Paleo Problems, Neo Solutions & now MP4U (Modern Problems for You)

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Beginning around 10,000 years ago, some of our nomadic hunter-gatherer ancestors first discovered they could no longer continue their traditional way of life. As Geneticist Spencer Wells says, "They were backed into a climatological corner." They used their unique human abilities to innovate a completely new way to live and survive: The Neolithic Agricultural Revolution. (Watch Stories from the Stone Age to learn more.)

Their ideas worked so well, they not only survived, they grew into huge civilizations. They must have faced hundreds of problems as they tried growing their own food, raising their own animals and living together in permanent communities. Fortunately, they worked together, solved problems and innovated solutions, many of which are still used today. Agriculture today is able to feed over 7 billion people. It has transformed us and our world.
We can survive today thanks to fields of crops like this one near ISB,. What crop is this? Photo: Dr. Everett 2010

On the other hand, there have been many unexpected effects. Ironically, because of agriculture, we have changed our world so much that we now face new problems. Their solutions have become our problems.

Jonathan Foley says "without a doubt, agriculture is the single-most powerful force unleashed on this planet since the end of the ice age." It is the single largest cause of global warming and the more land we clear for additional agriculture, the more we unleash this force on the earth.

Once again, we find ourselves backed into an ecological corner. We cannot continue using our current systems of agriculture to feed our growing population. If we're going to survive and advance, we'll need new innovations for our modern problems.

Like our ancestors, we have amazing minds and years of learning to help us understand complex problems, create new solutions, imagine a different future and work together to make it happen. And, since there are so many of us now, we can come up with more solutions. When we put them all together we have the potential to innovate ourselves out of the corner and into a new and better way of life! We could be the founders of the next revolution.

Learn more about our modern problems on this site. Choose one, find out more & start innovating our future today!