Published on The Doomstead Diner on April 18, 2017
Discuss this article at the Kitchen Sink inside the Diner
12 Steps to a Practical & Achievable Program for a Better Tomorrow
In the We Need Peace thread Inside the Diner begun by Diner JoW, Diner JRM said I don't provide practical solutions for resolving the problems that Homo Sap faces. This after I accused him of that same issue, and basically only providing Woo-Woo and Poetry as a solution.
I have of course provided practical ideas on many occassions, not to mention the fact I both founded and fund the SUN☼ Project. I don't have a high regard for people who just pitch out Negative Waves without providing some sort of solution to the problems they see. So I always try to do this, although granted we have any number of "predicaments" which do not lend themselves to EZ or painless solutions. 😦
My ideas however are sprinkled willy-nilly over 5 years of Diner posting in many different threads, and are somewhat difficult to track down despite trying to keep this database fairly organized over the time period. I personally have more than 25,000 posts up, that's a lot to sift through (that is NOT including my Blog articles, which generally are much longer expositions on topics that are brought up inside the Diner and need a more detailed examination). So I thought this might be a good opportunity to provide a Reader's Digest version of a 12-Step Program for a Better Tomorrow on Planet Earth, so Diners are all aware of my Plan and we can rest this idea that I don't have a plan permanently. I digested this down to 3000 words, which is doing real good for me! 🙂 So now, without further ado, here's THE PLAN!
12 STEP PLAN FOR A BETTER TOMORROW ON PLANET EARTH
Step #1- Die Off of 99.9% of the Population of Homo Saps
This resolves a lot of problems, from overuse of the land and ocean to the amount of carbon we put up in the atmosphere. It won't significantly hurt the genetic diversity of Homo Sap, there will still be 7.3M meat packages walking the earth at any given time, which was more than enough for most of human history and should be plenty moving into the future. No official extermination plan needs to be concocted for this, the 4 Horsemen of the Apocalypse will do the job without direction as they always have in the past. They are very dependable.
Step #2- Elimination/Extermination of the Greedy Elite still left standing
In order to make sure the same mistakes of the past are not repeated, the folks who ran the last show into the ground need to be eliminated. This does require active decision making on who is most guilty and what sort of punishment they deserve for Crimes Against Humanity. Is merely sentencing them to being Humanure collectors for the rest of their years walking the earth as a corporeal meat package enough punishment, or do they need to be dispatched to the Great Beyond in the most agonizingly painful and long lasting way we can conjure up? For this we will need a legitimate Judicial System and Court of the Inquisition. No Pigman should have his Journey to Hell expedited without Due Process of Law. We need to take the Moral High Ground here on this. No Lynchings on the Lamp Posts still standing! No pushing them off balconies of empty skyscrapers either! No Feeding them to the Lions! (if there are any left) At least not until the High Court has handed down its decision and the last appeal has been exhausted.
Step #3- Replacement of the old Elite with a new Elite of Homo Saps with a High Wisdom Quotient
We will need to design a Standardized Test for Ecological & Economic Wisdom, testing various wannabee Elites for their knowledge of the biosphere and how to maintain it in a sustainable manner, as well as how to economically distribute the produce in a fair manner. There will need to be Checks & Balances and Watchdogs to ensure the new Elite do not become as corrupt as the old Elite. Since there will be no monetary reward for being a member of the Elite (see Step #4), this should be less of a problem in the future of a Better Tomorrow.
Step #4- Elimination of Money and substitution of a Potlatch or "Gift" Economy
Distribution of the wealth the society is able to extract at a sustainable rate from the patch of land they occupy will be done by gifting each citizen with an equal portion of that produce. Citizens will be required to work for their share of the produce, in some form. If they are disabled and incapable of physical work, they will be required to do tedious accounting work to keep track of all the numbers, or perhaps do arbitration work resolving disputes, or write books, tell stories, make music, etc. If they are mentally incapacitated and can't handle difficult numerical or social issues and have no artistic ability, they will need to do physical labor of digging holes and fixing housing every time it gets knocked down by the latest extreme weather event. If they cannot do either physical or intellectual labor, they will be gifted with nothing and die of starvation.
Step #5- Migration to Upper Latitudes and Altitudes
For the 0.1% of the remaining population of Homo Saps, it will be necessary to migrate to Survival Zones on Earth where wet bulb temperatures remain within the range that both HS and the plants and animals they depend on can survive. In the Northern Hemisphere, this includes neighborhoods like Scandinavia, Siberia, Alaska, Northern Canada, Nunavut and Nova Scotia. Coastal Greenland also might be habitable if it has enough clearance above current sea level, say 10' as a starter. In the Southern Hemisphere, less available land mass in the upper latitudes, perhaps Argentina and Southern Australia until the Ice Sheets melt off of the Antarctic Continent, at which time that might become colonizable. That will take some time though, those ice sheets are quite thick.
Also possible survival zones in lower latitudes may be found at higher altitudes. Spots in the Rocky Mountains, the Andes, the Alps, the Sierra Nevada, the Appalachians, the Urals and the Himalayas may provide Lifeboats for a few isolated tribes of Homo Saps. Depending on latitude, anywhere from 3000' to 6000' might be enough to keep the temps within reason, while still providing enough Oxygen to survive. Nobody will be surviving above around 27,000' though, you won't find a tribe living on top of K-2 or Everest. That's the Death Zone. Even 20,000' is rather dicy. Call the survivable locations between 3000' and 12,000' in the Middle Latitudes. Equatorial regions are Unsafe at Any Altitude. (thank you Ralph Nader) The new Death Zone.
Step # 6- Alternative Food Production
This will take place over time during the migrations. Greenhouses will be built using Scavenged glass from McMansions and Carz, and seeds carried by migrating Homo Saps will be first planted in the controlled climates of the greenhouses, then dispersed for outdoor growing once the climate warms sufficiently for those plants to thrive in the upper latitudes. Birds and land mammals will also migrate northward, carrying seeds from more southern plants in their gut, and the entire ecosystem will migrate northward in this way.
Similarly, fish species currently found in equatorial waters will migrate north or south, eventually to end up in the Arctic Ocean or in the sea surrounding Antarctica. When the carbon begins to be resequestered and it's possible once again for Shellfish to form shells as Ocean pH begins to go up again, a New Great Barrier Reef will grow from coral around the coast of Antarctica.
Step #7- New Goobermints
New Goobermints will form up in the given locations of the surviving Homo Saps. With much smaller populations widely separated in geographical space, the populations will be no larger than 10,000 Human Souls. Various forms of Goobermints will be tried during the spin down as the societies shrink in size, including Fascism, Communism and neo-Feudalism incorporating Slavery. All will fail, with the final system being neo-Tribal, with the communities being Gooberned by the Elders of the tribe related to other members by no more than 2 degrees of separation, and so concerned with their well-being.
Step #8- Procreation and Population Control
Rules and Taboos will be put in place and enforced on procreation. Tribal permissions will be required in order to marry and procreate. Difficult to pass "Rites of Passage" will be implemented at Puberty and only those who pass the tests will have procreation rights. Once carrying capacity for the land has been established and reached by the population, new procreation rights will only be issued out when a tribal member dies, leaving an open seat at the table. Children conceived while the Tribe is at carrying capacity will be aborted or exposed after birth, unless an Elder member of the tribe who is sick or otherwise ready to go to the Great Beyond volunteers to do so and offers his/her life in exchange for the newborn infant.
Step #9 Animal Treatment
With a highly dispersed population of Homo Saps, most animals will live in the wild and be hunted for meat. Ceremonies will be performed when an animal is caught and killed for it's meat to Honor the life of that animal.
A few domesticated animals will be kept for production of Milk and Eggs mainly, although Wool also from sheep is good fiber to work with for making clothing and blankets. Domesticated animals will be treated humanely and given good room in a barn to shelter in and not be overcrowded to pass diseases around. Such animals dispatched to the Great Beyond for meat also will be given a Ceremony on death to Honor their contribution to the life of the Tribe.
Step #10- Medicine and Health Care
All members of the Tribe will have equal access to what medicines and repairs are still possible to do. This does NOT include operations like Heart Transplants or Kidney Dialysis, nor does it include keeping alive severely deformed infants. Even Diabetes is probably not treatable, as to get the constant supply of insulin necessary you would need to slaughter too many pigs. Minor operations like appendectomies may still remain possible, as well as setting broken bones and sewing up major wounds. Dentistry limited to preventative maintenance (tooth and gum cleaning), extractions and building of Dental Appliances to assist those with lost teeth in chewing, made from the teeth of dead animals or dead Homo Saps with some good teeth left. However, mostly people with no teeth left will eat soft foods like soft cheese which melts in your mouth, sour cream and butter for fats, mashed potatoes for carbs, fruits and berries which crush easily with just your gums, soft boiled eggs and broths rich in animal protein made from boiling left over bones from large animals, fish & chicken, their internal organs as well as discarded vegetable matter. Meat can be ground to an easily digestible consistency. Liver pâté also very good 🙂 I prefer pâté made with chicken livers, but braunschweiger made from pig liver is also pretty good. Nuts and other crunchy foods will be crushed with a Mortar & Pestle and the powder added to the mashed potatoes along with grated cheese for a more nutritious and tasty dish. (I am an expert on eating with few teeth 😀 )
There will be no cost for the medical care, as of course there is no money. Providers of medical care will have this as their primary work, rather than digging holes, gathering foods or crunching the numbers on the latest harvest.
Step #11- Education & Knowledge Retention and Advancement
Current Paper books will be kept in Sacred Libraries, protected from the elements as best as possible given the technology that still exists and handled with care by all readers. Librarians will be charged with the task of keeping the books organized and searchable, and making sure the readers handle them with care. Paper and Inks made from naturally occuring dyes is possible sustainably, although not in anywhere near the quantites it is produced today. To utilize the paper being produced effectively and efficiently it will need to be rationed, so anyone who wants to write down his thoughts/ideas will need to demonstrate their value first by explaining them orally and/or diagramming them out on a renewable surface such as scratching it into the dirt or using a chalkboard. You will need a source of chalk for this of course.
All children will be taught to read and write and do math so that it is possible for them later to record their thoughts and ideas this way, as well as do other helpful tasks for the tribe such as the aforementioned Accounting, as well as Engineering tasks like building Bridges, Windmills, etc. They will also need this ability in order to access to the body of knowledge stored in the Sacred Libraries.
However, given the overall shortage of paper, the primary form of retaining knowledge from Generation to Generation will be through Oral Tradition. So there will be a nightly exercise in memory practice, and stories, poems and music will be recited from memory by elders in the tribe, and after repetition over many years, at the time of the Rites of Passage will need to be repeated by the Acolyte in order to get reproductive rights. This is only one of many tests that must be passed in the Rites of Passage. Others include the Test for Survival, where the Acolyte is sent out into the Wilderness for a year with just a knife and clothing and a week's worth of food, and must come back alive at the end of the year. You don't survive this, obviously you do not get to reproduce. It's a risk you take. A tribal member can elect not to take these tests and continue to live with the tribe, but will not ever earn reproductive rights.
Step #12- Spirituality & Religion
A discussion of the spiritual connection with the Universe we can discern with our senses as well as what cannot be discerned this way will be encouraged in each member of the tribe. There will be no specific dogma attached, but a Weekly meeting will be held where all members of the Tribe discuss with each other their beliefs and their take on Existence, God, the Afterlife, Good & Evil etc. There will be Taboos in place against Tribal members Napalming each other or making Ad Hom arguments in these discussions. lol.
OK! That is my 12 Step Program for a Better Tomorrow, which I think is practical and realistically achievable given the parameters we are currently faced with. Is it an IDEAL solution? Well obviously not if you won't consider a 99.9% Die Off of Homo Saps as part of your solution. However, I don't see any realistic way possible to steer clear of such a die off anymore, so that is a parameter I have to work with in creating the rest of the solution. Then I have other parameters like what the technologies I think can be maintained are and what patches of the Earth surface I think might still be decent Survival Zones. Overall, this limits you quite a bit in making a realistic assessment of the situation.
Things I do not see as very realistic are:
1- All of Humanity will all of a sudden wake up from their collective stupor and become environmentally conscious and active and will sacrifice their current standard of living (measured in terms of things like electricity on demand, happy motoring, thick and juicy ribeye steaks on the table etc.) in order to maintain a sustainable system for all at a lower economic standard (which for 7.3B people, would have to be quite low).
2- All of Humanity will all of a sudden grasp the futility of War and Peacefully coexist on the planet, sharing the resources left equitably. Homo Saps have NEVER done that in all of recorded history, and I see no indication they will start now. The highest likelihood here is there will be fights over the resources until the population has been knocked down sufficiently that what resources remain or are renewable are enough for the remaining population, and their ability to make war on each other is significantly reduced by lack of resources with which to pursue such wars on a Global Scale.
3- A movement with no Leadership and no plan for how to rebuild society can possibly arise spontaneously with agreement from the majority of the population of the earth. Most of the people ambulatory right now are completely clueless, and without leadership to explain the problems to these dummies in a way they can understand as well as provide them enough food to meet their daily needs, you simply have no chance of success here. They will latch on to whatever leader pops up and promises them a good job and food on the table. These folks always pop up in such times, see Trumpty-Dumpty for this.
I am not into Woo-Woo solutions that don't address the real problems before us. It's all well and good to be at peace with yourself and develop a philosophy that is "intimate" with Nature and that encourages Peace, Love and Understanding between all Homo Saps, but it's not realistic at all that this will spontaneously and suddenly appear in huge populations of people that currently positively HATE each other, including but not limited to Sunnis vs Shiites, Christians vs Muslims, Pakistanis vs Indians, Han Chinese vs Uyghurs, Jews vs Arabs, Blacks vs Whites etc, etc, etc. These folks are not destined to Love each other. They are destined to KILL each other. That's the reality, as uncomfortable as it might be.
Despite this unfortunate set of parameters, this does NOT mean that Homo Sap will go Extinct in the Near Term, nor does it mean that all Knowledge we have gained over the millenia will be lost either. It does leave open the possibility or even likelihood that after such a massive crash, remaining Homo Saps will gain a better understanding of their close relationship with Nature, and develop new societies with better "Human Nature", which overall is really a social construct more than it is biologically determined by genetics, IMHO. Evidence for this is that societies prior to the Age of Agriculture had far different norms in terms of their behaviors, and even in today's world there is huge variation in "Human Nature" between societies. Asian Cultures for instance have a much different attitude toward "Face" and how you are perceived by others than Western society does. We can change, we can adapt, but it's not going to happen in time to stem a massive die off of the current population, which has to occur anyhow because the overall ecosystem is just too stressed by too many Homo Sap meat packages walking the earth at the same time. Somebody's gotta GO here, and go they will.
The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse have saddled up and they are riding. I hear the distant thunder every day, pounding through the earth from places like Syria, Afghanistan and Somalia. Those Hoofbeats will arrive too in the 1st World, and then whoever is left standing will have 2 choices left.
1- To lay down and die with the rest of the dead Homo Saps.
2- To Buckle down and Build a Better Tomorrow.
I will take Door #2 Monte.
Or in the words of my literary idol and hero…