Conservation – A Definition for Human Life Forms in the 21st Century [DRAFT]
By Alan Page, Ph. D., Research Forester, Green Diamond Systems
(this extintion event has been predicted and can be prevented)
To be covered: (not in order) - add your concerns here with as much detail as possible! USE this link
Doing the right thing all the time
Who decides - who knows enough
Efficiency vs frugality
Neither is enough
Integration with proactivity
Rural vs urban
Energy as infrastructure
Reduce, reuse, recycle vs consumption or lack thereof
Repair, upgrade, renew vs replace, recycle, buy new
Carbon negative energy systems
Long term carbon storage
Benign energy effective
Multiple unexpected effects - ephiphanies
Mind control and public brain washing
Protection from life vs safety
Early experience vs structured learning
Ownership vs responsibility
Currency and proactivity
Sustainability vs corporate provision
Distributed and regional self sufficiency
Mining vs maintenance
Long term projects
Local productivity vs preservation
Proactive steps vs forced change
Those claiming to advance the practice of “Conservation” are generally behind the curve of what must be done for there to be anything left for “life as we know it” beyond 2100 or before on the planet earth; severely disruptive weather patterns (which will negate utility of long term activity) can be expected much before then. This paper attempts to describe what must be done to change this situation and how refinement and restatement of the definition of “Conservation” can help solve this problem.
Conservation is not a new term. Definitions from 1900 and 1996 are available for background in copies of the Webster’s Dictionaries as illustrations of how the understanding of the term has evolved. Wikipedia does not have an overall definition of the word, but makes reference to how conservation is used in many different scenarios. Dictionary definitions of “conservation” all make reference to preservation of something of supreme value. Today conservation efforts must be directed to those parts of residence on our planet that allow all other things of value to exist - the preservation of the life support system itself.
Conservation stands in marked contrast to the normal human activity today which is appropriately described as “mining” of a scarce resource for the economic advancement of a few by providing some utility to society. Implicit in the term “mining” is the production of undesirable associated outcomes. This discussion will make the case for the need for a much broader definition of “conservation” and the need for limitations of most kinds of mining except where it involves the production of essential non-renewable resources.
One of the most troubling questions that will haunt all discussions involve who and how do we regard as well enough informed to make the decision regarding when and where any kind of mining is appropriate.
More particularly society must put in place means for avoiding the direct mining of life support systems or the production of things that result in the disruption of life support.
Our current system of producing value is so dysfunctional that the change may have to proceed by first clearly describing the source of all value and then developing appropriate means for enabling everyone to maintain and enhance value both personally and collectively.
Existing Definitions of Conservation:
The Oxford Dictionary 2012 definition on the web is provided below with citation information:
Translate conservation | into French | into German | into Italian | into Spanish
Definition of conservation
- the action of conserving something, in particular.
- preservation, protection, or restoration of the natural environment, natural ecosystems, vegetation, and wildlife.
- preservation, repair, and prevention of deterioration of archaeological, historical, and cultural sites and artifacts.
- prevention of excessive or wasteful use of a resource.
- Physics the principle by which the total value of a physical quantity (such as energy, mass, or linear or angular momentum) remains constant in a system.
TY - ELEC
T1 - "conservation". Oxford Dictionaries. April 2010
A1 - Oxford Dictionaries
UR - http://oxforddictionaries.com/definition/american_english/conservation
Webster's Dictionaries of 1900 and 1996 provide a window on this evolution. Both texts use the words protection and preservation, but the more recent citation includes much more detail about the importance of natural systems.
A Little Background:
Recent meteorological aberrations and changes in long term conditions in areas of the most rapid climatic change have brought even the most ardent denialists (at least in the areas that have been directly affected) to the point of agreeing that something is changing and at a much faster rate than previously expected.
The recognition of this change will eventually call for actions to contain and remove the causes of this change and amelioration of past impacts.
If this happens it would be most appropriate for there to be a definition of what should be included under the mantle of those entities currently tasked with “conservation”.
A quick scan of the evolution of the definition of “conservation” shows that for the past 1000 years conservation included the thought of preservation of, maintaining a condition, or restoring a situation to a previous state. The import or consequences of warnings of the “end of life as we know it” by Dr. James Hansen has not been incorporated into the mission statements of those who have the responsibility of enabling “conservation” of anything today.
The recent concentration of wealth in the hands of a few bankers and government regulation of labor and workplace standards have denied the opportunity for proactive conservation style effort to any who can not afford to fail. This places the burden of funding proactivity on those who can afford it, but they appear to have no understanding of the problem and little connection to the venues where proactivity could be effective. In fact, the urgency is so great that the only appropriate steps involve enabling anyone who can describe a proactive endeavor to attempt to carry it out with the only requisite being that the practitioner tell everyone what was tried and how it worked. Failure must be recognized as part of the local learning process.
The Source of All Value:
Our society uses many tokens or measures of wealth to impute value. However, there is no direct connection of the need for there to be some living entity to actually make the judgment of value. The reality is that when or if life as we know it ends there will be no reason for any more conservation. Nothing of human valuation will have any meaning. The essence of conservation either must change or it is a waste of time in this situation.
Today “conservation” efforts (that are not possible voluntarily) are generally constrained by the perceived availability of funds in a limited liquidity situation. The saying, ‘time is money’ is a reminder that when something does not provide a direct return it is nearly impossible to do very much of it and may be illegal to try to involve others in actually causing something to happen as a business.
A quick example of the limitations of this situation can be found by testing the utility of various sources of value in the absence of human life:
When there is no possibility of life at the temperature range common on earth today there will be nothing and no one left (without significant artificial life support systems) to appraise the value of any of the current sources of value that we regard today.
This establishes the fact that life is the basis for all value!
Expectations, Appraisal of Value and FRAUD:
If life is truly the source of all value, then it makes sense to make sure that all people are trained to be able to expect outcomes that are compatible with continued life. That is not the case today. Illustration 1: shows the difference between the shape of a common financial analysis model and a graph of how a natural system performs over time.
Figure 1. Normal biological performance compared to business as usual expectations. (Drawing is for discussion only - x&y scales do not reflect any particular scenario.)
The slopes of the curves and scales of the graph are less important than the point that no natural system lasts forever and each one is held in check by the resources of the region that supports it. When changes occur that make it impossible to continue, the resources tied up in the living entities are returned to the region unless they are removed by external forces.
On the other hand the normal financial analysis models supplied for appraisal of any alternative involve the use of an exponential function that may predict infinite returns even while living on a finite planet. This is impossible; this is fraud; yet this is the basis for all financial dealings in the developed world; this is the basis for the common acceptance “mining” a resource or a region's economy rather than caring for its regeneration over time; this must change! The level of conservation that is needed today is not possible in the presence of such unnatural expectations.
Maintaining Life Support:
It is imperative given the recent understanding of the precarious nature of “life as we know it” that we do everything we can to maintain the life support systems that have enabled the development of our current life systems. The linkage between the basis of our financial system and the mining mentality for all business decisions is one that must be addressed.
Dr. Hansen has produced several papers that show how his understanding of the vulnerabilities that we face have changed over the past ten years. These papers have become increasingly strident as he has been able to include more detailed information of the drivers of these change agents. It is clear from other sources that he is supported by a vast majority of those who know how to think clearly about these systems.
Those responsible for conservation systems thus must find new ways to enable proactive effort to conserve what is left of these life support systems, and to rebuild what has been damaged in the past.
As of the end of the year 2012, the citizens of the United States of America have begun to understand the degree of dysfunction that has infected our citizen control of government as the most expensive election ever held returned a candidate to office rather than replace him with one more disposed to the elite. There is still much to be discussed regarding the true responsibilities of each sector of society.
Ownership and How it Relates to Conservation:
The financial industry, many resource industries, and most governments have allowed or encouraged the mistaken belief that people can be “owners” of property and that they as owners are uniquely responsible for the condition and maintenance of that property. There are several reasons to understand that this is completely false!
- In the event of a failure to pay taxes or mortgage payments the property may be repossessed by the entity owed the payment. It does not matter what has been done on and to the property in the past.
- The owner pays an annual fee for the right of “caring” for a property. This payment gives the “owner” the right to mine the property for whatever value it can produce, as well as the opportunity to invest in any kind of improvements. There is a growing understanding that the public has an interest in the normal intangible aspects of all lands.
- The length of tenure of any private owner is likely to be much shorter than the entity that is able to assess the taxes. Thus the entity which stands to benefit the most from truly proactive measures is the one with the longest time scale.
- Over the past 150 years particularly and actually for most of the existence of the United States of America, the banking interests have worked to consolidate their power to cause most of the wealth that is able to be extracted from a property to flow to them. This has escalated to the point where within the past twenty five years the majority of global commerce has come under the control of the 147 largest transnational corporations and the fifty largest of those corporations are banks (Vitali,S., Glattfelder,J.B, and Battiston,S., 2011, The network of global corporate control). The progress in income concentration has been so successful and relentless during the last century that the possibility of proactive effort is now limited to those with significant discretionary income.
- As described above an “owner” without the resources to carry the burdens of taxation and family maintenance through at least one or more downturns in the economy will surely lose any holding where significant long term investments or obligations have been incurred that do not return a regular and dependable cash flow.
MORE to be added as time permits. ACP