Sustainable Civilization

Sustainable Development: Advancing Toward a Global Civilization
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Each of the 50 million passengers on earth has equal rights to these services. For example, each gets an equal portion of the produced hydro electric power. However, every person may not have a need for his or her allocation of zinc. The collective holds these rights for the individual and leases with incomes from the leases returned to the individual in the form of energy tokens or social services to a user on a per time period basis. When the period is over, the individual returns the zinc to the stockpile some times passing through a recycling process and stops paying the lease.

The lease costs are paid first by the manufacturer, then the inventory holder, and finally the end user whose appliance contains a very small amount of zinc. The leases replaces our current notion of private property. And the leases apply to not only material stockpiles like zinc, but land, and air, and water, in all their productive and restorative capacities. The lease payments are ascribed to the lessor which is the person who did not need his or her entire allotment of the commons' zinc.

If the commons's service can be degraded, as a contingency of getting a lease, the lessor has to show that his proposed use will not degrade the commons' service. That is, the same service exists at the end of lease as existed in the beginning. For example, a person can lease land. They can build a building on the land. The can live in the building or rent the building, or produce goods and services within the building, or grow food on the land. However, when the building or growing project is no longer viable, as part of the lease agreement, the lessee has to have in escrow the energy and resources to take the building down or return the land to the state it was in at the beginning of the lease.

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They can transfer the leases and escrow to another person who then assumes payment of the lease and responsibility for restoration. There are no corporate entities but their are shared leases. Each share holder is also a pro rated lease holder. The same conditions of use apply to civic projects infrastructure. Infrastructure can be built only if there is an escrow account for the energy and process for returning the property back to the original state.

Other changes to the social contract, for example, are that toxins created within the enclave are handled within the enclave and are not allowed to bleed through the enclave's boundary to the natural area. Originally these were part of the earth's crust. However, during previous civilizations, using human, and fossil energy, they were mined, processed, stockpiled, and integrated into infrastructure. The rest is embedded in waste, or diluted beyond easy recovery. There are still quantities of these non renewable resources left in the ground but they are so dilute, it is assumed that soon it is easier to recycle minerals and metals in use in our current civilization than mine the low concentrations of ore still in the ground.

Table of Contents

It's assumed that during the transition of the 7 billion people distributed across the globe to 50 million living in 3 enclaves, these metals and minerals will be scavenged and stockpiled within these enclaves. These stockpiles will be consider part of the commons. Portions can be leased to individuals for intervals.

Since they cannot be created or destroyed each user as part of his or her lease must place in escrow the energy required to recycle the material back to its original leased form and restored to these stockpiles. Since they can no longer be privately owned. They cease to have value as a monetary unit.

Jewelry will have sentimental value, art value, and an associated lease per unit time cost. Initially people lease these materials from the stockpiles. When these materials are incorporated into products and sold, along with the selling price the buyer accepts responsibility of paying the monthly lease reflecting the material's value to the commons. Also included in the selling price would be the recycling charge put in escrow required to extract and return the material back to the stockpile.

When reselling a product, the monthly lease is transfered to the new buyer as well as the right of demand on the escrow account for recycling fees previously paid by the the original lessor.

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In developing nations, sustainable development means to address abject poverty and to improve access to fresh water, food, education, clean energy, sanitation, and health care. Even on Earth, the local environments range from moderate, to difficult, to extreme. Crucially, the Ocean Model attributes worth to all cultures insofar as they are all constitutive of one human civilisation encapsulating a common human story. Further information: Neolithic revolution. New York: Universe Books.

This reselling of subsequent leases continues until the object is abandoned and the escrow account implements the recycling. The lessor would be obligated to put up some collateral, or pay some insurance premium, to protect against the lose or theft of the leased object. For life on the space station, social conflict, that consumes resources, is not very useful.

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Every injury to an astronaut, every damage to a piece of equipment, and every resource diverted to conflict is a loss to the space exploration project. It is not much different for spaceship earth. Conflict diverts resources and services that do or could support human activity.

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In a global system at saturation or in overshoot, diverted resources cause die-off of humans and further destruction of the environment. When conflict leads to civilization collapse, losses of economies of scale, protection of trade, and specialization of labor, result in reduced productivity. The result is more scarcity, more conflict, more die-off, and more environmental damage. Conflict could leave our survivors in an environmentally damaged dark age. The happiness of our children depends on finding and enacting elements of the social contract that greatly reduce and limit social conflict.

Let me focus on two biological forces that create conflict through increasing scarcity that are beyond the biological force that encourages procreation. Lorenz and Morris describe the first as the desire to control territory that is exclude others from that space. And the second is to establish hierarchy among others in your environment. These two forces are also in our genes, taken up residence in our lower brain, and have been written into our culture.

For example, our laws that define private ownership and establish authority. These forces have brought humans both progress, and a chance at extinction. It has already been argued that letting our genes determine how many people exist on the planet does not produce good prospects and should be limited by the social contract. Maybe territorial rights and hierarchy both need to be constrained by new elements of the social contract to avoid conflict that reduces the added benefits provided by civilization.

To a large extend, the motivation for conflict depends on one's self view of personal wellbeing. The new elements of the social contract, to prevent conflict, have to address both these trends and states. By evenly distributing the most valuable contributor to wellbeing, energy, we have greatly leveled the playing field. This large component of universal services provided by the collective to individuals includes education, healthcare, transportation, civil infrastructure, and discretionary income.

This results in an extremely high self determination of personal course through life. The monthly allocation of energy tokens also prevents loss of wellbeing relative to the individual's requirements. However, if individuals rise above this base support, with work or cleverness, this elevation puts them at risk of loss of wellbeing. It also creates the opportunity for great stratification of wellbeing and forms the basis of discontent and conflict. Which leads to the question what elements should be added to the social contract to keep these trends and elevated states from creating the conflict that wastes resources.

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I need your help in the design of these constraining laws. I will present some I have considered. However, there maybe others that accomplish the task better. Or the ones I have thought of are not needed because of other elements of this new civilization's design. Again if these are to be implemented democratically, they must appear to the average person to be -- "The giving up of personal rights to gain incremental improvement in life within a civilization. Remember that public ownership of the expanded definition of commons, leasing of commons service, and escrow accounts for maintaining non renewing natural resources also play strong roles in constraining the stratification of wellbeing.

Idea 1 energy tokens have expatriation dates. Whatever you earn in tokens you have to spend in a finite time period. Saving and accumulating tokens is difficult. Banks will find a way to roll over tokens that need to be used soon for tokens that have longer life. However, since the bank of "longish tokens" has fees for the exchange and has to pay depositors a premium for the longish tokens they deposit, These transactions redistribute the wellbeing from those with tokens they want to save to those with a need to use the energy immediately, that is the operations of the general public. Idea 2 Limit elevated wealth to one generation.

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Remember that tokens expire so there is no metric of cash wealth. There is leased wealth but this is a token flow Thus wellbeing is measured in both token flow consumption and changes in productive capacity. Death ends personal consumption. Any energy token flow must be given to other consumers. The social contract might limit the size of these redistributions. For example, the bequeathed flow cannot enrich any individual more than, for example 5x, the lowest paid employee creating the flow.

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Distribution of the owner's equity stake in his company, will also go though a similar dilution process. For example, his shares must be bequeathed to no less than, for example, 15 individuals. As an alternative, the ownership of the stake can be transfered to a public benefit foundation. Again the salaries of the foundation administers cannot be more than 5x the base rate token flow of the lowest paid employee,.

Let's assume Bill Gates type writes an operation system and sells 10 million copies and the energy tokens roll in and make him very token rich. The alternative to consuming them all, he can invest in the material supports or labor of another product.

These social contract changes allows very rich men to result from production streams they create, but prevents the creation of highly concentrated wealth leading to social conflict. No civil employee, legislator, judge could be paid more than, for example, 5x baseline no work income. Maybe you can think of social contract constraints, laws, besides dilution, that reward a highly productive individual with great riches and still prevent the social conflict that results from the natural tendencies of individuals to create hierarchy.

In summary, no civilization is sustainable forever. The second law of thermo dynamics prevents this. Perfect sustainability is also impossible due the losses in every recycling process. However, as long as hydroelectric generation can be maintained, estimated to be as much as years, this design could continue to operate at non diminished levels of wellbeing as long as resources were not diverted to social conflict.