The Choice Is Ours

Synopsis: The series shows an optimistic vision of the world if we apply science & technology for the benefit of all people and the environment.
59 min

[Larry King, host] Alright, let's explore

the thinking of Jacque Fresco

and the society that he'd like to see.

(Jacque Fresco) The reason

we emphasize machines and technology

is to free man

to pursue the higher things.

Machines ought to do the filthy,

repetitious, or the boring jobs.

It would take ten years

to change the surface of the Earth.

To save our environment,

[considering] our stupidity, our conflict,

we've got to reorganize our way of thinking

and reconsider our social aims.

We must put our mind to this

as we do to put a man on the moon.

[Jeff Hoffman, retired NASA astronaut]

Like many kids, when I was 6 years old

I dreamed of flying in space.

I'm old enough that,

back then, the only astronauts were

Flash Gordon and Buck Rogers.

I went on and became a professional astronomer.

I was lucky enough to get selected

in the first group of shuttle astronauts.

We trained for a long time.

Of course, you go through

many different types of simulators.

But when you're actually

sitting up there on the rocket,

you realize that "Hey, this is not the simulator!"

The whole vehicle is

shaking a little bit on the pad.

Then, you hear this roar down beneath you.

The whole shuttle tilts forward a little bit.

Then, as it comes back to the vertical position,

all of a sudden,

Wham! The solid boosters ignite.

There's an incredible vibration and noise.

For the next two minutes,

there is just so much power

that you're sitting on top of.

I was just holding on, thinking to myself

"Whoa! I hope this whole thing holds together."

Sure enough, it did.

By that time, we're looking out the window.

The blue sky has already

turned to the blackness of space.

And I can see in the distance

the coast of Africa coming up into view.

I always remember that feeling

on my first flight when I realized:

Wow, you're in space!

You see from orbit the sunrises and sunsets

16 times every 24 hours.

Flying over the Earth at night, in particular

gives you a real sense of human civilization.

During the day, you look down

and you see the colors of the Earth.

You see the forms of the landmass,

of the continents.

There's a lot of beautiful things

to see during the day.

There's also the view of the impact

that humans have had on our planet,

and that can be pretty scary.

Over the course of 11 years of flying

I watched as the Amazon jungle

was continually being deforested.

[Rondnia, Brazil 2010

24 years of deforestation]

At night, you'd constantly see agricultural burning

all over the world.

You could see harbors being silted up.

You could see, in Africa,

how the tree line would go up every year.

We know about global warming

and what we're doing to the atmosphere.

That's the other thing

you really get a sense of from space

is how thin our atmosphere is.

Basically, the idea that

we're seeing this environmental damage

on the Earth, created by humans,

but we see it from a cosmic perspective,

means that it's just

not something that we can ignore.

The planet is responding

to the presence of humanity.

[Carl Sagan, "Pale Blue Dot", 1994]

The Earth is a very small stage

in a vast cosmic arena.

Think of the rivers of blood

spilled by all those generals and emperors

so that in glory and triumph

they can become the momentary masters

of a fraction of a dot.

[Earth from 3.7 billion miles]

Think of the endless cruelties visited

by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel

on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants

of some other corner.

How eager they are to kill one another,

how fervent their hatreds.

Our posturings,

our imagined self-importance,

the delusion that we have

some privileged position in the universe

are challenged by this point of pale light.

Our planet is a lonely speck

in the great enveloping cosmic dark.

In all this vastness, there is no hint

that help will come from elsewhere

to save us

from ourselves.

The Venus Project presents


Documentary film by Roxanne Meadows, Joel Holt

Original score by Kat Epple


(Narrator) For the first time,

we have the capability, the technology,

and the knowledge to achieve

a global society of abundance for all.

We cannot continue as we are

or the consequences will surely be dire.

A 2012 UN report states that

a global population growth

from 7 billion to almost 9 billion

is expected by 2040.

Demands for resources will rise exponentially.

By 2030, requirements for food

are projected to rise by 50%,

energy by 45%,

and water by 30%.

We are presently depleting natural resources

50% faster than the planet can renew.

At this rate, it is estimated that

we'll need 3 more planet Earths

to keep up with resource needs as they are today.

What is the sixth extinction?

Is it happening right now? What's the cause of it?

What we, as human beings, are doing to the planet

is changing the basic conditions of life

very dramatically and very rapidly.

(Narrator) And yet,

from environmental disaster to war,

our obsolete value systems perpetuate insanity,

threatening us on many fronts.

Is it the best we can do

to just clean up after the fact?

Are politicians capable or even competent

to manage the world around us?

(Gordon Brown) Let me explain.

Order! The prime minister.

(Narrator) Are we simply incapable of anticipating

and planning for our future?

Are we innately flawed in ways we can't change?

(Journalist) Why not just use firing squads?

- Aim!

(Narrator) We often hear

that human nature is fixed...

It's only human nature!

...and our worst qualities are inborn.

- How are they gonna stop being criminals?

- Oh, nonsense!

They were born that way and

there is no use trying to change them.


[Henry Schlinger Jr., PhD] I think it's

difficult to talk about a specific human nature

like we talk about fixed or modal

action patterns in nonhuman species.

But clearly in humans,

learning plays the major role.

In fact, I refer to humans

as 'the learning animal',

because humans learn more than any other animal.

(Narrator) And yet,

considering our history of aggression,

warlike tendencies,

jealousies and hatred...

(US soldier) Keep shootin'

(Narrator) ...we still have much to learn.

One would think it impossible to simply overlook

the conditions we're immersed in.

(Jacque) The culture doesn't know any better.

They don't know what forces

are involved in shaping human behavior.

Therefore, they invent their own concept

and project their own values into human behavior

and say that's human nature.

That's where they're wrong.

(Henry) Right now we have an explosion

of technologies in our culture.

I think many people think that

technology is going to save us.

Certainly technology has made our lives

easier in many respects.

- Find parking space.

- Parking space found.

Sometimes it's good; sometimes it's not so good.

(Journalist) Drones armed with Hellfire missiles...

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "The Choice Is Ours" STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 13 Jul 2024. <>.

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