There's been some agreement on three pillars of sustainability and collective survival: 1) Maintenance of the natural systems base such as forests, streams, air and soil, so they do not degrade to non-recoverable collapse. 2) Reduced per-capita resource usage. Reversing long-time merchandising messages of increasing use, to messages of reducing use can help. Easily viewed meters or publicly compared usage can give results. Facilitating the sharing of resources by householders can achieve dramatic reduction in their use and also slow the filling of land dumps. This can be done through promotion of community structures such as microhouses, microhouse cohousing with shared central facilities, and central facility vehicular villages in rural and urban settings. The use of county-wide (or local telephone-area) computers to list and search for home, farm & ranch and business used items, excess inventory and trash can help a lot. The same telephone listing and searching service (with the databases shared to Internet users as well) can easily provide resource-saving ride, job, housing, lost & found and community general information sharing at the same time. Resources generally could move directly from where they are not needed to where they are wanted, after free-enterprise negotiation in terms of for sale, for exchange, or for free, and excess handling or central warehousing and transportation would not be needed. 3) Control of population numbers. This necessity would probably include achieving negative population growth. Rather than outright coercive methods (which have been mentioned in this forum) which give the individual no choice and will probably encounter rally-around unified opposition, I think the method of governmental offering of individual food, perhaps also medical care, clothing and shelter, etc., even for a lifetime, should be implemented which is in exchange for a voluntary sterilization. This is where it would be in the interests of government to begin to transfer some strong funding away from areas which were classically for older notions of defense. After the public venting of criticism, you will see us line up for our pensions. It is not the same as selling our souls to a dictatorship. The die-hards and exceptionally persistent individuals can make their efforts to obtain their needs without having to end their genetic lives, and undoubtedly they will. I would not want to personally or have my government confront such individuals with coercion, for the energies involved are the most powerful we know. While some individuals will prefer to starve and die (or possibly survive) as wild animals, most of us will come to enjoy being kept as pets in a comfortable world where we have the freedom and means to develop ourselves. Daily we are making the transition to acceptance of neutering our animal pets for their collective benefit and avoidance of distasteful suffering and killing, and we should look at that as a model for our own avoidance of the same, and how we will come to accept it. I believe we know that these healthy and happy pets represent a very good outcome, given the limitations which had been reached. Meow? I am not a trained scholar nor a professional type and I do thank you all for the input I have had in this inquiry into the future of mankind. Thank you, Charles Wilson (Flower Child) http://www.c2i2.com/~nternet see also alt.gathering.rainbow -----Original Message----- From: Kent Eriksson <email@example.com> To: SystemPolitics@onelist.com <SystemPolitics@onelist.com> Date: Saturday, November 21, 1998 8:41 AM Subject: [SystemPolitics] Re: only two possibilities From: "Kent Eriksson" <firstname.lastname@example.org> Dieoff wrote... |Actually, the burden is on you to demonstrate that humans are exempt |from universal biophysical laws. Personal incredulity is not a sound | scientific argument. I admit I did not express myself clearly. Of course, humans cannot be exempted from the laws of nature. But the crash-and-die scenario is based on exponential population growth. Considering the fact that this growth has been stopped in the industrialised world, it appears reasonable to me to believe that it is possible to stop the growth in the rest of the world, too. |> Further, even if it does, we may be dealing with time-scales that are incomprehensible. | |Incomprehensible to whom? Unclear again. I mean that Cro-Magnon man has existed for 50 000 years. Written history is no more than a tenth of this. I do consider timespans longer that say 100 years to be "incomprehensible" to human individuals. Evolutionary timescales are really incomprehensible. We cannot see how minute and for all practical purposes undetectable differences in the genetic make-ups of different clans can turn one into masters of the world, while the other clan vanishes without a trace. Of course, this is not impossible to simulate in a mathematical model. So I have checked out the website http://www.context.org/ICLIB/IC36/Gilman1.htm. No doubt the described scenario is something that must be prevented. Am I to understand that the alternative scenario is what you are referring to when you say "managed like domestic pets". Where can I find the alternative scenario? After all, I would rather be a living pet than a starving and dying wild animal. Finally, a mathematical model is just a model. It is an input for decision-making. It must be weighed against other input. Of course, the limitations of the world's resources are very real. Unfortunately, the discussion tends to focus more on whether different resources will suffice for 50 or 200 years, rather than on efficient methods for actively controlling the use of the limited resources. /Kent Eriksson ----------------------------------------------------------------- ------- To unsubscribe from this mailing list, or to change your subscription to digest, go to the ONElist web site, at http://www.onelist.com and select the User Center link from the menu bar on the left.