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What can citizens do to help safeguard the habitability of our planet?

 

The website presents an analysis of the driving forces underlying the most serious global problems, and an assessment of what individual citizens can actually do about the situation.

This page provides Navigation links and a brief Preview of the website content.



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Conclusions:

The overall thesis:

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Schematic showing the main directions of page information flows:

Broad webpage information flow directions

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Preview

It should be obvious to everyone by now that we cannot carry on overconsuming on a planet with finite resources without expecting trouble ahead. And yet our political and economic leaders doggedly continue to pursue economic growth/ global capitalism as if there is no viable alternative. And so the unsustainable plundering of natural resources continues, along with the obscene inequalities between rich and poor, and the cumulative effects of past cost externalities on the future habitability of the planet.

Are we on course for a hothouse earth?


Ruined Planet

Cost externalisation can be viewed as those unwanted side effects of providing a product or service which are ignored in favour of increased profits by the provider. For example, it is often seen as cheaper and more convenient to use plastic for some application than to to invest in finding an alternative; but at what environmental cost, and to whom, in the longer term?

The most serious global predicaments/ problems are human-caused. They are created either directly, or indirectly, by those controlling the status quo.

Major human-caused global problems

Élites

Many people appear to be unaware of the sheer extent of ruthless lies, deceit, and misinformation propagated by the status quo in order to protect vested interests.

A spectrum of business activities and behaviours

Use of unsavoury methods by 'the authorities'

The Climate Deception Dossiers 

System justification, media framing, and propaganda

But chickens come home to roost; a recent example being the outrageous UK Post Office/ Fujitsu "Horizon" scandal - the epitome of rogue operator behaviour.

Rogue operator behaviour

Also, poignant soundbites appear from time to time, such as "data (control of) is the new oil", which may cause us to wonder about how our personal data might be being exploited. Disturbing views have been expressed by some experts about possible future developments in artificial intelligence (AI).

The need for societal engagement and vigilance regarding AI developments

Vested interests and general purpose AI

Global problems require global solutions. Global solutions are not happening in the present nation-state governance system. Nation-state thinking causes serious global problems, and is incompatible with humane global governance.

Home for most people means socio-cultural roots within a nation-state. While religion can provide a larger context for a common humanity, it continues to fuel divisions between people. Nation-states also create divisions between people. Such divisions can feed disputes; tending to drive a "them and us" mindset. Governments inevitably prioritise citizens within their jurisdiction over those in other nations. Even in peacetime, global markets promote commercial rivalries.

The basis of market confidence

In times of war we have all seen that war crimes proliferate and that ordinary citizens suffer appallingly. Those "over the border" are viewed as enemies; and not as human beings, who just want to live in peace. The killing of innocents by an aggressor is recognised as morally wrong, and even in war is regarded as a violation of international law, whether it is carried out by rebel groups or by a nation-state military command. If rebel groups do not represent their fellow countrymen and women, their actions are no better than those of dictators.

Control of territory; nation-states and borders; 'ownership' of land

These days meaningful democracy has become so corrupted and compromised that many people actually appear to believe that their interests might be better served by more dictatorial regimes.

....oOo....

All this can feel overwhelming. Many of us are in denial. We might question what difference could any individual's contribution actually make to help improve the situation? It would just be a drop in the ocean. Although not publicly admitted, it is likely that the same sentiment applies within national governments, especially in relation to other nation-state 'free-riders'. It is time to revisit the concept of a nation-state as 'home' for most people; with shared socio-cultural roots and values.

Aside from those individuals who are authorised to generate electronic money (debt) from nothing for central banks, the main category of citizens who sustain the overconsumptive global capitalist economy may be termed privileged consumers.

Massive consumption needs massive container ships
Those of us who are fortunate enough to be privileged consumers are providing the profits for those with vested interests (TwVI). To that extent, privileged consumers are thereby driving the demise of our planet through cumulative cost externalities. Privileged consumers form the sector of the global population which is targeted by those with vested interests, in order to make their profits.


What citizens can do - an outline


Essential consumption only is an everyday lifestyle reality for many of the world's poorer people. But the core message of this website is addressed to those of us who are fortunate enough to be consumers, or overconsumers, if we choose to be.


Global capitalism is 'successful' to the extent that those with vested interests persuade people to overconsume.

Their motives are well understood, as are the global consequences.

By now it should be plain for all to see that we cannot wait any longer for national governments and global corporations to act in time, or even rightly, to safeguard the habitability of our planet.


Privileged consumers need to wake up and take some personal responsibility. An "I'm alright, Jack" or an "out of sight, out of mind" stance is no longer justifiable.

Given the gravity of the situation, to not act cannot be excused. Individual contributions might be small, but as the well known proverb goes "many hands make light work".



The Case

Describes an analysis of the driving forces underlying the most serious global problems,

and an assessment of what individual citizens can actually do about the situation.


Towards a fit-for-purpose governance system



If those who have privileged life circumstances do not step up to the plate en masse very soon, the way the world unfolds cannot entirely be blamed on 'the government(s)' or on 'the corporate élites'. In the present global political and economic system it is those of us with privileged lives who pay to keep these leaders in place, either as taxpayers or as customers.


If those leaders do not step up to the plate and collaborate peacefully very soon, the way the world unfolds cannot entirely be blamed on 'the people'. The present global political and economic system has been honed for hundreds of years by leaders and élites, largely for their own benefit.


A philosophical endnote





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