The Planet Type problem

We published something the other day about Millennials, which reminded me...

The planet's not in a good place at the moment. In fact, if you look at it objectively, it couldn't get much worse. It sounds pessimistic, I know - but hear me out.

There's this scale which classifies how advanced a civilisation is based on how well it harnesses energy. It's called the Kardashev scale, and it runs from Type 1 to Type 3. A Type 1 civilisation is able to harness the entire energy output of its local star; a Type 3 is able to harness the energy output of the galaxy.

Type 3's a way off yet, granted. Type 1 relates to you more than you might realise.

Because the sad truth is this: We're not even on the Kardashev scale yet. We're a Type 0 planet - that's one which still harnesses the energy of dead plants and animals. The experts believe that we'll probably take the leap to the mighty Type 1 in maybe a century or so, but that doesn't mean we can sit back and let these predictions come true. Quite the opposite, actually: We've got our work cut out.

Think about the world now. Then think about what it'd take for it to come together as one connected, purposeful organism - to do something as grandiose as utilising not just some but all of the Sun's energy. We've got some steps to take first, that's for sure. As the business and thought leaders of this generation, it's our responsibility to own this journey, and inspire the right kinds of action to move our planet forward. The fate of our civilisation depends on it: If we do choose to opt out, our great grandchildren may live their lives in scarcity and hardship.

We need to end poverty; how can we get everyone fighting for one united cause if we let our own kind go hungry?

We need to end conflict; how can we stand together as one planet, if we kill each other over small-minded ideals?

We need to be efficient and mindful; how can we adopt a cosmic source of energy if we can't even manage and maintain our own?

These are just a few of many, and of course, there'll be dozens - hundreds - more to master before we can conceive of upgrading to Type 1. But we have the power to take each one of these problems and challenge them. To make a difference. It's not for nothing; we're potentially on a path to something awe-inspiring. The time is now to decide: Does humankind thrive, or does it perish? 

I'd love to chat about the Kardashev scale at length if anyone's interested. Drop me a message at Or, if you fancy reading about it a little more, take a look here.

Thanks for reading,