Summary: if we were to address the #Metacrisis, what would be the most impactful changes? Restructure unsustainable debt, stop ecocide, new definition of value - accounting for externalities (not externalising harm) and tapping into the market forces.
In 2021 Planetary Council attended COP26 in Glasgow with 10 reasonably simple, impactful and politically agreeable points (historical reference, no need to click)
Now we are in 2023, Ukraine is at war with Russia and the climate breakdown is accelerating.
On the upside - a new term #Metacrisis is reaching mainstream consciousness:
Runaway climate change + food system + global hunger
Economic inequality + compound interest + exponential growth on finite planet
Nuclear proliferation + pandemics + lost trust in media + lost trust in government
Regulation of AI + polarisation and engagement metrics + mental health
Despite all of that, I remain optimistic.
Previously there were 10 points - easy enough to understand.
Now it is a 1 pager - also easy enough.
Debt. Economic inequality. Extraction of resources. Climate change. Global South.
Debt. Compound interest. Exponential growth on finite planet.
Just stop IMF style: are you in debt? Let’s have more debt 🤡
Just imagine all the extraction and money that is going on to repay the debt 🤡
(rather than infrastructure, services, healthcare, education)
RESTRUCTURE UNSUSTAINABLE DEBT
Probably the single biggest pressure point.
Also in this category: “Confessions of an Economic Hit Man”
Exponential growth on finite planet 🤡
On the same note.
Preventing predatory extraction.
As long as it is legal and profitable the destruction will continue - that’s free market. Someone else would do it so the incentive is to do it anyway.
Unless it is made illegal.
Governments need to step in and make the ecocide illegal.
2nd order changes required:
rule of law
enforcement of the law
resolving economic inequality… (otherwise people will do it anyway)
…potentially through education, training, upskilling, investment in infrastructure
These are very good 2nd order changes, some developing countries can skip digitisation of services and leapfrog to blockchain and AI directly.
(just like many countries skipped landlines, just like some countries will skip mobile and start using Starlink as their baseline)
EXTREME EXAMPLE of ECOCIDE
(not only cutting down forest but burning it now to save effort on clearing it)
The vast majority of the fires in the Amazon and Indonesia are manmade and intentional—the result of illegal deforestation and clearing of farmland. Wildfires are in fact quite rare in tropical rainforests, due to the high humidity. Even in the dry season, the flora is usually too wet for lightning to spark a blaze or for accidental fires (from a burning campfire or cigarette) to take hold.
Agribusinesses clear vast stretches of pristine, untouched forest to make room for cattle pasture (in Brazil) and cropland (soy in Brazil, palm oil in Indonesia). The cheapest and quickest way to do this in such humid conditions is to cut down the trees and underbrush with chainsaws, let them dry out for a month, and get rid of the debris by burning it.
Just please don’t call it “carbon tax”. I really don’t like taxes. Taxes seem oppressive.
I much prefer free market - market price for CO2.
End-to-end emissions tracking.
Producers of every single good are responsible for the entire lifecycle of the product.
Cost of disposal built into the price of the product = clear incentive to make it reusable.
(recycling as a scam perpetrated by producers of single use stuff in order to shift responsibility towards consumers)
It was possible to develop COVID tracking app, surely it is possible to develop CO2 tracking app. It can also help with global trade and shipping industry, moving goods faster through the border.
Fresh air - no value
Polluted air - sickness, medical bills, good for the economy
Living elephant - no value
Dead elephant - meat, skin, ivory
Capitalism is efficient.
Market forces are efficient.
Need to account for externalities - currently they are outsourced to nature, future, vulnerable communities at the cost of collapse of civilisation.
(just like Chinese fishing boats undermining the livelihoods of fisherman communities)
I like free market.
I like incentives.
I like entrepreneurship.
I like minimal role of the state.
I like rule of law.
I like participatory democracy.
I like leadership with vision.
Addiction (not addition) as business model
Obesity (and related sickness) as business model
17% of US GDP towards healthcare
“war od drugs”, private prison system, low cost customer acquisition
That’s why as Planetary Council we are supporting work on basex.com - new definition of value, accounting for externalities in the context of climate change. Collection of links in the matter on Hypercerts Github.
It is big impactful problem worth solving.
(this is where we will be focusing our energy, creating a piece of software knowing that the cultural zeitgeist will catchup)
New definition of value that allows market forces to do the magic, accounting system that is so much better it makes existing model obsolete.
This will be a good opportunity to get all the interested parties at the table
A way presented in this blog post is not the only way.
We would love to inspire a meaningful discussion how to address the #Metacrisis
In our view, it all starts from education, sensemaking, unified narrative and media telling the truth about the current state of the climate.
Current state state of the climate - Exxon and Shell knew 40 years ago - deliberate tactics inspired by tobacco industry to spread misinformation and doubt.
Climate acts with delay.
Research acts with delay.
Data acts with delay.
IPCC consensus is a politicised process.
At this stage of climate collapse we need a progressive solution.
Controversial as hell.
Actually, I do not need to own my shoes (subscription), toothpaste (subscription), mobile phone (subscription). It changes the incentive with planned obsolescence.
I like some elements of the Great Reset:
Reset laws that are no longer fit for purpose
Reset criminal convictions for cannabis
Reset education: there is Google, there is AI
Reset fossil fuel subsidies
Just like capitalism - not throwing it away - add an additional feature - accounting for externalities.
Borrowing some elements of Great Reset - without infringing privacy rights, property rights, surveillance - without sliding into totalitarian regime with unaccountable unelected global government.
UN reform. Someone has veto power. How?
Peaceful, voluntary, democratic, opt-in into a new system.
Let’s talk. Evaluate alternatives. Have a meaningful debate.
Probably metacrisis.xyz is the most appropriate venue.