Chapter 10, RECOVERY
First written in ‘92 as Chapter 10 of an unpublished manuscript first titled, “Logic and the Sacred Cow Syndrome”, and later as “A 21st Century Steward’s Handbook. Below, is Chapter 10 as written in 1992.
The manuscript was groomed (in the fax, phone and mail days) for a UK publishing house, through an editor from Australia (Richard Slaughter, President World Futures Studies Federation Foundation, Professor of Foresight, AFI, Swinburne Australia). However, a few months after acceptance, the publishing house went out of business.
The manuscript as been dormant since ’94, and Chapter 10 is unchanged, including all of the optimistic dates for social change. Optimistic because, perhaps, the necessary human fear factor within the general public never reached a point where the sociopolitical status quo has been seriously questioned. Perhaps at the 2006/7 time junction we are close to reaching that point today with regular media coverage on global warming, including is the daily weather forecast, even peak oil appears in major media from time to time.
In the Introduction of the book I explain my background as a technologist, with a significant time spent troubleshooting systems from aircraft electronics and flight systems, to early computer systems (I mean vacuum tube and then transistor) including software processes, and home plumbing systems. A newspaper article about a problem of where-to-put-the-garbage, in Toronto led to interest in the big picture global issues. I spent a couple of years reading.
Chapter One, The Triad, gives an overview of the subject matter of the book.
Title: first, Logic and The SCSyndrome (Sacred Cow Syndrome)
Then chanced to: A 21st CENTURY STEWARD'S HANDBOOK
Chapter Ten to:
* * * * * * * * * *
The following description of the recovery scenario will be in the form of a `backcast'. A backcast is something like a forecast except it is viewed from the future as if it actually happened. As the time line passes through the years, no one can predict just how coming events will be frozen into history. The description of the recovery scenario could not begin to address all of the problems that lie ahead, but at least it presents a plan of action that could work. The envisioned sustainable civilization may appear Utopian, and unachievable. I cannot imagine a sustainable state unless we reaching this so-called Utopian by some means or another. And besides, those living in this state of Utopia would soon become accustomed to it, and would look back on our perilous times as a period of hell. Instead of Utopia we could strive for a global nation, one world, one central government. We could adopt this definition of `nation', first penned in 1912: "A nation is a historically evolved, stable community of language, territory, economic life and psychological make-up."
By overcoming denial through communications and persistence, enlightened self-interest, could shape the future toward becoming something like this:
The year is 2099, the eve of the 22nd century. This story is being told by a history teacher to a class of grade ten students. For them the year is 100 AR.
Mr. Elders begins: "In the last few weeks we have discussed early times when human population grew in relative isolation in various parts of the world. The separate countries were very nationalistic and not very trusting of each other - last year we learned of the continual series of wars fought during that period. Even after the development of communications systems, transportation systems and international trade, the individual people clung to their old traditional values. That in itself, of course, is normal but along with the good and healthy values, there were traditions that maintained mistrust and hate based on differences in cultural background, religion, language, colour, or whatever one group felt made others different from themselves, either real or perceived. Some of these pockets of hate or mistrust were passed from generation to generation, even when the original cause had been laid to rest.
"In the times of the hunter-gatherer societies, population densities of less that one person per sq. mile was typical.13 As agricultural activities began the nomadic wanderers began to till the land, and they settled down in one area. This enabled them to allow more babies to live. The practice of farming required a lot of labour, so having children to help with the work seemed like a good idea. Now population densities could increase up to as much as 60 people per square mile. Not only were large families necessary to till the land, but large numbers were required to defend the land they tilled, as they now claimed that land to be their own. Parents of large families had a type of old age security, as their children would look after them in their old age. Now there were three reasons for the leaders of these small communities to recommend to their people that large families were important: to provide labour, to provide physical security through strength in numbers and to provide social security.
"As time went by, the bias toward having large families became a generally accepted attitude, instilled in humans from birth by the example set by their parents and community. This attitude was known as `pronatalism'. It is a human generated attitude controlled by conditions and laws imposed by politics or religion. When coupled with nature's normal animal sexual desires, most humans just felt that it was natural and desirable to have large families. When scientists became aware dangers of excess human activity, the people were warned, but they just could not believe something as precious and as natural as childbirth could be a global threat.
"But why could they just not stop having babies since it did not make any sense to have more children? Did they not have birth control?" questioned Inga.
"Birth control technology was not very advanced even in the early 1900s. But by the mid-1900s techniques were advanced enough that effective global population control could have been achieved if people had been motivated to do so. But what appears logical to us was not necessarily logical for them. As individuals, most people had not been trained to have open
minds to new ideas about such subjects. Their schools failed to advise them about the nature of the problem. Even in the early years of the 21st century, some religions still prohibited birth control or abortion!
"By the 1990s the massive human population and all the industry that was required to maintain it caused serious destabilization of Earth's ecosystem, the effects of which are still evident today. Success of each nation was a measurement of economic growth, using the factor, GNP (Gross National Product). They did not bother with such considerations as `the common good', or of human individuals' long term Level of Self Determination (LSD)', as we measure it today. Looking back, it is hard to imagine why the governments would blindly pursue economic growth. The planet was dying from human activity yet virtually all of the world's governments were trying to create more. By the mid 1990s many of the young people were beginning to lose faith in the belief that their economies would miraculously improve. But the older generation pressed on with the old ways.
"In 1994 very many people were unemployed as the great depression of the '90s showed no sign of improving. People were finally beginning to realize that this depression could never end. The burdensome overhead of providing for excess population in the old fashioned ways thwarted all governmental efforts to `kick start' the economy."
"Most parents taught their children to accept the same traditions, cultures and religions that they had been taught by their own parents. This training resulted in attitudes and a basis for logic that was based on their past. When realities of their times conflicted with their inherited learning, sometimes people would just deny the new evidence or pretend it did not exist.
Inga broke in again and said, "That all seems very confusing to me. How could they learn mathematics and science if their logic was based on the past?"
"This part of human nature is very difficult to understand. Later this year your psychology class will cover this characteristic in more detail. For now, just accept that people then and now can have more than one level of understanding, and sometimes there is information in one of the levels that conflicts with information in another level. Unless motivated to do otherwise, people will consciously use the information which will cause them the least anxiety. In most ways, the people of the 20th century and earlier times were just like us. They were able to learn science, mathematics, history and everything we learned. But the concept of limited human population was very difficult for them to accept.
"As a result of traditional training, the primary reason the people of the 20th century could not stop having children was within their own minds. Another factor was that the problems of deteriorating ecosystems appeared so large that an individual just could not imagine that one more child, their child, could really add to all the apparently unrelated problems of the day. Don't forget that before the late 1990s, there was no sustained organizational effort to point out to society and to all individuals, the relationship between child birth and ecosystem decay. Obvious facts were overlooked because of the SCSyndrome. Likewise with economic growth; the SCSyndrome prevented the governments of the world from recognizing that their growth policies were leading to a deadly dead end.
"You have discussed human nature with your parents and in class since grade one. I'm speaking of the classes in which you are encouraged to let your imagination travel through space and time and picture any image you wish. You are taught to enjoy your fantasies, even discuss them with others and even pretend they are real, but you must always be able to separate fantasy from reality. Also, you are taught never to run away from a reality that you don't like because dealing with it is the only way the problem can be solved.
"Yesterday we discussed the symptoms of the overpopulation crisis of the late 1900s. Today we will talk about how the recovery process began. As you know, 1998 has been designated as 'Recovery Year' and the period before that is known as BR (Before Recovery). The period since is called AR (After Recovery). We are in year 100 AR, which is the our 100th anniversary of that event. As you can imagine, recovery did not happen in just one year, but 1998 is considered the major turning point in events which allowed civilization to continue."
"What would have happened if they had not made this `recovery'?" asked Mohamad.
"We don't know for sure. Various scenarios could have been possible, and they are all pretty frightening to think about. These will be discussed in next week's class.
"In 4 BR, a meeting was held by a few individuals who had begun to listen carefully to what the scientists had been saying. By overcoming the SCSyndrome they began to see the full magnitude of their perilous situation . At that meeting it was decided to form an organization called THE GAIA PRESERVATION COALITION. The purpose of the coalition was to help others open their minds to what was really happening in their world. A high anxiety level existed in many people who knew something very serious was wrong, but there appeared to be no escape, no plan that would take into account all of the problems. Many scientists felt that civilization was sliding into an abyss of the unknown; there were a multitude of causes and effects, but no clearly common fault was identified, so that human corrective efforts were concentrated on short term fixes for some of the more obvious results of Gaiacide.
"The founders of the GAIA PRESERVATION COALITION (GPC) had a hope. The hope was that high anxiety could be converted to the despair required for people to make an emotional turning point. Three requirements for this turning point were these:
1 Virtually inescapable evidence of need to change - For those who would see, such evidence surrounded them.
2 Each person's knowledge that he/she personally is in grave danger, so the animal instincts of individual survival - egoism, and parental protectiveness could overcome learned inhibitions.
3 There must be a desirable goal - a vision of a sustainable society - which could be achieved by human means, (not dependent on divine miracles). A goal which could be planned for with a course of action that could stand up to scientific scrutiny of today's reality, bearing in mind that tomorrow, today's reality may cause plans to change. To have such a goal was of paramount importance because without such a vision for people to believe in, denial would prevail because existing trends at the time were leading directly to human extinction, and the human psyche just could not accept that.
"To bring these three elements together in humans, they had to establish goals. The goals of THE COALITION were not modest, but were simple. Mr. Elders made a few entries on his keyboard and on each student's video screen; up came:
GOALS OF THE GPC
1. To Facilitate the emergence of a shared paradigm which can serve as a basis for assuring a long-term, viable Earth-human community.
2. To communicate the principles, goals, and hopes of the Coalition to all members of society through regular meetings in every community, focusing on discussion, learning, and mutual support.
3. To support each other in ways which enable us to risk examining the basis of our non-viable ways of thinking, assessing such thinking patterns, and evaluating their adequacy (appropriateness) in the context of long-term viability.
4. To promulgate the concept that every individual's `human activity' contributes to the deterioration of Earth's burdened life-sustaining systems; and that `you' and `I' have inherited a personal moral imperative to acknowledge, and to assist in correction of the anomaly of human overpopulation - here in Canada or US.
5. To thwart the man-made forces of pronatalism and patriarchy which stem from tradition within cultures, religions, families, or from the state; - thereby to fertilize the concept and the right of, `freedom of conscience to not procreate'.
6. To server as a cross-disciplinary forum through which diverse specialists, cognizant of and sensitive to, traditional wisdom, can contribute to a possible plan of action which can/must adequately guide the earth-human community into a viable, creative, and continuous future.
7. To influence governments at all levels; to initiate legislative changes consistent with the Coalition's plan of action as it emerges through interdisciplinary dialogue, help popularize the emerging vision of the Coalition as a necessary supplement to an existing
government's own time-limited mandate.
"In the months after the initial meeting in which the goals were set, each founding member had recruited other members, and a second meeting was held to establish the GAIA PRINCIPLES. You will notice that many of these hundred-year-old principles are very similar to The Fundamental Code of Personal Ethics that we are all taught today. Perhaps it would be a good idea to beam these to your home control system, to put on the wall screen so you can discuss these with your parents over supper tonight. Here are the Principles:
THE GAIA PRINCIPLES
To acknowledge that uncontrolled human population growth in conjunction with the unrestrained consumption of earth resources have brought about a crisis that threatens all life on earth. To work toward establishing an equilibrium of nature in which all life - Gaia - and future generations can enjoy and share the fruits of this unique planet.
To recognize that humans suffer individually and collectively from foibles which may blind our objectivity regarding an unpleasant reality. By interacting with fellow humans we can help each other recognize, acknowledge, and understand these weaknesses so that unpleasant reality can be dealt with.
To modify our personal expectations in life from expectations based on the past, to expectations consistent with a sustainable future.
To assume responsibility for personal change because in a free society no government or world-wide organization can force upon us the required behavioral and attitudinal changes. Personal long-lasting freedom requires personal responsibility and compromise.
To be undaunted by the enormity of the task at hand and to work around problems that cannot be dealt with effectively and immediately.
To establish `the common good' as the highest priority, while preserving individual human freedom and rights where possible. The long-term well-being of Gaia will be the primary consideration.
To work toward living within our global means with regard to energy usage and to recycle consumer goods rather than extract non-renewable resources from Earth.
To work toward the elimination of man-made classification barriers that have historically caused conflict between groups of humans.
To work for the maintenance of the democratic process in countries where the democratic process is functional, and to bring about change within the rule of law.
To recognize that humans must become stewards of the planet, but stewardship does not make humans superior to other life forms.
To lobby governments to assess all legislation considering the full dimension of time, including life on Earth in the distant future.
To accept personal responsibility, and to help in your own way toward communication of the GAIA PRINCIPLES, either individually or collectively to others both at home and abroad.
"Because those who adopted the GAIA PRINCIPLES had come face to face with the true state of the world, they temporarily felt despair. The desire for personal survival became a dominant consideration, tempered with the acknowledgment that group survival was a prerequisite to personal survival. Their collective mind set was that of a small group backed into a corner who had to plan a final counter-offensive, the outcome of which would determine success or total defeat. This was truly Armageddon.
"It was recognised that for some people it would mean examination of fundamental concepts which they had grown up with and had never previously had reason to question. All were prepared to enter into a new political adventure which had never been tried, and for which there was no guarantee of success. It was the task of each member to promote the concepts of the GPC to others. Many people would find the necessary attitude changes extremely difficult, for some it would be impossible, and others would deny the threat existed.
"News of THE COALITION spread quickly. Anxiety build-up could now be relieved. People could now believe positive action toward a desirable future. Many biologists, geologists, economists and other professionals familiar with the state of Gaia who had issued earlier warnings became more vocal about the problems. Hundreds of these knowledgeable professionals and other prominent individuals joined the organization - this added the necessary credibility to THE COALITION and helped others begin to realise that some `old truths' were now false.
"Not everyone attended meetings, however, some people, especially many in the scientific community, joined THE COALITION to add synergy to the force for change.
Peter Tinemman R32 p 220
"The weekly meetings of THE COALITION consoled, encouraged and gave strength through fellowship in a common purpose. All members knew their efforts were helping not only other people, but the planet itself. Meetings were held in homes, community centres, schools and churches. Some of the more flexible religions adopted the GAIA PRINCIPLES as part of their doctrine. At the beginning of each meeting, a few moments were spent reading and relating to the GAIA PRINCIPLES and current issues regarding the well-being of the web of life. Sometimes a guest speaker such as a scientist or a psychologist or an economist would add enlightenment on an issue. And then, after a few moments' meditation, discussion began. These covered a wide variety of subjects that would help individuals face the new realities of life, regardless of how painful.
"Any topic that related to an individual's `coming out' from an unwanted behaviour or thought was a valid subject for an evening's discussion. At large meetings, sometimes small, more personal groups were formed for the discussion period."
Anne wondered, "Why did people need special meetings just to talk about things like that?"
"Often discussed at the GPC meetings was whether or not the desire to have children was all based on the learned response of pronatalism or was there a genetic component to this desire. One way or the other, many grandparents, parents and young adults spoke of experiencing warm feelings when in the presence of a baby. This led to discussion of the internal conflict felt by most individuals when they acknowledge that each new lifetime of `human activity' will add further stress to the already over-burdened system of Gaia. Yet most individuals had grown up with the anticipation that they would have children and grandchildren. The CHPackage they had grown into made it very difficult for one mind to share these two thoughts without discomfort.
end timmerman 220
"These conflicts were discussed while being mindful that evidence indicated a rapidly diminishing human life expectancy based on projections of trend in progress - and they know these trends were as result of each individual's `human activity'. At that time there were no rules, no laws and no moral guidelines to cover this subject The people within the Coalition were creating a new way of thinking. The biblical era of, `Go forth and multiply', had come to an end. Not only did resources have to be shared among themselves and among the future generations, they had to be shared with all members of the Gaian community. The whole notion of `community' had to change. Community had always meant people. As the crisis closed in around them, they realized that this restricted sense of community was unworkable. This invited them to think about community in a truly comprehensive way as we do today. Community includes not only people, but soil, water, plants, insects - Gaia.
ALLEN TOUGH P 58
"Because of the characteristic which allows people to ignore problems which are not staring them in the face, many people went to the meetings each week for their `reminder'. Another reason people had such difficulty to change was that in those days people were brought up to be and to act and to think as much like their parents as possible. The prejudices and other silly notions that had developed in earlier times had been passed from generation to generation; children might even have been chastised for questioning them. By the time children grew up, they had to get help from their friends to evaluate just which facts were valid in their own time."
Pi suggested that "It sure seems pretty weird to me to that they would think their problems would just go away".
"It is not exactly that they thought the problems would go away; they just did not acknowledge the problem as being theirs. As I said before, human nature is very difficult to understand. Of the many personal freedoms people had enjoyed, the right to bear children was considered basic. It was so basic that it was not even considered to be a right; it seemed, just natural. This eventually changed.
"One of the factors which helped the concepts of the GPC spread rapidly was the ever increasing economic decline which had started in the 1980s. Many people began to lose faith in their government's ability to overcome the continued worsening economic conditions. Governments kept trying remedies that had worked to end past recessions and were surprised when these remedies failed to work. This, plus the ever-increasing physical evidence of Gaiacide, added a high level of stress and anxiety to the population and helped the coalition's popularity spread fast enough to prevent a catastrophic end of civilization.
remove r66 allen
"Another factor was enthusiastic acceptance by the young. Many universities formed ASSOCIATE member organizations to promote `the attitude of survival'. The university groups held seminars in local high schools to introduce the students to what was real. The gross difference between Earth's carrying capacity and population was pointed out to every student and every teacher. One teacher wrote the slogan, `STOPP at 500 Million', on his blackboard. STOPP meant Save The OverPopulated Planet. This slogan was soon adopted and displayed in many schools.
"Within a period of a few years, news of THE COALITION movement spread throughout many countries. Realizing the increasing potential for success, the board of directors of the GPC tabled a draft constitution which, after considerable debate was accepted as the recommended constitutional guideline for the first country to elect a political party which embraced the GAIA PRINCIPLES. The constitution was written as follows:
THE FEDERATION OF REGIONS
(known as the FEDERATION)
This constitution is to enable a transition from a system of government and associated human life expectations that is wholly unsustainable to a system of government responsive to new human attitudes and expectations in life which will allow individual intellectual fulfilment and associated physical human activities, the cumulative effect of which will place no limit on the planetary life support systems of future generations. This transition is more than an adjustment in humans' physical expectations in life; it is a fundamental change to certain aspects of the human perception of ethics toward a sense of global responsibility, which is a prerequisite to survival of all in a finite world in which Homo sapiens can enjoy a technologically advanced society and also enjoy the world of relatively undisturbed nature.
Due to the required significant changes to social structure, not all of the constitutional requirements can be implemented immediately, but the intent is entrenched and will act as guidance for interim legislation.
Interpretation of this constitution shall allow flexibility while negotiating with and while integrating people in other parts of the world who are representative of the people within a block of territory who have expressed the political will to join the FEDERATION, and who have shown the political stability to begin to administer the requirements of this constitution. Interim FEDERATION membership may be considered where full membership is not possible.
I. The fundamental needs of `The Common Good' (defined in Chapter One) will be considered before passages of all legislation.
II. When traditional moral or religious ethics come in conflict with the fundamental needs of nature which have existed throughout evolution, the laws of nature will take precedence.
III. Equal rights will be granted to all individuals regardless of racial origin, religious beliefs, sex, sexual orientation or financial status.
A. There will be no such classification as `minority'.
B. One exception to this charter is to allow aboriginal people the choice to live in defined native land areas, living off the land in the fashion of their ancestors. Their numbers will be limited by nature's means.
IV. The overall human population limits for the geographical area under the FEDERATION will be established based on human ability to live within the guidelines of the GAIA PRINCIPLES.
V. Existing, provincial, state, or federal borders will be eliminated and replaced by a map of areas which represent specific population densities which can be supported by the local bio-regions, taking into account variations because of the economic requirement for large cities; efficiency of transmission of such commodities as energy, food, produce or water over distances; and other practical reasons. These areas will be called REGIONS. A regional government will administer most local matters.
VI. Population limiting legislation will be enacted to administer equitable treatment during the period of population attrition in conjunction with limited birth rights.
VII. Ownership of land and natural resources will terminate. Compensation will be made to those holding title; a licensing procedure will be established with industries to enable continuation of production. Limits and tariffs on the primary extraction of non-renewable resources will be initiated to enhance development of alternative sources.
VIII. Two federal systems of administration will be established, one of which will support the needs of a free enterprise (`Enterprise') economy, and one which will reflect the needs of a communal (`Communal') structure.
IX. A basic minimum accommodation and sustenance will be provided by the state to those within the `Communal', and the same will be distributed equitably to all areas under the FEDERATION umbrella. Those who participate in services within the Communal will be paid by the `Communal' administration.
X. Individuals, corporations or `Communal' (as a unit corporation when applicable) can participate in the `Enterprise' system. Profit by the `Communal' will not affect its per-capita equity transfer payments.
XI. Any individual free of criminal record shall be free to transfer between the `Communal' and the `Enterprise' through a process of registration unless humanpower restrictions are in force at the time.
XII. The Federal Department of Economics will create and administer a system of negative feedback in the `Enterprise' which will consider gross labour available against production person-hours required so that demand for labour is always greater than supply to ensure that competition, innovation and product improvement is never eliminated. A maximum work period/week for individuals will be monitored and enforced in production operations employing over a specified number of people. This work period restriction will apply to services industries also, as applicable.
XIII. The FEDERATION government will negotiate and administer coalition and absorption of other states.
XIV. Interim levels of government between the FEDERATION and the much smaller REGIONAL ADMINISTRATIONS may be established if and when required for administrational efficiency.
XV. The government of the federation will administer a system of taxes on the `Enterprise' corporations and on all individuals. REGIONAL administrations will be financed by the FEDERATION revenue department.
XVI. With economic and financial controls available, the FEDERATION Department of Economics shall establish the value of ten dollars ($10.00) to be equal to the average daily amount of money necessary for an individual to purchase food, clothes and accommodations to provide a minimum subsistence. This will establish inflation at zero and will be a permanent reminder that the fundamental reason for IndCom is to accommodate the well-being of the human component of nature, while giving primary consideration to `the common good'.
XVII. The central bank of the FEDERATION will make no attempt to equate its currency with the currency of the rest of the World.
XVIII. All immigration into areas under the FEDERATION will end.
XIX. To discourage international trade a 1% per month increasing tariff will be placed on all imports and exports except for a few items which would benefit the FEDERATION.
XX. Communication of the GAIA PRINCIPLES to individuals and countries throughout the world will be coordinated through the Department of National Defense.
XXI. Tariffs will be applied to produce from farm organizations which do not adhere to strict methods of erosion control and other procedures recommended to restore or maintain nature's balance.
"The 21 listed constitutional statements represented the major changes from the old democratic system of government to the system of government much like we still have today. Although we still have our elected representatives to handle most governmental functional issues, our system is somewhat more democratic because many issues such as those involving morals or ethics are decided by referendum. After answering a few qualifying questions, your parents vote on such issues from your home control system using their personal code.
"For more mundane decision making, a process called Principled Negotiation was used. The system had been promoted by Harvard University 14 for several years BR. It is simple enough; the two opposing political parties select a debating team. A neutral adjudicator decides whether or not proposed legislation is passed with the long-term `common good' always being the prominent determining factor.
"The first government formed by a party who had endorsed the GAIA PRINCIPLES was in the northern part of the North American continent in a country called Canada. As it was an election promise, the newly elected government began the process of adopting the proposed FEDERATION constitution.
"The first task was to determine what combination of population and industry could be maintained from the renewable resources within the territory. In this respect Canada was very fortunate because of a relative abundance of hydro-electric potential, fresh water, good farm land, and considerable forests which could neutralize the carbon dioxide given off by using reasonable levels of biomass fossil fuels.
"The second task was to determine how to achieve population reduction along with the corresponding reduction in industry, without unbearable hardship for the huge population and without causing collapse of the economic system. This transition period would take a few decades. However, the most difficult period of adjustment for the people was in the first few years, and the biggest problems were emotional adjustments.
"The government's task was to draft, enact and enforce legislation which would restrict the birth of human children. This concept was at first found to be repugnant by many; but it was found to be less repugnant than the consequences of failure to do so. People came to the understanding that this was not restricting human life; it would enable the possibility of sustaining human life and promote the dignity of all people, people who could expect to pass a good life to future generations in a small planet that had already been damaged, but with luck, that could be restored.
"Before Canada had implemented the new laws, an election in the US voted in a political party which had also endorsed the GAIA PRINCIPLES. The two newly elected parties decided to initiate the transition to the charter of the FEDERATION together, and on November 29, 1998 the agreements of coalition were signed. The land mass of the new Federation was large enough to support a diverse controlled economy which could provide and maintain the strong national defence necessary for survival during the next few turbulent decades while it implemented the difficult social changes. In Chinese, the word crisis was constructed of two symbols, one meaning danger, the other meaning opportunity. Those years were indeed an exciting times of crisis.
"Renewable energy was chosen as the limiting criteria for maximum population. It was generally agreed that energy limits were more restrictive than food production or water supply or other fundamentals of life. The FEDERATION set about to determine what population/industry level could be supported on renewable energy available in most of North America. Its leaders had to establish a `maximum population' target number and then establish the means to achieve their goal by the most expedient and humane means.
"The following is a brief description of the process that was used for the
new FEDERATION (US & Canada):
- population (1992) 280 million (5.2% of world total)15
- power used 2.7 TW (25% of world total of 11TE)16
- Energy per capita of 12 EPC in US and Canada in 1990
(World average 2 EPC - see page 63 xx )
We will presume US & Canada could maintain an efficient
IndCom and personal comfort with 3.5 EPC. (66% energy
reduction from the 1980s).
APPLICATION OF GAIA RULES AND PRINCIPLES BASED ON ENERGY REALITIES
Renewable power available
in North America using 1991
technology. = 0.208 TE annual production
Maximum available power
per capita would be = 3.5 EPC (assuming a about a 66% energy reduction)
0.208 TE divided by 3.5 EPC = 72 million target population of North America
If a TE higher than 3.5 is found to be necessary to maintain IndCom, then a lower target population would be required; if renewable power output can be increased from 0.208 TE, then the target can be higher.
It is noted that the required population reduction from 280 to 72 million is only a 75% reduction compared to the required 90.7% reduction globally (page 56 xx ). This is because the population density in North America is much lower than in many other parts of the world, and there is a relative abundance of renewable energy supplies such as sunshine in southern sections, rivers for hydro-electric power and forests for biomass energy in the north.
HOW TO GET TO TARGET POPULATION
The birth rate in North America in 1991 was 15 per thousand per year -
280 M X .015 = 4.17 M (Million) births per year
The death rate in North America was 9 per thousand population per year -
280 M X .009 = 2.5 M deaths per year.
1995 population 280 M
Target population - 70 M
Reduction required 210 M
With zero births and no aging correction the gross time for the reduction, at 2.5 M deaths per year would be 88 years. But as the average age increases, the deaths rate will increase and calculations indicated that it would take about 55 years to reach the target of 70 million. Obviously a zero birth rate for 55 years would not be suitable because the youngest female would be 55 years old and likely unable to bear children. For this and other reasons, compromise was necessary.
"The demographers determined that the overall plan would take 70 years to complete. Birth restrictions were implemented. The goal was set for a birth rate to be virtually zero for about five years; the birth rate would then increase slowly to about 25% of the death rate for about 30 years, then it would slowly increase to match the death rate as the numbers reached the population goal of 70 million. After achieving the population goal, individual replacement levels would be expected.
"For the next 75 years the right to have a child was be determined by chance, from a lottery of applicants. The questionnaire portion of the application form was simple. Age and health history of the applicant were the only considerations. There was no indication of race colour or creed or marital status. Those winners not married could choose a partner. Those who found they were unable to bear a child within two years by natural means could adopt a child which had been born from a person who had failed to abide by the law of the land and had not terminated a pregnancy.
To get a chilling feeling from reading the above paragraph is normal. I do too. Try to meditate a few moments; think of the 30 humans that just starved to death in the past minute. Our inappropriate paradigms haunt us.
The lesson about population planning ended at lunch time. Mr. Elders morning history class continued the next day, starting with a question by Kim:
"I suppose that if people could have children whenever they wanted, that explains why there were so many brothers and sisters like we read about in the history books," remarked Kim.
"Yes, up to the early 1900s, it was not uncommon for families to have ten or more children. It is because of such excesses that the generations of the early 2000s had to suffer such severe childbirth restrictions. They suffered the trauma of paradigm change so that we may live.
"The new FEDERATION began to draft a plan of action. Economists, demographers, specialists in medicine, energy resources, transportation and many other relevant fields were assembled to develop plans that would achieve the required balance of population vs renewable energy resources, along with other considerations spelled out in the constitution. Of prime importance was the design of an economy which would remain buoyant with an annual reduction in GNP (Gross National Product). The key ingredients that made the controlled economy work were:
The market was isolated. There would be no unfair or unusual competition from other parts of the world.
The gross market available was now definable with regard to affluence and expected growth (negative, of course). Future planning was enhanced. More generous research and development budgets could be established.
Besides interest rates and taxes, labour input was now a controllable variable. This was new to economists.
The value of the dollar was targeted to be constant, and based on human well-being.
High-tech, highly effective national defence spending was a prerequisite for long term survival, especially at the beginning. This required a fairly high ratio of IndCom to Communal people in the early years.
"Various forms of economic negative feedback were created to force the GNP to lead population decline. A special tax levy on fossil fuel was implemented. This tax was used to encourage energy efficiency and the development of renewable energy sources. The tax revenues were used to support the special social programs and government projects that were necessary in the first few decades of the period of severe population reduction. High tariffs were placed on agricultural products from farmers who preferred fast crops without taking ecological considerations into account.
"One of the deficiencies of the old democratic systems was an ever-widening gap between the rich and the poor. This was partly the result of successful individuals leaving wealth to their family who further compounded that wealth. This process had continued through generations creating an unfair advantage for the already wealthy. Birth restrictions eliminated many heirs, so in most cases when an individual died, holdings were returned to the system.
"It was recognized that specialization within individual government departments, (Federal, Sectional or Regional), could lead to a dangerous lack of understanding of the complete `big picture'. This lack of understanding could cause `logical disconnects'.
"To overcome these human limitations, an interactive computer model of the future was created. Numerical history of hundreds of parameters and their apparent past interactions with each other formed the basis for projections past the time zero line, the junction of past and future. These parameters include such items as the fundamental life lines of Gaia, earthly resources, sunspot activity, stock market activity, the unemployment ratio and the rate of human demographic change. Of the parameters which could be influenced by humans, a few could be controlled by the government directly, many were indirectly affected by legislation, sometimes there was no effect from specific government control, sometimes it was very small, and sometimes the effect was not apparent until many years in the future.17
It was the job of politicians to create legislation which would lead to the maximum Level of Self-Determination (LSD) for most voters in the short term, and with equal importance, for the long term. The computer model was not scrapped with a change of government. Each political party, whether in power or in opposition, developed a computer model which represented the type of government they planned to operate. Just how much effect any new legislation had on the various system parameters was subjective. This took political guess work. Each party's plan was presented to the voters at election time; the voters became very demanding and looked for a government that could demonstrate prosperity and stability not only for them but also for their children and future generations. A newly elected government then could enact new legislation and all interested citizens could monitor the effects of changes on their home system, just as you parents may do today."
Mr. Elders paused for a well-deserved glass of water. Because the students had no questions, he continued.
"The concept of countries with distinct borders eventually began to fade as bio-regional lines were drawn on planning maps. To give people a sense of personal security amid the many other changes, for many years the Olympic Games were based on the borders of the old countries.
"A date of 2020 was chosen as the target date for zero consumption of fossil fuel as an energy source. After that date only small amounts of petrochemical products were to be used in the manufacture of specialized products such as plastic or medicine. Remaining reserves of oil and coal were considered as a buried international treasure to be preserved for future generations.
"After Recovery (AR) the `Commune' system was established. Social services were converted to a new type of service, from individual to a communal type. Large centres called `social centres' were established. The centres were permanent homes for many people, including most of the elderly.
"To move from the inefficiency of individual homes, vacant office buildings were used to house people. Large apartment blocks were built or existing ones were converted to the highest standards of thermal efficiency. These units provided a central cafeteria, medical centre, recreation area, and computer-based learning systems. Little travel outside was necessary. A large area around the swimming pool had a high canopy of special plastic to reduce the ultraviolet radiation, because even in the 1980s, the ozone layer had been damaged to a point were there was danger in a lot of sun exposure. These self-contained apartment-like complexes had many of the amenities of a condominium city. The state paid the prime costs to operate most of these units, although some units had shared costs by those who could afford to contribute. Maintenance and upkeep was done by those who lived there. Some centres had large gardens nearby to provide fresh food. Younger people took care of the aged. Some centres participated in `Enterprise' by operating light industries which were labour intensive, but not automated. Those who wished to work in `Enterprise' but could find no job could stay at a centre while studying new skills in the training area where university courses were available through modems or locally stored media and libraries.
"Although mostly subsidised, the social centres operated like little industrial blocks within a modified free enterprise system. After initial turbulence, the economic climate stabilized. High profits were made by successful entrepreneurs.
"Work plans by government, in conjunction with industry, were designed to make the best use of the large workforce, which was especially large in the first few decades because many industries just could not survive without international trade. One of the uses for the `fossil fuel' tax was the funding of labour-intensive projects contracted to private industry. These projects enhanced lifestyles in an energy-efficient world. Some of the projects undertaken were:
- TRAVEL - Restrictions on other than intercontinental flights were imposed. A continental network of high speed electric railways was built. This was because no substitute for fossil fuel for aircraft was developed until 2020, at which time technology developed a form of liquid hydrogen which was stable at atmospheric pressure and temperatures.
- LOCAL TRAVEL - To make the electric automobiles and trucks totally practical, interstate highways and many secondary highways and some main city thoroughfares were rebuilt or modified with electric corridors to provide electricity for motive power (while also charging the vehicle battery).
- CITY TRAVEL - Subway and electric rail commuter systems were expanded, extending coverage within the planned smaller cities. Electric transportation systems was prioritized because electricity is the most versatile form of energy. Any new source of energy can always be converted to electricity. To facilitate free independent movement within cities, rental agencies had fleets of small electric cars at each commuter train station. Without fossil fuel, travel changed somewhat, but convenience and comfort was maintained.
- COMMUNICATIONS - Intercontinental communications became an even bigger business as the cost of air travel increased considerably. Satellite links were established which allowed intercontinental business conferences to be held by multiple video links, thereby reducing the need to travel.
- HIGH TECH - All third-wave industries in areas such as communications, fibre optics, ceramic engines or renewable energy equipment thrived in this environment.
"Within the FEDERATION there were no second or third-class citizens. There were rich people and poor people as personal drive, ingenuity and luck would dictate, but this was up to the individual. People within `Communal' could make money working for their `Communal', or they could just read or vegetate with no loss of dignity conferred by the community.
"In `Enterprise', an acceptable, fixed level of those who wished to join the work force (workers available) was established. This was necessary to maintain a degree of competition among workers. At first this was established as 10%. If the level of `workers available' rose above this 10%, the number of hours in the official work week was reduced. If the unemployment fell, the number of working hours per week increased. What made this appealing to the workers was that they were paid by the week. Basically this meant that as an industry became more efficient, workers in that industry were paid the same, but they had more leisure time. If they wanted more pay, they could work in a job classification that paid more, if they qualified. That new concept was pretty hard for the people to get used to after being preconditioned to expect to at least a 37 hour work-week. Our standard of living is much higher now, with 15 hours/week being the annual average.
"Demographic planning called for populations to be drastically reduced in areas where weather caused a high consumption of energy per person with relatively little gain in food or other required commodities. For example the city of Phoenix, Arizona had a planned reduction of 93% of its population not only because of the high consumption of energy required to keep the population comfortable from the heat but also because of diminishing fresh water reserves. Las Vegas had an even larger reduction planned - bad luck, Las Vegas. Edmonton, Alberta and Minneappolis, Minesota had a similar population reduction because of the high energy costs involved in heating. These cities became more or less farming centres, as most of their industries could be transferred to other areas, where more renewable energy was available. `For humanity to be in harmony with nature', was the prime consideration.
"A few years before the FEDERATION was formed, the government of a group of countries called the Eastern Bloc or the Soviet Union had a general collapse. These countries found themselves struggling to adapt to the free enterprise system of government. When it became generally acknowledged that the world just did not have enough resources to go around, the concepts of THE GAIA PRINCIPLES were readily adopted, as the GPC spread its influence throughout their countries. By following these principles, people of the Eastern Bloc countries saw the only possible way for basic survival - and hopefully, to eventual affluence. The FEDERATION offered a mix of the socialism to which they had become accustomed, plus a modified free enterprise system to enable worldwide competition and exchange.
"Many European countries, some in Central and South America, Australia and others eventually came under the umbrella of the FEDERATION. The governments of all of these countries developed a close spirit of cooperation. Much of the information in the central data bank was available to all participating governments.
"While adopting free international trade and immigration between participating countries, this group of countries imposed total and absolute ban on trade and immigration with countries which refused to exercise population control measures. These barriers were necessary because the concept of population reduction would just not work if a few countries were to flood the countries of the FEDERATION with immigrants. Within the countries that resisted change, the economies soon ground to a halt as trading partners were few. Their old-fashioned economic systems had been designed to operate only during periods of expansion. Hardship among the people of these countries was extreme during these times. In desperation a few suffering countries resorted to military build-ups to help fuel their economies. This was another trick that had worked well in previous times, but with technological and economic barriers from the federated countries, these efforts were ineffective. It had been demonstrated during the UN liberation of Kuwait in 1991 that military strength does not depend on large numbers of troops, but on intelligence and technology. There was enough military might within the Gaia alliance countries that no other individual nation posed a real military threat. Terrorism, however, was a problem for many years.
"Among the many countries enjoying economic cooperation under the mutual umbrella of the FEDERATION, potential military conflict was a non-issue. The new order began to overtake the world; by 2040 energy budgets permitted a new beginning of space exploration. The healthy economies of the federated group of regions, coupled with some reduction of military spending signalled the time when help could be made available to the rest of the suffering world. In January 2012 the United Nations General Assembly made an announcement. (It should be noted that the UN consisted of `Regions of the FEDERATION' plus those countries outside the FEDERATION)
"An agency of the United Nations called STOPP (Save The OverPopulated Planet) was set up to promote the GAIA PRINCIPLES and the concept of `the common good'. Satellite TV channels were established in many languages to promote the concepts. The agency financed individuals and groups to travel to other countries to introduce the concepts of the GAIA PRINCIPLES, to stop hunger, to stop destruction of forests and the species therein, to stop Gaiacide.
"People of THE FEDERATION travelled the world, much as missionaries had in earlier days, but the message was not quite the same. Salvation was still the subject, but not of the soul. This time the message was of hope for the salvation of the planet and a place to live for present and future generations. There was physical evidence of Gaiacide in every country. When this evidence was identified as such, it helped make the local people more receptive to the solutions presented. The offer by the UN made a significant impact on those whose future was otherwise very uncertain. It was not only out of generosity or as a bribe that the UN offered assistance. It was also in the interest of preservation of Gaia that the masses of people be kept off the land to prevent forest and soil destruction by too many people trying to survive by primitive means.
"In some countries, spreading the word of the FEDERATION was dangerous work. Some religious leaders denounced the concept and persecuted those who would entertain such thoughts. The FEDERATION and the GAIA PRINCIPLES were clearly a threat to the totalitarian, absolute control over the minds of the masses as exercised by many religions. In some counties where church and state were the same, efforts of the UN were futile. After many years, the inevitable chaos and starvation eventually reduced the numbers of such countries. By the time most of the people had died, the lands were barren. The Department of Agriculture is currently trying to induce nature's creatures to return to these dreadfully arid areas.
AD GORE THE ENEMY P 275
"Although the FEDERATION maintained a strong military defence, the primary role in the first few decades of the new era was as a police action, stopping would-be-immigrants from entering the federated group of countries. In each case the would-be-immigrants were returned to their home countries with literature on the STOPP program and how to promote THE GAIA PRINCIPLES at home. They were also given TV and radios receivers, fixed to the STOPP satellite channel frequencies.
"With the acceptance of PRINCIPLE TWELVE, people recognized they were not superior to other life forms, just different. Many civil laws had been based on old traditions which placed the human animal in a special category. This inherited concept was the root cause of many unsolvable difficulties.
"One of the changes that evolved was society's view of sexuality. The world became a safer place for women after all laws restricting sexual gratification between consenting adults were removed, except for the safeguards against the spread of disease. For about 2000 years BR, in many parts of the world, prostitution had been considered a profession to be despised by the righteous. Indeed, the sex trade was illegal in many places during these times. Prostitutes suffered persecution and were subject to dreadful working conditions. Attitudes changed, and prostitution, by either sex, became a necessary and respected service/entertainment industry, just like any other.
"For the few who could not control their sexual impulses within the relatively enlightened society and who violated minors or other adults sexually, penalties were severe.
"Other changes occurred in the way people thought about justice and law enforcement as it related to the human animal before 1990. Some aspects of the law had been established to protect the `superior human animal' from themselves. Not only was this contrary to the laws of nature, but they were almost impossible to police effectively. For example, in the late 1900s, many of the industrial societies had laws prohibiting the sale and distribution of such drugs as marijuana, cocaine, heroin etc. Some of these drugs are addictive. Addiction to them can be fatal. Some people became addicted to these drugs, while others provided drugs to the addicts at a very high profit. All of this was illegal, but it went on anyway. The drug pushers sold the drugs, addicts stole from innocent people to get money to buy the drugs, and the police chased the pushers. This put the price up, and the circle continued. As people began to see the big picture of life a little more clearly, they realized the prohibition laws were counter-productive to a stable community. The laws were changed. These drugs became available at retail outlets like any other drug. A few addicts consumed drugs until they killed themselves, but of course they had done that previously anyhow. But now the drug pushers were out of business, the police were not wasting time chasing them, and the innocent people were not victimized by addicts looking for money to buy illicit drugs. If nature does not protect an animal with self-destructive behaviour, why then should society?
"Death with dignity became accepted as natural for those who wished it, and who gave lucid indication of that wish over a sustained period of time.
"City planners determined what areas of the cities would remain inhabited and which parts would become phased out as the large city populations decreased. In some cities, the problem of what to do with all the excess concrete, bricks and roads was solved by the construction of a huge pyramid with the rubble from the demolition. The freed land was turned to parkland with many trees, and the pyramid became a memorial to mark a turning point in human evolution. This turning point, this conscious evolution, allowed humans to respond to today's realities without being impeded by inhibitions and obsolete stories from the past.
"The initial shock of population controls soon faded to an acceptance like food rationing had been accepted during periods of war or famine. People looked forward to life in a society which was in balance with nature. Many advantages of smaller numbers of people soon became apparent. With recycling technology learned in the peak population days, problems of garbage disposal were minimal. It was possible to travel a short distance from the cities and be in a natural environment where the lakes had come to life again and were abundant with marine life. Fewer police per capita were required, because of the reduction of prejudice and discrimination as a result of THE COALITION meetings. As the living populations of all nations participating in the Gaia movement were able to share on an equal basis, there was little chance of political unrest and therefore war had been eliminated. The energy saved by reduction of the world's military forces was soon put to much better use in civil industry. Small business discovered the market place for their products was almost as large as it was before the population reductions; although there were fewer people globally, there was a better balance of affluence in the FEDERATION market place. With the exception of freedom to choose when to have a child, most other freedoms were enjoyed in a world without starvation.
"In countries where aboriginal or native people chose not to participate in the modern style of life, areas were set aside within the expansive national park lands where they could live off the land without the assistance of or interference from modern society."
"So I guess that explains why our parents have no uncles or aunts. They were born in the period when no one had brothers or sisters, since only a few were allowed to have kids", offered Mary after she realized that things have changed and now two or three child families are normal.
And as the children of 2096 grew towards maturity with a comprehensive understanding of human nature, they realized how much courage their ancestors must have had to change their way of thinking and to change the thinking of so many others too. But they were thankful that we had that courage. They knew that their lives and their future generations depended on that courage.
End of Chapter 10.
Written in 1992 as part of the manuscript, Logic And the Sacred Cow Syndrome, by Don Chisholm email@example.com