First Happy New Year
2008 has been a good year. You comments and pointers have taught me a great deal and this summary is a thank you for your help. The new knowledge has aided my goal of building a global constituency that will implement rapid population decline through extremely low birth rates.
This constituency can be built, one person at a time, if a set of arguments can be constructed that prove to a listener that:
1) business as usual will produce terrible conditions for their children and grand children
2) that even successful behavior changes in green, social justice, population-growth, and technology will not be enough to avoid most of these bad conditions. The total human footprint is too big for the earth's resources and per capita footprint will continue to grow because humans will continue to strive to improve their lives.
3) very rapid population decline can avoid some of these bad conditions and set a course for ever improving wellbeing inside natural limits.
4) a democracy can put limits on an individual's behavior if the majority deems it prudent for the group. In this context a law that limits each person to fathering or mothering one child, makes the same kind of contribution to a community's common good as speed laws.
True I will not be successful in recruiting all the members of the present global constituency, however my goal is to recruit enough to activate this law through democratic process
You have helped build these 4 arguments. . Thank you.
Below is SKIL's 2009 Plan.
Human civilization is headed toward a collision with nature's limits. The crash could wipe away much of what we call progress. Rapid population decline (RPD) can prevent the worst injuries and place the human experiment on a course to live within these limits. SKIL's challenge for 2009, your challenge should you join us, is to find ways to help 6 billion people take behaviors that implement RPD.
In the next paragraphs I wish to advance your journey toward a belief that:
Rapid population decline (RPD)
We know; the loss of cheap energy will reduce human wellbeing; fossil fuel use will change climate; immigration will increase demand for a nation's resources, and a growing human footprint will crush more of the eco system.
People, who see these problems, investigate behavior-changes that: improve economic or political systems, increase carrying capacity, mediate conflict, redistribute wellbeing, limit human consumption and waste, and isolate one area or group from another. Each of these behavior-changes slow progress toward civilization's cataclysm.
If cataclysm is delayed not prevented, one might ask, why we are expending so much time and energy discussing them. Why are we cajoling individuals and agencies to implement them?
Maybe it is because we have great distaste for the behaviors that would avoid the cataclysm. For example, behaviors that would implement rapid population decline. We don't want to be involved in increasing the death-rate or reducing the birth rate enough. Each of us does not want to be involved in causing an individual's death or preventing an individual's birth.
We don't want our group involved in direct genocide -- the killing of people who are competing with us for scarce resources as happened in Germany and Bosnia and 10,000 other places on earth during the last millennia.
Each of us does not want to be involved in indirect genocide. Which happens when a billion people increase the amount of meat in their diets, or alcohol in their gas and these acts take soybeans and corn from the diets of billions of starving people.
For 40 years I have studied the development of a cognition that self limits births enough to create RPD. However, given the limited amount of time we have to implement RPD before civilization collapse I have shifted focus. I now believe we should rely on social control of the birthrate. We should create a majority that thinks RPD is necessary, and who, through democratic process, coerce the entire constituency to limit themselves to one child behaviors.
In the New Year ask yourself four questions about the above paragraphs:
When you find answers, I hope they will help you help us implement a benign form of RPD -- the alternatives, including business as usual, are unthinkable.
PS. Each of you is invited to attend or host a SKIL dinner which will bring these ideas into clarity. SKIL Dinner proposal
If you want to pass this note on to others send them this URL. http://www.skil.org/Notes/happynewyear2009friendsofskil.html