Averting Human Extinction

By: Guest
November 14, 2012

Today’s guest poster is Tatiana, a crazy-cat-lady engineer entrepreneur scientist flexitarian mom wildlife-sanctuarian public-healthian global-developer pro-nuke feminist liberal Mormon.

Averting Human Extinction party platform:

There are 15 key points.

  1. Energy: Work with utility companies to aggressively move away from fossil fuels and toward renewable energy including next-generation nuclear energy using reprocessed fuel. This will limit the greenhouse gas emissions while using up our spent fuel reserves and nuclear weapons stockpiles over the next century, while expanding and not contracting the available energy infrastructure for use by human civilization.
  2. Space: Aggressively pursue exploration and colonization of the solar system so as to give the human spirit frontiers to explore, and afford humanity multiple places to survive in the event of large catastrophes. Build libraries of DNA, seed banks, and frozen embryos of many species to use as a resource for worldwide gardening, agriculture, and ecosystem-rebuilding. Build a planetary asteroid-defense system to search for and defend against potential future impacts with their civilization-ending possibilities. Put Earth-life’s eggs in more than this one fragile planetary basket.
  3. Environment: Green and clean our whole planet to decrease pollution and allow ecosystems to flourish. Study ecosystem viability in various closed systems associated with Mars colonization, Lagrange-point asteroid colonization, and Moon bases, and learn how to restore damaged ecosystems here on earth to flourishing. Shift the cost of externalities like pollution to those businesses which cause it, wherever possible.
  4. Oceans: Establish international treaties on depletion of sea life, over-fishing, and ocean pollution where needed and enforce those we have. Establish undersea colonies where practicable.
  5. Clean Water: Aggressively pursue clean water and wastewater treatment systems all over the planet to limit the scourge of water-borne diseases and decrease the infant death rate from diarrhea and other treatable diseases.
  6. War: Work to make war and other political violence unacceptable among the international community. End war forever by emphasizing how humans are all one large messy but closely related family, and by taking steps with our international partners to treat it as the crime that it is.
  7. Women: Increase women’s participation in government and directive councils at the state, local, national, and international level. Aggressively work to decrease violence against women and children by treating domestic violence and sexual violence more seriously and educating children, police forces, and community health workers on women’s autonomy and safety, on women’s contributions to development, and on the vital importance of women in history, politics and human social and intellectual life.
  8. Education and Infrastructure: Improve education, taking advantage of the worldwide web to allow students to pursue education at all levels from elementary to post-doctorate for free with a web connection. Build a nationwide fiber optic free high-speed internet project and implement it as a modern-day version of the interstate highway system of the 50s. Invest in infrastructure sustainably whether it be new systems like internet access, or existing ones like highways, bridges, clean water systems, the ecosystem, agriculture infrastructure, markets for labor and goods, electricity, natural gas, phones, primary healthcare, education, art and literature, music, dance, and all systems that address human needs and flourishing.
  9. Health: Make primary healthcare available to all regardless of ability to pay implementing the model of community health care workers to find and succor patients, to encourage and teach good parenting to mothers and fathers, to make birth control available to all women for free so that they can plan the optimal size of their families, also to end the scourge of treatable diseases worldwide.
  10. Science: Engender scientific research to improve agricultural practices, including outreach to farmers, also child development practices with outreach to parents and schools, domestic knowledge for parents on best practices in nutrition, health, and entrepreneurship, for generation of family income. Emphasize the importance of families to every level of society. Fund basic science research as the engine of our future prosperity.
  11. Disaster Relief: Develop instantly deployable relief systems for warning of and responding to earthquakes, hurricanes, tsunamis, volcanoes, disease pandemics, tornadoes, floods, medical emergencies, fires, war including suppression of violence and reestablishment of the rule of law, refugee crises including temporary and permanent housing, food, water, education, economic development for refugees and refugee camps worldwide.
  12. Tax system: establish a fair and simple tax system. Require that all legislators do their own personal taxes and make it unlawful for them to hire any tax advisors or accountants to help them with their tax returns. This would ensure ease and simplicity of the tax system.
  13. Military: We need those with more expertise to develop this platform plank. Place emphasis on modern systems, fewer battleships and aircraft carriers, more precision weaponry, fewer personnel. Focus on lowering cost to perhaps twice the investment of the next highest spending country, rather than 10 times as we do now.
  14. Justice: Improve access to the justice system for those at most risk. Skew more toward what works scientifically to cure and heal, instead of only punishment. This includes treatment for addicts and the anti-social, incarceration only of dangerous criminals, and education and reintegration for those it will help.
  15. Drugs: Legalize those drugs in most widespread use. Tax them heavily and use the money to fund study and education about the true detriments to health, families, and society caused by recreational drug use, and also for the treatment of addiction.

What have I forgotten? I’d love to flesh this out and make it real. Before a thing can come to exist we first must imagine it.

This is where I think we should be going as a species. Pretend you are the Mom or Dad of the whole human family. Develop and emphasize all those things that will help your family flourish, from the basics of health and providence up to the highest levels of knowledge, wisdom, and spiritual being. Picture what your family needs, starting with a livable planet, and then figure out how to provide it. Plan for foreseeable difficulties and take responsibility for side-effects.

Make sure everything you do is sensible and sustainable. Teach your children to work hard to build a positive future for themselves and their kids and grandkids. Look forward with a perfect brightness of hope. Love all your children, even and especially those problem children who need extra help to get there, for whatever reasons.

Grow the heck up as a species and quit acting like heedless adolescents, sure that our reckless behavior will have no consequences and someone else will pick up the pieces down the road. We must be the adults who plan and work and provide for our own selves and our offspring. This is our calling.

This first draft is clearly the work of an engineer, since I focus on technology and the mechanics of us making our living in the world as a species. Obviously it needs input from all the other professions. I’m sure whole areas of vital importance have been left out. In the comments, let me know what you would add or change.  Discuss the merits of the ideas and point out impracticalities. It’s only the bare bones of a sketch of an outline. I’d love help fleshing it out and making it more useful and real.

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58 Responses to Averting Human Extinction

  1. FireTag on November 14, 2012 at 5:01 PM

    Something a wise hippie professor told me long ago in grad school days: “It is hard to remember you are trying to drain the swamp while you are up to your armpits in alligators.”

    First priority is get rid of the alligators, and that, I’m afraid, is going to take a while.

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  2. LDS Anarchist on November 14, 2012 at 5:16 PM

    In the comments, let me know what you would add or change.

    All I see in this post are the centrally planned works of men, which will have joy for a season and then be cut down and cast into the fire.

    The reliance-upon-the-arm-of-the-flesh flavor it has is summarized by this saying, “We must be the adults who plan and work and provide for our own selves and our offspring.”

    Last I checked, it was the Lord who said He would be providing for His saints and the poor.

    I’d love help fleshing it out and making it more useful and real.

    Fleshing it out is the problem. There’s too much flesh in it already. Scrap the whole thing, then just start with a base of faith. Faith is useful and real. Flesh is too limiting.

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  3. Will on November 14, 2012 at 5:48 PM

    There are so many issues with this post; I will start with the most obvious.

    Environmental Issues

    Keep doing what works and don’t over look God given common sense. The all natural, abundant, God provided OIL. Yes, the stuff that comes out of the ground and under the ocean. The natural substance that comes up from the ground will not hurt the ground if some spills. Likewise, it naturally leaks into the oceans, so a little spilt into the ocean will not cause any harm.

    War
    “Work to make war and other political violence unacceptable among the international community”

    Really, that simple? Gosh, why didn’t I think of that? I’ll stick with the Saviors warning and counsel “there will be wars and rumors of wars” and prepare accordingly.

    Women

    Encourage more Women to stay at home to rebuild the most positive influence the world has ever known – Women at home. This is where the battle is won or lost and given the most recent economic and criminal activity we are losing this war on Women.

    Education

    Eliminate the Federal Government’s influence on education and turn this completely over to the State’s. Get back to what really works, societal norms and parental involvement and tax dollar at a local level.

    Health

    Restore individual responsibility and competition back into the equation. Quality will increase and costs will go down.

    Disaster Relief

    Follow the counsel given by numerous Prophets and most recently President Hinckley who so profoundly stated “one barrel of wheat in the home is work 5 in the warehouse”. If Katrina and Sandy have demonstrated anything, it is that the Government cannot help. Self reliance is the Key.

    Taxes

    Make the fair. Exactly. Charge everyone the same rate of 10 to 15 percent. If it is good enough for God, it is good enough for Caesar.

    Military

    The enemy within (liberalism) is far more damaging than any overseas. Work to restore freedom and self reliance.

    Drugs

    Right? Get everyone stoned so you get Jerry Brown elected nationally. Yea, that will work. I mean California is just thriving.

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  4. Tatiana on November 14, 2012 at 5:48 PM

    Firetag: What do you consider to be the alligators in our present situation? What are the things that can’t wait to be addressed and which are lower priorities?

    LDS Anarchist: Does relying on the arm of God mean we don’t try our best to plan and reason out the right approach to living? Is there room for God helping those who do their best to help themselves first?

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  5. brjones on November 14, 2012 at 5:59 PM

    LDS Antichrist, this position is equally absurd from both a secular and gospel perspective. Perhaps you should inform the brethren that they’re wasting their time on a fool’s errand by involving themselves and the church in political and social matters, and encouraging church members to do the same.

    From a more practical standpoint, are you honestly suggesting that believers decline the opportunity to be involved in the process of solving the problems of society and humanity? I’ve honestly never heard a thoughtful believer suggest anything close to such a thing. Frankly, I’m all for it. I’d be thrilled if all the true believers left government positions and left it to secularists to make societal decisions. If you need any help getting the word out…

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  6. Tatiana on November 14, 2012 at 6:09 PM

    Will, it’s definitely a vast field with much to debate. I’m not trying to say I have *the answers* in any way, but I’d love it if we could start the conversation about what it will take to avert human extinction. If we keep on our current path, I don’t think we’re going to make it. Of course, nobody thinks we should keep on our current path forever, but in what ways should we change it? That’s the question.

    On Environmental Issues, you don’t feel like fossil fuels are a problem because of CO2 emissions and global warming? It seems like you’re contradicted by an awful lot of climate scientists on that part.

    War is really not an easy problem, yet our propensity to jump into wars without as much deliberation as we probably need is definitely something we need to revisit. Also, our response to foreign wars, be it military or humanitarian. Through history people identified first with the clan, then the tribe, then the city-state, religion, and now nation. How do we take the next step toward making the whole world our “we” and leaving no more “they” societies out there whom we are prepared to fight militarily? Right now it would be unthinkable for Missouri to declare war on Arkansas, right? How can we get to that same level of unthinkable-ness between the nations of the world?

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  7. hawkgrrrl on November 14, 2012 at 6:16 PM

    #2 and #3: Where is that dislike button when I need it?

    I read an article a while back that talked about what would happen to the earth if suddenly all humans were gone. Basically, it would “heal” itself, and return to it’s natural jungly state. We haven’t ruined it in perpetuity.

    That’s why I like Tatiana’s list. This is about making the earth hospitable and sustainable for humans, not because of an underlying misanthropic belief that the earth would be better off without us.

    My dad is a retired electrical engineer who spent decades working in nuclear power. He is very interested in all forms of renewable energy and how to get the most out of everything. This is a concept that transcends existing political parties (he’s so Republican he borders on birtherism). It’s finding more innovative ways to efficiently and sustainable harness the energy we need to sustain human life.

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  8. hawkgrrrl on November 14, 2012 at 6:50 PM

    Here are some specific thoughts on the practical aspects of your platform:

    1 – I’d specify how. Through financial incentives? Regulations & sanctions? There are some practical issues that always come up with making wholescale changes from dirty energy (coal & oil) to cleaner forms. For example, the entire state of West Virginia becomes redundant.
    2 – As a Star Trek gal whose dad worked on the moon launch, this one’s near & dear to me. But again, I’d specify how – through private enterprise or government? NASA is notoriously expensive. How do we want to fund it?
    5 – I love this, but I think the problem also relates to borders. The places with the biggest issues are run by corrupt governments. As Phil Hartmann said (as Bill Clinton), we keep sending aid, but it gets “intercepted by warlords,” (which he illustrates by eating all the food on a woman’s tray in McDonalds.
    6 – Corruption and power are the problems. Corrupt governments who have power are unwilling to give up their power, and their constituents are too oppressed and powerless to do anything about it. We need more practical solutions on this or we just end up with more of the same. Maybe we are doing the best we can with the UN and Peacekeepers.
    7 & 8 – I agree with these and the focus on free (or nearly so) education is noteworthy.
    9 – I think this is impractical as written now – we have to overhaul the existing system. Today patients are already not turned away if they can’t pay, but then those costs get added to the premiums of those who can pay eventually. The system is so opaque it’s hard to figure the way out. The solution will not be as simplistic as your remarks here.
    12 – you’ve just unemployed all the tax accountants out there! I think the main reason to hire a tax accountant (aside from dealing with our too complex tax code as you’ve identified) is to help businesses, and that’s one area where they will always be needed.
    13 – Do you agree with the use of drones and targeted assassinations? It’s definitely more efficient, but some would also say less moral.
    14 – Sounds like the UK. Would you ban the death penalty or are there cases when you would use it? How would you charge individuals who go off their meds and commit crimes? Would you force them to medicate?
    15 – I agree with this one.

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  9. Anon for now on November 14, 2012 at 7:01 PM

    I just have to say I agree with LDS Anarchist 100% on this one. How self-willed we must be to think we can do anything to stop the eternal plan of the Lord in even a minute measure. It just boggles the mind.

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  10. LDS Anarchist on November 14, 2012 at 7:03 PM

    #4 Tatiana,

    Does relying on the arm of God mean we don’t try our best to plan and reason out the right approach to living?

    That’s a good question. What comes to mind are these scriptures:

    O Lord, I have trusted in thee, and I will trust in thee forever. I will not put my trust in the arm of flesh; for I know that cursed is he that putteth his trust in the arm of flesh. Yea, cursed is he that putteth his trust in man or maketh flesh his arm.

    and

    Cursed is he that putteth his trust in man, or maketh flesh his arm, or shall hearken unto the precepts of men, save their precepts shall be given by the power of the Holy Ghost.

    So, the foundational principle is that whatsoever is not given by the power of the Holy Ghost will curse us if we hearken to it.

    The gospel was given to us to take away our cursing. So, we read that this was to fulfill the following words:

    The weak things of the world shall come forth and break down the mighty and strong ones, that man should not counsel his fellow man, neither trust in the arm of flesh

    If we are not to counsel our fellow man, nor trust in man (and here’s another scripture for you)…

    Thus saith the Lord; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the Lord.

    What’s the principle of action? What is the solution? The gospel is the solution and the gifts are the principles of action. The gospel was given to solve our problems for it was given by the power of the Holy Ghost. If you resort to the state, or man-made laws, to solve the world’s problems, you will be cursed.

    The directional focus of our attention can be in one of three directions: upward toward God, horizontal towards men, or downward toward the devil. Our reason and planning is to be directed upward, not horizontally nor downward. We are to think things through, then take it to the Lord for approval or disapproval. He is to be the only one doing the counseling. He is the only one to be laying down the laws. The only counsel we should do to one another is to hearken to the Lord and His laws.

    It is true that “it is not meet that we should be commanded in all things” and that we “should be anxiously engaged in a good cause and do many things of our own free will and bring to pass much righteousness,” but these sayings are not talking of the works of men, but of the miraculous works of the Father. In other words, the good works and much righteousness spoken of are the administration of the gifts and powers of the Spirit. For “freely we have been given” and even so “freely we are to give.”

    This is where our reason and planning come into play. How do we use the gifts and powers of the Spirit, which have been given to us by our asking, knocking and seeking, to bless the lives of others, that even greater righteousness may be brought to pass? The Lord does not need or want us to be commanded when to use these gifts. Once we have obtained them, we are to use them to benefit our fellow man, according to the “imagination of our thoughts.” Again, this process is based upon the miraculous works of the Father, not on the non-miraculous works of men.

    If you look at the entire post of yours above, you will not see one mention of the Lord anywhere. The whole thing is man-made, central planning, with “we can do this ourselves” reasoning. Even your self description derives from this same backwards priority approach, for you put every single thing before the “Mormon” part, but then never, ever mention anything Mormon at all in the post:

    “a crazy-cat-lady engineer entrepreneur scientist flexitarian mom wildlife-sanctuarian public-healthian global-developer pro-nuke feminist liberal Mormon”

    The gospel teaches that we cannot do it ourselves. God needs to be our law-giver, He needs to be our director and counselor and all other things, otherwise, we will self-destruct. Human extinction cannot be averted by this or any other platform, for you have taken God out of the equation and are relying upon the arm of flesh to see you through. But we already know where that is ultimately going to lead: the axe, the cut and the fire.

    I will answer your second question at a later time.

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  11. FireTag on November 14, 2012 at 7:48 PM

    Tatiana:

    Hawkgrrrl’s point 6 in comment 8 is a pretty good example. But let’s just look at the events of TODAY that count as alligators:

    In the mideast, since the US election, extremists from Egypt trying to force the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas from radical into SUPER-radical positions have launched an ever-increasing number of missiles (over a hundred) against Israeli civilian targets. The Israeli civilian population, and most Israeli parties on both the right and the left, have been demanding that the government take action to stop the barrage. Retaliation grew until the Egyptians negotiated a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas. But the extremists refused to accept the ceasefire, and launched another barrage.

    In response, Israel took out the Hamas military commander, a couple of his top subordinates, and about 20 of the longest range underground missile sites from which Hamas could target Tel Aviv. As I write this, there have been about 100 missile launches against Israel today, the IAF and Navy is moving to the next level of missile targets, and mobilizing reserve brigades for a possible ground offensive into Gaza. In short, another front has broken out in the ever expanding war, with most of the previous fronts (e.g., Syria) no closer to stabilizing.

    There are protests today across Europe as the European nations try to find ways to protect the social services they’ve voted for themselves even as the European economy slips back into recession, and the worst-off states slip into Depression.

    If there is any bipartisanship going on in Washington to avoid a major de-stimulus on the US economy in 2013, it is remarkably well-disguised.

    The government response to Sandy is looking about as effective as was its response to Katrina.

    We have a soap opera in progress in the National Security agencies, which is the only reason the press is being forced to note that there was a major security foul-up in Libya, and an obviously non-sense cover narrative afterward.

    I haven’t even talked about Asia. :D

    That’s what I mean about the difficulty of draining the swamp. It’s like Butch and Sundance worrying about how they’re going to swim down the river to get away from the posse. “The fall’ll probably kill ya.”

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  12. Will on November 14, 2012 at 8:25 PM

    Carbon Issue

    I see God on his throne. I see God scratching his head. I see God asking why do they think I put millions of tons of coal on the earth? I see God asking why do they think I put trillions of gallons of oil and the ability to make trillions more with tar sands and shale? I see God asking do they really think I put Drumheler Alberta and East Carbon City, Utah on earth for their beauty? I mean an oil spill would be a vast improvement in terms of beauty in these areas. I see God asking why do they think I put carbon consuming forests and oceans on earth? I see God saying do they not realize the volcano at mount saint Helen’s blew more ” green house gases ( what a stupid term) in the air then all if the automobiles have combined since the time I inspired man to invent them until now. The oceans and forests handeled it just fine. I see God asking do they think I am not a good provider. After all, l told my prophet Joseph “the earth is full and there is plenty to spare”. I see God saying the only ones who believe the global warming nonsense are the secular progressives who have totally discounted me from the equation. That, and they are going to need a story to explain the calamities that will come to prepare the earth for my second coming.

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  13. LDS Anarchist on November 14, 2012 at 9:27 PM

    Apparently, Will has seen God.

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  14. Tatiana on November 14, 2012 at 11:43 PM

    Hawwkgirl, I’ll address your items one by one.

    On energy policy, 1. what seems to me to be wisest is to let the existing plants run for their useful lives, then as we build new plants, let them be renewable including nuclear in the mix for baseload power. This will limit the expense, which is considerable, and also let places like West Virginia, which are extremely dependent on coal as the local industry, convert over gradually to some other form of making a living. This might involve retraining coal miners into workers in factories that produce solar panels, or wind turbines, or maybe they could specialize away from factories altogether into science and technology research (which will be increased under our plan).

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  15. Tatiana on November 14, 2012 at 11:54 PM

    2. Space colonization might work best as a mix of government and private sector development. I believe, for instance, that the first Mars colony will have to be funded by governments. The excitement generated over the MSL Curiosity lander on Mars last August was huge. People really want to do this, and have been working on it for decades. Zubrin’s classic The Case for Mars seems to have convinced most everyone that the first colony in the solar system should be Mars. NASA can encourage private sector companies to get into the game in the same way it has done with the International Space Station, which was just resupplied by a private company recently. And, of course, eventually the Mars colony will belong to the colonists themselves. They will be in a position to self-determine what form of government works best for them there, as they grow.

    Simultaneously, I think we should start work on asteroid mining and colonization as well. The L5 society has done a lot of work on this since at least the 80s. The resources in the solar system are enormous. I expect to see a giant increase in the wealth of human society when we begin to tap them.

    A few other ideas from 80 years of science fiction speculation: Perhaps mines on the Moon with electromagnetic cannon to shoot them into space for supplying the cisterran areas. Maybe also solar power satellites beaming down energy to the surface of the earth via microwave stations. This could be in place timed to phase out the nuclear plants at the end of the next century, perhaps. Eventually it would be great if the Earth itself were kept as a garden home, with all the heavy industry moving into space where spills and mishaps are less deadly and don’t pollute.

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  16. Tatiana on November 14, 2012 at 11:57 PM

    LDS Anarchist, the reason I don’t mention the Lord in this plan is because it’s a plan of governance for people of all faiths or no faith. But the church will be there, of course, inviting us to listen to the promptings of the spirit and helping us find the guidance of the Lord.

    I believe in this because I’m Mormon. This is what we need to do to get through the tight squeeze we have in the next few hundred years. This is provident living. The Lord very much does expect us to be his hands and to exemplify good stewardship of the planet he gave us.

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  17. Tatiana on November 15, 2012 at 12:06 AM

    Hawkgrrrl, again. Number 5 on clean water, I believe Partners in Health has a great model for gaining access to areas with corrupt governments. They find that if they say “oh here, let us smart Western people come in and solve all the problems for your backward country” then naturally, they get turned down. But when they are able to offer to, say, Peru, we can help address your people’s health problems with MDR-TB and AIDS, while listening to what the local people want — In fact, it’s directed by local people with the knowledge and experience of the PIH staff — and we can help strengthen your own infrastructure and make it better, then they get welcomed with open arms. The Russian Federation, who have a reputation for being prickly, welcomed PIH into their prisons to help treat an epidemic of MDR-TB which was killing young men for relatively minor infractions before they even came up before a judge, thus rendering death sentences without any hearings. And they were successful. PIH addresses every cause of ill-health among their populations, including and especially clean water, inadequate housing, food insecurity, and on down. Their model could stand to be duplicated and scaled up a hundredfold or a thousandfold to have a goal of a primary health clinic within an hour or two walk of every village in the world. This knocks out many issues at once with regard to development.

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  18. Tatiana on November 15, 2012 at 12:15 AM

    Hawkgrrl, 6 is indeed not an easy problem to solve, yet it is soluble. Yeah Samake made huge inroads in the corruption of his city, as mayor, by changing expectations, making sure the people who worked for him were actually paid, and reinforcing the good that can come when everyone plays their part. His city has blossomed, and he now is working towards becoming President of Mali.

    Another blow against corruption was struck by the Gulabi Gang in Uttar Pradesh, India. They are a group of women who train with sticks and fight crimes against women and corruption of local officials by showing up and letting the malefactors see their determination. They’ve been known to hijack truckloads of rice sent from the central government which were being co-opted by corrupt officials for their own ends. They hijack them and distribute them to the people as the central government intended.

    I think individuals empowered to stand up for what’s right are the best disinfectant against corruption.

    If we make information from all the war-torn regions of the world free to travel widely, and as we get to know the people and become friends with people living in far-flung places, suddenly we care more about wars and natural disasters there. They have a human face, and everyone all over is more prone to want to make things better. I see that as coming about in the future, but the question becomes how do we encourage it and hasten it?

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  19. Tatiana on November 15, 2012 at 12:22 AM

    9. The thing about health care is that Partners in Health gets better outcomes in third world countries by using local trained Community Health Workers (called Accompanateurs in Haiti) than we do here. Paul Farmer, one of the co-founders of PIH, says “it’s very expensive to give bad health care to poor people in rich countries.” We can actually do much better with far less expense if we go toward this model. They’re already doing great work in inner city Boston with a similar program, and getting excellent results. We can duplicate this in poor neighborhoods all over the country, to start with, and then make it more available in wealthier areas too, later on.

    The thing is, uncured infectious diseases like AIDS and MDR-TB are a risk for everyone of any income. It behooves us to minimize that risk by treating everyone who needs treatment.

    And for social stability and just doing the right thing, we need to work toward a society in which being poor is not a sentence to early death. Poor people have kids who are the next generation’s innovators and thinkers. They all deserve a chance at a good life, and we all deserve access to their ideas and innovations. We’d be dumb to waste this most precious human capital.

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  20. Tatiana on November 15, 2012 at 12:31 AM

    12. The Tax accountants would still be useful to help businesses with planning, as you say. But if we move to a simple tax system, it frees up all that waste of effort navigating the byzantine tax code that we expend now, and allows us to do something that’s better, worth more, something new and innovative that will help us move forward. I’m willing to give up my deductions for a simple system.

    I do personally think it should be progressive, so we don’t make those who can least afford it pay so much more than their fair share. But that’s something we can discuss.

    The studies I read show that everyone in a country is better off when there isn’t a huge income gap between the richest and poorest. So progressive taxes help that without stifling hard work and innovation. But the highest rate perhaps should never go above about 50%. Also, capital gains should not be taxed at a lower rate than salary and wages.

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  21. Tatiana on November 15, 2012 at 12:44 AM

    13. I’m really unsure what I think about our military options. That’s why I call for more ideas here. I would rather risk drones than soldiers, for missions they can do, yet I don’t like the ability to kill anyone anywhere anytime for reasons that aren’t made public. That’s a recipe for oppression. So I know that it’s a dangerous world out there, and civilians (as I am) are all sort of pollyannaish about the deadly threats to our country that are out there. That’s why I feel very unqualified to say how we should change.

    But I do see that there are huge expenditures for things that are perhaps not that useful, and so there’s a lot of room for improvement. I also think the Army in particular is asked to do some missions for which they aren’t suited at all. An example might be fight insurgents and also generate love and warm feelings in the local people toward the U.S. Military. I think if we had a way for information to flow from the bottom upward, and not just from the top downward, we might make better decisions at the top. Very vague, I know, but the best I can do.

    I see the grand sweep of human history like this. Agriculture was invented about 16,000 years ago and suddenly there were surpluses. War was invented as a form of organized theft over land, surpluses, and other resources. We saw as “we” a small kin group to start with. A clan which was always at war with neighboring clans. Then over time we developed laws and systems that allowed us to identify with larger and larger groups. First tribes, then religions, and nations. Now we fight wars at the level of nations. But there’s nothing inevitable about that. The natural end result of this process is for us to recognize and realize that the whole human family is one group.

    The way to buy more security than any number of guns and bombs and battleships can afford is to make sure everyone born in our group has access to all the knowledge and safety there is in our civilization. When kids can grow up in areas free of violence, and get good nutrition so they aren’t mentally disabled, and get love, care, and good treatment so they aren’t socially disabled, and get educated so they can join and contribute to society, then those kids are far less likely to want to take a bunch of guns and kill people with them. That’s the foundation of my plan for world security. But I’m not naive enough to think this will happen right away or that there won’t still be dangers from which society needs to be protected. So I’m asking for more ideas about the military we will need in the future and how to get there.

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  22. Tatiana on November 15, 2012 at 12:58 AM

    14. Justice is something I know very little about, but right now mentally ill people are forced to medicate themselves in the following way. They are found in public acting weird or scary, picked up by the police who recognize their illness, taken to the ER where they are put in the mental hospital for treatment, and if they refuse medication they have a court hearing with doctors, the patient, and the patient’s family (if they still have any and if they say it’s okay for them to come) and are then bound by the court to take medicine. Then the big burly guys at the hospital go and administer it, but they do it in as humane a way as the patient makes possible. It’s not fun and it’s far from perfect, but it gets the job done.

    There’s nothing I’ve seen in my life more heartbreaking than the extent to which the agency of the mentally ill must be abrogated. But it must. They can be dangerous to themselves and others, and their ideas can be so disordered that they’re totally unable to judge their best interests or right and wrong. If there is hell on earth, I think it must be mental illness.

    It’s also shown that kids who grow up neglected and abused are far more likely to commit crimes as young adults. If we can address the severest poverty, and if the community health workers can visit regularly and teach young at-risk parents how to interact with their kids in a positive way, I think we can fix about 85% of this. This would get at the root of crime and decrease it greatly.

    As for the justice system itself on the remaining crime, yes I would not give the government the power to kill people. They have enough power without that, and it’s applied so unevenly as to be a travesty. And I would support research into what can actually turn criminals around and give them a community to be part of, and to contribute to, rather than trying to punish. I think we should do what science shows works instead of what our visceral instincts are. Every soul has worth. The atonement has power to heal anyone. These are our brothers and sisters. They deserve a chance to heal, if any way can be found to heal them. And if not, they can be incarcerated to protect the rest of us. No non-violent criminals should do jail time. Instead they should be required to serve people, their victims, their community, anyone. Rendering loving service is the way to generate feelings of love in one’s heart.

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  23. Tatiana on November 15, 2012 at 1:10 AM

    15 The reason I would legalize the most widely used drugs is to try to decrease the number of people who use them, not increase. We need to dismantle organized crime, and when things are against the law that nevertheless a large number of people still do, it undermines the rule of law, and encourages law breaking and sets up systems of alternate government (mafia) which operate by unlawful means like killing people who owe money, beating up business competitors, etc. Far better and less evil to have the act legalized and heavily taxed, regulated, and ameliorated to the full extent possible. We learned this about alcohol during prohibition. We need to accept defeat in the war on drugs, as well.

    Kids and young adults should be educated about the real disastrous effects on families of recreational drug use. Addicts should be treated as sick and there should be many more treatment programs available to them. Right now it’s expensive and difficult to get treatment.

    So making it legal doesn’t make it any less stupid, in other words. I fully concur with the Word of Wisdom being followed voluntarily by everyone, and I think everyone should be educated that the law doesn’t mean this is a smart or wise choice to do drugs. No, it’s as bad as it’s ever been, as the children of alcoholics and junkies can testify. But the law needs to do what’s best for society as a whole, and I think legalizing drugs is much less evil than fighting this losing war on drugs and encouraging violent criminals.

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  24. Tatiana on November 15, 2012 at 1:14 AM

    Anon (comment #9) do you think that the Lord’s plan is for humanity to go extinct? And for us not to use our agency to be good stewards of our planet, our children, our homes? I see that as being way antithetical to the Mormonism I know. We’re supposed to build Zion, aren’t we, and make way for the Lord’s coming? The worth of souls is great. Everyone in the human family is our brother or sister. We need to be of one heart and one mind. We are meant to progress eternally, as much as possible in this life and beyond. This is how I see all that playing out. I don’t see the Lord as willing that we should, through our own negligence and stupidity, mess up our planet so badly that we have nowhere to live, then die. That doesn’t sound like the Lord’s plan to me. Does it to you? Do you see an apocalyptic future like that?

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  25. jks on November 15, 2012 at 1:17 AM

    Birthrate will be an issue if we don’t want to be extinct.

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  26. Tatiana on November 15, 2012 at 1:17 AM

    LDS Anarchist (comment #10) why are you sure that the Holy Spirit isn’t whispering these ideas into many minds right now? How are you sure that the Lord plans for us to go extinct? Where does our own agency come into this? Studying it out in our minds and asking for confirmation from the Spirit? I think there’s a great deal of room for us to plot our own course to peace and safety with the Lord’s guidance and help.

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  27. Tatiana on November 15, 2012 at 1:25 AM

    Firetag (comment #11) though there are many difficulties and the road will not be smooth, yet we can still plan and begin working now for the beautiful future we want, and the human family deserves.

    All this doesn’t have to be done in 10 years or 100. I see this as God’s work, to which I have been asked to contribute. That means He has many hands to put toward it, and it will bear fruit on His timetable. When our hands falter, there will be others to carry on. If we make mistakes, which we inevitably will, we can learn as we go and go forward to make fewer mistakes, or new mistakes, from which we can keep learning.

    It looks like nobody much right now is planning for the future of the entire human family, and we desperately need to start doing that, because the population is expected to reach 10 billion, and we need a way to feed, clothe, house, and educate all of those people while still maintaining the earth in a liveable state and even providing new homes for the safety of our distant progeny. The whole plan is what I think we need to set about making in order to reach a higher level of human flourishing (to use Richard Bushman’s phrase).

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  28. Tatiana on November 15, 2012 at 1:27 AM

    Will (comment #12) all I can say is that most scientists agree that global warming is real, that we’re causing it, and we have no idea what will happen because of it, but it will be very disruptive. Many things are beyond human control, yet we need to do our best to do what’s right and be good stewards of our planet. Hiding our head in the sand and refusing to admit the problems that we see isn’t very good stewardship.

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  29. Tatiana on November 15, 2012 at 1:28 AM

    Great discussion, everyone! I would love to hear more of your thoughts on this.

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  30. Hedgehog on November 15, 2012 at 2:57 AM

    On first read, this kind of reminded me of the Jacque Fresco Paradise Project one of my brothers posted about recently: a nice idea but totally impossible to implement. However, you seem to be looking more at the nitty gritty than making broad statements about technology solving everything (and no-one apparently expected to do the difficult, dirty jobs).

    Before I get into your points, Will, burning fossil fuels is just downright wasteful, whatever you might feel about global warming. There are just so many other things they can be used for.

    Energy.
    Nuclear: Yup. If it’s going to use up spent fuel reserves that has my vote. Has Gen IV moved past the concept stage? Is there a functional prototype yet? And have the Fukushima problems which seem to have resulted in a pull-back from nuclear energy programs in Japan and Germany caused problems or delays in development?
    Renewable: Again sounds good. It’s the working out of what works where and getting them set up in the best places. These projects are just as subject to nimbyism as any other project. Near neighbours not wanting noise pollution from wind turbines, environmental groups worried about affects of turbines on bird populations. And as subject to corruption as any other energy project too. Interesting paper here: http://www2.lse.ac.uk/GranthamInstitute/events/Past/2012/February/clean-dirty-energy-renewable-resource.pdf
    It would be good if all new buildings were required to incorporate measures minimising their energy consumption, and where appropriate solar, geothermal or wind power generation, for the building or the group of buildings.
    Our previous home we installed a solar hot water system. It was good (even with British weather).

    Space.
    Seed banks, DNA libraries in favour of those. However, my mind boggles at the cost of going out into space, and I can’t help thinking that the money would be better spent ensuring a better-managed, pleasanter earth.

    Environment.
    I think it is important to get ‘polluter pays’ as standard worldwide. We mostly don’t pay the ‘true’ cost of goods. Also it should be extended further maybe. Here we have road tax for vehicles, and also heavy fuel duty that makes the price of petrol (gasoline) far higher than in the US, supposedly to pay for roads and maintainance. The theory being that you pay an annual tax for the privilege of using the roads, and then additionally the more fuel you use, that’s because you are using the roads more. Sadly I don’t believe the funds raised are hypothecated, so that in reality it all goes into one big tax bucket. Additionally, road haulage industries, with their heavy damaging vehicles aren’t actually charged near as much as they should be for the wear and tear that they cause, giving them a cost advantage over other methods of moving freight such as railways. It is only when we really know the true cost that we are able to make the best decisions. I’d put Infrastructure with Environment (not Education). All businesses, homes benefit from the infrastructure provided or facilitated by governments. Not all of those costs are passed on currently.
    My views on asteroid colonisation, moon-bases are much the same as for Space.

    Oceans.
    Europe has had fishing quotas for decades now, that haven’t really worked too well. How it is done is very important. What you don’t want are regulations that mean fishermen are going to be tipping a lot of dead fish back into the sea, on the grounds that it is too small, or the wrong sort of fish – because hey those fish aren’t going to read a request for ‘cod above 500g (or whatever) only please’.
    Additionally weight restrictions meaning smaller fish being thrown back, resulted in two many larger fish (the ones that produce the most eggs) being fished, and the smaller ones never getting big enough to produce so many eggs…
    Probably better, would be to limit fishing to particular areas of the ocean, and pay fishermen per kilo of catch (whatever the variety of fish might be). Alternatively, develop fish-farming methods.
    Undersea colonies sound both very energy-hungry, and expensive. Also cold and dark . I don’t like cold and dark…

    Clean Water.
    Absolutely.

    War. Military.
    Good luck with that….

    Women. Education. Health.
    Yes.

    Science.
    You seem to be including social Science under this umbrella. Britain tried out a ‘SureStart’ program for a number of years under Tony Blair and the Labour government with the aim of reaching out to parents and giving them best practice advice on parenting, nutrition, even cooking classes… This now seems to be winding down due to cost factors. Unfortunately those who would have benefited most tended not to participate often, and like everything else it was the middle classes who knew how to get the most benefit from the government programs who in fact did benefit the most… Getting those who really need it, to recognise and accept the help is the hard part.
    I think most importantly, for the science section is having governments that actually understand science, and appreciate the benefits, then the rest will follow.

    Disaster Relief.
    I do the church are good first responders. We certainly need more of that.
    On warning systems: natural disasters can be somewhat capricious, and there is the delicate balance of overstating the case in advance (and no-one taking you seriously later on, like the girl in the poem shouting fire), and understating it. I do feel for those poor Italian seismologists…
    The public do need to be aware of the limitations in predictions based on previous experience. Better understanding of science will certainly help.

    Tax system.
    At the very least make it straightforward to administer.

    Justice.
    I think this has to be about a more equal society, treating everyone with respect and dignity. Educational opportunity. Yes, there has to be punishment and acknowledgement of responsibility for wrongs done. I don’t think incarceration is the best answer, especially when done without programs in place to help the individual. There are programs to here than facilitate perpetrator and victim meeting, enabling the victim to explain to the perpetrator how they feel, and seems to have the affect of the perpetrator seeing the victim as a real person, and to be able to recognise the damage they’ve done. Wouldn’t be appropriate for everything though.
    Hawkgrrrl – unfortunately access to justice is being made harder in this country at the moment with access to legal aid becoming ever more restricted because of costs. Not a good move IMO. And we still do have far too many people in prison.

    Drugs.
    There are heavy taxes on tobacco and alcohol in Britain. I’m not sure they really had the desired effect, except perhaps to ensure those using them were making some contribution to the healthcare and other societal costs resulting from them. I don’t think it discouraged the use. It has also resulted in smuggling of tobacco and alcohol from Europe, and the selling of dangerous fake spirits in small off-licenses.
    What did have an effect on tobacco consumption was making it illegal to smoke in public, and making it socially unacceptable to do so. Similarly, when compared to 30 years ago, ‘drinking and driving’ is now socially unacceptable, and a ‘designated driver’ is the norm. Changing the way we view these things is what seems to have the greatest effect.
    I don’t think drugs being illegal is helpful, in the same way that high taxes wouldn’t be (as described above). I think it has to be about prescriptions, education and the like.

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  31. Hedgehog on November 15, 2012 at 3:08 AM

    Please excuse the errors:
    too many (not two)
    I do THINK the church (not I do the church)
    There are bound to be more I haven’t spotted yet…

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  32. Tatiana on November 15, 2012 at 3:47 AM

    Hedgehog (comment #30):

    We were very far along on the new reactors with working prototypes when Jimmy Carter canceled the program during his term. I would restart this work and begin to build the first commercial reactors as soon as possible. Probably they can replace many of the existing PWRs and BWRs (of the type used at Fukushima) by the end of their license periods.

    The problem at Fukushima, which is the problem with the current generation of reactors in general, is that the electricity to power the pumps absolutely must stay on for the reactor to be able to stay in a safe shut-down condition. Because of this we have off-site power (from the grid) plus two trains of diesel generators, at a minimum. At some plants they also can power unit 1 from unit 2 and vice versa, for an extra backup. However, if a disaster which is much bigger than the biggest planned for happens, then we can lose all of the above. That’s what happened at Fukushima when the tsunami was 3 times higher than the design-basis tsunami, the maximum planned for. The new generation of reactors that is going in now, and every subsequent generation will be able to shut down safely so long as the gravity still works. You still would like to keep the power on to run the pumps, but you don’t absolutely need them. The plant would still be safe without them, running just by gravity and convection.

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  33. Tatiana on November 15, 2012 at 3:49 AM

    Hedgehog, thanks for your comment. A great addition to the discussion! I will engage the rest of your post later today when I get more time. Keep the ideas coming, everyone!

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  34. LDS Anarchist on November 15, 2012 at 4:07 AM

    #26 Tatiana,

    LDS Anarchist (comment #10) why are you sure that the Holy Spirit isn’t whispering these ideas into many minds right now?

    Because virtually all man-made laws come of evil. See here and here.

    How are you sure that the Lord plans for us to go extinct?

    I don’t think I ever said that the Lord plans for us to go extinct. The Lord has two plans, one for the wicked and one for the righteous. He plans for the righteous to survive the day and He plans for the wicked to be cut down and cast into the fire.

    The gospel is given to us that we might become righteous, lift the curse and survive the day of burning which is coming. That’s why we have scriptures that say stuff like

    If it were not so, the whole earth would be utterly wasted at his coming.

    or

    Foreshadowing the great work to be done in the temples of the Lord in the dispensation of the fulness of times, for the redemption of the dead, and the sealing of the children to their parents, lest the whole earth be smitten with a curse and utterly wasted at his coming.

    The “wasted earth” spoken of in these and other scriptures is an extinction event. The laws of God are the only laws that count, or that we should have any concern with. In other words, the laws of God are the only laws we ought to be promoting, for they alone can lift the curse.

    Where does our own agency come into this?

    Obviously, we can do what we want, but the duty of a saint is to establish Zion, which will not and cannot be done through man-made laws. Anyone is free to waste time on politics, but politics really don’t matter. Only living the laws of God matter.

    Studying it out in our minds and asking for confirmation from the Spirit?

    Sure, why not? But keep in mind that ultimately, the Lord doesn’t care who becomes president or gets elected to a government position. Scripture already says that the basest of men are placed as the rulers of the kingdoms of men. Everyone who runs for office is seeking for power, so none of them deserve to be voted in. Politics and man-made governments, then, should be a past-time only for people who do not have the revealed laws of God like we do. We shouldn’t run for office, nor vote in elections, nor support campaigns, nor get involved in any way with politics. Our only concern should be with the kingdom of God and its promotion, not with the kingdoms of men, otherwise we become cursed like everyone else.

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  35. Hedgehog on November 15, 2012 at 5:02 AM

    #9 Anon
    Can you not see the difference between God having a plan (because hey, the earth is going to get so messed up) to rescue us from ourselves, and Him actually having to implement that plan sooner rather than later, because we decided the existence of a plan meant we didn’t have to take our stewardship responsibilities seriously?

    If we’re here to learn to become like Him, surely managing the resources of the earth as best we can, and learning how to get along with each-other while we’re doing it are valuable experiences we should be taking advantage of.

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  36. Hedgehog on November 15, 2012 at 5:10 AM

    #9 Just wanted to add to the above, that doing nothing but wait for the second coming looks a lot like the guy who buried the one talent to me. Didn’t get a good reception when the master returned did he?

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  37. Hedgehog on November 15, 2012 at 5:15 AM

    And back to the main post.
    Another thing for Environment.
    We need to look at how we design things. Less of the throw away society, and more of designing for repair and recycling of components. A lot less wasteful in the long-term. Incorporating recycling costs into product costs, and making manufacturers responsible for the recycling of their products would certainly be a good start.

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  38. Tatiana on November 15, 2012 at 7:12 AM

    Excellent idea, Hedgehog! I know there’s a whole area of chemistry called “green chemistry” which studies how to do common reactions on an industrial scale with the least waste, fewest byproducts, and lowest toxicity. I think all industries could stand to give more scrutiny to these problems, and certainly should bear the full societal expense of their residual pollution.

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  39. Tatiana on November 15, 2012 at 7:23 AM

    jks (comment #25): I didn’t see your comment until just now. Birthrate will indeed be an issue eventually. At first, the world population will rise to perhaps 10 billion, then as family planning becomes widespread and available to all, it will likely drop to whatever level we decide is ideal. The rich countries today would have falling populations were it not for immigration. Generally, when people are able to choose how many children they want, they choose slightly lower than the replacement rate.

    So we get to decide whether we want there to be 10 billion humans, or 6 billion, or even fewer. I think the optimum may be around 1 billion on planet Earth. Too few and things slow down, innovation tapers off, and things get a bit dull. Too many and scarcity is a problem. We would ease off the pressure on the environment a great deal if there were fewer of us.

    On the other hand, out in space the resources are potentially unlimited. So the population there will probably grow along with resources, as they are brought into use.

    After the population drops lower than we find ideal, society will probably begin to incentivize parenthood more and more until the right birth rate is achieved. Perhaps longer parental leave will be given, with the costs picked up by the government. Or other incentives, as needed. I don’t ever see the need for any draconian limits on the children people are allowed, as happened in China. All we need is to give people the right to choose, and the majority will choose fewer kids.

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  40. hawkgrrrl on November 15, 2012 at 8:10 AM

    I don’t agree that people will necessarily choose fewer kids if they have the right to choose. I think it depends entirely on the role of children and the type of work people do. If you have a more sparsely populated agrarian self-sustaining society, families with more kids are more successful as they have more help on the farm. If you have data-driven, computer based work, fewer kids are better because kids don’t work on that type of society; they are only a drain on resources. Today kids are more of an economic drain, but it wasn’t always the case throughout history.

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  41. Will on November 15, 2012 at 8:29 AM

    Tatiana,

    If you are going to be part of the hoax, you have to use the right term, otherwise you will lose all credibility. It is “climate change”, not “global warming’. The reason the term changed is because the global temperatures have steadily declined for the past 16 years. Yep, declined; are going down; are no longer getting warmer. It is getting colder.

    But more importantly, believing in this non-sense takes the almightily right out of the equation. I maintain it is impossible to truly believe in God, and buy this load of crap. And it is a load of crap — a steaming, eye-watering, four-flushing pant load. It is a load of crap because it impacts the lives of people and their jobs, when there is no justifiable reason for some of the policies that are implemented due to this hoax.

    And the over population crowd also needs thier head examined. “The earth is full and there is plently to spare.” I’ll take God’s word for that one as well.

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  42. Tatiana on November 15, 2012 at 9:03 AM

    Will, we’ll have to agree to disagree on that one, I think. There’s broad scientific consensus that global temperatures are rising and it’s caused by human activity.

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  43. Anon for now on November 15, 2012 at 11:18 AM

    “Be still, and know that I am God.”

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  44. Angie on November 15, 2012 at 11:32 AM

    First of all, your description is awesome. You sound like a very interesting person.

    Secondly, I love your ideas! Let’s move forward – what’s the next step?

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  45. KD on November 15, 2012 at 3:40 PM

    When it comes to the whole climate thing, can’t we all just agree that pollution is just bad for our health? Don’t really need to discover/invent (pick your verb based on politics) a global apocalypse to recognize industrial pollution is not the healthiest thing for us.

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  46. LDS Anarchist on November 15, 2012 at 6:34 PM

    #4 Tatiana,

    Is there room for God helping those who do their best to help themselves first?

    The gospel is given so that we may worship God. For example,

    I give unto you these sayings that you may understand and know how to worship, and know what you worship, that you may come unto the Father in my name, and in due time receive of his fulness.

    So, in order for us to be accounted as righteous, and the things we do as righteousness, everything we do must be accounted as an act of worshiping God.

    Now, what and how do we, or are we supposed to worship, in other words, what does true worship consist of? The answer is that we worship the Father, in the name of Jesus Christ, by the power of the Holy Ghost. Another way of saying that is that we worship the Father in spirit and in truth. The last part of that, “by the power of the Holy Ghost” or “in spirit” requires the involvement of deity in what we do. Otherwise, it is not worship.

    So, anything that man attempts to do on his own, without calling upon God’s assistance or involvement, is not worship. It is accounted as wickedness and the act will be cursed from on high.

    God draws unto those who draw unto Him. But when God draws close, what do you think He does? Does He remain silent, or does He start speaking?

    We are to understand that the scattered remnants are exhorted to return to the Lord from whence they have fallen; which if they do, the promise of the Lord is that he will speak to them, or give them revelation.

    And when He starts speaking, what will He say? Do you remember the story in Luke of the pharisee who invited Him to dinner and then marveled that He didn’t wash before eating? The Lord then proceeded to offend the man who invited Him to dinner, and all the guests, calling them all to repentance, and afterward He even called the apostles to repentance.

    The Lord doesn’t settle for anything less than perfection. Insofar as the laws of man are concerned, not a one is perfect, whereas the laws of God are.

    The point is that if and when you invite the Lord into your life, He will expect you to change your life to conform to His perfect standards. If you go it alone, helping yourselves first, doing your corrupt, imperfect and cursed ways of man, and then expect the Lord to put His blessing on your insignificant effort, you will offend God and He will leave you to yourself, in your cursed state, and keep silent.

    And in nothing doth man offend God, or against none is his wrath kindled, save those who confess not his hand in all things, and obey not his commandments.

    In short, everything must be done “by the hand of God,” otherwise this happens:

    And everything that is in the world, whether it be ordained of men, by thrones, or principalities, or powers, or things of name, whatsoever they may be, that are not by me or by my word, saith the Lord, shall be thrown down, and shall not remain after men are dead, neither in nor after the resurrection, saith the Lord your God.

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  47. Tatiana on November 15, 2012 at 9:14 PM

    Forgive me for taking some time to respond to everyone. LDS Anarchist, I hear what you are saying about trusting in the hand of God rather than of men, yet I think we are also instructed to pay attention to our temporal needs and those of our brothers and sisters, and to be good stewards of the Earth.

    Brigham Young said in General Conference referring to the handcart pioneers suffering on the plains, “Your faith, religion, and profession of religion, will never save one soul of you in the celestial kingdom of our God, unless you carry out just such principles as I am now teaching you. Go and bring in this people now on the plains, and attend strictly to those things which we call temporal… otherwise your faith will be in vain.”

    I feel that if we don’t go out and bring in from the plains those of our human family who are suffering from extreme poverty, lack of clean water, lack of education, violence of wars, violence against women, and dying for want of simple cheap treatments we all take for granted; if we don’t attend to those temporal things, our faith will be in vain.

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  48. Geoff - A on November 15, 2012 at 10:31 PM

    Will and Anarchist, Your views seem very extreme (fundamentalist ) to me and not my understanding of our purpose here or our relationship to God.
    Tatiana, I Like your general big picture view of the future, but believe while working toward those of these goals that prove sustainable, we can start by living sustaianably ourselves. I am like Hedgehog in many of my views, I wonder if it’s outside US culture?

    I bought a house about 9 years ago which was on a block large enough to be able sub divide 2 extra full size blocks off it, and was within 30 minutes of the temple, and the beach, and within 10 mintes of shops, schools, and church.
    I then built my 350square meter home on one of those blocks (free land)the home is super-insulated, partly underground, has solar power and solar water heating, and has wonderful views from the living areas. Our average electricity bill is $40 per quarter. I do drive a mercedes with a 5.5l V8 but am lookin at replacing it with a more economical car. A daughter just bought a deisel car which does 80mpg.

    ENERGY, We in Australia have had a government incentive to install solar panels on our homes. So that new power plants need not be built, and so we have power in emergency situations like NY. I get 52c for every kwh I send to the grid and pay 20c per kwh when I buy from them.
    Is there technology for the atomic power you hope for?
    Space and under water I see as unsustainable but would be willing to be convinced. I can not imagine a product that would be economic to transport from space to benifit earth and unless you find an earth like environment???
    ENVIRONMENT There are carbon pricing/trading schemes operating in some countries to encourage the large poluters to find less poluting ways to do their business. Part of the environmental concept is to be as sustainable as possible while maintaining an acceptable life style. This is also a mind set thing, that is the result of education, and a developed culture. Our government used environmental incentives like the solar rebate on power and water as part of its stimulus plan after the GFC. There are jobs in environmental work.
    OCEANS agree. Whaling could also be stopped only, Japan and Norway still resist.

    CLEAN WATER, We had a drought here where it had not rained enough for 6 years and the dams were down to 17% storage for a city of 2 million. We were turning off taps while cleaning teeth, taking shorter showers etc. Dual flush toilets have been required by law for years and claim to reduce household water usage by over 50%, also efficient shower heads. Everyone should use water wisely.
    War is one of the most senseless, wastes of resources known to man. Certainly the US is one of the major agressors in the last 50 years, it also coerces its allies to participate(the coalition of the willing). If America reduced it’s military spending to the rate of it’s next closest it could do all sorts of things with the money. War is not usually a rational response, so difficult to deal with. Could we persuade the Isrealis or Palistinians to re locate to say Australia and re build there, so they asren’t fighting over the same desert?
    SCIENCE look up CSIRO and see what a small country can achieve in the public sector. Much research doesn’t have an obvious profit so needs to be public. It also should not have a profit involved in it’s application.
    DRUGS I agree, there should be a rational review, and it has been shown in Portugal, I believe, that de crimanilising drugs does not increase their usage, but reduces it.
    WOMEN, we have a woman Prime Minister and still women are not equal, but are much closer than in US. The fight must go on.

    All this is idealistic, and it is good to have ideals, but there are some big political problems before even the US can behave like a united country, and then move on the help with a united world that can look at problems rationally. The European zone has come closest so far to overcoming national boundaries, currencies, etc and working for the common good.
    In the mean time we can each seek to live in a sustainable way. Use less resources and in the process become more Christlike.

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  49. LDS Anarchist on November 16, 2012 at 12:50 AM

    #47 Tatiana,

    I agree with you that “we are also instructed to pay attention to our temporal needs and those of our brothers and sisters, and to be good stewards of the Earth.” But using the strong arm of the state to accomplish those ideals is not the way of the Lord.

    Private charities, institutions, councils, agreements, etc., where funds, material, labor, planning, etc., are all voluntarily contributed, is one thing. That is consistent with the gospel. But legislating man-made laws and using the coercive powers of the state to execute them, in order to attain what you consider an ideal (but someone else might not) is another thing entirely.

    It is the coercive nature of the state, its use of force for even the most peaceful functions, that is anti-Christ. When Mormons, whose theology champions agency, apply to use the coercive powers of the state, they set themselves up as hypocrites, taking on the role of the devil, for it was he who wanted to make all the rules, guide everything and force everyone else to do his bidding.

    Your list of lofty goals is admirable, but misguided, because you resort to the state to implement them.

    Our purpose here on earth is not to coerce others into doing our bidding, but to use persuasion, long-suffering, gentleness, meekness, unfeigned love, kindness and pure knowledge to influence people. That is the gospel way.

    We are to “be subject to the powers that be,” which includes the state’s coercive powers, but that doesn’t mean that we are to take control of them and use them ourselves. The state was to be, essentially, off-limits to the saints, for we have been given the kingdom of God. We may apply for a redress of grievances, we may befriend the Bill of Rights, and assert the other God-given rights we have, but that’s about the extent of divine permissions we have received concerning man-made laws. Everything else the Lord has said concerns keeping God’s (not man’s) laws.

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  50. Hedgehog on November 16, 2012 at 2:48 AM

    Tatiana
    I’m really enjoying this post and discussions. On your comments:
    #32 Thanks for that information. I hadn’t realised it had been shelved for quite so long. I don’t remember it being mentioned when I went on a school trip to Hinckley Point (AGR) nearly 30 years ago (shelved by then I guess). It’s good that there’s an answer to the problems with maintaining the cooling systems at Fukushima, for future systems. I’d be concerned though that there is a lot of anti-nuclear feeling in both Japan and Germany resulting from the disaster, and governments claiming to be pulling back from nuclear programs in those countries. France appears to be more sanguine, they have a lot of nuclear power. Also I can’t see how Japan can possibly afford to turn it’s back on nuclear. They’ve had to import so much fuel since the disaster – horrible trade deficits resulting. They probably could do more with geothermal technologies though as there is a lot of volcanic activity, as in Iceland. Lots of natural hot springs.
    #38 I can’t claim ownership of the idea, I either heard it discussed on the radio more than once over the years, or read it in the New Scientist, or both. I think it is now being implemented here for batteries. Certainly stores which sell batteries are required to have collection points for used batteries. Not sure who deals with the recycling or clean disposal (and how) of the batteries though. At any rate it gets them out of landfill where the chemicals could poison the ground. Green Chemistry sounds like a great idea.

    Geoff #48 sounds like my dream house.
    There is government assistance for insulation and renewables for those on low incomes here. We don’t have such severe water problems as you, though until this summer (which was very wet) we hadn’t had enough rainfall over a number of years to keep the aquafers topped up, and drought measures were imposed in the Spring. A particular problem in the South East which is much more populous, so higher usage and less ground to soak up the rain. The government are trying encourage permeable paving for driveways and such. There’s a rolling program of installing water meters at all properties. Used to be you paid a flat rate for water and sewerage every year. Now once a house is sold, and has a water meter, all new billing will be on a per use basis for water. Water companies provide something to put in old larger toilet cisterns to reduce the quantity of water used for flushing toilets, and all new cisterns have duel flush.

    As well ‘listed buildings’ (which preserves heritage), there are also ‘listed trees’ (BiL has one in his garden) in this country, for which permission has to be obtained for pruning and certainly for cutting down. I believe there are a number of listed trees on the site purchased for the Preston England temple, and plans had to submitted that would minimise trees being removed, and incorporate planting new for any that were.

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  51. Will on November 16, 2012 at 8:09 AM

    Geoff,

    Now you have pushed my button and it’s not the comment that you think my views towards the environment are extreme because I follow the common sense notion that God has provided resources for our use and benefit, including enormous carbon based resources.

    What has me peeved, it your naïve and ungrateful comment “the US is one of the major agressors (sic) in the last 50 years”. Let’s look at what would happen if the US weren’t involved.

    World War I & II. Had the United States not stepped in, Germany would have succeeded in it’s mission to dominate Europe and Asia. By the time the US (I would hardly refer to them as an aggressor) was talked into entering the war in Europe, Hitler had consumed most of Europe and Northern Africa and was well on his way into Russia.

    As for the Pacific front, Japan had amassed a larger empire than the Romans, including parts of Australia. It had attacked one of our territories, Hawaii; and, had bombed California. Japan was clearly the aggressor and these acts of aggression on their part were surely reason to defend ourselves.

    As for the cold war with the Soviet Union and hot war China (both in Vietnam and Korea), it was a very necessary and real fight against the destructive influence of leftism gone unchecked. Let me remind you, Stalin, Lenin, Pol Pot and Mao had killed hundreds of millions of their own people. Not hundreds, not millions, hundreds of millions.

    As for Islamic extremists and it’s evil influence, need I say more.

    Now, you can sit there in the safety and freedom the United States has provided for you and point the finger that the US is some monster, but had we not stood up to these acts of evil you would not enjoy the freedom you have and hundreds of millions (as demonstrated by the hundreds of millions of dead people), if not billions more, would have been consumed by the evils of fascism, communism and Islamic extremism.

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  52. Geoff - A on November 16, 2012 at 6:18 PM

    Will,
    The last 50 years go back to 1962. America was not an agressor in WW2 and her assistance was appreciated, but most of the war films since then show America winning the war by themselves so you have your reward for that effort.

    Since 1962, as I said, America has been an agressor, and has required/insisted on, the support of its allies, and the wars have achieved very little. The loss of life, and the expense have not been justified by the results.

    I see little difference between Muslem fundamentalists and Christian fundamentalists. Neither is willing to listen to reason and both claim that they are doing Gods will, and carrying out his wishes, no matter how outrageous they are. They both think the other is evil.

    Because there are fundamentalists and people on that end of the spectrum it will be almost impossible to achieve much of change Tatiana hopes for, especially in countries where there are many such people.

    Hedgehog, We also have water meters and it is amazing how much we use. During the drought we were encourage to reduce our water usage to 70Litres (17.5 US gallons) per person per day. Since then we’ve had floods but have maintained a much reduced water usage.

    I like the name Tatiana, do you have to spell it a lot? I have 4 daughters and each of them has a y in their name. They tell me they have to spell their names a lot but like the individuality.

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  53. Joe S on November 16, 2012 at 10:30 PM

    #3, 12, & 41 WILL

    Will, what you’ve stated above is some of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone on this blog is now dumber for having read it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.

    In all seriousness, I have to fall back on this Billy Madison quote. Because frankly, I cannot say what I am really thinking.

    Seriously little buddy… you need to stop listening to the Glenn Becks and Sean Hannities of the world… because they are spoon feeding you garbage.

    Let’s start with your condescending comment to Tatiana in #41. Your claim that the Earth has actually cooled over the past 16 years is complete malarkey. I suspect your information originates from Richard Muller’s (or one of his few peers) completely janky statistically manipulated claim regarding warming.

    The problem is these “skeptics” go back to an extraordinarily warm year and then chart out 10 or so years past that point. And when they do this, they can sometimes manipulate the records to make it appear like the Earth is cooling. The problem is these people intentionally manipulate the stats to prove their point. The two articles below quickly show how this statistical manipulation is done.

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/news.php?n=1095&p=2
    http://www.businessinsider.com/climate-skeptics-gloabl-warming-manipulate-data-2011-11

    Ironically, we see people manipulating evidence to prove their point all the time. Back in the 40s, 50s, and 60s, plenty of scientists would claim that smoking was good for your health.

    And just recently, we had a Presidential election where the Republicans attempted to twist the numbers to show that Romney was winning. Again, the claims they were making were based upon statistical junk models.

    Fortunately, at the end of the day, the truth often prevails.

    As far as your overall thesis that we don’t need to be good stewards over the Earth because God has already (or at a future date will) take care of it… all I can say is WOW. That thinking is foolish and ignorant. Even if your thesis was correct [and the entire scientific community (minus a few goofballs) says it IS NOT], ignoring the problem is plain silly.

    If a building has sprinklers, do you avoid calling the fire department if it is on fire? IMHO, only the fool fails to make that call. Same principle applies here. Only the fool tries to ignore the preponderance of evidence that clearly and undeniably shows we (humans) are causing warming. And the long-term scientific models mostly show that this warming will have serious negative repercussions.

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  54. Joe S on November 16, 2012 at 10:34 PM

    Tatiana:

    I applaud your effort… to try and engage people into discussing intelligent, thoughtful issues. Bravo.

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  55. Juliathepoet on November 17, 2012 at 6:44 AM

    Tatiana

    I really enjoyed this as a jumping off point for discussion. It seems like a fun working group/cloud kind of project. Have you thought of starting a blog that has areas for all of your First Fifteen points? (I am guessing you will end up with more over time.) You could then invite people to submit posts, or comments in a working group on the area. Some people might have one area they are passionate about. Other people may want to keep on the pulse of all of them. That format would allow you to have a singly forum for those who would like to tell you that God does not send promptings that have to do with Stewardship or Good Governence. It might not muddy up the discussion quite as much.

    Feel free to email me. My name has the link to my personal blog, or you can email me at findingmywaysoftly @gmail

    I think that it is time to start projects of thinking and planning on a grand scale. I think about a number of these regularly, and yes, oftentimes I am pretty sure it is a prompting and not just PMS. ;-)

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  56. Will on November 17, 2012 at 12:50 PM

    Geoff,

    Got it. And I do agree Bush did not follow the rules of engagement outlined by God in the D&C and we are paying the consequences. Prior to that God did use the might of the nation he founded to fight the forces of lucifer.

    Joe s,

    It is not that I believe one group of scientists over another (as there is clear manipulation on both sides), it is that I believe God over all of them.

    I firmly believe the Gospel of Jesus Christ. His holy books have guided my life and allowed me to prosper beyond my wildest imagination. So, when God says he put these resources here for our use and benefit (including vast carbon resources) I believe him. When he says the earth is full and there is plenty to spare, I have no reason to call him a liar.

    You can believe the words of scientists over the word of God if you so choose. You wouldn’t be the first and you won’t be the last. However, if 50 million people believe in a dumb idea, it is still a dumb idea. And here is the problem believing the global warming scare.

    The people will elect those that believe the same hoax and will make policies around such beliefs. They will reduce the prosperity brought about by the proper use and benefit of Fid given resources. In turn, these policues will slow down job growth and economic activity. This will reduce revenues to state and local governments which will lead to more layoffs and more debt. Municipal, state and federal governments will fail. Some already have or are on the brink of failure. When they fail it will translate into more fear and more trouble. Eventually, it will lead to the collapse of the US, which will lead to the collapse of the global economy. This is when things get really ugly.

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  57. FireTag on November 17, 2012 at 3:06 PM

    Tatiana:

    My phone service (and, thus, my internet) has been out for more than a day, ironically because most of the local network technicians are busy helping out their colleagues in dealing with Sandy-related communications restoration problems farther north. And since I’ve been back, I’ve been catching up with another of my “alligators” from comment 11 as the Israeli-Hamas confrontation has gone to full scale missile war and Israel is mobilizing for a ground invasion.

    I did want to come back here, however, and express my appreciation for your post. You’ve inspired me to build on it in my post next Saturday. Thanks for an excellent essay and discussion moderation.

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  58. Will on November 17, 2012 at 7:39 PM

    “the Israeli-Hamas confrontation has gone to full scale missile war and Israel is mobilizing for a ground invasion”

    Maybe we can tell both sides to play nice and a conflict will be averted.

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