I have been travelling a lot, mostly the western and northeastern portion of the U.S., the last few months but now I will be embarking on a 17-day European tour of London, Hamburg -Hafen City, Copenhagen, Oslo, Stockholm and Prague to study their sustainability and adaptation efforts, as well as meet interesting, likeminded people. It should be noted that I have studied economics, finance and business for about 40 years; my intensive focus on climate resilience/adaptation and sustainability is going on six years. After this trip, I plan on resting and contemplating next steps with the end goal of semi-retirement.
The U.S. – North Korea Summit was a sort of surreal experience (not unlike the U.S. election of 2016) with U.S. President Donald Trump meeting with Kim Jong Un, the President of North Korea for a summit in Singapore to discuss denuclearization strategies, along with very limited discussions about Human Rights and beach Hotels to potentially be built in North Korea. Here in America, the country is now run by the conservatives (predominantly, the middle of the country) and the liberals, located primarily on the coasts, Austin, Texas and other select cities around the U.S., resulting in political and legal manipulations that seem to forget really what is important and that is, a high-quality life for as many Humans as possible.
This public relations bonanza got me thinking that maybe the entire system we play under is incorrect and there is a better way. You must think out of the box but when you understand that the importance of business is not in accumulating money but rather the interactions between people in the trading, managing, promotion, marketing, engineering, designing, manufacturing and creation of goods and services; maybe the European notion of Universal Income is not so preposterous. Naysayers will conjecture that the proverbial “devil is in the details” but here is a 40,000-foot airplane view:
7.5 billion Humans on Planet Earth
Each receives $75,000 USD annually (the happiness number here in the U.S.). Could be per family but could also be per person.
On the per person scenario, that number equals $5.625 plus 17 zeroes. That is the value of the New World Economy.
The UN, flawed organization that it is, becomes the world government and republicans/conservatives worldwide can reduce state and local government spending. Ambitious and brilliant people will flock to the UN, World Bank and other World NGOs because that is where the power and money will now sit. Lawyers will have a bonanza due to the complex documentation that will be required for the transformation.
Instead of relying on profitability as the sole measure of excellence let companies (small, medium and large) give equal weight to financial, social and environmental costs of all goods and services. Here the accountants, academics, economists, psychologists, sociologists, MBAs (and of course, lawyers) all have big jobs ahead of them to construct a triple bottom line (“TBL”) accounting system through distributed ledger technology (“DLT:) to adequately and truly account for the cost of natural resources like clean air, water, energy and various minerals, plants, flora and fauna, other species, etc. If we look at each factor having equal weight: that is 1/3 financial, 1/3 social and 1/3 environmental we begin to see it is an evolutionary step towards what is natural and not against nature. The end game is a net zero carbon environment as quickly as possible to help heal the planet before it destroys us.
The transformation is from finance capitalism to natural capitalism with a TBL accounting perspective.
Since everyone has enough to subsist on we can be less angry and ideally more creative. We will barely have to work soon due to advances in Electric Autonomous Vehicles (EAVs) and Artificial Intelligence (AI). If you want to earn more, you can but you will have enough to pay for all your basic needs of: clean water and air, high quality healthcare, high quality food, plentiful energy, adequate and fashionable clothing, technology, entertainment and good housing, among all the myriad things that a Human desires. People who like and wish to work on governing the various institutions that will need to be set up can do so if the UN Organization finds them qualified. I know a world bureaucracy angers conservatives but less layers may be helpful.
The world bureaucracy known as the UN would now have more authority to implement natural capital strategies. My old hero, Ayn Rand, must be rolling over in her grave.
We all become brothers and sisters and stop fighting each other. Most spiritual people would agree with that. The problem might be with aggressive, acquisitive sorts but remember, this is only a high-level solution to a broken system. People will have to decide whether to keep working at their current job (if it is still relevant or ideally, they have the ability for job mobility or training, once again, a UN function) or elect to do some form of community service (if all homeless people worked 10 hours per week on something they could be trained to do it might help heal these often tortured or otherwise damaged souls) like planting trees, recycling, reusing, repurposing and healing our over cultivated soils. Since profit maximization and short-term planning are out the door people can focus on the more human aspects of life, business and trade. Stress would reduce but remember, our physical bodies were made for stress programmed in by nature during our hunting and gathering existence, many billions of Humans still need to survive by hunting and gathering; its euphemistic title is “subsistence farming.”
Business people will freak out but having studied socialism and communism in college and finance capitalism at business school, you see that true socialism or natural capitalism (not the State Communism under Mao or Stalin) is the logical evolution from finance capitalism because we must start adequately accounting for natural resources to placate nature; nature, whether you believe it or not, has natural disasters and they are potentially stronger than Human Beings even when we band together.
I just saw Thor: Ragnarok on Netflix and the not too subtle plot line is that the people ruling the nine realms (the Asgardian civilization) must relocate. The moral is a place is not what defines Humans but rather its people are who and what define our species — this is the main message of the film. A lot of us are concluding that soon, we may have to vacate and move from our homes for one reason or another. The NRF calls it Plan Relocation or Plan R and the Sci-Fi community often prefer relocation to other Planets. For now, let’s stick to Earth and find ways to live in more harmony here. I am working on a novella called 2079 about my view of the not too distant future, hopefully in collaboration with my stepdaughter and her significant other, as they will more likely be on the Planet at that time than I will.
Humans will be Humans and we love to eat meat, fight, have sex, overindulge in various substances, get depressed, have drama in our lives, think we are better than everyone else and plunder other species to our hearts content. So, I put this Utopian view out as a sort of plea to Humanity as I prepare for semi-retirement to do the right thing and protect natural resources for our future generations of Humans and let the Human Beings that are suffering, cease their suffering. It does not cost very much in a triple bottom line economy that equally values social rights and our natural environment along with profitability concerns to improve everyone’s standing.
Perhaps as Ray Kurzweil is predicting, the Singularity (that is the point when AI entities become comparable to Human Beings in some to be measured form, more than just computational prowess but perhaps including various shades of actual Humanity) will result in a more positive outcome for the Humans of the future. This is a very controversial subject and quite an emotional one because it speaks to our very existence as what now defines us as being a Human Being.
My own view sees it as a form of adaptation for Human Beings due to planetary conditions changes and the need to adapt to ever changing technologies (how’s that for the “tail wagging the dog”). Perhaps by 2079, Human Beings and AIs will be hybrids of each other. Personally, I would like to get rid of the smart phones and just plug directly into the Cloud and access the data and information I need through neural implants. The Netflix show Black Mirror looks at these prognostications thoroughly with a United Kingdom perspective. Augmented Reality has been floundering for the past 30+ years but perhaps a breakthrough will come shortly. Once again, could be a good thing or a bad thing, or most likely, a little or a lot of both.
I will end this blog post with an observation that I now think the AI movement is even more significant than climate adaptation and the momentum in this sector is merely in its nascent stage. That said, if we do not have the requisite natural resources we do not have an AI movement.
I am deeply sorrowed that a significant portion of the U.S. population cannot see what seems perfectly clear to me and many people on our beautiful planet. In some ways, I feel a little like the 14-year old in the junior high school gymnasium protesting another wrong political decision: the war in Vietnam. We seem to go from one war to another for literally thousands of years and perhaps it is time we shrug off our amygdala (the “old” brain that focuses on stress and aggression and focus on our neocortex (the “new” brain that knows about feelings of conscience, faith, spirituality, love and hope). That sort of transformation would perhaps be a form of adaptation. I will leave that up to younger minds to continue to ponder, but us older people are here to give advice if you want it.
#climateadaptation #climateresilience #sustainability #resilience #newworldeconomy #naturalcapitalism #sustainablecapitalism #resourcecapitalism