Political movements, specifically in the far-left and ecologically-minded part of the spectrum, claim that “another world is possible”, which would be different from the society we currently have, with its huge inequalities and collective climatic suicide.
These political movements have however generally fallen short from describing what such an alternative society would be. When required, they describe a few, dis-connected and partial experiments. This is not enough, because what is needed is to connect these partial experiments with one another.
This failure has significantly weakened their capacity to convince people to engage in the type of radical change that they promote. It is normal and sane to hesitate when you know what you lose (the comfort of the known world, even if its future is bleak), and don’t know what you may gain (because nobody is able to describe to you concretely what it would look like).
In order to avoid this trap of (legitimate) fear that I outlined above, I made the effort to describe, with some detail, a comprehensive description of what a happy and sustainable society of 2050 and beyond could look like, with the prospect of sustaining human civilisation indefinitely. I called it the Society of Agreement, because it identifies the two key issues to be solved as: (1) agreeing among humans and (2) agreeing with ourselves and with our environment, by aligning with the scientific state of the art regarding the laws of human well-being and of nature.
I described it using a mind-map, so as to facilitate the navigation between all its aspects, and to keep an easy overview. You can find it here.
The CosmoPolitical Cooperative that I support aims at radical transformations of society, towards (1) environmental sustainability, (2) social justice and (3) pan-European democracy, in a 30-40-50 Strategy towards this Society of Agreement.
I identify two very different types of debt:
- towards human creditors, or
- towards natural or social phenomena.
Debt towards human creditors is the most visible form of debt. It is recorded in public or private accounts, and is the purpose of active monitoring, in order to ensure that the debtor keeps a sustainable capacity to pay the creditor back. The rights of creditors are defended by national and international law.
However, debt towards humans is not as hard as what could appear prima facie.
Continue reading “Debt towards humans, or towards natural / social phenomena? Classical accounting gives the wrong answer”
The ultimate goal of public policy in the 21st century may be expressed in very simple terms: ensure good living conditions to the population – while respecting the 9 environmental planetary boundaries that set limits to our production and consumption (climate change; rate of biodiversity loss; interference with the nitrogen and phosphorus cycles; stratospheric ozone depletion; ocean acidification; global freshwater use; change in land use; chemical pollution; and atmospheric aerosol loading). Is this goal achievable? The answer is yes, because it has already been achieved by one country: Costa-Rica. The good news is: this achievement is the outcome of deliberate policies, not of mere chance.
Continue reading “Costa-Rica as a role model for humanity”
(Picture: Total capture of North Atlantic cod, from 1950 to 2000, in thousands of tonnes. Graphic by Epipelagic — Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=19281989)
For over 500 years, fishermen from Canada, but also from Europe (Spain, Portugal, France, Germany) had been fishing the abundant banks of North Atlantic cod around Newfoundland in Canada. Pierre Loti, in his novel “an Iceland fisherman” published in 1886, describes the “myriads upon myriads of fish, all alike, gliding slowly in the same direction”, which could be seen immediately below the surface of the sea, “plainly distinguished through the transparency”, and illustrates the fantastic plenty of these cod banks, where fishermen just needed to drop their lines, see the cod biting the hooks, haul the lines, take the cod off the hooks, and throw the lines over and over again. A fisherman’s dream, explaining why boats travelled from Europe, thousands of kilometres across the Ocean, to participate in this bounty.
Continue reading “Collapse of cod fishing around Newfoundland (Canada): a metaphor for our unsustainable and over-confident societies?”