Narciso Berberana

The best is yet to come!

13 de noviembre 2019

November 2019. That’s the date Ridley Scott chose as the futuristic setting of Blade Runner (the film was released in the early 1980s). It is a film that has withstood the test of time, due to a large extent to its forward-thinking vision of technological development and its handling of the machine vs human dilemma, an issue which the schools of ethics have yet to resolve.

Another of the film’s scenarios is that of the city of the future: dirty, smelly and unbreathable. Everywhere you look, there is chaos, and there is no niche for natural life. Although they may have not yet reached the extremes depicted in the film, our cities clearly need to improve if they are to face matters such as global warming, pollution, soil erosion or air quality.

Future cities must take on the zero waste challenge, and that includes wastewater. They need to adopt a vision of wastewater based on the circular economy, Industry 4.0, AI, the IoT… Some of the concepts shown in this 37-year-old film will play a key role in the 7 Rs of sustainable development: Rethink, Refuse, Reduce, Re-purpose, Reuse and Recycle.

In 1710, the polyglot Leibniz, wise in the most precise and precious sense of the word, gave us the phrase, “this is the best of all possible worlds”. With his words he invites us to emphasize the good when looking at our present and our future – in other words, with optimism. We have the technological solutions to meet the millennium’s challenges, defined perfectly by the UN’s SDGs.

We know what we have to do, so why not be optimistic and do it immediately so that we leave the best possible world to future generations? Let’s be optimistic and move away from the dystopia depicted in Blade Runner. An optimism in which human progress and environmental development go hand in hand. Making this profitable and sustainable depends only on us, so let’s get to it!


    Narciso Berberana. Personal page © 2019