A family of ancient people is sitting around the fire at night. Another difficult day, full of dangers, the need to find food and a place to sleep, is left behind. А dark night full of threats is ahead. All around is a narrow circle of flickering light from the fire, with the whole great world close to it. People are sitting in this circle, and something is happening outside it. This something - incomprehensible - sometimes breaks into the circle of light in the guise of a hungry predator, a rockfall, dense rain…
«Everything happening outside the circle of light is a threat» is a millennial axiom of humanity. Evolutionarily, our brain is afraid of everything inapprehensible and unusual - everything that is outside the circle of the flickering fire light. Modern people, like our ancestors, live in the same circle of light - the ordinary and understandable world to them. When something new and incomprehensible invades life, initially we tend to perceive it as a threat. But over the millennia, humanity has learned to not only fear the incomprehensible, but also to explore it. In fact, the study of the unknown in order to reduce future risks and threats is the basis of progress. The better a person understands the essence of a new phenomenon or technology, the calmer and more balanced he/she treats it and the more actively seeks opportunities to use it to their advantage.
Today we are witnessing and participating in another leap of progress: a new threat - climate change - has entered the illuminated circle of our ordinary lives. The climate is changing dramatically rapidly, and during the life of one generation it became clear from the abstract discussions of scientists and everyone felt the consequences.
Humankind saw this threat and began to look for an answer to it. In some 20-30 years, a solution was found - the transition to renewable sources and conscious, economical use of energy - the energy transition, which became one of the priorities to policy of the world's leading countries very fast.
At the same time, the energy transition, solving one problem, created a new one - it caused a wave of anxiety and even aggression among people who have not yet understood the essence of this process and its absolute necessity. «The incomprehensible frightens» - the old principle worked out all over again: a wave of quarrels and aggressive discussions swept across the world. Ukraine has not been spared by it as well. Especially since we «jumped» into this process later than other countries, where the topic of the need to develop energy saving and renewable energy from the «new and incomprehensible« has already become «familiar and obvious».
It is quite natural that the first steps of the energy transition in Ukraine provoked a stormy discussion in society and gave rise to many myths, fears and even aggression. Ukraine has become a striking example of the «future-paradox»: rapid development has caused a negative reaction from society, which has begun to slow it down. This delay has led to the need to accelerate development in order to keep up with developed countries.
How to overcome this paradox? First, turn the mysterious and frightening into clear and then useful. That is, where everyone will see their own opportunity and their own benefit. Not somewhere in the abstract future, but here and now. This can be done by expanding the circle of light from the fire – by the means of education.