Our GREED driven "culture" is ADMINISTERING itself to death!
How can we understand what is driving the destructive tendencies of society today? There are several places to look.
1) Places where wealth is accumulating faster than other sectors of society.
2) Sectors where costs are rising faster than all other areas.
The first is easy to spot: Banking which has become "too big to fail" has no analog in anyother sector.
The second has many pesent examples and a few developing ones; student debt / college costs have been rising much faster than inflation as have health care costs and insurance claims for storm related damage.
Developing areas of out of control costs include; organic / toxin free food costs, defense of farmers from predatory corporate raiders, student loan costs - which are about to go through the roof - a factor driven by a Congressional gift to the banking community,
In all of these we are seing the effects of people occupying places of authority who add nothing to the delivery of services - ADMINISTRATORS - who set rules for compliance and then limit those who can be served. (As a Licensed Forester I function as an administrator who adds little to the maintenance of a forest that needs more money put on the ground as care for the trees that remain. The production of paper and digital documents does little or nothing in a funds starved environment to improve forest health.)
One truism of task completon is that one cannot lead or administer something that one dos not fuly understand.
Today we have put GREED above MAINTENANCE and POWER over PROACTIVITY. We live in a "mining" economy when we need a compassionat "life support system" for the natural systems that have sustained life since the level of oxygen in the atmosphere became sufficient to support life as we know it.
The following is a modification of text given to BIOPHYSICAL economists - EVERYONE MIGHT BENEFIT from reading and discussing it with neighbors.
A Management Position Statement to Owners of Forest Land:
This paper contains basic statements that will constrain forests you care about. It is vital that you understand how these realities conflict with what you have been taught and how they limit what is possible on your forest neighbors.
We all should recognize that we live in a constrained world – each one of us permanently stops growing in height early in life. Understanding of the need for constraints has not entered the space of business planning and is the cause of many of the crises now facing us all. Two special constraints affect forest owners:
I. Economic Reality: A major source of human caused problems is the current financial planning model used by all facets of society. This analysis model is an exponential function, [FV=PV*(1+interest rate)exp n]. This formula suggests that any successful business should use unconstrained growth as the basis for financial planning. There is no natural system other than cancer that does not conform to some form of growth constraints. All trees and tree communities come equipped with very powerful growth restraints. Forest management can lift these constraints somewhat, but nature returns the forest community to a growth path that is appropriate to the site. We need to form a new paradigm for discussing how to evaluate success within possible forest opportunities.
II. Climatic Reality: Forest communities have strong connections to local and global climate regimes. Forest management will require acute awareness of climatic stressors. Strong storms (winds over 70 mph) have a high probability of inflicting heavy damage to trees over 40' tall. NOAA has shown a recent increase in storm intensity – the recent storms in the NE USA have carried a lot of water but not had much wind. Increasing Arctic temperatures will destabilize weather patterns and release unpredictable climatic tipping points. There are few other human activities with the social connections, the vulnerability to human caused damage, and pivotal need to understand the urgency for slowing or stopping this process. It is not appropriate to plan as if this were not happening. Forest residues offer a well understood potentially carbon negative energy source when coupled with local combined heat and power production and char recovery. Each forest owner must become involved in learning more about this process and promoting it as an economic engine for very local use by rural communities.
A few notes:
Infinity is unknowable by definition
1) In a finite world when someone attempts to have infinite wealth everyone else can have nothing!
2) In a finite world if even one person attempts to obtain infinite wealth at some point, as measured in doublings of their asset base, they will have acquired more asset holdings than can be contained within the volume of the earth. This point of obscene greed is somewhere well below 64 doublings. We now have many large entities that have been in existence for enough time to have experienced more than 20 doublings of their asset holdings.
3) There may be an infinite component to humanity, but it cannot be fully expressed on our finite earth. Those who try to realize any physical component of the infinite as an earth resident are going to take unfair advantage of the finite resources on the earth and will deny essential experiences of earthly existence to all other humans and all species who also dwell on earth.
4) There is no obvious facet of human individuality that clearly designates why or how some individual should be more entitled to significantly more of the earth's resources than any other. The only way this condition has been sorted out in the past involves some form of merit or position of power. Recognition of why one should be given more resources comes from demonstrations of capability. This capability comes from the combination of intrinsic gifts and experience.
5) Experience is developed by testing knowledge. When one is at the edge of what they know they only learn by taking steps beyond where answers are sure - they must make mistakes. If mistakes are not occasionally made the boundaries of knowledge are unclear - they many have been incredibly lucky and guessed correctly, but there is no guarantee that the next guess is going to be correct. So making projections and observing the outcomes and honestly reporting the differences between the prediction and the observed result are all part of learning. Testing requires proactivity and the ability to recover from failure. The economic constraints imposed today by the global currency controls have severely limited proactivity.
The current situation of humanity on earth has many components that limit the
willingness of ourselves and others to continue testing where we are:
a) We like (to some degree) where we have been or are now and may not wish to contemplate the changes that may be before us.
b) Those who have been lucky, ruthless or astute enough to get to the position of having doubled their assets more than 15 times are even more reluctant to lose the privilege they now enjoy.
c) It appears that there may be situations developing that we cannot model well enough to make accurate time based predictions about future outcomes. So we are living within an experiment for which there is no precedent or control. The only possible analog may be found by looking for past geologic periods where similar conditions prevailed. The outcomes from such analyses are difficult to understand and hard to communicate to a disinterested or unmotivated public.
7) Expectations drive Practice! If we are concerned with the conditions described above it is essential that we bring expectations of leaders and youth to a position that reflects the potential of our finite world. The place to start is the basis for acceptable practice. Much of this will be place dependent at the small scale. Large scale endeavors must be constrained so that they cannot have affects beyond the region of origin.
8) Environmental and climatic conditions now require very local solutions everywhere. Those who are close to problems are likely to be better able to understand what is working and appraise outcomes. It is important to enable local proactivity.
Having gotten through all this, it is time to begin to think about CARBON NEGATIVITY and how such a concept could be worked into your neighborhood energy demands. Conversion of neighborhood organic residues into local combined heat and power (CHP - cogen) and charcoal and very local temporary application of the char to pollution sources and then permanent incorporation into local soils seems to be the only responsible way out of the ADMINISTRATION NATION STATE, but we have few administrators who are willing to giveup the control they have to enable local pr0activity to function for the Common Good.