritual mentor. Could the Harvard based neurosurgeons have heard my mentor’s words? A Harvard-based Neurosurgeon, Ann-Christine Duhaime, wants to harness the power of perception so as to help transform human minds, with regards to how they perceive their environment, with a major intention of scheming the minds to desire and yearn for a green environment.
Her new project explores how inherent brain drive and reward systems may influence the environment and global warming. Why on earth couldn’t I think of this?! Much as some people may call such initiatives utopian, I have an unwavering predilection to call them transformational, revolutionary and iconic.
Her research reveals that the brain’s inherited drive to crave for things and stimulation is what is behind the enormous greed for unnecessarily large cars, houses and other potentially harming environmental stuff which have an obvious carbon footprints’ implication. So we can’t stop manufacturing large machinery and exploiting the environment, largely because it is our intrinsic nature to yearn for more and more!
She further asserts that it is not a problem to want more and more because this is a survival instinct in us, however, our brain developed with this wonderful system but it doesn’t know when to stop. So, our incessant urges to have more are getting the planet into trouble. I find this causal link of our craving instincts to global warming too revolutionary and awakening. It is like we have been fighting against our nature whenever we advocated for a stop on global warming.
So, Duhaime’s approach is not to be like a political pundit or a “Go green” activist who is seeking international recognition but to be like the neurosurgeon she is and reach beyond the boundaries of her profession to solve the global challenge of global warming. Who could have linked global warming to the neurons in our brain?
Her research aims to develop sort of manipulative and mind scheming rewards, in place of the prevailing rhetorical stunts from climate activists, to satisfy the innate brain’s reward system. Consequently, our brain will develop new neuro path ways, divergent from those that craved more and more. For example, a reward message in your utility bill that compares your electricity use to that of your neighbors is far more effective at getting you to cut consumption than a note that simply urges you to conserve.
She however acknowledges the complexity of the research since the brain is a complex organ. To me, what matters is that she has brought on board a revolutionary remedial proposal that not only holds potential to curb global warming but also set precedence for more revolutionary ideas in this regard. Her unwavering commitment to unraveling the mysteries of the mind and brain are my hope that we shall see global warming going down in the hands of a neurosurgeon!
Whether her findings manage to make a positive global impact or not is immaterial! What we should learn from such undertakings is that the cause of suffering is unreality and to remedy suffering, we have to go back to the unreality that causes it not the pain we cling onto.