Background and Context
I am non-negotiable on the condition that, a One Point Zero world (and preferably much less) is THE Only, ‘morally righteous’ and defensible vision for Humanity Success.
‘One Point Zero’ meaning living intergenerationally within our biosphere’s, ecological Natural Resource limits, recognising that it is a ‘closed’ system. This is not just about ‘greenhouse gases’, but all ‘scarce’ / ‘not unlimited’, resources.
I am not wedded to the Global Footprint Network’s definition of Ecological Sustainability, but for now, they seem to offer a very plausible was of quantifying the above, One Point Zero, Sustainability Success.
I haven’t approached our whole Climate Change / Sustainability ‘problem’ from a technical / scientific / environmentalist perspective. I see how vital these aspects are, and how they will help solve ‘our problem’, but I see ‘THE Problem’ as rather being one of a huge human socio-economic, cultural problem.
A pervasive, flawed Ideology / Definition of Humanity Success, problem. Read more here.
I understand, that for many, the above is radical, and maybe an un-palatable position. I sense many do know this is ‘THE Problem’, but it is just ‘too painful and close to heart’ to openly acknowledge and then deal with. So denial and rejection of what is presented here is ‘normal’! What follows needs a Courage to Truth disposition!
I am not talking this stance to be radical, disruptive or controversial. This is not easy!
I can share at some later date how challenging and difficult the personal journey of getting to this conclusion has been for me. It is in this deep exploring and transformation journey, that has taken me almost to all ‘the corners’ of the planet, that I have been able to arrive at these conclusions, and have a deeper understanding of the human transformational aspect involved. A journey has almost been one of ‘heresy’ and becoming a traitor to my socio-economic peers / ‘class’ / culture.
Begining with the desired, End Success in Mind.
I accept that a One Point Zero goal is probably seen as idealistic, impossible, ‘Not going to happen’ etc… I have been fighting this rhetoric for years now, but anything less is unacceptable compromise for me (and surely Team Humanity’?), and I believe there is a huge and ever increasing need for ‘some people’, a group, and / or a movement, to continually push for this human, Moral Imperative: This to help society ‘Aim Right’, in addressing Our Climate Problem! In medical analogy this is about:
Ensuring that the ‘patient’s sickness’ has been properly diagnosed, and that the right level of ‘medicine’, is designed, and administered. It’s only about ‘The Truths’, no matter how inconvenient these are, and not accepting only “Doing The Best we Can, under The Circumstance”. Beginning with the right, ‘End in Mind’, ensures one starts off with the right tools, equipment and priorities for the full journey to reach ‘The End’.
Air Travel is a great example: Will there be the Heathrow’s of the world, in a One Point Zero world?
Maybe they will become museums, memories of a past immoral society!!!
Does it make sense to spend vast sums of money on greening them? Should we be applying circular economy initiatives / practices to sectors of industry that are clearly not part of a One Point Zero world?
Radical and difficult decisions…??? But if the End Goal of Success is clear, the decisions become far more obvious, cheaper, and easier to make….. We are busy contemplating ‘Greening‘ a flawed World, and at huge expense!
Symptoms of Our Ideology Sickness
In 14 years of extensive exploration, I have seen across the planet, the increasing evidence of the now acute, Human conflict of Nature (The Chasm) . The pain of society’s brutal economic unfairness (The Divide) . And finally the ever expanding ‘void of spirituality’ within society. (The Void) .The latter being the ever increasing lack of a ‘Beyond Human’, moral / values, context in society / people’s lives. This erosion of Beliefs and Values, has actually enabled us to ‘progress unchecked’ to our current day dilemma!
I have seen how these ‘Three Gaps’ are the result of the overpowering ‘Ideology thrust’ of Amercanism, that has resulted in us humans, having lost our Human-ness and ‘Belonging’ on this planet.
With peace in my soul, and a ‘moral mission‘, to unashamedly share My Truths. I’m coming from a ‘Moral Warrior’ perspective and with a deep care for all of Humanity, and what I believe is right.
I do understand that many will turn their backs on me for this stance, but that is ‘mere’ cost of the path with My Truths. (BTW, just in case you wonder?: I’m an atheist, who is deeply spiritual, and sees Nature as ‘our’ Higher Power: I’m fully accepting of a multi truths approach to spiritual; / religious enlightenment: A society that encourages independent pursuit of individual, ‘Beyond Human’, higher power, context for life.)
So in the depth and breadth of the above World View: I do not believe technology, not renewable energy, etc will solve ‘THE Problem’.
‘We’ have a massive culture / behavioural transformational challenge that is ‘THE Problem’, underlying cause of ‘Our Climate Problem’ Here is the real challenge:
How to radically change human behaviour / ‘fashion’, and what ‘it’ sees as success: Consumerism, Material and Wealth Accumulation, and success based on a pecuniary struggle . And then to do this in a world where the rampant Americanism has become the de facto religion of The World, and has made, absolute individual freedom, almost a right!
Please don’t read into the above that I am opposed to technology, and all the current renewable energy, recycling etc, initiatives. These we HAVE to HAVE. I am in awe of the efforts underway, admire those involved, but as we both know, they alone aren’t nearly enough.
Massive Transformational Change Now Needed
‘THE Problem’ is now so acute that the only change now needed is of a massive transformational nature. I am very aware of the moral, human rights, equality vs fairness, capitalism risk / reward justice, the various human motivation theories, and the ‘power of the powerful’ in society, etc…. I understand the difference between China and the Western ideologies, and the challenge of China and USA competition. The ‘Trump factor’ and how that is setting us back. I have read a huge amount, and not having been based in any one nation for 14 years, yet being globally immersed, I do not underestimate the enormity (impossibility) of this endeavour?
Unfortunately the leadership (past and present) have created a world of ‘duped’ franchisees, all believing in the Master Franchiser’s formula for success and prosperity. Because of the Master Franchisee’s marketing of the success of the franchise, and to a lesser extent the larger franchisees self-marketing, the whole of humanity is caught up in more and more, bigger and better, faster and faster, race to self-destruction. Nobody knows how to get out of this race.
Nobody will give up there striving to be better placed competitor in this race. The higher echelons of each and all franchises are not at all personally concerned about the situation as the ever growing ‘success’ of their franchise, best serves their personal desires for increasing, Power, Autonomy, and unlimited access to elitist higher living. This ever ballooning elitist position, securing for themselves, their families and their future generations, a cocooned ‘Dream Life’, partitioned from the masses, and out of touch with reality.
For these higher echelon people, the ‘franchise’ system is a huge success, and obviously they see it as ‘THE only’ solution for humanity. They point to its ‘fairness of opportunity’ for all, their vital contribution to its economic growth initiatives, and in the process provide license for their contribution to the ‘immorality’.
I actually believe that many anti Trump elite, are personally ecstatic that Climate Change initiative have been rolled back, and the economy being given a consumption boosting turbo charge, and they can get back to living without any guilt, or fear of change, and now able to publicly blame Trump!
The elite, mostly do not want any change that means that they or their close tribe, have to personally change behaviour and their definition of success. Al Gore / Obama are all cases in point: They cry for change, but yet don’t set the example of what a new, elite Good life is.
The message they are giving out is that “Global Warming is a top priority, but it’s for ‘things’ in the background to change, and the way I LIVE will still be the Good Life of Success. So aspire to my life and my Success.”
A New Good Life for A New Success
Yeah, it’s tough, but the world needs new celebrities / leadership who ‘Walk the Talk’ of a New Good Life. Not to be actors, or ‘show people’, doing it ‘For the cause’, but ‘doing it’ because they actually believe that the New Good Life, is The Only Good Life for sustained future human life on the planet. This will require ‘us’ all ot detest Americanism!
With the current global ‘success’ of ‘the franchise system’ and its inherant, pervasive and intrusive marketing system, those nations that reject franchise ‘licences’ (China, Russia, etc), have also become sucked into its ‘Currents of Success’, and have become various forms of hybrids, competing with the franchises. A zero sum game that still has to run its full course of total self-demise. (China is a particularly scary example of this. Having now got sucked into competing on western terms for the prize of top dog, for its people. But in China does lie a huge opportunity to effect change, provided ‘THE Problem’ is included in their leadership’s vision and focus.
Today’s Western Democracy model will not get ‘THE Problem’ solved. Democracy only results in compromise, and transformation does not succeed when there is any significant political compromise.
Because of fears of a crash in GDP, the whole picture of what is needed, is purposely presented to the electorates around the world as one of: “Carry on increasing consumption, it is good for You, for Me, for All of Us, and ‘We’ the’ powers that be’ will solve the sustainability problem behind the scenes. ‘We’ will let you know when we need you to switch products / service providers, but other than that its ‘Life as usual’, Soend, spend, and Spend!”
Even if they wanted to bring in transformational change, the leaders / politicians are caught between a rock and a hard place, because there is no ‘alternative solution‘ being presented for them to adopt. (One that doesn’t need GDP growth, yet looks after the health and well-being of their electorates. The leadership aren’t desperately looking for an alternate solution because they do not want change for themselves: As today’s system ‘more than meets their needs’, and having an excuse not to change is very convenient.
The Solution beyond Democracy
In particularly the past three years of exploring around the world, as I have narrowed my focus to seeking solutions to ‘THE Problem’. I can see it will require ‘A Movement’ that is global, and above politics, probably UN displacing, albeit of no cultural similarity to the UN!
In all my exploring to this end, I have found a rapidly building, anger and discontentment, with the younger generation, over this increasingly unappealing picture, above. This sentiment around the world, and the many ‘strange election results confirming the brewing discontent. The populism movement is witness to this, but is not focused on ‘THE Problem’, at best one symptom of it. (The Wealth Imbalance. More below.)
This restless energy is valuable and vital to solving THE Problem, but it all needs to be channeled towards an ‘Alternate Vision’ for ’global society’.
That vision does not exist today. In the absence of a new vision, society will continue to disintegrate, and become more unstable, with loose cannon, charismatic, evangelists (Trump etc) exploiting the opportunity, but never addressing ‘THE Problem’.
The world needs a Mandela, but a Mandela also with a sound Vision for a New World Order. A new Ideology beyond Americanism, and its current ‘franchise’ system.
This is the problem with revolutionaries like Mandela, they knew what they wanted to tear down, but they didn’t know what they wanted built in its place. This is the issue in this European turmoil today. Probably the same in the UK with Corbyn’s challenge to the political order. Bernie Sanders has the similar challenge. NZ is now proving the flaw: The ‘New’ Labour party, that criticized the old regime, promising radical change, but now in charge, lack the radical change alternative vision. Democracy won’t allow Radical Change.
As we know the world is in a state of increasing uncertainty and instability, and much of the older order is being challenges and / or thrown out, and this is all fertile ground for visionary transformation
This culture transformation is not going to be easy, and many (most) would say, impossible, but as I have stated above: ‘Someone’ has to show an alternate way: ‘The Path that Could Be.’ To not only point out the ‘moral crimes’ of today, but also have Solutions.
This, so the leaders of today have no excuse of there being no alternative socio economic System / ‘ideology / path for humanity. Also for the disenfranchised youth, and the whole electorate to have a choice in deciding what they desire. This all in the window of, ‘A Once in a Humanity, Moment in Time’: An opportunity / imperative for ‘us’ to take real action on the Inconvenient Truths that we now know, beyond doubt, are THE Truths.
I only mention all this to point to where I see energy for transformation coming from, when looking ‘down the road’, at implementation strategy and practicalities for such an enormous humanity undertaking.
I have put a lot of work into the ‘practicality of this disruotive transformation’, but only enough to ensure there was no ‘Black hole’ of ‘Hoplessness’or Impossibility for the revolutionary change needed. For now I’m happy there is a possible path, albeit a hugely tortuous one, my focus of my project moved to the vision / socio economic system design, for solution of ‘THE Problem’ .
Designing a new World Vision
Yes, many others have been looking at ‘New Economy’ models, etc to solve our ‘Climate Problem‘. I have ‘searched the world’, and read most of the publicly available stuff, but I have yet to find any initiatives that START with a Non-Negotiable, One Point Zero World, Goal. Then work back down from there to find a ‘meeting interface’ with ‘The System‘ we have today. This is powerful in both its radicalness, and link back to clarity of Human Purpose.
Almost all of the current initiatives that I am aware of, start with the current System, the market economy and western ideology / neoliberalism being central, and then a condition that this is ‘Not to be Significantly altered / disturbed’! Essentially tweeking Capitalism, or what is called ‘Reform’.
The main reason why this is happening because unless one takes a clear One Point Zero moral End Success stance, there is a inner conflict, in deciding an ‘arbitrary goal’, while trying to minimise ‘societal disruption’. Society disruption will always be preferentially avoided, and the Success Goals, bar lowered. As has happened with The UN Process to date. This only brings problem abeyance, not solution.
None of these initiatives are focused holistically on the Three Gaps above, and ‘THE Problem‘, articulated above. They are either anti-capitalism, green / environmentalist, or pure ‘global warming’ abeyance, focused. Most of the initiatives today are ‘Climate‘ focused, and fuelled by fear of severe weather disrupting human life, rather than a moral imperative to live intergenerationally within our means. This approach encourages delaying of taking of The Severe Medicine needed.
So starting with One Point Zero has a clear, focused defensible human imperative goal, and one that is linked to Human Belonging on this Planet. With this highest level beacon of Human Success, it is clear that a new ideology has to be created that facilitates that goal delivery.
The other advantage of this approach, is that many of the industries / products / services / infrastructure that is around and used today will not be part of a One Point Zero world. We need to be doing today’s ‘Greening‘ with an Alternate Ideology in mind, not trying to ‘Green’ the current system and infrastructure, that may not be needed in the future…
Not only must this alternative system / ‘ideology’ deliver a One Point Zero (and less) world, it must also take the opportunity to ‘correct the broader, holistic failings of society today. It must simultaneously address all the ever widening Three Gaps in society (The Chasm, The Divide, and The Void).
As such it will need to be a radical new socio economic system. Beyond the current Franchise, and Competing model.
It’s important to start with the Brutal Truth picture:
To use an analogy: We’ are like a serious obese human being, say 300+ lb: First thing we need is a transformational crash diet, to get us down to ‘healthy weight (One Point Zero). That in itself is a very difficult cultural / behaviour change challenge.
Then once there, we need another transformational intervention to deliver a ‘Way of Life‘ (far different to the diet life) that enable us to live a flourishing, on purpose life, at this new ‘right weight’!
In its simplicity It’s almost a two stage process. Today’s changes to energy sources, electric cars, recycling and infrastructure are part of the crash diet part, but include very little consumer behaviour change.
I have been working on the design of the post, crash diet, situation challenge: The design of flourishing new ‘Way of Life’ and New socio economic system, for ‘Right weight Humans’, and to one that enables us to keep at ‘Right weight’. In working on this end point, I have not ignored the nature of the crash diet journey ‘we’ will need to get there, and much of what is going on today is part of the crash diet, but its not an aggressive enough diet plan. There doesn’t seem to be any / much thought being put into the post, crash diet, diet, and way of life!
Always going back to the need for One Point Zero compliance forces one to confront the ill serving, sacred cows of today’s society’s workings. The ‘rules’, that we don’t see as ‘rules’ for living that are all designed by humans for a human journey to a anthropocentrically human designed definition of Success.
These sacred cows don’t get exposed if one progresses incrementally from where we are today to some compromised, less ‘traumatic’ goal. Many of today sacred cow ‘rules’ are incompatible with a One Point Zero world, and so this challenges one to thinking of what went wrong, and why did ‘we’ think that we were on the right path? This is all turmoil I have had to deal with and not let the pain of those discoveries detract from the pursuit of my design goal.
As ungrounding as this design process has been for me, it has minimised the number of ‘sacred cows’ in my beliefs, and where these rules blatantly prevent achievement of the One Point Zero. I have had to look at removing them from the design, and seeking new Socio Economic formulae. To find new value proposition relationships that can alternatively satisfy the human needs behind the ‘rule’.
At times it has been very confusing as I flipped through the Jeff Bezos type ‘Success stories, developing countries ideology, communism, colonialism, etc to the current world order. Even with a ‘free-ish’ mind, this exercise has been hugely, ‘fundamental belief challenging’.
Getting to the very deep questions about Human Purpose, the meaning of work, the value and role of money, the origins of the pecuniary struggle, concepts of fairness vs equality, our relationship to Nature and other living beings, etc, etc….
A Snap Shot of This New Future
Essentially I’m looking at a global economy some 50% or more smaller than todays. From many writings that I have read, they seem to confirm a similar picture. Yes, switching to renewable energy etc, will reduce that economy shrinkage needed, but that’s part of the first, ‘Crash Diet‘ stage. The facts are:
Significant shrinkage is needed, and then a ‘Non Footprint Growth’, ‘Way of Life’, society, must be the norm.
Amercanism is mutually exclusive to a shrinkage journey
Money in The Future
I have concluded that the Role of Money and its relationship to wealth accumulation in society today is central to our obese condition. Not just the amount of money, but who holds it, how they accumulated it, and how they spend it. I know many have come to the same conclusion and much written about all this….. Work and leisure balance, UBI, robotic taxes etc….
Many of these ideas are very useful, but these are ideas, are mostly presented in a ‘more of the same’, socio-economic system context, without a clear underpinning One Point Zero alternative goal. And almost every one needs a large economy to generate the taxes atht pay the people the UBI’s etc.
Changing the value of money, and the role in our lives, can simultaneously address all three, humanity destroying Gaps above: (The Chasm, The Divide, and The Void) My new system, has a very innovative money replacement concept.
A New Way of Life
From my personal experience of living an, ‘individual, One Point Zero, lifestyle for 12 months I concluded that one cannot spend more than $40-50 000 per annum (2018 US Dollar basis) before one runs out of ‘fair share’, Ecological Capacity.
After one year of hitting against this limit and undergoing some more personal transformation, I concluded that placing a personal limit on Ecological Capacity utilisation has a profound impact on human behaviour, and the role that money plays in one’s life:
There is no longer much value in accumulating wealth beyond the circa $30-40k per annum, certainly not multi millions, as one can’t spend it: Without personal Ecological Capacity credit, one is essentially ‘financially broke’.
Like Carbon Trading should be today, trading Ecological Footprint is a ‘No-No’, as beyond not fixing The Chasm problem, this will not help ‘The Divide’ problem.
Individual One Point Zero lifestyle for now means ‘we’ all get, Equal Ecological Capacity.
So, there literally is no use for excess, dollar based wealth! One still has a large freedom of choice relating to consumer decisions, but the emphasis now moves to purchases that best use one’s limited Ecological Footprint currency. This immediately eliminates the impulse buying, instant gratification, ever increasing novelty demands etc… Americanism loses its pull, and beacon of Success. Adevrtising industry will be decimated, and advertising will only be about promting Footprint advantages
This all has a huge change in ‘Being Human‘, context: Essentially it drives one’spersonal transformation to becoming a deeper, less materialistic human, and more mindful of one’s origins, and appreciative of one’s simpler pleasures.
Yes, that is controversial, and a challenge to sell, but these are all parts of the whole New Vision picture. Yes and many will not like it but I have designed it so that The Majority will! I realise that, that is controversial in itself!
Carbon taxes, preferential goods and service taxes, flying carbon credits / taxes etc will not achieve this, and will not address The Divide and The Void issues, and probably not even The Chasm either! .I think your book conclude that too…. They encourage the pursuit of wealth it afford the increased costs, and simultaneously further disadvantage the less wealthy.
The Killer App! Technology that Enables Humans to Diet!
SO…..: This all needs is ‘A System‘ that manages Ecological Footprint down to a personal level. While this seems draconian and state surveillance orientated, it is THE most Liberating way forward given our Acute Health Problem. Having tried it out for 12 months, I’m witness to its high level of personal empowerment, and freedom of choice enablement.
This Footprint Management System will be THE KEY Technology that drives the Solution of ‘THE Problem’: The Human behaviour / culture problem: The biggest and most serious problem humanity has ever faced.
I’m not ignoring the need for global / national / city level footprint reducing initiatives. I’m not implying that just managing individual footprints will solve the problems on its own.
It is about ensuring we have a full range of impact from top down and bottom up. The two must meet, and essentially I believe the change should be demanded from the bottom, that’s why the system down to individual level is vital.
Over the years, I have been shocked by the lack of real understanding and real responsibility for footprint the general public have? I believe some of that is purposeful mushrooming of people by governments, elite, politicians, business, etc…
An individual level system will rapidly educate and empower people as to what really is important, and the impact of their choices on Nature, and our ability to belong on this planet!.
I’m a freedom junkie: My whole life has been focused on getting maximum Freedom, autonomy to be able to move as close as possible to ‘totally’ plotting my own course of life. I have detested rules, regulations and control. I saw that simplicity, and power, through submission to nobody else but Nature, was the best path to freedom for me. Needing a buck from someone else, would always result in some form of servitude, and then living an extravagant life would make me a servant to the system, whether that be in continual need of financial resource, or continued / increasing societal recognition.
So contrary to what people may think, I’m not desiring of ‘policing or controlling’ others. I detest that, as I am a Deep Anarchist at Heart. So personal footprint restraint has been challenging, but it provides maximum freedom in that context has been my test of success of design.
What I have come up with is ‘The most Freedom enabling’ system’, for all. This however in the context where ‘we’ have anthropocentrically, abused our Nature give freedom, got obese, and now need to voluntarily go on the huge ‘double diet’ journey, above.
The Footprint Management system above is the easiest and most empowering way of doing this.
Anyone seeking to continue the path of ever increasing, absolute freedom, is deluded in thinking that we will make any impact on solving ‘Our Problem’. This is the seemingly bitter pill I had to swallow, and have long since acquired its taste!
In simple terms, the resistance ‘we’ have today is: The elite / wealthy / leadership cannot yet see how that apparently huge and ‘vilely bitter’ pill they see, is not quite like that, and can actually become sweet, and addictive soul food!!
In a nutshell that is the cultural transformation that is needed. A few billionaires, through their ‘walk the talk’ showing us that they prefer the ‘bitter pill’ diet, and have given up the ‘obesity promoting’ food, will change The Fashion of Success, OVERNIGHT!
Jobs, work, and sustaining human vibrancy, are obviously a huge part of this new socio economic system design The issue of loss of jobs as a result of the significantly shrunk ‘economy’ is managed in a separate ‘chapter’ other than to say that the Footprint System would annually allocate Footprint ‘salary’ to all those meeting the conditions of the ‘Collective’ to who they belong.
The concept of Collectives, rather than sounding communistic and dehumanising, is a very innovative one that provides for a huge variety of voluntary, multi-sub ideology, communities, ranging in size for the single, self-sufficient, anarchistic family, through to a China size, Nation type collective, and all shapes and sizes in between. Autonomous, voluntary Collectives and the Footprint Management system are central to my solution vision.
Obviously the whole New Economy vision is much more complex that ‘just’ what have outlined above, and I have many of its complex modules in various states of design, which are all quite exciting!
As the Footprint Management system would be the fundamental cultural change enabling technology, I decided to put a hold on further design of these other modules until I have conceptual clarity on the Footprint Management ‘feasibility’. I’m now driving these Footprint Management System issues to the point where I am happy that a System solution is either possible or not? This is a vital step, for this ‘proof of concept’ stage.
I have taken many products / services and industries and run them through how Footprint would be allocated along the value chain from natural resource extraction through to final consumer purchase, and then final consumption / use. While obviously there are many challenges, from dairy products, to lawyers and accountants in London, to village markets in Africa, as I explored I found lots of similarity in the VAT / GST process / systems around the world.
I have concluded that within my limited wisdom / knowledge the design of a Footprint Management System for the purpose is conceptually and most likely practically possible.
THIS Project was terminated in November 2018, as the founder of The Global Footprint Network, distanced himself from the concepts and philosophy presented above. This was a HUGE blow to my two years of ‘New Manifesto‘ Efforts and has been probably THE Most significant reason for me concluding:
Its’ Hopeless and I’m Helpless!
Further in my in depth, scanning the world for partners to assits me complete this New Manifesto Vision I have only been met with cynicism and rejection. It’s ‘Ahead of its Time‘, yet We don’t have Time, and so in the future is will be judged as Too Late!