Submitted by CASF Members Committee – edited for brevity
The 13 things you should know about the world before departing prematurely!
The facts about money fetishism, the rich, government, corporatism and CO2 pollution you always wanted to know, but were too afraid to ask!
1. How much CO2 pollution did humans produce last year?
The 2007 total for anthropogenic CO2 pollution was 38,058.66 MMT [38,058,660,000,000 kg]
2. How much CO2 does my dollar make?
Each dollar you earned, or spent in 2007 produced about 1.3lb (584g) of CO2.
3. What’s the total value of the world’s financial assets, population and income?
- The total value of the world’s financial assets in 2007: $187 trillion.
- World population 2007 (World Bank) : 6.61 billion
- GNI per capita 2007 (PPP) : 9,816 (International Dollars)
- World GNI : 64.9 trillion (International Dollars)
- World GDP: 65.17 trillion (International Dollars)
4. Who was the largest single producer of CO2 pollution in the world?
Mr. Warren Buffett, aka the Sage of Omaha [Nebraska.] He, by way of his wealth, was responsible for producing at least 12,618,000 tons of CO2 [12.62 MMT of CO2] in 2007. Mr. Buffett’s pollution account balance put a new slant on “filthy rich.”
5. What group of people accounted for the highest per capita emission of CO2 in the World?
The world’s billionaires. The world had 1,125 billionaires in the 2007/2008 financial year, with the total assets of about $4.38 trillion. They produced a total 891.43 MMT of CO2 in 2007.
[Note: “The above figure is an abstraction. In reality, however, the world’s richest people are responsible for the bulk of CO2 pollution because as Praetorian Guards of the exponential growth economy they disallow and suppress any change to a sustainable system stifling all initiatives toward an eco-centered, low-carbon, ‘oikonomia,’ or economics for community.”]
6. What about the corporations?
The global 2000 companies and therefore their shareholders accounted for $30 trillion in revenues, $2.4 trillion in profits, $119 trillion in assets and $39 trillion in market value in 2007. [Source: Forbes.]
Therefore the world largest 2000 corporations were responsible for at least 65 percent of all man-made CO2 emissions in 2007—total CO2 emissions of about 24,738.13 MMT [24,738,129,000,000kg]
7. Can we meaningfully reduce our CO2 emissions?
Not without a complete change in our system of political economy [aka, exponential growth economy] and therefore the structure of government.
8. What is the role of government in all this?
The world governments are best described as mostly organized mercenary forces whose first priority is to protect the wealthy [who, for all intents and purposes, appoint them to office] against rest of the population. By extension, the governments’ protection of the wealthy and their money fetishism perpetuates the political economy and their illegitimate offsprings, the corporations, behind whose Alice-in-Wonderland legal defense mechanism the rich comfortably hide.
9. How could the world function without governments?
There is no reason why the governments must be elected from among the thugs and criminal elements. Instead, volunteer candidates could be elected to run the government, much in the same way as the NGO’s operate.
10. How do they make their decisions?
They don’t; the entire nations do. In the age of Internet there’s no reason why each issue of public interest cannot be put to a referendum. The job of volunteer governments is to ensure fair play. They, in turn, are supervised by other volunteers to prevent potential abuse.
11. Where would the corporations and all of their employees go?
In the absence of mercenary governments protecting the predatory corporate system, and in a healthy economic environment, where a system of economy working for the life communities has outmoded the prevailing political economy, most of the world’s corporations will end up in the dustbin of history. And rightly so!
Business that are beneficial to the life communities and do not cause any additional impact on the environment by way of their size, nature or scale of operation can re-organize as co-operatives and non-profit entities
12. What about our national security?
In a world savaged by human-induced climate catastrophes and human-enhanced natural ‘disasters,’ and in the absence of any foreign military threat to the United States, our leaders have proposed to spend our tax dollars (2009) as follows
Total Outlays (Federal Funds): $2,650 billion
MILITARY: 54% and $1,449 billion
NON-MILITARY: 46% and $1,210 billion [Source: War Resisters http://www.warresisters.org/pages/piechart.htm%5D
The United States transformed its economy into a permanent military economy after WWII with a lion’s share of its resources committed to military spending.
Here’s the dilemma:
A sane foreign policy would entail avoiding violence, rather than stirring chaos and starting wars so that the US can then intervene to end them. A peaceable United States, however, couldn’t justify an ever-growing military machine if there were no wars.
For the sake of protecting the military machine [and continue with the empire-building,] wars have become a permanent feature of world events.
As the overall size of the political economy grows, so does the need for creating more chaos and starting new wars through political deception and false-flag operations. Instead of ensuring national security and protecting the citizens, the military machine does its utmost to achieve the opposite result by endangering the country through creating wars and provoking violence throughout the world, simply to justify its own existence. Here is the classic example of “tail wagging the dog!”
To decrease the level of violence, the United States must undertake political and military decentralization. “Decentralization of the United States would also add to the security of other nations.” Say Herman E. Daly and John B. Cobb, Jr. in for the common good: redirecting the economy toward community, the environment, and a sustainable future.
“The United States has developed into a highly centralized society that could be virtually halted in its tracks by a few relatively small acts of sabotage. For example, the electrical grid on which the entire nation depends could be put out of commission [easily, by a determined saboteur.] A blackout would not stop the planes in the air or the tanks in the field, but the backup systems of communication, supply, and management would be disastrously disrupted. Yet defense planning pays little attention to these matters.” Say Daly and Cobb.
Aside from rare acts of sabotage, the disastrous impact of hurricane Ike on the power grid last week, which left up to 5 million people without power, should be a stark remainder and a wake-up call to how vulnerable our centralized power grid is to seasonal acts of nature, especially the natural phenomena enhanced by climate change.
Why isn’t decentralization happening? Daly and Cobb identify two major obstacles: “The first is the political power of groups that profit from military spending. The second is extreme difficulty of dealing in a humane way with the rapid shift in the whole economy.”
At least one of the two obstacles could be overcome, however. “If the United States makes a clean environment, human health, and community stability its goals, alone with a commitment to becoming more self-sufficient economically, the transition from a military economy to a civilian one may be affected without enormous pain.”
But how does more economic self-sufficiency help national security?
“… where there is economic self-sufficiency, national security need not involve fighting wars with distant enemies. It does not require the ability to conquer external powers. It requires only the ability to resist aggression against itself. Would the federation all 50 states be a likely victim of conquest? Would these states be in danger from Mexico or Canada?”
How do we protect ourselves and stabilize our world? What would it take to fight a war of aggression waged against us?
In a stable, demilitarized world, we would need only a small civil defense force to protect us against any aggression. Kirkpatrick Sale in Human Scale says: “The long human record suggests that the problem of defense and warfare is exacerbated, not solved, by the large state, and that smaller societies … tend to engage in fighting less and less violent consequences. Indicating that a world of human scale politics would not be a world without its conflicts and disputations, but would likely be a world of comparative stability.”
13. What sort of reduction in energy consumption and therefore the CO2 emission levels could we expect if we created all of the above changes?
The Committee Members of Creating A Sustainable Future [what’s left of the future, AAR,] believe that if we the people
- Replaced the world’s mercenary governments with volunteer, fully accountable organizations that are supervised by the electorate
- Changed the prevailing political economy to an eco-centered system that provides “economics for life”
- Criminalized the structure of corporations [rearranging the potentially useful ones to function as non-profits or co-operatives]
- Developed our lifestyle to one of zero impact using sustainable models
If our energy abuse ends, the world demand for energy could fall by as much as 80-90 percent, resulting in CO2 emission levels approaching zero.
And if you’re still wondering whether a future would be possible with the same life-destroying systems of money fetishism, corporatism and mercenary governments in place, you haven’t read the above carefully!