Globally we are approaching an inflection point with profound ecological and social consequences. The warning signs are manifest before our eyes of epochal floods, mudslides, drought, and super storms from Pakistan to California to Siberia. The scientists’ message from the IPCC is clear. To escape the worst consequences of climate change, we can and must slash greenhouse gas emissions almost in half by 2030.

Where do we go from here? This is not yet another eat your spinach and buckle down message. Both ecological and social change is not limited to gradual linear, step-by-step processes. In fact, nonlinear chaotic dynamics guide and shapes existence from the structure of galaxies to the human subconsciousness and are very much informed and guided by chaotic dynamics that create order out of chaos.

The good news is a global embrace by billions of individuals of an ecological turn can unleash rapid change from self-destructive industrialism toward building a sustainable and regenerative ecological civilization guided by the pursuit of ecological and social justice and unfolds with surprising speed.

In 2023, 5.6 billion people are on the internet, with the number continuing to swell. That means the potential for global communication and speedy understanding in seconds among billions. This can quickly transform the decision-making of billions who collectively apply the power of 1 million petabytes of information and memory. There is nothing so powerful as an idea whose time has come.

Order out of chaos explains the synchronized chirping cricket choruses, the coordinated group movements in the air of starling flocks, and helps guide human cognition, perception, memory, and consciousness shaped by unconscious chaotic dynamics.

What is crucial to understand is how synchronization and self-organization emerge from chaotic systems providing, in effect, a scaffold to facilitate emergent behaviors and collective phenomena. The universe is inclined toward self-organization, and emergent properties, guided by chaos and repeating fractal strange attractors and the reduction in entropy and disorder. Our consciousness itself is such an emergent process, unaware of the conditioned chaos below.

What will unfold in the coming decades is very much in all our hands. Will humanity fail to act to prevent an ecological and civilizational collapse or respond to the challenges at hand? Both technologically and financially, the challenge is both clear and achievable.

The task

According to IRENA (International Renewable Energy Agency) Renewable development by 2030, to keep climate change below the 1.5 degrees C threshold, must grow from some 3,000 gigawatts (GW) a year today to over 10,000 GW in 2030, an average increase of 1,000 GW annually. This requires no new inventions or technologies, although renewable energy improvements, large and small, are appearing almost daily. As a solar developer, it is absolutely clear this can be done if we act as if our lives and our collective futures depend upon it.

To be clear, solar is the readily available renewable technology able to come online by 2030. Building a wind farm takes more than a decade. Building a nuclear plant more than that.

Commercial-scale solar that I build takes months, not years. Solar energy storage on roofs, above parking lots, above farm pastures and fields, along and above highways, and on brownfields can provide 100% renewable energy.

The lesson of what can be done is the ability in World War 2 for Ford to transform the River Rouge Plant from making passenger cars to produce instead one million part bombers rolling off the assembly line at the rate of one plane per hour. Today, robot-driven mass production in giga-factories can produce all the solar panels, mounting systems, storage hardware, and electrical gear we need.

Constructive steps have begun. In 2022, the Biden administration’s IRA (Inflation Reduction Act) earmarked $370 billion for renewable energy development. China’s National Energy Administration announced that China installed 87 gigawatts (GW) in 2022, up 59% year-over-year. India increased solar installations for the first nine months by 51% and Germany by 22%.

Polysilicon global spot prices began in Q4 2022 at around $37/kilogram (kg) and dropped 40% (to $22/kg) by mid-January 2023, the lowest price in 1.5 years. Global wafer and cell prices dropped by 40%–50% in Quarter 2, 2022.

Slashing greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2030 is an emergency action. It does not establish an ecological civilization or manifest the necessary common global pursuit of social and ecological justice and a global convergence upon sustainable and just norms for all. Slashing greenhouse gas emissions is a necessary but not sufficient task.

What comes next is a combination of new market rules, laws, and regulations to transform the nature of global markets toward the pursuit of making the profit system support all aspects of ecological ends by combining, for example, law and regulation with ecological taxation that makes sustainable goods and services become cheaper, gain market share, and become more profitable. As Lincoln said, a house divided against itself cannot stand. And we cannot survive half polluting and unjust and half ecological and just.

Homeostatic and chaotic dynamics

Conventionally, biological sustainability is in maintaining existing conditions and homeostasis, typically governed by logistic S curves. Life follows a mathematical logic. Familiar population patterns follow S-curves. First, a slow increase. Second, rapid growth. Third a slowing down toward sustainable levels. Logistic curves, which govern the rhythms of life, stop the infinite increases of species and lead to a sustainable level of population.

But what happens when the annual or periodic rate of growth in a population is too high? Beyond a tripling (3.00) the logistic curve does not flatten, nor does it simply collapse to zero. Mathematically, chaotic dynamics and strange attractors appear.

Strange attractors are fractals. Fractals are repeating patterns, like the outline and shape of coastlines, that are reproduced at any scale, from the microscopic to the galactic. At a 3.54 rate of increase, the logistic curve system is subject to strange attractors, predictable fractal variations moving relentlessly between four widely different population levels mathematically. Biologically this is, of course, catastrophic. The straw that breaks the camel’s back.

The mathematically inclined can play with the logistic equation below in the notes and see what happens when annual or periodic increases are beyond 3.00 to 3.54.

Chaotic dynamics are very much dependent upon existing conditions and constant change. The famous example is of the Lorenz strange attractor of how a butterfly flapping its wings might change the weather. And, of course, changing conditions are not just the province of butterflies but include humanity pouring 37 gigatons (billion tons) of greenhouse gases yearly into the atmosphere. What will one more ounce of carbon dioxide emissions mean? Can that be the point that flips us globally into a new climate dynamic?

Strange attractors as a constructive force

Strange attractors can also be a fundamental and useful feature of biological systems, including that of the human brain. The brain, with its 86 billion neurons, accumulates, on average, 2.5 million gigabytes, or 2.5 petabytes, of memory. In 2007, the average memory capacity of one person could have stored all the world’s internet data. And the brain does this using tiny amounts of energy.

Brain function very much takes advantage of chaotic dynamics for everyday functional purposes. For example, brain scans find that unconscious processes are reliant on quickly changing chaotic dynamics. In contrast, conscious processes are much more stable and slow-moving.

What we know and believe we completely understand rests upon a foundation of enormous unconscious information flows that leap to consciousness. Chaos does not mean arbitrary. The universe functions by making order out of chaos. Lucky for us. Such processes are light years apart from the popular reductionist beliefs that the brain is like a programmed computer.

Strange attractors may facilitate the correct word emerging quickly from the unconscious to the conscious. These actions, although chaotic, are patterned based on fractal strange attractors and are not arbitrary and hence potentially managed and useful expressions of the enormous informational complexity of the brain. Fractal patterns act as the guiding focus of strange attractors in the brain applied to thought and the expression of words. And strange attractors may apply to broader transformative memes, like those explored by Jung of tension between opposites and archetypes in the collective unconscious, expressed in combination with emotions and mediated by the action of brain chemicals.

Fast action before consciousness is a key survival behavior. Put your hand on a hot stove, and you remove it before you scream in pain. Just last night, my hand shot out and grabbed an object falling out of my parked car before I consciously thought about it. Unconscious chaotic dynamics are an evolutionarily selected behavior as one expression of brain complexity.

The brain is not a programmed computer. ChatGPT is not sentient. It does not know if your house is on fire or if you are a person or a mouse. It’s programmed logic that allows it to complete sentences quickly based on examining reams of existing text.

The actual functioning of the brain and the focused action of chaotic dynamics is emerging as the polar opposite of typical scientific reductionism. Chaotic dynamics is a path to understanding the importance of the tension between opposites explored by Jung. Socially, such chaotic dynamics can contribute to the conscious collective healing response to ecological excess and the emergence of new realities. The whole, in fact, is greater than the sum of its parts. Sustainability and homeostasis of systems are not a predictable teleological end but a consequence of chaotic dynamics based on the enormous complexity of existing conditions.


Emergence is a fundamental physical and social dynamic. What has never existed and never seen suddenly is manifest. This includes the appearance of physical solid matter from a mostly empty quantum universe when given a sufficient number of atoms. As complexity increases, new and additional forms emerge.

Humanity is in the process of becoming self-conscious participants in the fundamental global process of sustainability. This is the response of the ecosphere to all influences for the eco-sphere to co-evolve to maintain and recreate conditions favorable for all life. This has allowed the ecosphere to respond to periodic mass extinctions and once again thrive.

We are in the midst of the 6th global mass extinction. The extinction of the Anthropocene. It is our fundamental task as a species to pursue social and ecological justice as self-conscious stewards and in the interest of our collective futures on our planet.

If we fail to do so, the ecosphere is quite capable of taking care of itself without regard to the fate of humanity and human civilization. Hothouse earth will unleash geophysical forces that will persist for 1,000 generations, more or less. This is several times more than homo sapiens have existed as a species. These forces will serve to reduce the entropy of the global system and, in doing so, can lead to a surprisingly rapid movement to a new global climate regime that will be decidedly unfriendly to human civilization. This will melt all the ice, lead to sea levels rising dozens of feet, crop failure in major wheat corn, and rice bread baskets leading to starvation, likely political collapse, mass migration of the desperate, and war.

The time frame for events to unfold driven by non-linear change and dependent on existing and changing dynamics is far beyond our predictive abilities. What we can predict is the increasing likelihood that if we continue to follow the path toward self-destruction, we will indeed get there sooner or later.

The paths toward healing change are many. They can be pursued by democracies and by autocracies. What matters most is a laser focus on the consequences of our actions and to transform them. The democratic pursuit of social and ecological justice based on one person, one vote, I believe, is the most efficacious task. But that is not the only path.

Just as chaotic dynamics can be simulated and programmed on digital computers, political and social orders of all sorts can and must change the consequences of their actions. What is required, at the bottom, is a healing and countervailing response to excess.

It is certain, for positive and negative futures to come, that business as usual can and must change. How that epochal change proceeds is up to all of us.


International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), 2022. The evidence is clear: the time for action is now. We can halve emissions by 2030. International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), 2023. World Energy Transitions Outlook Preview.
Chaos Theory and the Logistic Map. Geoff Boeing, 2015. “The logistic map instead uses a nonlinear difference equation to look at discrete time steps maps the population value at any time step to its value at the next time step:nx represents the population at any given time t, and represents the growth rate..." Chaos Theory and the Logistic Map.
Brain Info Storage Capacity vs Internet, Technology Bloggers, 2013: Chaos Dynamics and Fractal Merging.
William Brown, 2022. Chaos Dynamics Fractal Multifractal Self-OrganizatioStrange Attractor. Resonance Science Foundation.
Strange Attractors and the Mind John R. Van Eenwyk, 2006. Archetypes: the Strange Attractors of the Psyche. October 2006. The Journal of analytical psychology .36(1):1 – 25.