Club of Amsterdam, Future, Think Tank ..
Menu

Club of Amsterdam Journal

Fill out your email address to receive our Club of Amsterdam Journal for free!

Email: *



Club of Amsterdam Journal













 

 

 


 

 

 

 


 


 

 


 

 



 


 

 


 

 

 

 



 




 






 


 

 

 

 


 

 

 


 

 

 

 


 

 

 


 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 



 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 



 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 



 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 





keyword search
Public Brainstorm
more resources : 81 10 Years

x



10 Years Club of Amsterdam
Thursday, December 6, start 18:30 ...

Public Brainstorm
about global challenges with exponential growth

printable version.
tell a friend

..


We are going to promote and discuss ideas, statements, observations and solutions for five areas that are considered key challenges by Schloer Consulting Group. The main characteristics are exponential changes - the primary cause for critical societal and economic crisis.

You are invited to contribute to our public brainstorming session!

Please email to
editor@clubofamsterdam.com

... and join the dialogue!

Club of Amsterdam blog
http://clubofamsterdam.blogspot.com

Public Brainstorm: Economic-Demographic Crisis
Public Brainstorm: Energy
Public Brainstorm: Environment
Public Brainstorm: Food and Water
Public Brainstorm: Human Overpopulation


See also
Club of Amsterdam Journal, October 2012, Issue 151
Club of Amsterdam Journal, November 2012, Issue 152



via xing, Club of Amsterdam Asia Business Group

Prof. Iftikhar A. Durraniius:
Martin Lockheed,Corporation,USA has hosted my research
"ABC" Peace Model for Interfaith Harmony & Success "
as innovative, at their website:
https://lmco.brightidea.com/ct/ct_a_view_idea.bix?i=5CCB76C4

For collaboration,info or blog pl visit my webpage:
http://about.me/iftikhar.ahmed

Prof. Iftikhar A. Durraniius
, Managing Partner, UET- ACRE Innovation, Saudi Arabia.

via Club of Amsterdam Blog Public Brainstorm: Human Overpopulation

Peter van Gorsel
: "What do we talk about when we talk about overpopulation? Do we mean there are too many people of the kind we don't like? Or do we mean that there will not be enough left for us in the end? More people means more brains or does it mean more mouths to feed.The pitfalls for unsavoury solutions and political backstabbing are everywhere in this discussion. Let's start by giving everybody the same rights."

Peter van Gorsel, Director at House of Denim, Member of the Advisory Board of the Club of Amsterdam, the Netherlands


David Forrest: "There is a growing consensus that climate change is real, and that human activity is causing it. And while some nations have taken the threat seriously and are making strides in reducing their greenhouse gas emissions, others have done little. Their emissions have soared. The prognosis today is even more extreme than it was 20 years ago at the first Rio conference. A recent World Bank report warns that the world could be hotter by 4 degrees Celsius (7 degrees Fahrenheit) by the end of this century.

Many scientists now feel that if we can’t act now to change our collective behavior we will have to take emergency action later. Governments are looking at the options. New geoengineering research institutes are being created. Bill Gates, Sir Richard Branson and other wealthy entrepreneurs have funded reports. Professors David Keith at Harvard, and Ken Caldeira at Stanford, have received $4.9 million from Bill Gates to run the Fund for Innovative Climate and Energy Research.

There is a growing risk of unilateral action. Renegade governments or individuals may take action on their own. American businessman Russ George dumped 100 metric tons of iron sulphate into the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Canada this summer, creating a plankton bloom that is visible from space. It is well within the reach of a single rich individual to modify the Earth’s climate -- a new asymmetric threat with planetary consequences.

Ecologist Garrett Hardin described the dilemma in his paper “The Tragedy of the Commons,” published in 1968. We are all motivated by self-interest, Hardin says, and “The individual benefits as an individual from his ability to deny the truth even though society as a whole, of which he is a part, suffers.” A solution will not be found with the institutional arrangements we have in place today. There is no technical solution, Hardin says, where “A technical solution may be defined as one that requires a change only in the techniques of the natural sciences, demanding little or nothing in the way of change in human values or ideas of morality.” "

David Forrest is Consultant, Writer and Publisher, InnovationWatch.com. Canada


Arnab B. Chowdhury: "First of all, congratulations on creating and perhaps more importantly sustaining and leading Club of Amsterdam for ten long years!

Picking one item in the poll over the other is like choosing one variety of apples over another (or even red vs. green), not even between apples and oranges! All the more since these challenges have become almost systemic and more poetically put - interwoven.

In today's age of globalization, the downside of being connected in a 'global village' the repercussions of an event on one corner of the world is 'well felt' on the other end of the planet.

If we presume that our current highest tool of intelligence, will to act and decision making is rationality than we might feel handicapped with a poor tool to address the complex challenges in the poll. This is because our current state of rationality limits our sense of belonging and what we care for starting with myself, my family, my city and perhaps enlarging to my country. We need to evolve to a sense of 'my planet'.

The key is to inspired ourselves and infuse a greater collective Consciousness starting upwards from the individual or group of individuals. A two way movement from top-down and bottom-up from the grassroots community level, meeting in the middle. A sense of belonging that we are One in our One planet in spite of our differences that need to relooked at in the spectrum of diversity. We are connected whether we like it or not. If we don't evolve our Consciousness, we increasingly decrease our chances to survive.

No isolated solution in any of these challenges in the poll has created enough equity to be a game changer to transform the others. This in spite of innovative management and technology paradigms emerging all along in different domains.

We simply need to harness the 4 emerged forces of our knowledge society: globalisation, immediacy, digitisation and virtualisation with Consciousness infused at the grassroots - and those roots start with us."

Arnab B. Chowdhury is Founder and Knowledge Architect,
Ninād (www.ninad.in), India.
He is also a member of the panel of Experts at Club of Amsterdam.

Paul C. van Pinxteren: "To solve excisting crisis in the world and to prevent more future crisis it is very important and urgent to split up - as much as possible - Money and Politics.

Just like Politics and Religions, in the most civilised countries.

So the next securities should always stay in the hands of Democratic Governments (as there is no better system...)

  • Pensions (!) and Benefitpayments/'Uitkeringen'
  • Taxes incl. the system
  • Healthcare and older people care
  • Defense
  • Public Transportation
  • Social housebuilding and management
  • Post
  • Infrastructural Planning and Management
  • Environs and Nature Protection
  • Justice
  • Developmentassist / Ontwikkelingssamenwerking
  • Culture
  • TV and Radio
  • and some more

We all have seen and experienced how often commercial enterprises have destroyed a good working public system. (for their own benefit !)
Going on with this detestable working method is a dead-end street. Privatisation is mostly a miscalculation or (near) crime. But oh, so tempting...

Sometimes, of course, it is needed to share (don't give it away !) responsabilities with them but that should only happen by exception and in urgent situations
and with the approval of the complete Democratic Government.

Failures of the past should be restored as soon as possible!"

Paul C. van Pinxteren, Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

Mathis Wackernagel:
What's at Stake?

"We have entered the new era of resource constraints. Humanity is in global overshoot, using more renewable resources and ecological services than our biosphere can replenish. More countries, including Ecuador and other South American nations, are becoming increasingly dependent on resources they do not have. As a result, more countries are competing for the planet's limited natural capital. We call this new dynamic "the global auction."

In an auction, what matters most is not your absolute income, but your relative income compared to all other bidders. For example, assume your income doubles, or triples even. You would still be at a disadvantage when bidding at an auction-including the global resource auction-if everybody else's income quadruples.

Global Footprint Network's data on resource and consumption trends in South America in combination with data of the World Bank and other international institutions highlight the fundamental conflict between the two major trends shaping the global auction: Human demand for Earth's limited resources and services is continuously increasing, while relative income of many people is in decline.

Biocapacity, the productive land and sea area that produce ecological resources and services, cannot keep pace with the human demands made upon it. Fifty years ago, every country in South America had at least twice the biocapacity of what their residents demanded. Today, that's no longer the case.

After decades of population growth and increasing per capita consumption levels, Ecuador and Venezuela are now running "biocapacity deficits," meaning that their demands for renewable resources and carbon sinks exceeds what their own ecosystems can provide. Chile is nearing the threshold, if it hasn't crossed it already. Trends in every other South American country, save Argentina and Uruguay, also show a continuous per capita decline in available resources and ecological services-and the increasing prospect of more biocapacity debtor nations by the end of the decade.

The income trend has also seen a significant shift. For many South American countries, their residents' absolute income may have increased on average, but their share in global income has fallen. For instance, Ecuador's residents today earn on average 45 percent less of the total global income than they did 40 years ago (measured in GNI according to World Bank statistics). In Venezuela, residents lost on average a staggering 72 percent in their share of total global income in just three decades.

This double trend of weakening bidding power with expanding biocapacity deficits is creating a new challenge for countries: Since all countries participate in increasingly interconnected economies, dropping relative incomes make it more difficult for ecological debtors to compete in the global market for the world's limited resources.

Before the global auction for biocapacity (when resources were abundant), declining relative income barely affected countries' economies. In the era of plentiful resources, supply of goods and resources was limited only by market demands. In a world where resource costs are becoming a significant factor to economic production, biocapacity and relative income trends will become key determinants of economic success or failure. Economic planners and private investors who ignore this new reality put their assets in peril.

The narrowing gap between South America's supply of and demand for ecological resources and services is worrisome. But trends are not destiny, unless they are not addressed. Through the Ecological Footprint, countries can track those trends, and make the decisions they need to reverse them and better safeguard their economies.

Ecuador's commitment to its people's prosperity has made it a leader in resource accounting. Last month, three representatives of Ecuador's Ministry of Environment completed the first of a rigorous three-part training program in Footprint methodology. We applaud Ecuador for this courageous step of documenting its resource and consumption trends, and exploring their implications for the nation's future."

Dr. Mathis Wackernagel is president of Global Footprint Network, an international think-tank promoting a sustainable economy by advancing the use of the Ecological Footprint, a resource management tool that measures how much nature we have, how much we use and who uses what. Global Footprint Network is based in the USA, Switzerland and Belgium.
www.footprintnetwork.org

Paul Holister: "In all this wonderful outpouring of ideas I think that the 800-pound gorilla of a problem in the room has received too little attention, despite a few mentions. That gorilla is us – people and their behaviour, individually and collectively. There is no point figuring out solutions to our problems if you can’t get people to implement them.

So we have to change the way people behave collectively, and maybe individually.

What are the ‘people’ problems? Greed, ignorance and apathy come to mind (to pick a few out of the air). Can we actually do much about such things? I do think that people can be taught at an early age to think more rationally. This might (if you could ever get such teaching into schools) at least immunise people somewhat against the propaganda thrown at them by political and religious leaders and corporate PR machines.

But things like greed (or rather the tendency for the greediest to take control) and apathy (or selfishness) seem to beg a solution, if there is one, involving a change in society.

Thomas Olsen’s comments suggest we might hope that social systems will change, but it is his ‘new wind’, borne of our newfound ability to create communities on a global scale, that I hear most often cited as the great hope for a different and better future. Maybe more investment of intellect and imagination in this area might offer the greatest returns. And let’s not forget that the powers-that-be are well aware of the threat it represents."

Paul Holister is consultant, designer, writer, in ICT, emerging technologies, and scientific publishing in the Netherlands.

via Club of Amsterdam Blog Public Brainstorm: Energy

Jeremy Mancuso: "We have the science and technology to move beyond a fossil fuel based economy but we lack the political will and foresight to act on it. Not to mention powerful lobbies to ensure the status quo."

Jeremy Mancuso is Content Director, Shaping Tomorrow.
USA.

Thomas Olsen:
"Dear Club of Amsterdam Members and Supporters,

The Club of Amsterdam is a true blessing. Its focus, scores of members/readers, range of contributors and backers, is a fantastic recognition of its vision; that openness will bring 'betterness'.

My own modest contribution to Club of Amsterdam's 10th anniversary is in the form of a - perhaps somewhat unorthodox - reflection, over the truly interesting and mind-boggling article in the Club of Amsterdam Journal, Issue 152 (Nov 2012), titled One Minute before 12: Understanding the Global Model. This is meant as a contribution to the debate, not as a critique of an article based on extensive research.

Describing the situation of global problems we already know all too well, it notes that:

"This is not some futuristic horror scenario; this is with us today now, and must be dealt with now, and not in some distant future. Now is the moment when we must carefully look at the mathematical evaluation of how all these factors will affect each other over time. We must set aside complacency as well as political or dogmatic belief, analyse the empirical evidence, and connect those critical dots. There is no more time for opinions, only for science and hard mathematical models, to under-stand the true reality. We must act accordingly.

[…]This realization must also constitute an invitation to world leaders, responsible decision makers, corporate heads and global thinkers to come together now, and to work on urgent solutions immediately, to preserve the continuation of human civili-zation in a sustainable, dignified and peaceful way."

It continues to present a (what it calls) "Global Master Model", one that intends to identify areas of concern and guide how we shall move forward. It comprises eight points:

1. Monetary and economic systems and their critical debt sustainability issues
2. Governmental/Political trends, conflicts, dogmatic and religious dynamics
3. Corporations and their behavior impacts under missing global regulations
4. Energy production, global energy economics, and critical conflicts
5. Interconnected Farmland, Food and Water factors and their sustainability
6. Environmental Impacts, pollution, weather and habitation consequences
7. Human overpopulation and its interconnected demographic behavior effects
8. Security; cyber-terror; terrorism as the emerging form of 'political discourse'

My commentary to this very well presented article is not to dispute its findings. To the contrary, I neither can nor intend to dispute the facts it presents.

But - and this is a serious 'but' - the idea that there will ever be an egalitarian world-government, or some other world-power that can, like John Rawls' idea of "Justice as Fairness", where (what he called) a 'veil of ignorance' on behalf of the ruling elites, would eliminate their self-interests, putting this aside in favour of equal opportunities across the (global) board, is truly utopian.

Throughout history have dominant ideas been imposed with the help of hegemonistic forces, masking their ambitions in 'good-for-all' kind of terms. The one we currently 'suffer' from is the call for constant, eternal and global (economic) growth. Also this call supported itself on serious research and mathematical logic. People actually believed it to be the answer to everybody's prayers. It however proved wrong, simply because some parameters where forgotten - or ignored. For instance was the actual objective, spelled 'markets', commonly confused with the more egalitarian-sounding term 'people'. The architects of globalisation did mean all (foreign) markets - but only some (not foreign) people.

The fundamental problem is (and has always been) that it's typically said that (quote) "There is no more time for opinions, only for science and hard mathematical models, to understand the true reality" (from the here quoted article 'One Minute before 12: Understanding the Global Model')

But already Karl Popper - knighted five decades ago and dead since two - noted that science always struggles with what he called the problem of induction, meaning that certain assumptions must be made, and treated as 'underlying facts' when (scientific) truths are developed. So, when the assumptions changes, the truths must change too. Debating socio-economic developments, using hard economic mathematical methods, we must therefore take into account that that 'black swan' may once again appear, i.e. the one that 300 years ago overthrew the western assumption that all swans are white.

This was however also claimed in 1955 by anthropologist Melville Herskovits (one of the founders of the concept of cultural relativism) who wrote that 'given the premises, the logic is inescapable'. It has never been harder to prove him wrong than now.

Where does this take me? Well, just to be provocative enough to make my point: How do we know that we - in 50 years or so from now - will not praise what we today call terrorism as being the birth of the ecological revolution - where people finally took up arms against the ever-hegemonic state - a state that obviously failed to see, or ignored, the plight of its people? Only by finally using the single thing the individual 'has' that the state ultimately cannot control - the self - could people overthrow the hegemonic structure of the state that proved itself totally unwilling to deal with the core questions that this (and other) article raises.

All drastic changes have initially been seen as disturbances or, as in this case, a true evil. Only time will tell how those disturbances and/or evils will develop. Some will be forgotten, some will be banished by history as just that, while other may develop into something we in the future will consider beneficial. Like the French Revolution.

Hence, to assume that "an invitation to world leaders, responsible decision makers, corporate heads and global thinkers to come together now, and to work on urgent solutions immediately, to preserve the continuation of human civilization in a sustain-able, dignified and peaceful way" would be the way forward is actually very limiting. We must realize that these people are much more a part of the problem than a part of the solution. The reason for this is called vested interests.

As of today we may not have a better structure to offer than the Westphalian state. But before Westphalia did most societies live with a totally different reality. This was not only the case outside Europe, but also for most Europeans. So why do we believe that, just because Europeans invented and exported this structure 3-400 years ago - arms in hand, and at the expense of almost all other governing structures around the globe - it cannot change once again? Who knows, is 400 years perhaps the end of the lifecycle for just about any socio-political model? Actually, our state- / capital-centric model probably need to change or most of the problems the quoted article raises will remain till the end of times - which according to that article could be very soon!

I am not a revolutionary. And I do not support 'terrorism'. But just as all roads used to lead to Rome, do all clues today lead to the suspicion that the state is the culprit, or at least the smallest common denominator in today's conflict-prone world. By 'the state' I refer to the vested interests that are channelled through a faceless machinery by non-committing bureaucrats, where the individual is reduced to a loyal voter and powerful groups, representing sectorial interests, use the political system to advance their cross-border interests. People are not in conflict with people across the globe; states are - as the best way for vested interests to advance their agenda is to be seen represented by the state. The race is on, and even Obama knows the perils of being squeezed between the voters, every 4th year, and the lobby that bankrolled his campaign - every day. The fiasco in Copenhagen 2009 was not because our elected leaders do not understand the issues or the urgency. But as mere puppets they have no space to act.

There are indeed many initiatives taken to get around this problem. The problem with those initiatives is that most of them make the assumption that the state must take the lead - or, as in many cases - that 'a particular state' must take the lead. But this is doomed to fail, since nobody is going to willingly cut the very branch he is sitting on.

A new wind is however blowing; the Commons. A third force, supplementing but not replacing both the public sector (based on the state) and the private sector (based on capital) - where peer-to-peer collaboration is at the core - is picking up speed. It may still take long before it can influence any other areas than what by media is typically called 'culture' (music, film, computer-code, etc), but some promising research is also being done in the political arena. How will the w.w.w. affect what Jürgen Habermas called the 'public sphere? The reason why Habermas' public sphere was important was that it identified the role of the people also beside their role as an electorate. In other words, Habermas recognised that 'people' have both the right and the desire to influence their elected politicians also in between elections. That is democracy.

So is for instance the small but progressive German university Leuphana University in Lueneburg conducting a research project on principles of democratic representation, titled: The Principle of Democratic Representation in a Globalising World: A Gap in the Governance Literature? From these kind of projects will hopefully - sooner rather than later - new and better models for local vs global (often called glocal) governance emerge, by which the kind of urgent issues the eminent article that this paper refers to can be both better and more effectively addressed."

Thomas Olsen is Associate Rushmore Professor, Int'l Relations.Thailand.

via Club of Amsterdam Blog Public Brainstorm: Energy

Peter Cochrane: We have no problem generating energy ecologically - all the technology is available today. The big problem is storage! Wind farms and solar power are rendered ecologically -ve by way of their huge material and pollution costs v there poor utilisation rates. Sadly, Nuclear Power is the only Eco Friendly technology we can deploy right now!

We need a huge R&D investment on home, village, town, city scale energy storage systems for those nations without the geography of mountains and 'rock' to exploit. Random schemes and investments in fashionable / emotionally driven energy projects will not solve this problem."

Peter Cochrane is CEO & Chairman at Cochrane Associates Ltd . UK.

via LinkedIn The Futurist Group

Philip Spies: "Systems thinker the late RL Ackoff often reacted to the need for futures thinking in the following manner: "So much time is spent in worrying about the future that the present is allowed to go to hell. Unless we correct some of the world’s systemic deficiencies now, the future is condemned to be as disappointing as the present."

Incessant technological innovation and technology-based industrialisation shaped the world institutionally, economically and culturally over 200 years: This process favoured the (largely Western-style) industrial world and today 85 percent of global wealth is owned by just 10 percent of the global population. Empoverished people in less developed communities – and especially so in Sub-Saharan Africa - seem to find themselves in a low level human development trap of little progress pushing birth rates, pushing poverty, pushing death rates. Thus, one part of the world is driven by greed while the other part is depressed in need.

We need a different perspective on the nature and role of human innovativeness. One that is less involved with the artefact and more involved with human development. Innovation is the transformation of a new idea or discovery into technology through introducing, applying, and integrating it into common practice. The outcome should be that people on both sides of the global divide can progressively do more with the same effort, produce different outcomes with the same artefacts and produce outcomes in new and novel ways."

Philip Spies is Primary Consultant at Creative Futures, Cape Town Area, South Africa

via Club of Amsterdam Blog Public Brainstorm: Energy

Louie Helm: "I'm not sure I understand the question fully, but I do think there's a non-negligible chance we start to feel the pinch from lack of cheap oil production. If food production, transportation, and other sectors become hyper-expensive in a decade, I could see it seriously curtailing certain economic growth curves and perhaps even slowing top-end tech growth.

But most worlds probably never suffer a resource constraint like this before the dynamics of the first powerful AGIs end up dominating the abundance/scarcity curve."

Louie Helm is Member of the Board at Humanity+, Deputy Director at the Singularity Institute and Writer for the Singularity Hub, USA.

By Michael Akerib

For the Club of Amsterdam's Tenth Anniversary
To Alina, a fairy that escaped the destruction of the forest

"The beginning of the fourth millennium may see our society in the same way that we, today, see the Forest of Broceliande. A symbol of a past long dead. Where we see the imprint of mythology today, they will see the remains of a dead civilization that centuries ago gave birth to another world, one rich in technology.

The fountain of knowledge that we have created, inherited from the magic fountain in the forest, has allowed scientists and engineers to imagine solutions for humanity's problems. The flow of ideas out of this fountain seems to have no end.

The forest of Broceliande passed into mythology as populations moved through Europe; and we are witnessing again large migratory waves entering the continent and altering the ways of life that had become ours; the culture that our brains had invented.

We are also witnessing wave after wave of technological developments that change our way of life and to which we have to adapt. They may lead us to think differently of ourselves as a species and perhaps to fashion a new being, a post-homo species.

Our world is becoming increasingly complex and changing with a velocity unknown to us so far. Our sociological models are falling apart in what appears to be increasingly arbitrary decisions.

This knowledge that we possess and on which the future will be built must not be taught only to a Lady of the Lake, however beautiful and tempting she may appear to us, for once she will be in possession of the knowledge, the essence of our civilization will be entrapped, just as the Lady of the Lake entrapped Merlin. Let us share the knowledge and refrain from making it the tool of the power-hungry in their search of hegemony.

Fairies and dragons still exist - they are alive in us as symbols of our values in spite of the rationality that pervades in the environment we have created for ourselves. We have pushed them to the margins of our imagination, excluding them from our daily thoughts. Let us not kill them. Let us not make our world another Forest of Broceliande - a mythological space rendered empty of meaning as humanity and its values have been altered beyond recognition.
Let us make fairies our muses as we progress towards a better future."

Michael Akerib is an Independent Higher Education Professional, Switzerland.

via Club of Amsterdam Blog Public Brainstorm: Economic-Demographic Crisis

Geert Lovink: "The sustainability crisis may be global, and so are fuel prices. But the economic-demographic crisis in Amsterdam is not, and we can do something about it to turn the tide. Amsterdam thrives on the collective and collaborative creative energy of young people. This is not not hard to see. As a matter of fact it is precisely this group that has been driven out of the city over the past 15 years. Amsterdam is already suffering from the law that forbids squatting. There is less and less cheap housing, with a steady growing population students more and more people are forced to commute in and out of the city. As a result there is less and less emotional attachment, and investment, of young people in public places and infrastructures in the city. Add the cultural budget cuts, empty office towers and the high prices of real estate and rents and you will understand why more and more youngsters will only reside here briefly and turn into non-detached consumers of the urban environment. To reverse this situation a few steps might be enough the reverse the situation. First and foremost, as a former squatter, I would propose to lift the ban on squatting. One Volkskrant building wasn't enough. True, there are a number of 'broedplaatsen' but that's not enough, and too controlled anyway.

Stop raiding so-called illegal techno parties. The almost 600 million euros turn-over of the techno dance scene has come from somewhere. Is someone making sure that today's teenagers can experiment? This is not just a matter of repressive tolerance of weird ideas. It is about a fundamental right, in Amsterdam, which has been taken away from us, to fool around. One way to get would be to artificially lower real-estate prices and fight speculation and unreasonable growth in that sector in any way possible. The best would be to bring down prices to mid-nineties levels, corrected after inflation. In this way we could, again, start to compete with Berlin (where prices are now slowly but steadily start to go up). The other approach would be to re-introduce modern public infrastructure and make sure that it cannot be sold and privatized. The sales of the public cable system in Amsterdam in the late nineties was a direct destruction of talent (as was the closure of the pirate radio stations). A project like The Digital City, unique in the world, was never understood by local politicians, as were many smaller follow-up internet projects that were pioneered in this city. Let's reverse this process! Say no to policing and repression of the arts. Instead of merely defending old institutions this is call to respect the founding of new spaces."

Geert Lovink is media theorist and internet critic, professor at European Graduate School, research professor ('lector' in Dutch) at Hogeschool van Amsterdam and founder, director Institute of Network Cultures. The Netherlands.


via Club of Amsterdam Blog Public Brainstorm: Human Overpopulation

Franz Nahrada: "I would like to oppose Khannea Suntzus point, but not completely. No, we can not sustain even the present population level with capitalist and free marketacious methods.

But if we leave our imagination free for just one moment and ask the question: how can woMan really live light on the surface of the earth, without compromising the best in technology and wisdom, there is one clear answer for me: humans must by all means reconcile with the natural support system of the planet, and must adopt paradigms that are in line with the very nature of these support systems.

For me this means we have a great chance to master the current crisis if we adopt the "paradigm of the plant". If we manage to use all our knowledge to re-engineer our local habitats into assimilating, digesting, breathing systems, if we understand also that the proximity of man and natural resources, food, forests, is equally important as the completion and engineeriung of closed material cycles, if we turn our unsustainable cities into veritable magaplants that work with the abundant energy of the sun, we will master the challenge.

I have seen too many parts to solve the puzzle to be entirely pessimistc about this: I have seen trees that grow fast in hot climates and not just allow reforestation, but also pioneer dedesertification. I like the bold approach of DESERTEC and similar projects because there is a big mutual synergetic effect between energy, water desalination, new ways to make desert land reusable, communication and media.

If we finally understood that the global cooperative effort of mankind to create liveable habitat and tap into the only unlimited resource this planet has, into human creativity, we might have an option beyond deploring the bad nature of humans.

I advocate "Global Villages", which means settlements which use global communication to raise their level of autonomy by sharing the best in technology and knowledge. That is radically opposed to a restrictive econoimy of information, that so many people seem to advocate.

If you look at the successes of movements like Open Source Ecology you see that we can decentralize almost everything, even the production of the tools we need to create a sustainable civilisation.

There can be an EXPONENTIAL upward spiral of ingenuity of adopting the "paradigm of the plant" and realizing a vision of the planet of a federation of millions of decentralized villages, hundreds of thousands of local central towns, thousands of independent regions.

You think its impossible? Think Twice! The real power of the net is to connect us, to work together across the borders of nations and cultures as one enlightened planetary civilisation.

If we would focus on technologies that help us harvest our local abundance, be it sun or biomass, water or wind, and share the task to spread the paradigm of the plant, like the Transition Movement has begun to do, we would not have to be affraid of overpopulation. Of course, we would have to spend the same amount of passion, energy, ingenuity and endurance that we spend for war and destruction or warfare economy nowadays.

There are more and more people gathering atround this paradigm and it is time it makes itself heard."

Franz Nahrada is Futurist and Social Researcher, Director at GIVE - Globally Integrated Village Environment and Owner, Hotel Karolinenhof, Austria.

via Club of Amsterdam Blog Public Brainstorm: Human Overpopulation

Peter Troxler: "Ever since I have heard Hans Rosling's inspiring presentation at this year's Open Knowledge Festival I am not so worried about overpopulation: chances are that growth will stop at around 10bn. The problem we will be facing, however, is that the Western world will account for 10 % of it, so it is not a question how the rest of the world will catch up with us, but how we adapt to being a minority."

Peter Troxler is Research Professor "Revolution in Manufacturing", Hogeschool Rotterdam, The Netherlands and President, International FabLab Association.

via Club of Amsterdam Blog Public Brainstorm: Human Overpopulation

Mathijs van Zutphen: "I am not an optimist, and some of what Khannea Suntzu resonates with me. The future is not bright, and that is a somewhat ironic conclusion for someone who grew up in the nineteen eighties; the “no future” decade. I see denial going on all around me, and certainly in our political leadership. Denial, we all know, is a sure way to get into trouble… and so we will.

Still, it is possible to view this rampant denial with a sense of compassion, because for many the alternative to denial is an uncontrollable panic.

So I anticipate more problems rather then less in our immediate future, and in that sense I fully agree with most of what has been said here. And allthough I cannot muster up any optimism about anything, I do know what is an effective mindset in dealing with crisis. And that is by lying to yourself a little… deliberately so. The lie is the belief that what you yourself do is making a difference, that you can actually contribute to change yourself.

We really don’t know what the future will bring. Our computer models can extrapolate from previous and current trends, but those are still approximations. Most of the parameters we can measure and we feed into our smart systems are not really as independent as we treat them. From systems theory we have learned that things cohere, and systems are interdependent. Change of a parameter in one system can invoke change in parameters of other systems… and some of this influence may have catastrophic consequences. Sometimes we call this the butterfly effect. But even this is still relative. Catastrophic for whom? If you are a banker in the world today none of what has recently happened is catastrophic, in fact much of what has happened, certainly in terms of government response, has been nothing short of an encouragement to ‘keep up the good work’. So bankers, even though they continue with their business as usual -- sucking cash out of the economy by transfering risk to future generations – have just won.and keep winning. And we ourselves mortgaged the last of our future.

As Hardy F. Schloer mentioned, many parameters are moving towards extreme values. This is a sign of systems going away from their equilibrium, and in far-outside-of-equilibrium situations spontaneous order arises Ilya Prigogine taught us. But this happens by means of bifurcation, determined but unpredictable events. All that can be said about bifurcations is in the language of probability… the only really advice is: be ready for surprising transformational events, without any possible knowledge on the nature of such events to come.

So then it’s just a question of being in the now. Worrying about what you are doing right now, and this focus is a good remedy against some of dismal and inescapable facts about the world today. I salute all contributors!"

Mathijs van Zutphen is Owner at Ad Valorum, the Netherlands.

via Club of Amsterdam Blog Public Brainstorm: Energy

Kevin Carson: "I'm fairly optimistic about energy because, unlike a lot of doom theorists in the tradition of Diamond's catabolic collapse paradigm -- I see the demand for energy as being actually quite elastic, and I share Lovins' and Hawken's positive view of all the low-hanging fruit out there. Peak Oil (and everything else) will probably result in fuel prices of $12/gallon or more within a decade, which means the potential of micromanufacturing for radically shortening corporate supply and distribution chains will be taken advantage of as a matter of necessity. When truckers start abandoning their rigs on the shoulder and the GE and Westinghouse supply chains break down, people will of necessity turn to the nearest garage manufacturer with tabletop CNC tools to keep their appliances running. And that goes triple for local truck farmers breaking ground to meet the demand from people snatching produce off the table as fast as it appears at the farmer's market. $500/month electric bills will be a powerful catalyst for word of mouth from people who already know someone with a passive solar cooling system. And so on, and so on.

When energy prices reach a level high enough to overcome existing path dependencies, I think we can expect a phase transition pretty quickly.

I'm especially optimistic because I see almost zero chance of reducing CO2 emissions by political means (although ex ante geoengineering projects are more credible). OTOH Peak Oil (and Coal and Gas) estimates are generally isomorphic, over the long term, with goals for reducing fossil fuel consumption."

Kevin Carson, Karl Hess Chair in Social Theory, Research Associate, Center for a Stateless Society, USA

via Club of Amsterdam Blog Public Brainstorm: Food and Water

Mathijs van Zutphen: "We are an urban species, statistically so (with over half the people on the planet dwelling in urban centers), and perhaps intrinsically so… perhaps that is in the end a good thing. With human concentration in a few extensive urban areas, much of the planet can perhaps be left to mother nature, which will give her a chance to recover in many ways, provided of course that we will be able to adopt a sustainable way of subtracting resources from wild nature.

How to feed such population centers? With food prices rising? Food production has been made dependent on oil production. If we are already at the very limits of efficiency in the systems for devivering basic living supplies to urban centers, how can we deal with more population growth? How will we do agriculture when the oil runs out?

Well… as usual, the answer may come from completely unexpected directions. Local resourcefulness has given rise to a whole family of initiatives that is rapidly spreading across the planet and that can be summarized under the term: urban gardening.

Urban environments are already more safe for bee colonies than the countryside. Cities provide more biodiversity and less toxic pesticides for these useful insects. Food can be grown in cities, and it is. And to everyone’s surprise, cities are turning out to be remarkably productive as centers of agricultural production. As industry left the dying city of Detroit, Michigan, it became an innovation center for urban food production. More here:
http://detroitagriculture.net

The battle against desertification is being won, by some very simple ideas and practices, for example in the Loess Plateau in China. As our knowledge about sustainability grows, and finds more and more practical applications in both grassroots and government backed projects, who knows to what degree these initiatives will be an antidote to the forces of despair?

I am not an optimist… but as an innovator I have learned the lesson of nescience. We don’t know what will happen. If we know anything to be true it is: be prepared for surprise …"

Mathijs van Zutphen is Owner at Ad Valorum, the Netherlands.

via LinkedIn SESTI - Weak Signal Scanning

Ian Miles: "1 Solutions are for limited problems. For wicked problems we need responses, and acceptance that these will not "solve" the problem, at least not without leading to other and potentially equally serious problems.

2 Responses will typically involve change on many of the STEEPV / PESTLE dimensions, but we should not fragment the different parts too much.

3 Maslow - which Maslow (he kept reformulating his theory), and why Maslow rather than others in this area? Are not the megacrises heavily in his security zone? And how come so few of these theories ave much empirical verification?"


Ian Miles is Professor of Technological Innovation and Social Change in the UK.

via Club of Amsterdam Blog Public Brainstorm: Food and Water

Esther Rudolph: "Very interesting discussion! I think we all basically agree, that we need "brainy" help by supercomputers and quick scientific progress to solve the incredible and diverse challenges of the very near future. However, I'm relatively optimistic that it's possible.

But what worries me the most - and it seems to be a minor priority to a lot of people - is like some already mentioned: The problem is "us". And we don't seem to be willing to do something about that soon. Even though it might ruin many of the possible problem-solutions we're going to achieve in the next months and years. What we are doing is handing out painkillers to someone, who permanently bumps his head against the wall. Even if we manage to flee into space, make water, energy, breathable air and new organs from poo, whatever (I know we can already do this!), this might all be a waste, if we go on like this.

What we need to focus on as well as on science and technology is education, including a bright focus on ethics and values. (We have the basics, but we allow politicians and managers to break them.) Our value systems all over the world are borked right now. We favor psychopaths. Biopunks turn themselves into psychopaths. Forbes features the leaders of N*stle and Mons*nto (to stay at least a bit on topic) as heroes. Enemies of science candidate as president of the US.

We have to solve this problem at the same time as we´re moving forward with science and technology. Some of you already mentioned the need to come to a (basic!) global consensus on values and goals. Journalism and even initiatives like this brainstorm are great moves. But I feel like we still don't do enough about that. Probably because it seems so "utopian"? Fact is that it's possible. Some options aren't ethical (e.g. using Neuroscience or reverse methods as the biopunk-psychopath-way). Others are drastic and destructive, like a global revolution. But to be true: Is there another escape?

We need a plan for a peaceful global revolution. I'm sorry that I can't come up with a detailed, concrete, constructive idea (I have some, but I don't want this post to explode), but I'm sure we could find one, if we don't treat this topic as a lower priority behind all the scientific and technologic progress. It's one thing without the other. They fuel each other, and maybe we underestimate their synergy.

Long post, short message: We lack some basics, and that's why we can only find short term solutions regarding food, water and enviroment. Again, I'm pretty sure that we will solve these problems. But just to face them again in different clothes.

The human species is about to transform itself, and besides all the huge challenges we have a big and probably unique chance here..."

Esther Rudolph is Editor, Content Creator, Author in Austria.

Helena Vorosova: "I think - one should be aware of their capabilities and skills in the context of harmony with nature. It should change the attitude and the changes his thinking and actions as well - creating a fight - this does not address the situation of the global crisis. I believe that together we can."

Helena Vorosova is a visionary entrepreneur in the Slovak Republic.

via LinkedIn Scenario, Future & Strategy Group

Daniel Menges: "In light of current global trends and (current and future) risks, I think it is also important for us, as a global society, as nations and voters, to also look at what decisions we are making, what the likely impacts of that will be and whether that is the path that we want to be taking."

Daniel Menges, Research, Insights, Communications, Strategy, Consulting & Facilitation, Australia

Mitch Gold: "Having been invited, I will share some immediate thoughts. As a backgrounder, I would like you to know that I followed the work of Aurelio Pecci in the developing of the Club of Rome, and later Ervin Laszlo on the development of the Club of Budapest. Myself I participated in the Toronto Futures organization, and stayed on the fringe of most of the discussions over the years - having participated in the larger discussion by presenting a Paper at the Inaugural meeting of the Foundation for a Culture of Peace in Madrid on the invitation of Federico Mayor Zarragozza. My paper outlined a program for social change that your current discussion is addressing. More talk seems to be the order of the day.

In my presentations I developed an integrated strategy that would challenge the challenges.

Unfortunately, the main problem that persists today is that no matter what we point out as solutions - the logic base used by those analyzing the problems is not developed sufficiently to propel a solution forward. I believe Einstein said it best -"We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them".

Ergo much of our brainstorming activity is seen as a regurgitation of the past thirty years of discussion - while what we really need is to put into practice an operational program that has the capacity to change thinking patterns.

I believe that our homeplanet virtual university has that capacity - and I believe that your team's exploring our constructs will put into place the potential outcomes that we are desirous of.

In short:
http://www.homeplanet.org/hvu/missionvision.html

I trust that we might explore some steps on integrating our work using technology as our servant.

Looking forward to a chat."

Mitchell L. Gold is architect of homeplanet virtual university. Canada.

via Club of Amsterdam Blog Public Brainstorm: Environment

Elisabet Sahtouris: "In the post below (by Khannea Suntzu) I read that only a narrow strip of Netherlands along the German border will be above water before very long. Let us take that single outcome and THINK about what it means for an entire nation in the midst of the 'developed' world. The dykes cannot be built high enough to stop this from happening...it is too late for anything but adaptation. Make friends of a past colony and move to Indonesian high ground? Let the rest of Europe absorb the refugees amidst their own problems? Let's get more practical in this dialogue!!!!

Interesting to suddenly see a huge preparedness effort on the US East Coast when storms happen to converge on seats of power after all their denials, but I would caution against our seeing such storms, which will undoubtedly be ever stronger and more frequent as some kind of revenge /retribution on Nature's part.. Yes, Earth must work to regain her balance as our predations affect her adversely, but it is not a counterattack aimed at us. Let us simply take it as the inevitable consequence of our own inexcusable shortsightedness and lack of respect for Earth as the source of all our bountiful opportunity for wellbeing, which persists despite the storms. It would surely benefit us to get over denial and begin rapid adaptation!"

Elisabet Sahtouris is a Greek-American evolutionary biologist, futurist, business consultant, event organizer and UN consultant on indigenous peoples. Spain.

Paul Holister: "I despair, though I didn't always. The developed world sits on a knife-edge of fossil fuel dependence that, with an overthrow here or a war there, could mortally wound the 'advanced' societies we cherish. We've done very little to mitigate that glaring vulnerability, but that isn't why I despair.

When The Limits to Growth was published in the mid-70s, I was a teenager bursting with "can-do" optimism and a naïve faith in my species, so the news that mankind faced "overshoot and collapse" if we didn't change our ways didn't faze me much. (I never doubted for a moment, unlike some, that the dangers the modeling highlighted were real - you might argue about timing but it was pretty obvious that we couldn't grow and pollute forever on a finite planet.)

After all, the century had already seen so many advances towards societies that respected human rights and the environment, and a growing green movement gave hope that we could adapt and thus conquer problems for which solutions were already becoming clear: population growth would automatically drop when education and security were improved; resource issues, especially energy, were surely manageable if we applied ourselves; the dangers of global warming (yes, we were already talking about it that long ago) and depletion of the ozone layer should present no insurmountable challenges to dedicated societies. After all, the model, if correct, showed that collapse could be averted.

I not only thought we would overcome these challenges, I dreamed of a future in which people were freed from drudgery (or some of it, at least) through automation, giving us more time to enrich our minds and, hell, simply enjoy life.

What actually happened was:

  • the green movement never gained serious traction, and international movements to stem global warming have become farcical;
  • we have continued to rape the third world for short-term gain (and thus not changed the pressures that affect population growth) and rich investors buy and lock up food to make a buck while people starve;
  • we have continued to rape our planet and destroy its diverse and wonderful ecosystems;
  • dependence on fossil fuels has hardly improved in most countries and the powers that be don't seem to give a damn;
  • the model used in Limits to Growth has been revalidated and re-run and indicates that it is now too late to avoid collapse;
  • automation has indeed led to reductions in the need for human labour but instead of giving people more time it has taken their jobs and wealth away and put the money saved in the pockets of the owners of the corporations (while yet more jobs are outsourced to countries where workers are cheaper because they have not won the rights so cherished in the west);
  • the intervening period has seen the domination of a pernicious meme, a particular brand of free-market economics that has thrived in the fertile ground of corporate culture and the corporate-owned media and that has done much to bring about the previously listed horrors and embarrassments as well as increasing the gap between the rich and the poor, reversing a trend of previous decades.

I am, of course, still concerned that we sit on a knife-edge of fossil fuel dependence. Just imagine, to take one example, the overthrow of the Saudi government and the loss of over 10% of the world's oil production. Suppose that the ensuing scramble for oil led to wars and a loss of even more? What would happen to our 'developed' societies when deprived of that oil, which powers the tractors that are needed to feed us and the trains and trucks that take coal from pit to power station?

It's a frightening vision that could become reality any day. But if we are lucky then pure economics will eventually come to the rescue as renewable energy becomes cheaper (photovoltaic prices are plummeting and PV is now outcompeting diesel as the off-grid energy source of choice in rural India, which will lead to economies of scale that will sustain the price drop) and fossil fuels become 'harder' (to extract) and more expensive (google Michael Klare for excellent commentary on this).

Might this come in time to avert the potential disaster of a sudden drop in oil production? Maybe. Will it come in time to prevent serious global warming? Almost certainly not, especially given the influence of the fossil fuel industry over governments. And we're probably past the point of no return anyway.

But if our luck holds, we will eventually not have to worry about energy any more - the energy hitting the Earth from the sun every second is around 120,000 terajoules, approximately 10,000 times global consumption. Geothermal also offers a practically endless supply of energy. So it's not as if the energy isn't there, though it's a sobering thought that the fossil fuels on our planet represent solar energy that has been stored up over hundreds of millions of years, and we've probably used up the easy half already, in just a couple of hundred years, which is like saving money for a lifetime then blowing it all in a 30-minute fit of shopping madness.

So why do I despair rather than just worry?

Well, not only is far too little being done to combat global warming, which could be far more devastating than the 'standard' predictions (which are devastating enough), but some countries, like the US are going backwards - if Romney wins the next election they will have a party in power in which is it essentially forbidden to accept that the problem exists. Population is still growing fast - from 6 to 7 billion in the last 13 years (and from 4 billion in 1973), despite food crises (with possibly the biggest yet coming within months); food production is hitting limits, and is likely to decline through global warming and aquifers running dry globally (another ancient resource being blown in the blink of an eye); nuclear weapons are proliferating while the countries holding them often get more extreme; mass destruction through biowarfare is becoming easier by the day; the ludicrous idea of unlimited growth still forms the core of our economics and the world can be thrown into a recession by a bunch of irresponsible bankers who get away with it while their chums encourage austerity measures to suck even more money from the poorer levels of society (and, astonishingly, the general public in most countries belief this to be necessary).

But what really makes me despair, what saddens me to the core, is that the challenges raised by The Limits to Growth, and many others, some mentioned here, have been tests of whether our species is fit to exercise such power over the planet, whether we can be sufficiently social on a large enough scale to collectively care for our future and that of our children. But we have chosen to give in to mindless short-term greed, or allow ourselves to be hoodwinked by the ruthless rich, and let our freedoms erode and our humanity evaporate while we trash the planet. We have failed these tests of responsibility dismally. We have proved ourselves to be a race of gluttons and gullible fools. Even if we get lucky and save ourselves from the catastrophic consequences of our own idiocy, we'll still be the same pathetic, destructive hooligans.

I have seen estimates that the impact of global warning, about which we are doing so little, will reduce the carrying capacity of the Earth to 2 billion people, a die-off of 5 billion people, or worse. James Lovelock, the creator of the Gaia concept, suggested in an interview a while ago that you could look at such a die-off as a natural turn of events - nothing to get upset about. Things die, species go extinct. Why should we have any right to expect anything different for ourselves? We're just another species on this planet, but far more destructive than any other. If ever a species 'deserved' to go extinct, it's us.

Such an impersonal perspective on our future is hard for a normal caring person to maintain, and yet in many ways it feels exquisitely fair and just.

So do I advocate just giving up and enjoying the party while it lasts? I cannot since I have a very personal vested interest in the future - I have children. Giving up hope is not an option.

I was probably expected, when invited to contribute some thoughts, to use this space to write mainly about the current and future impact of nanotechnology on the energy situation. But what I chose to focus on is far, far more important and I cannot think of a better forum than the 10-year anniversary of an organisation dedicated to looking at the future to voice my profound concerns about our own future and maybe allow myself hope that I might form part of a rallying cry that might somehow turn this nightmare around."

Paul Holister is consultant, designer, writer, in ICT, emerging technologies, and scientific publishing in the Netherlands.

via Club of Amsterdam Blog Public Brainstorm: Human Overpopulation

Arjen Kamphuis: "I think energy is our most acute problem. However: all of the problems in this series are, of course, all interlinked. I agree with Khannea's and Hardy's analysis that there are no easy fixes for these and the time for painless 'solutions' is a long time past.

Energy (especially liquid fossil fuel) shortages are one of the main triggers for the current economic/financial crisis. Economies cannot grow when oil prices hover above $120/barrel. Above $145 they implode. This is especially true for economies that are heavily leveraged financially as most western economies are today. Lot's of loans based on future industrial production that may very well never exist because there are not enough cheaply exploitable natural resources.

Food production is directly impacted by fossil fuel shortages because it is the primary energy input for modern agriculture. The 'green revolution' that allows the world to produce enough food for 7 billion people should be called the black revolution because of all the oil and natural gas that goes into running tractors and making artificial fertilizer. Without these energy inputs the natural ability of the earth to make food will only sustain about 1 billion people (the situation before 1880 and before we started using large scale mechanized agriculture).

Turning the problem on its head one could also argue that we don't have to few natural resources but too many people consuming those resources at an unsustainable rate. The problem with this viewpoint is that it implies the solution is to lower the global population by 6 billion people within a generation. That way we preserve enough resources for the remaining 1 billion to live in balance with the natural carrying capacity of the planet. But who wants to contemplate ways of getting rid of 6 billion people within 20 years without resorting to measures that will make Stalin and Genghis Kahn look like amateurs? It would require the equivalent of WW2 in deaths every 2-3 months for 20 years to make those numbers work.

The one thing we all need to do in thinking about the future is to be willing to significantly lower our expectations of wealth, comfort and healthy life expectancy. Any plans we make with regard to the future must work within limits set by physical reality and thus are limited by things like the laws of thermo-dynamics. Everything requires energy and generating that energy requires machinery and systems that require more energy to build and maintain.

Not having access to unlimited amounts of fossil fuel energy will mean a much lower standard of living for fewer people. There are no easy or quick techno-fixes that will completely solve this problem (the numbers for 'green' energy sources just don't work within economic limits). Any acceleration in switching to more sustainable energy sources and less energy-intensive methods for food production/distribution will lessen the impact of these problems somewhat. When discussing these methods we need to make sure the numbers of actual saving are significant as not to lose ourselves in merely symbolic actions (such as driving a Prius 25 Km's to a market to buy organic kiwi's from New Zealand)."

Arjen Kamphuis is Futurist, Co-founder, CTO, Gendo, The Netherlands

via Club of Amsterdam Blog Public Brainstorm: Economic-Demographic Crisis

Jimmy Walter: "The factories and buildings are running at less than 75% capacity. We have the intellectual, engineering, structural, and spatial capacity to supply everyone with everything - and more. The problem is the system - specifically, the banking/money system. We have unfunded demand - the people want to buy, the producers want to produce, the space is available.

Some form of Social Credit is the answer - that means giving money to producers to produce and then to the people to buy their products.

Here are some comments, not my own, to further explain it. I must admit that I am new to the concept and it is the object of my next effort. But here is an introduction. Search for "Social Credit", Greenbacks, and Major Douglas"

http://www.union-ch.com/file/Speeches_and_workshops_of_the_03_04_.pdf

Jimmy Walter is founder and president of Walden Three, USA

via Jimmy Walter

Fair Money Plan for Ireland by Cathal Spelman

This is an outline of what we could do, right now, to create economic Democracy and Prosperity for us and our children.

1. A New National Currency for Ireland.

National Credit office to be set up to create a new currency, along lines of the Guernsey pound. to circulate at parity with Euro, and parallel with the Euro. It can be called Irish Shares, as it represents a token of each individual's share in our national wealth.
It can be done, Guernsey has two currencies, and Switzerland has two currencies.
Alternatively we may break entirely from the Euro, and use our strong exports to Euro zone to fund imports of important necessities like food and oil.

2. Immediate acceptance of new currency...

Govt. to accept the new currency in payment of tax obligations.
If you can use it to pay your taxes, it will immediately be widely accepted.

3. Distribution of new currency: You get the cash to spend, debt free, interest free!

National dividend cheque to be issued to each and every household to stimulate Irish economy. Dividends to be guaged to national productivity by a national credit office that calculates the productive share per person and issues dividends accordingly.
This is not social welfare. Although it will make most social welfare un-necessary.
Your monthly dividend is your share in the productive capacity of Ireland.
By spending this money as you see fit, you provide the money needed to buy the products and services on offer. Your spending lifts the economy.
We avoid the deflationary disaster we are in right now.
Inflation is also avoided by issuing sufficient, but not excessive dividend cheque amounts.

4. Irish Shares to be legal tender for all retail and services.

There may need to be some initial adjustment to cover retailers for imported products bought in Euros. Bear in mind that Euros will still circulate, so every business will also take in Euros to cover Euro bills.
Essentially Ireland needs Euros for imports. Especially food and oil. However, Ireland exports a lot of products to the Eurozone, so there is already plenty of Euros coming in to cover our imports, and this will continue.

5. End all government borrowing.

End all government debt and bank bailout payments immediately, pending re-negotiation.
Governments should never borrow, especially not from private banks charging interest.
Government spending to be balanced against tax receipts.
Government must spend what it takes in, and no more.
During transition Government may borrow from National Credit office. (Emergency cover only).
In general, National credit goes to households, not to a bloated government sector.

6. Re-negotiate all previous give-aways of natural resources, with proper reward to the nation along the Norwegian model.

If you want to take oil from Norway, you have to give the Norwegian people 50% of the profit.
If you want to take oil and gas from the vast untapped fields off the coast of Ireland, the stupid Paddies will just give it to you.
How long are we going to be so stupid.
If we are getting nothing for it, we may as well leave it in the ground, until someone is prepared to pay for it.
The current contracts are a fraud against us. Fraud nullifies all contracts.

7. Dealing with EU and IMF scare tactics...

EU and IMF pressure to be avoided by making new currency available thus avoiding the "no money in the atm" scare tactics.
From the very beginning in 2008 the empty ATMs picture has been used to control us with fear.
By having our own currency in the ATMs, and a cheque delivered to every household, we can stare down the EU and IMF.

8. Mortgage solution.

All mortgages to be repaid on a principal only basis, pending full re-negotiation of the household debt crisis.
Fraud nullifies all contracts.
Debt based monetary systems, where interest is owed, but does not exist, are actually a fraud.
How can you owe something that does not exist?
Remember, we own most of our banks.
We can instruct our banks to repay their debts on a principal only basis.
The international banks may retaliate by with-holding future loans, but we don’t need those anyway.

9. National Debt Solution.

Ireland's National Debt has arisen due to a fraudulent financial kleptocracy (Rule by thieves). Fraud nullifies all contracts. We do not owe a debt that arises from fraud. Ireland's National Debt is to be put on hold. No interest to be paid whatsoever. Non-existent money cannot be repaid! The principal amount can be dealt with by negotiation.

10 Direct Democracy to ensure implementation.

Direct Democracy frees us from the sham democracy of party politics.
Meaningful local elections.
Citizen initiative on referenda.
You get to influence policy.
Do you want to be a no-body in a European Superstate, or a somebody in an Independent and Sovereign Ireland.

11. How Long does it take?

With sufficient public support, the above measures could be implemented within a few months.
It is a matter of printing and distributing currency, and stopping the payment of fraudulent debts and interest charges.
However, public support is currently missing, due to X-factor. The public are ignoring the problem, hoping it will go away. Thus they are giving up their only advantage, which is numbers. The Kleptocrats (Ruling thieves) have control over finance, politics, international institutions, and media corporations.
The only thing they fear is that the general people wake up to the fact that they are being robbed, and that the general people stand up and say “no more”.
However, it is up to each and every person to do so.

Cathal Spelman, Owner, www.realhealthylifestyle.com, Ireland

via Club of Amsterdam Blog Public Brainstorm: Energy

"Lee on Engineering": "Though it may seems that developed nations are the key to reducing global warming, the biggest threat we face in the future is the continuing use of fossil fuels for energy by developing nations, as there are billions of people living on the margins who have no alternative but to slash and burn for farming land, burning wood and coal for cooking and heat, and increased use of oil for transportation.

The problems are environmental, economic, and political, but finding a political solution will not happen. What we need is a realization that those billions of people need an alternative to their way of life which makes environmental and economic sense to them.

I propose a effort to create very inexpensive methods of generating A.C. electricity ( pennies per watt) that can be used by individuals, but also attached or linked to other source (such as neighbors or a local grid). To make this solution a real and on-going effort it has to be profitable for the supplier and have high value to the user. By making electricity a communal and scalable commodity which is affordable you reap the benefits:

1. Very small microgrids can be established in villages for local benefit such as operating small tools such as sewing machines and small manufacturing shops. It also allows for small scale irrigation which should increase the disposable income which can be used to expand their energy grid for greater benefit (think self sufficiency). Also, pumping drink water from rivers or well which is then purified by electricity generated ozone would make a dramatic difference in disease prevention.

2. Microgrids could grow to include macrogrids, even linked up to their national grid eventually. If the technology is frequency and voltage variation tolerant, then reliable electricity could be the marriage of solar, wind, heat pump generated power, and even occasional use of integrated fossil fuel generated power.

This then begins to look like a technical problem which is much easier to solve than a political one. The key will be technical and economic motivation, but very doable."

via Club of Amsterdam Blog Public Brainstorm: Environment

Bill Liao: "Holistic solutions are required that also make economic sense.

www.weforest.org endeavors to achieve this thorough the selling of virtual tress that result int he planting of permanent sustainable real forests."

Bill Liao
, European Venture Partner, Founder WeForest.org and Co-Founder XING AG, USA

In response to the posting by Bernard Verlaan: "Since a few years I'm organising a (public) database of researchers' expectations for 2020, 2030 etc. My latest and very recent insight is that it might be sensible to order the ± 80 topics of problems-opportunities to the different levels of Maslov's hierarchy of (human) needs; as an overarching classification. Is that the broad-based overarching approaches you have in mind for integral problem solving or anyway useful?"

Hardy F. Schloer: "Maslov's hierarchy of human needs is a theory in psychology and human values. Ultimately it is a theory of human perception. Perception however is mostly created and occupied by modern tools of ‘perception-engineering’ such as political campaigning, marketing, advertising and well funded special interest groups that are all vying to define the needs and wants we are supposed to have. And let us not forget religion, which also shapes and influences the minds and behaviors of us individually, and our communities for desired outcomes. Religion, arguably of human creation, is the most ancient tool that has been wielded to dominate human values since the dawn of civilization.

Within this context, I am afraid that the exclusive application of Maslov’s filter is an approach that poses a no win situation in terms of solving real physical human conditions within the context of the problems discussed here. The global perception-engineering machine is powerful; funded and controlled by an elite few. Its output is ridden with conflicting messages that leave people with no choice but to assimilate the illogical disparities, and often hypocrisy. No conspiracy theories here. This is just the way the system works; all by itself; this is what we have, for better or worse. It’s our evolution of human behavior and values.

There is a huge difference between the way Maslov intends to improve the world through better values and the brutal way reality has manifested itself.

Let me explain it by example:

A few years ago, I had a discussion with an American lawyer about human rights. He argued in a sort of sarcastic way, that a human life is totally worthless. He said: “any high school dropout can make a baby, but how hard is it to make for example a million dollars? Making money is hard; making ‘life’ is easy. Therefore, money has a much higher value in our society than life. Money buys the right to live; poverty, the necessity to die.

This conversation took place some 35 years ago. Today this is much more the reality than at that time.

Now, let's get to the discussion about overpopulation. From biblical times until about 400 or 500 years ago, we welcomed many children per household as an important contribution to our sustainability, and the continuation of our tribes. Children were a welcomed gift to expand our ability to work and create in the most prolific ways as a group. Labor forces and security (soldiers) needed humans to compete with other tribes, families or societies for strength and survival. But then things changed. The age of technological industrialization arrived. Technology has made humans increasingly unnecessary in nearly all aspects of practical life. This trend is exponential. Here, traditional values and seemingly moral obligations dictate one set of behaviors – but in the praxis of the modern technological advanced world, it dictates another. Humans began to interact less with each other, and more with the system. We began to read about humans more in newspapers, or see them on television, more than actually talking to them. We began an age of synthetic social interaction, disconnecting from each other little by little.

The advent of the Internet has further eroded the human-to-human contact in the service industry, where most of our former services that were once carried out through human interaction now become intelligent web applications. We have become used to the fact, that technology serves us anonymously, and without any human contact.

Nevertheless, these new technologies were never defined or aimed to serve humanity, but only to make money, and fast. Technology therefore, as it is currently defined, is competing with the need of human existence. In an environment where we need or want less and less contact with humans, and where we become more and more weighed down by the existence of too many humans on this planet, the pressing question stands unanswered in the room: How do we get rid of the superfluous mass of human life on the planet, the large population that uses up all the resources, and brings no advantage otherwise?

We have totally flipped in our deep feelings about humanity. We begin to dislike humans, and love all synthetic reinventions of human contact such as Facebook, or an explosively rising number of ‘social and dating sites’ across the Internet, where we pretend to socialize endlessly with others, but without ever having to have actual contact with them in reality. We seem to reject with the very concept of humanity. America invented the ‘zero-tolerance-justice’, a fast spreading concept now, and probably we will soon demand death penalties even for minor offences such as ‘spitting on the sidewalk’.

The dawn of the technological age has brought a serious competition to human life in a most profound way. Technology will advance further, and faster. Humans will not; at least not at the speed of the machines we are now capable of building. When the Russian grand master in chess lost against the Big Blue Supercomputer of IBM a few years ago, a incredible realization did set in: the last domain, ‘human reasoning’, had been taken away from humanity by the evolution of the intelligent machine. This feast of technology by IBM was some time ago. Today we, the global community are building machines that are 1000s of times smarter and more observant than that, winning chess games against the human experts. Whoever followed the Watson project last year, when it competed in the game show 'Jeopardy', knows now that the machine has already become smarter in a rational sense, than any human we can produce naturally. It’s a fact. No need for discussion here.

All this has not only been disenchanting to humans, but it has actually exposed brutally their weaknesses and made us understand that we can soon produce everything and anything without the need for human labor or human thinking, or the so-called human touch. Machines will soon produce themselves. In 20 to 30 years we will be able to build robots that can do completely everything humans can do, and better. They are doing it already now.

Humans become obsolete in terms of a necessity to maintain the flow of our world. Maybe we will soon watch the Olympics of Robots. It will probably be more entertaining. We already retreated to the world of video games. In fact, conducting war is becoming now the ultimate video game, where human operators of tanks and planes will sit in bunkers, 1000s of miles away from the war zone to direct remote-controlled machines to do the killing for us, and sending us the real-time camera feed for good entertainment value, broadcast by CNN into every livingroom TV on the planet (remember the Gulf War?). We become disconnected from the action, from the killing, from humanity, from ethical conduct, from everything that could save us.

Humans are viewed as no longer active contributors to the system but mass consuming and resource destroying burdens to the system. Given the fact that there will be potentially 4 to 6 billion more people on the planet in 15 to 20 years from now, we will have absolutely no reason to worship human existence anymore. Instead we will only be thinking in terms of how to get rid of as much human life as possible, without includeding ourselves as part of the group that will be eliminated. We will hate everybody; we will embrace human-reducing global conflict as necassery and welcome relief. 'Too many rats in the box'.

This is not bad science fiction. This is reality, regardless if you are for it, or against it. This is where we are headed. This needs to be understood, and soon. As technology advances, and it will, we will think of how to make increasing portions of our human population disappear, and soon.

But there is an alternative! There is a solution to this nightmarish scenario.

We must look at technology as a solution to help us, humanity, to go on. We must first of all look at all technology collectively, and as a tool of sustainable community development, not as a tool for the few to rule the planet for personal or corporate gains. We must begin to instruct technology to serve the large human ‘family’ that has accumulated on this planet, and promote peace, sustainability, responsible resource management across all humanity in a fair approach, and therefore bring dignity for all. And yes, we also need to solve the problem of overpopulation in terms of birth-rate management, and to begin to attack the problem from both sides. The 'no condom, no abortion' policy of some segments of our society will need some reevaluation soon, in fact, it's long overdue.

It is about 1 minute before 12. Currently we are totally fed up with humans. We live in an age of artificial resource and money scarcity. Scarcity is good business, and that’s why it will drive humanity further into global conflict, and potentially reduce the overpopulation problem in this unethical way. Global conflict is also good business. We have not much time to decide which road to take: profit and death, or life and sustainability.

We must choose to solve the human overpopulation problems, redirect technology away from putting the needs and wants of big business before that of humans collectively. Technology must focus on serving humanity collectively first. Technology must be applied to sustain and manage our global resources intelligently and equitably. The same machine intelligence we use today to decide stock trades, or map out how we can win war, can also be harnessed to find solutions to our collective human existence. We must partner with these machines, not compete with them, or humans will only lose.

Knowing the decisions humans are most likely to make, I am afraid the answer is pro-conflict. However, if we harness these intelligent machines to find a path to real and intelligent sustainability, then we can all exist in peace and dignity. And then, once again, we can begin to value each other’s company.

One fact is clear: we soon begin to interface with the overpopulation problem; one way or another, conflict or intelligence, the decision time is now."

Hardy F. Schloer, President and CEO, Schloer Consulting Group - SCG

via LinkedIn SESTI - Weak Signal Scanning

Bernard Verlaan: "
Since a few years I'm organising a (public) database of researchers' expectations for 2020, 2030 etc. My latest and very recent insight is that it might be sensible to order the ± 80 topics of problems-opportunities to the different levels of Maslov's hierarchy of (human) needs; as an overarching classification. Is that the broad-based overarching approaches you have in mind for integral problem solving or anyway useful?"

Bernard Verlaan is Senior Research & Policy Adviser at Ministry of Education, Culture and Science, The Netherlands

via Club of Amsterdam Blog Public Brainstorm: Energy

Andrei Kotov: "Interestingly, the topics of the Public Brainstorms are connected through the overarching narrative of the food-water-energy nexus problem cluster. As the ecosystem is coming under strain, sustainability is increasingly becoming recognized as non-optional. It's about time, too - the very definition of insanity is to keep doing the same thing expecting a different result.

The way forward? Quite agree with Hardy Schloer, in that we need broad-based overarching approaches to problem solving if we are to minimize unintended consequences.

Einstein is believed to have said that major problems cannot be solved from the mindset in which they were created. Fortunately, the boat of innovation is being lifted by the rising tide of progress. Increasing deployment of such innovation tools as supercomputers and crowdsourcing holds promise.

We are facing no small array of challenges - however as the saying goes, necessity is the mother of invention. There are clouds gathering on the horizon, that much is true. Let's hope this cloud has a silver lining."

Andrei Kotov is Commercial Adviser Global LNG, Shell Upstream International, The Netherlands


via Club of Amsterdam Blog Public Brainstorm: Environment

Markus Petz: "Environment is more than just climate change. It is also more than just the living things, it is also the rocks and the clouds. Maybe if you follow Lovelock's Gaia then it is one giant living biodsphere of all these.

Climate change is not a sure thing, the sun may put out less energy and we might get cooling. It is not impossible to get another little ice age.

But lets assume that we are warmed, what is the result? Is it as dystopian as in A Friend of the Earth http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Friend_of_the_Earth

I fear so. So what to do? Take on a survivalist mentatality? Be a Cassandra? Or engage in eco-motivated-defensive violent action?

Well to some extent all these are happening, as a personal strategy I look at things that can mitigate climatic effects on me and us as I think it's too big for most people to understand and do something about. Although there are others that are doing things:
http://www.onehundredmonths.org/

And that strategy has to be tried as well."

Markus Petz is Head of Special Projects & Development at Experience Alternative Tampere, Finland

via Club of Amsterdam Blog Public Brainstorm: Economic-Demographic Crisis

Markus Petz: "Hmn I wrote a long comment and then the machine logged me off so in brief.

Europe has 0.5% natural land. The population still growths. So Malthus was correct, except technology can move the destruction from human populations to animal and plant communities.

You can see more with these links:
http://populationmatters.org/attenborough-talk/
http://www.whatawaytogomovie.com/

these show that life has got worse since the 1970s.

But may be there is hope by moving to a p2p paradigm and cooperative working, thus bringing in externalites and reducing the damage.

I also think population has a chance of stabilizing as per this article:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2718330/

Markus Petz is Head of Special Projects & Development at Experience Alternative Tampere, Finland

via Club of Amsterdam Blog Public Brainstorm: Energy

"constab": "
The world has always been in some kind of crisis because humans experience something that is not in line with their expectations as a crisis. When we look at the big picture we see that Nature takes its course and this course is very predictable. The big problem with humanity is that people don't believe the predictors of bad times. At the moment that we could adjust we don't want to adjust because we love to enjoy the very (!!) good times and sadly enough it can be predicted that the very (!!) good times create the crisis. To prevent this to happen the Wise people introduced the Seven Virtues but the people that enjoy life at the top don't like virtues. They always fight something that is restricting their expansive behavior and virtues only intensify their feeling that they have to break the limits when they are alive. Expansion and not-Expansion (Compression) are part of the essential pattern of our Universe. What goes Up must come Down, Spinning Wheel all the way round. Don't worry Nature takes care of itself and is now stopping everything that was tooo expansive. Do we have to do something ourselves?? Yes, don't compress toooooooo much. If you do that the recession will take tooooooo long."

via Club of Amsterdam Blog Public Brainstorm: Energy

Markus Petz: "Is energy a problem? We have a society geared around oil. Our food, our transport and culture is very dependent on this.

There are alterantives and we might jump over some bottle necks (population, climate) with them? But is there enough time to roll out water, wind and sun power generation? To decommision all the nuclear powers stations?

It is a political question - one that China, most of all must face. It is China that is opening a coal fired powerstation almost weekly
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/mining-energy/coal-fired-power-heats-up-in-china/story-e6frg9df-1111115813288

and although the Australian tries to put a shine on this, added to South African and Indian demands it is not looking good.

With nuclear, perhaps the biggest risk is if we had an EMP from the Sun and all the powerstations went critical. It could happen tomorrow. If we had another big solar flare like in 1859.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_storm_of_1859


Markus Petz is Head of Special Projects & Development at Experience Alternative Tampere, Finland

via Club of Amsterdam Blog Public Brainstorm: Economic-Demographic Crisis

Ray Podder: "We have solved the production automation problem a long time ago.

1/3 of all the food produced in the world is either destroyed or wasted to maintain prices, renewable energy innovations that are too cheap to meter are systematically suppressed, water shortages are promoted as an impending crisis while we consume bottled water and mass produced meat wasting trillions of gallons, not to mention the 9billion gallons of it poisoned everyday from activities like fracking! Why?

It seems that we are still promoting production and consumption efficiencies as the way forward when we have never solved for the distribution problem with the same diligence.

The mass cultivation of greed and envy to drive consumption misses the point entirely. So does the socialist view of redistributing poverty. Greed and charity are at conceptual odds and politicians leverage these odds to keep an inefficient system in place that by its design perpetuates division and disparity.

There is no escape unless we transcend this scarcity based paradigm of supply and demand.

The activity on the networked spaces have been giving us clues since the introduction of "free" software, which untethered the assumption that capital is a factor of the cost of labor, but we still ignore it and try to fit the so called "non-market" activity into the valuation game. The co-creative, collaborative sharing economy crowdsourcing everything is a larger clue. Please don't ignore this one!

The confusion of our natural tendency to create and share has been abstracted and distorted by buying and selling, profits and margins. These memes perhaps had been useful in a regionally scarce, connection sparse marketplace. They are starting to show limits. Profits and margins are leaving the system everywhere you look. Group buying, discounting and auctions are reducing profits across the board. We can try to control costs with crowdsourcing on the supply side, but we can't control prices as duplicability becomes easier and easier. Perhaps its time to look at the problem in reverse?

What if the answer to the distribution problem was a network economy of allocations?

In other words, imagine a many-to-many crowdfunding model where our individual work and play, along with taxation and infrastructure spending were all based on giving instead of taking? Instead of rewarding the greedy, we created mechanisms to reward the generous. We have the technical means, so why not policy to encourage more of it? It has the potential to balance budgets, provide relief and encourage innovation for the real needs of humanity and not the greed that seems to be a failing driver of progress? The examples of this working contextually are abundant. Why can it not work for the whole world?

Before you consider this as ludicrous or uninformed, just think about the economic model for the basic unit of existence we are all familiar with, the family. Does a parent negotiate profit margins with their child, or do we allocate resources to our children so that they can be happy, and thus productive to society? We now have the tools to duplicate this empowerment across the world.

So why are we still fixated on perpetuating more of the GDP based production and consumption problem we have already solved?"

Ray Podder, Abundance Architect, USA, http://about.me/raypodder

via Club of Amsterdam Blog Public Brainstorm: Energy

Anonymous: ""Our politicians are not equipped to deal with these problems. A"ll they know is how to get elected. We need to begin to vote for problem-solving strategies, rather then presidents, because this is all that matters from now on. (Hardy F. Schloer)"

Very interesting thought and concept. It makes good sense. How would you propose this practice become implemented?"

via Club of Amsterdam Blog Public Brainstorm: Food and Water

Anonymous: "It is my opinion that the use of new technologies, and particularly faster and better computing abilities, is unavoidable. It has been a significant part of our evolution over the past half century and will certainly play even greater roles as we move forward in time.

The reality is that supercomputing is a substantial part of modeling across every critical societal process today - and they're being used all the more successfully every day.

Another reality is that our world is complex and the solutions, in many cases, are equally so.

The unfortunate thing is that as we learn more, we realize there are even more ways to skin that proverbial cat. This provides with a yin/yang scenario - it complicates our decision-making processes knowing our options are greater. This reality REQUIRES that we lean on things more capable of processing data at rates far greater than us humans.

I will state it now - TECHNOLOGY is what will make our existence (all living things) achievable with some level of comfort and hopeful peace.

Let's therefore embrace all that technology can offer and make its use a part of our decision-making processes."

via Club of Amsterdam Blog Public Brainstorm: Food and Water

Oebele Bruinsma: "Back to water and models and things. It is clear from a variety of sources (see Club of Amsterdam Journal water/food section introduction) that the era of easy water is ending. To feed the world’s growing and more affluent population, global agriculture will have to double its food production by 2050. Use of water is of course an integral part of that. In 2010 M. Kummu et al published an interesting article in Environmental Research letters nr 5 with the title: “Is physical water scarcity a new phenomenon?”

What was done? The study that they conducted covered the period of time from AD 0 to AD 2005 with the aim to assess global trends evolving in water resources availability over two millennia. Their analysis was carried out for ten different time slices, defined as those times at which the human population of the globe was approximately double the population of the previous time slice, an exercise in exponential growth. Global population data for these analysis were derived from the 5 degree latitude by 5 degree longitude resolution global HYDE dataset, while evaluation of water resources availability over the same period was based on monthly temperature and precipitation output from the climate model ECBilt-CLIO-VECODE.

What was learned? The authors report that “moderate water shortage first appeared around 1800, but it commenced in earnest from about 1900, when 9% of the world population experienced water shortage, of which 2% was under chronic water shortage defined as less than 1000 m³/capita/year”.

Thereafter, from 1960 onwards, they found that “water shortage increased extremely rapidly, with the proportion of global population living under chronic water shortage increasing from 9% (280 million people) in 1960 to 35% (2300 million) in 2005. Currently, they say, “the most widespread water shortage is in South Asia, where 91% of the population experiences some form of water shortage”, while “the most severe shortage is in North Africa and the Middle east, where 77% and 52% of the total population lives under extreme water shortage (less than 500 m³/capita/year), respectively”.

What it means? To alleviate these freshwater shortages, the authors point out that measures have generally been taken to increase water availability, such as building dams and extracting groundwater. But they state that “there are several regions in which such measures are no longer sufficient, as there is simply not enough water available in some regions”. This is further aggravated by increasing population pressure, higher welfare and production of water intensive biofuels. Hence they conclude there will be an increasing need for many non-structural measures to be implemented, of which the most obvious is to increase the efficiency of water use. They furthermore conclude that the characteristic of nearly all plants on earth to enhanced atmospheric CO2 levels, is to grow faster with less water uptake. Which seems to me a little light in the darkening sky. An international research team led by J. Foley (University of Minnesota) has devised a five step plan (2011: Can we feed the world and sustain the planet?). To make a long story short: they propose to improve crop yields, consume less meat, reduce food waste, stop expanding into rainforests, and use fertilizer and water more efficiently. This was known of course for some time.

So what? In an earlier section I mentioned “things happen”. In 2012 a survey of continental Africa huge, and I mean huge aquifers have been found all over the place. Combining potential inputs such as unexpected water from Africa, increasing role of insects in waste disposal and transition to feedstock, more plant production due to improving varieties and less water uptake with intelligent LED lighting solutions and manipulated CO2 environments (in greenhouses) I would respectfully and careful point out to such and other alternative interpretations before drawing conclusions."

Oebele Bruinsma is partner at Synmind bv, The Netherlands

via LinkedIn Global Foresight

Helene Lavoix: "It seems to me that if you look at those issues only in a separate way, then you put yourself in for difficulties, as those issues are interlinked through feedbacks and those feedbacks are what make them hard to analyse.... And this is where super computers are most needed. Whatever the power of the computers, the first step is to construct the right model :) "

Helene Lavoix (MFin Paris MSc PhD Lond) Independent Political Scientist, Advisor & Researcher - Strategic Foresight & Warning, France

via LinkedIn The Xavier Group Ltd. -- Strategic Management and Consulting Futurists

Harry Jones: "Felix, I'm not so sure that we need more data or deeper analysis of it so much as we need better, decently competent use of what we know already. The world's biggest problems, like war and genocide or environmental destruction, are down to greed and arrogance; and no amount of finer data will change this, or generate solutions that aren't apparent now."

Harry Jones is consultant in
Meridian, Idaho, USA

via Club of Amsterdam Blog Public Brainstorm: Food and Water

Hardy F. Schloer: "I am not sure what the argument of Oebele Bruinsma is here. He is more or less stating the obvious here. Yes, we know, and I fully agree, that there are methods of flawed analysis. Many! So what's the point? That there cannot be any real or useful analysis that is warning us from impending disasters? Or is he saying, that any prediction that points out a potential disaster in the future is wrong by default? I am not sure what Mr. Bruinsma's frame of reference is, or what the agenda is, from which he argues this, but it seems to me, that he frantically suppresses the notion, that we have eminent problems to solve in the next 2 decades, which hold grim potentials in our future. Well, if that is true, then we got nothing to worry about, I guess. Our economy of illicit money creation is perfect, overpopulation is wonderful, pigs can fly, and oil will soon grow on trees, and yes, global warming is just a theory, as Mr. Bush pointed out so eloquently.

Forgive my sarcastic response dear Mr. Bruinsma, but I have some history, just like you might have some history on the other side of the equation. For example, I have gone through a long list of economic predictions I made back in 1998 based on the same type of models I use today. For example, I predicted, that the worthless derivatives in the financial industry would become in size larger then all the money on the planet in existence (now over 1.18 Quadrillion, or about 6 times the total amount of money on the planet), and furthermore destroy our financial system, resulting into a major breakdown of the financial industry beginning in about a decade (2008).

In December of 1998 I was told by a gentlemen, working at the time as financial analyst at Lehman, with an agenda similar to yours, that this forecast is total nonsense, because smart people like Greenspan and Paulson would not make systemic mistakes of that proportion, that put our entire economy at risk. I was told that the debt spiral is designed by genius of the US central bank, to support unlimited growth forever; in the US and in Europe. Well, after 2008 we learned, that the system is not so perfect as advocated, and that we have absolutely no plan, in how to deal with the absorption of these derivatives into the real money economy (eventually a necessary consolidation of empty paper promises with real money) and further, that we have no acceptable exit strategy for our public debt, which will soon become the first domino in this fragile house of cards that we have created over the centuries.

It's no surprise to me. Unfortunately, we lost 14 more years to solve these problems, which became clear already then. I wish I am wrong, and all these conferences about saving the planet are a waste. But I am afraid the reality looks very different."

Hardy F. Schloer, President and CEO, Schloer Consulting Group - SCG

via Club of Amsterdam Blog Public Brainstorm: Food and Water

Oebele Bruinsma: "I agree with Lisa Santillo that sensationalist journalism has (is) playing a role in the cited predictions, but that is to be expected when science is being used for political purpose. Science is about what we find, and not what we want.

Unfortunately for science, the basis for the cited predicted events and developments were in peer-reviewed scientific articles. You just have to google the events its names and you will find sizeable reference lists.

I respectfully disagree with respect to the model part of the argument: By increasing the complexity of the indicated models, feeding on multi-disciplinary data sets does not necessarily yield greater scientific certainty. There are too many degrees of freedom in such models, resulting in great uncertainty and large areas of ignorance. (Degrees of freedom can be roughly defined as independent pieces of information that are allowed (!! Human interference!!) to vary within the model. This often results in highly unlikely scenarios which should not dominate political decision making. This could be circumvented as argued by Santillo and Schloer by improving the models as to address better societal needs (or goals). A lofty idea indeed, but this is based on three dubious assumptions: The models are fit, useful and the best choice for this purpose (Judith Curry Oct 2012)

Using a recent example of such complex models, you guessed it, the Climate models and throwing in the financial issue, the USA has to date spent over 35 b $ on climate science and over 150 b $ on global issues of climate changes with very little to show for.

Complex models work under very defined circumstances( e.g. nuclear fusion) but have great difficulties even in reconstruction of past developments. This is because human interfering is involved or as they say in politics, things happen, or both.

In my opinion, resources would be better used towards a better understanding of the natural drivers changing our food and water resources than on changing sets of badly understood variables and ´cook´ them in models. Without scientific certainties we play with pseudo-science.

As an example of research into natural drivers of food production and water conservation I used just one example with, the for models still unknown variables, insects and their ways to increase food production, without necessarily eating them despite them being an excellent source of protein. Another line is using through LED lights the optimized wavelengths for the various growing and fruitition stages of plants. (Both developed right under our nose here in the Netherlands). In this way one may, not can, improve both quantity, quality and availability required for say 9 billion humans. Models as discussed above are tools, not decision makers."

Oebele Bruinsma is partner at Synmind bv, The Netherlands

via Club of Amsterdam blog

Hardy F. Schloer: "I did read all your comments. Interesting! Those of you, that think, that these problems are all just go away, if we do nothing, because 50% of them are not true (not scientific) and the other 50% will solve themselves before they become too critical. Well, all of you, that believe this may be in for a very big surprise… and soon.

I don't know how to put this any simpler, or any more polite….

The problem is not the 100s of predictions prophesying the end of the world, coming from all kinds of crazy paranoia groups, or pseudo scientists that could not even understand the plunder they wrote themselves. The problem is also not churches that tell us, that the Revelations in the Bible are about to tell us from the end the world. We know, what to think about them.

The Problem is: EXPONETIAL CHANGE!!

The real danger of exponential change is, where a timeline/data correlation is located in the near vertical curve segment of the observed exponential change.
We are living in a world, where more then 74% of our vital indexes (SCG Analysis 2011) have crossed over into the dangerous exponential acceleration point of the curve, as opposed to only about 8% in the 1950s. In only 10 more years we will see likely over 90% of our vital indexes operate in a near vertical rise or decline, depending on what you observe, or what the focal point of your research is.

If this this was just all to complicated for you, then here is a very simple exercise I ask you to do:

Please watch the following lesson by Prof. Dr. Albert A. Bartlett from the University of Colorado:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=umFnrvcS6AQ&feature=related

Watch all of it. Watch it twice, if you have to! Then we can open the discussions again about what exponential changes we want to observe, how they influence each other, and what the mathematical outcome they MUST produce!

Do your homework. Start, what we have started decades ago. So far the predictive analysis of our group has been exactly on target for these decades. We use holistic models, and we strip all the soft data, and assumptive elements (and other nonsense) as much as possible, and only use, what is left: very hard data; hard change-over-time observations (Stochastic Time-Series Data); and continuous error corrective optimization methods and offsetting factors, as new data and facts becomes available. We need such error correction method, since we live in a dynamic world after all, and new information becomes available continuously.

After you done all of this, and use a very complex and inclusive investigation model of the planet (as inclusive as modern supercomputers and cloud computing infrastructures allow you to be) and include as a minimum global and regional models and data of Population, Energy, Environment, Economy, Finance, Logistic, Food and Water into the overall model. Furthermore, lay over all this a sociological probability model of expected human behavior. Now you begin to do useful science!

When you begin to trace all the exponential changes and compile the potential effect corridors in the data, then you will be confronted with a most uncomforting reality: 2012 to 2025 will be very hard to manage, unless we start looking NOW at the real facts and expected futures, and not wishful thinking, or masking such facts by the needs of special interest groups. There is no more time for minority rule of the planet. We need to arrive at consensus of the global community NOW, to prevent a meltdown.

Our politicians are not equipped to deal with these problems. All they know is how to get elected. We need to begin to vote for problem-solving strategies, rather then presidents, because this is all that matters from now on."

Hardy F. Schloer, President and CEO, Schloer Consulting Group - SCG

via Club of Amsterdam Blog Public Brainstorm: Food and Water

Lisa Santillo: "In response to Oebele Bruinsma, I would like to agree that the unfounded predictions cited are indeed merely sensationalist pieces of journalism that are of no use in aiding society prepare for the future. But I would also like to point out that theses predictions are not based on scientific fact but human supposition arrived at through a flawed analysis based on simplistic models. The world is and has always been a complex system requiring complex thinking structures based on holistic evidence to effectively enlighten and advance civilization.

Today, as the fabric of our interdependence grows and world population reaches new heights, exponential rates of change are dangerously on the rise in all vital areas of our environment. This, as a result amplifies the stresses and risks the future of humanity is forced to face. Today more than ever, the practice of real hard science is crucial and the only way we can hope to discover where the hidden driving forces of our fates originate. Only then can we successfully identify potential impending disaster. Only then can we know where to adjust our course in order to prevent them. Only then can we begin to really understand how our fast paced interconnected global community works and how the choices we make today can make the difference for a sustainable tomorrow.

In this day and age we can no longer permit ourselves to consider global food and water needs without taking into consideration our current financial strains, or factor in the race to control the earth's last energy reserves, and then adjust to incorporate the application of potential technological advances. This is a task of mammoth proportions that requires the construct of a series of interrelated models. These models require massive loads of interdisciplinary data and imply the consumption of computing power far beyond the one dimensional predictions Mr. Bruinsma's mentions.

HF Schloer proposes an analytical construct where seemingly unrelated and disparate data is merged to reveal relevancies hidden otherwise to the naked human eye, or undetectable to the unenhanced human brain. Through the computational analysis proposed therein, correlating models emerge and evidence points to cause and effect scenarios and amplifications in all the relevant sectors. The result is the filtering out of sound data that permits us to connect the dots and track for example the real cost of food production and distribution in relation to financial speculation, weather patterns, availability of energy, demographic movements, geo-political conflicts, growing demand and the application of new farming technologies.

It is not hard for us to imagine off the top of our heads how the fluctuation of these factors may influence one way or the other food costs and availabilities in the short and long term. But what HF Schloer proposes is the actual indexing and tracking of these factors and the delivery of precise detailed real time statistical measures that demonstrate their intricate workings. These continuous outputs would serve as the beacons of the future because they take out the guesswork and remove the generally flawed suppositions of human perception. These new methods are the only way to ensure sound policy making and strategy building for our collective future."

Lisa Santillo is Research Project Manager at Schloer Consulting Group.

via LinkedIn SESTI - Weak Signal Scanning

Bernard Verlaan: "Input (new): 4th Time Line update of researcher's expectations/predictions about 2020, 2030, 2040:sequenced by decade & topics & publ.dates:
www.bjernv.dds.nl/2010-2050.PDF

As for 'tests': see inventory of world problems
www.bjernv.dds.nl/WP.html "

Bernard Verlaan is Senior Research & Policy Adviser at Ministry of Education, Culture and Science, The Netherlands

via Club of Amsterdam Blog Public Brainstorm: Food and Water

Oebele Bruinsma: “I do not agree with the thesis of H.F. Schloer that 'the world will be tested between 2012 and 2025 by more challenges, than it has possibly in its entire (emphasis mine) existence of human development'. In other words “all hell will brake loose”.

I agree however, that the real problem is “ us”, because we cannot separate between our preconceptions and our observations. Let me explain using the following examples and think back to the successes of recent 'scares' which were intertwined with the quality and quantity of food and water resources.

The Ice Age is coming back (Newsweek, Time, 1970s); our forests will soon be killed by acid rain; western industrial activities being held to blame the Sahel drought; the 'ozone panic' and its repercussions, with Concorde and the Space Shuttle implicated in the 'aerosol wars'. The imminent threat of cancers and cataracts: Punta Arenas on the edge the Antarctica ozone hole with sheep and their herdsmen and rabbits as well, going blind. (New York Times, July 1991, Newsweek, December 1991). Now that the ozone fad is behind us, why do we see the same methods used to promote the new bugbears in this case between 2012 and 2025? We do recall the apocalyptic prediction of James Hansen (Nov. 1987) according to which 'the global warming predicted in the next 20 years will make the entire earth warmer than it has been in the past 100.000 years'. Your current thermometer readings in the garden will tell you probably otherwise, at least since 1998.(Daily Mail 13 October 2012) Apparently, we can say or write anything we like, without commitment because the main thing is not to inform but to impress.

Humankind apparently is constantly in the dock, and the accusing finger is pointed, as we pollute too much, cherish our mobility (cars, planes), drive too fast, have a house to ourselves, live energy intensive paths, eat too much and produce too much rubbish; and perhaps doing all these things we breathe too deep in terms of CO2 production.

So, what drives this confusion of preconceptions and observations? A number of things.

The combination of pollution and climate.
Climate has become an excuse and a bugbear. Its future behavior seems to be set in stone, and anybody casting doubts on the predicted warming is thought to be tolerant of pollution, or 'branded as mad, bad or in the pay of the oil industry'(Singer, 2001), as if anybody in her/his right mind would be in favour of foul and un-breathable city air.

Good intentions and (declared and undeclared) interests.
B. Lomborg (2001) list the fears of ecologists: ‘We are defiling our Earth, the fertile topsoil is disappearing, we are paving over nature, destroying the wilderness, decimating the biosphere, and will end up killing ourselves in the process’. No doubt there is much talk of doing good, with generous intent, but is it always tinged with altruism?

Prognostications and realities, theories based on models and on real mechanisms.
Given the chaotic nature of climate, its modeled predictions often mention results at fairly safe dates e.g. the year 2100, to minimize the risk of being found incorrect.

Sensationalism and serious science.
The quest for a science ‘scoop’:e.g. melt of the Artic sea ice, interferes more and more with well-founded facts.”

Oebele Bruinsma is partner at Synmind bv, The Netherlands

via Club of Amsterdam Blog Public Brainstorm: Food and Water

Oebele Bruinsma: “Now let’s return to Food and Water.

These unfortunate developments over recent years have in my opinion contributed to a great reluctance on the part of many climatologists, ecologists and environmentalists to accept the concept that CO2 could be more beneficial than harmful for plant growth, food production and the overall biosphere including water. Yet the scientific evidence is overwhelming. For instance, Increased atmospheric CO2 enables plant to extract higher levels of iron from the soil (as well as other minerals), while using reduced amounts of water.

By brewing the ‘perfect storm’ of complementary disasters and analyse them with complex super computing models we are following the road of post-normal science; which is often not science but highly paid wishful thinking.

New developments in managing food and water related problems with for instance the role of insects in making the chain of animal protein production to waste disposal very efficient, are not very often included in such computer models.

By sticking to normal science and technology I think humanity will cope with the prognosticated disasters, as we did say from 1950 – 2012.”

Oebele Bruinsma is partner at Synmind bv, The Netherlands

via LinkedIn The Futurist Group

Philip Spies: "The real test is very human, i.e., in our ability to understand the ethics of the world system. Trends over the past 50 years indicated that we are moving away from particular problem sets towards growing interrelatedness in an increasingly complex global problem situation. I believe that the possible route towards dissolving these problem situations flows through the hearts and minds of people and not (per se) in our ability to 'analyse' these complex global systems with super computers - which I believe is not achievable because of the intrinsic nature of systemic complexity. However, I must admit that systems dynamics models can teach you many things about the various driving forces behind the trends - and as such they can be of great help. However without a human transformation towards greater understanding and wisdom, all modelling will be like poring water over stones."

Philip Spies is Primary Consultant at Creative Futures,
Cape Town Area, South Africa

via Club of Amsterdam blog

Hardy F. Schloer: "The world will be tested between 2012 and 2025 by more challenges, than it has possibly in its entire existence of human development.

Clearly, I am not discounting here the challenges of the past centuries, as for example the outbreak of the black pest in the dark ages, where there was no medicine or sufficient understanding in how to deal with such far reaching epidemic; or perhaps the two world wars of the last century, that caused more then 80 million death by senseless violence. Neither should one discount the emergence of nuclear technologies or weapons, which posed for the first time in history real and omnipresent danger of destroying the entire planet in a timeframe of only few minutes. There are perhaps many other such examples of catastrophic events that could come easily to mind in this context.

Nevertheless, many real dangerous and catastrophic events are less violent and much less visible. For example, the human discovery of cereals or potatoes enabled human population to grow in exponential pace, and in only the past two centuries of exponential growth to overpopulate the planet in such way, that it is now near impossible to keep vital dynamics of this planet in a sustainable balance. The real problem is 'us'.

The fact however is, that we do not experience separately a crisis of overpopulation. With it came the systemic faults of money and its creation, which lead to economic breakdown. Exponential overpopulation also caused vastly emerging food, water and farmland shortages, and a predatory and now often violent battle to use the resulting energy shortage in the most profitable ways. Then there is the exponential environmental decay, which poses also accelerating effects on the food, water and farmland problems. Accelerating global warming and its effects come here to mind.

The fact is, that we experience all these climactic disasters concurrently, coming together in one dynamic model, like the proverbial 'perfect storm'. We are living in the next 20 years in the 'Age of Final Exponential Change' where relatively flat growth curves have all begun concurrently to transform into fast and vertical growth that is unsustainable and also complimentary to produce disastrous magnifications to all other here identified problem domains.

To manage this 'perfect storm' of complimentary disasters, we must begin to analyze our problems in much more complex and more inclusive models. Unless we begin to think in inclusive and interdisciplinary models, we will not even begin to understand; much less solve these problems.

Understanding is the first step, and it is vitally important. The world, and mostly its politicians and economic leaders are in deep denial about these problems. Misinformation, driven mostly by self-serving dogma, or greed for profit, cement this denial as necessity, to defend specific and selfish goals. However, just as we must look at all our challenges in the context of all concurrent problem domains, we also need the entire human population to come together, and participate in the understanding of this complex situation and also in the definition of solutions.

Ultimately, we will need to do two separate things to solve these problems. First we need to analyze data in an all-inclusive way, using modern supercomputers and cloud computing infrastructures to analyze all available global data and so manage the scientific understanding of the 'interrelated problem fabric'. Secondly, we must decide on a global level, how we furthermore instruct intelligent supercomputers to search for possible solutions to these problems.

We do not have time anymore, for politicians to 'play the omni-intelligent rulers' of our world. We must hurry to find globally acceptable solutions to this perfect storm of apocalyptic problems, because it is the fear in society, that we don't know where we are going next, that causes global fear, aggression and finally global conflict. To prevent this we must come together, and solve our pretext of sustainability. This will be the first step to begin living together as one human race, in peace, freedom and sustainability."

Hardy F. Schloer, President and CEO, Schloer Consulting Group - SCG

via Club of Amsterdam Blog Public Brainstorm: Economic-Demographic Crisis

Khannea Suntzu: "We face a society which has become oddly unaffordable, even while economies have been "growing" (by any metric the analysts care invoke) for decades. This is a crisis, by any standard, and the crisis we are increasingly facing has much the characteristics of a slowly heated pot where we would be the frogs.

What is regarded as consensually unacceptable right now would have caused flaming car riots fifteen years ago. What may become politically expedient and acceptable fifteen years from now would ten years ago have put politicians heads on spikes.

Sadly the politicians are just dupes who go along with the glacially progressively intolerable. The pensioners crisis is no difference. We are talking societal marginalization the likes we haven't seen before the Edwardian age. People are starting to commit suicide over this, in places like Greece and Spain, and we have seen the same epidemic of engineered (or contrived) collapse in the soviet Union of the 1990s, where basicly whole aging generations of people were left off attritioned, with as much cavalier disinterest as the nazi's did to jews.

The crisis is one of politicians enabling (or being treasonous collaborators with) the international banking sector. Bean counters with the moral graces of Torquemada.

The paradigm these people keep chasing, much like a banner in Hell, is the idea of societal profitability, much the same way as if a society is a corporate entity. Well, if that were the case we'd actually be allowed to vote in shareholder meetings, and not pony show 4 year electoral cycles.

Sadly the world is owned, and not by "the people". That is why I /sign the above post by Rob George, with insistence and vehemence and quite a bit of anger.

The world is becoming intolerable, and it's time we do something about it."

Khannea Suntzu is the name of a genderqueer, pansexual, transhumanist, 'Nymian' Resident in Second Life. She is an artist, coolhunter, (game-) designer, (virtual reality) consultant, expert on meta-cognition, and speaker.

via Club of Amsterdam Blog Public Brainstorm: Human Overpopulation

Khannea Suntzu: "The topic of population restraints can not be argued in polite company. Aside from the insipid idiots (..) that claim we have more than enough space on the planet for 15 billion humans, and "economic growth can easily outpace demand", if only "we'd become more sincerely capitalist and free marketacious", there is no debating this issue.

So the debate is left to opinion statements.

Here's my opinion.

We have overshot the carrying capacity of the planet by several orders of magnitude. It is a complete and utter catastrophe, and we are destined for nightmarish conditions, somewhere this century. We could live comfortably and sustainably with two billion, and even then only if we had sharply reduced expectations of consumerism.

Sadly everyone in the world is now fully anticipating welfare state, pensions, a fridge, two cars, a big screen TV, a vacation once a year, several children and gods know what else. Add a well groomed trillion dollar military apparatus for the Amaericans and we have a recipe for a franchise of Hell on this planet, somewhere this century.

Yes, population levels are decreasing in Europe. However that more or less means a Europe (and an America, China, Japan, Ausralia) with mostly doddering and panicstricken and generally right wing voting old people, and a steady stream of tens of millions of people from regions where the population is still well on the exponential growth curse track.

Have look at Parisian Banlieues where this bright little optimist paradigm is headed. I'll tell you where it is headed - introduce mechanized and automated labour in to the mix (where we lose half the existing jobs in a few decades, and we gain only a very few extremely highly educated jobs in the same period) and you see billions of people structurally unable to make a living, eat, house themselves, get children, consume, have vacations, get a near adequate education or have the least bit of fun.

There is absolutely no way to do anything about this (other than some Neocon racists covertly spreading an infection that makes non-caucasian people infertile, and kills half. It could happen.) I see no resolution other than a range of catastrophic outcomes.

But take heed - at some point the lightning will hit and people will become antsy about overpopulation. Oh sure, we'll all go through the highly predictable racist cycles of blaming the foreigners (or even the friesians or tukkers if that's what it takes) but eventually every voter will have a deeply instinctive and ingrained reflex to WANT LESS PEOPLE.

And beware, since the population on the planet is doubling at once every one, two decades, that moment is somewhere in the middle of this century. And beware, because the popular policies enacted once we are there will be pale shadows of the Chinese one child policy - world wide.

Just wait."

Khannea Suntzu is the name of a genderqueer, pansexual, transhumanist, 'Nymian' Resident in Second Life. She is an artist, coolhunter, (game-) designer, (virtual reality) consultant, expert on meta-cognition, and speaker.

via Club of Amsterdam Blog Public Brainstorm: Environment

Khannea Suntzu
: "The discussion of climate specialists - the real people who are still unbought by big oil, or haven't been bullied in to a silence by the big corporations yet, are coming to accept the reality that "two degrees warming in the coming century" is pretty much ancient history. We are well underway discussing six degrees to fifteen degrees global temperature rise, and it is mostly acknowledged that by four degrees we face antarctic and greenland iceland melt where by the end of the century the global sea levels have risen by well over six meters.

In other words, the scientific world is pretty much in agreement that somewhere later this century most of the Netherlands is a tiny strip of land along the coast of Germany.

And that is already the case if we stopped consuming CO2 generating hydrocarbons.

Sadly, this is a scenario far worse than regular people can deal with. It was the same with people being ferried in trains to Auschwitz - at some level of severity the reality you face as a human being the human mind just shuts down and goes in to fullblown denial mode.

That is where we are now. All the Cassandras in the known universe can rant all they want - it won't get them invited to conferences, it won't make them any money, it won't get them published, and it will ruin their social lives.

However those people who are still smart and courageous should not shut up. In fourty years from now anyone who knows the facts should ask themselves "why did I do? Where did I stay quiet, and when did I take my chance to speak?" "

Khannea Suntzu is the name of a genderqueer, pansexual, transhumanist, 'Nymian' Resident in Second Life. She is an artist, coolhunter, (game-) designer, (virtual reality) consultant, expert on meta-cognition, and speaker.

via Club of Amsterdam Blog Public Brainstorm: Energy

Khannea Suntzu: "We face a nightmare. Humanity lived in paradise for the better part of a century, but in that period we made ourselves a Hell's Banquet - humanity went from two billion to (this century, largely inescapably) ten billion.

This is goddamn awful.

So oil is essential for everything, and not just transportation. We have been squandering it, filling landfills with useless reduced condensed oil scrapings, and filled the atmosphere with oil residu vapour. We make plastics, medicine, roads, consumer goods, food, clean water and much much more from oil, and assorted petrochemical products. We refrigerate and fly with the stuff.

And it is running out. Now try and convince a very large village of slightly overweight bodybuilders to "cut down on their calorie intake" and you have the situation where we are at. We have a world full of very much empowered people who have grown accustomed to petrochemical gluttony and there is absolutely NO way in the next few democratic cycles or in the market system or in the corporate boardroom to change the acknowledgement of this fact, to get a consensus of the severity of even the consequences of this consumption, LET ALONE to actually do something about this.

Let me state it frankly - I am for listing politicians and corporate decission-makers that may be doing something about this, and aren't.

And let's make some bold statement here - making such a list isn't illegal.

And claiming that this list will be uses, twenty years down the road to drag these people in front of a court and execute them isn't illegal either.

The world is headed for hell in a handbasket and nobody is doing a goddamned thing."

Khannea Suntzu is the name of a genderqueer, pansexual, transhumanist, 'Nymian' Resident in Second Life. She is an artist, coolhunter, (game-) designer, (virtual reality) consultant, expert on meta-cognition, and speaker.

via Club of Amsterdam Blog "Public Brainstorm: Energy"

Adriaan Kamp: "I like to kick-start this session.

The coming two decades are key- with respect to the future of energy.

Over 100 years we may live in Energy Abundance , thanks to technology progress, our societal evolutions and our human awareness, but along the way we may have hit a couple of nasty bumps.

Our world today is in a rapid acceleration. Over coming decades we see a rapid growth and shift in wealth distribution to the BRICS, MIST and other emerging nations. Energy and Wealth are directly related. The more wealthier the world- the more energy it needs.

Expectation is that with the current rate of wealth, population and energy consumption increase- we will have to double the present energy generation capacities. Unfortunately- and as the present trend indicates- this new fuel will still be from our finite conventional energy resources- which may become ever more complex to produce.

So- over coming decades our world (and its evolving geopolitical constellation) will need to determine how, what and how these resources are shared.

Threfore- and Today- Energy and Energy Transition Management in Politics, Business and Society is King.

Energy and our political and social evolution over next decades are also linked: The question of how we relate to each other. IN the East and in the West. The Have´s vs the Havenot´s..

The future is made by our common leadership, actions and decisions on the above- today.

IN invite Energy Professionals all - world over- to start to define and realize the energy architectures of the 21st century. Today."

Adriaan Kamp is Founder of Energy For One World/ Director of Executive Energy MBA at Nyenrode Business University, The Netherlands

via Club of Amsterdam Blog "Public Brainstorm: Economic-Demographic Crisis":

Robley E. George: "First, we wish to congratulate the Club of Amsterdam on its ten year celebration of significant contribution.

We further wish to suggest the serious consideration of Socioeconomic Democracy as a peaceful, just and democratic resolution of the myriad unnecessary and painful problems confronting humanity caused by the maldistribution of wealth both within and among nations.

Socioeconomic Democracy is a theoretically consistent and practically implementable socioeconomic system wherein there exist both some form and amount of locally appropriate Universally Guaranteed Personal Income and some form and amount of locally appropriate Maximum Allowable Personal Wealth, with both the lower bound on personal material poverty and the upper bound on personal material wealth set and adjusted democratically by all participants of a democratic society.

Socioeconomic Democracy is trivially accomplished with elementary Public Choice Theory. It further provides the necessary and presently missing but essential economic incentive, for all those with the financial capability to do so, to work productively to realize a much improved and sustainable economic system dedicated to the betterment of all.

As has been demonstrated elsewhere, Socioeconomic Democracy can eliminate or significantly reduce a multitude of serious-to-deadly, but utterly unnecessary, intimately intertwined societal problems including (but by no means limited to) those familiar ones associated with: automation, computerization and robotization; budget deficits and national debts; bureaucracy; maltreatment of children; crime and punishment; development, sustainable or otherwise; ecology, environment, resources and pollution; education; the elderly; the feminine majority; inflation; international conflict; intranational conflict; involuntary employment; involuntary unemployment; labor strife and strikes; sick medical and health care; military metamorphosis; natural disasters; pay justice; planned obsolescence; political participation; poverty; racism; sexism; and the General Welfare.

A few, of many, relevant links:

"A Democratic Socioeconomic Platform, in search of a Democratic Political Party"
http://www.centersds.com/dsep.html

Socioeconomic Democracy: An Advanced Socioeconomic System (Praeger Studies on the 21st Century, 2002)
http://www.centersds.com/thebook.htm

"Bibliography of Socioeconomic Democracy"
http://www.centersds.com/biblio.htm

"Socioeconomic Democracy: A Nonkilling, Life-Affirming and Enhancing Psycho-Politico-Socio-Economic System"
http://www.pelicanweb.org/solisustv06n10page2robleygeorge.html

"Introducing a Socioeconomic Democracy"
Prepared for Pakistan Futuristics Institute Silver Jubilee Publication: 4
Islamabad, Pakistan, 8 May 2011.
This article includes an analysis of the many similarities and a few minor differences between Socioeconomic Democracy and Zakat, one of the Five Pillars of Islam.

"Socioeconomic Democracy and Sustainable Development"
http://rio20.net/en/documentos/socioeconomic-democracy-and-sustainable-development

"Socioeconomic Democracy"
International Journal of Science, February, 2012, (pp.33-48).
http://ijosc.net/index.html

Robley E. George, Director, Center for the Study of Democratic Societies, USA
http://www.CenterSDS.com
Coordinador, Nonkilling Economics and Business Research Committee
http://www.nonkilling.org/node/7

via LinkedIn

Hans Konstapel: "Perhaps you should also discuss how it is possible to transform destructive exponential expansions into creative modulated cyclic changes by applying Paths of Change:
http://hans.wyrdweb.eu/path-of-change-seminar-in-dialoques-house-abn-amro"
see also
http://hans.wyrdweb.eu/about-intelligent-design
http://hans.wyrdweb.eu/about-radical-innovation


Hans Konstapel is Director & Owner, Constable Research BV, The Netherlands

 

 

 



Club of Amsterdam
editor@clubofamsterdam.com


m

x



Copyright 2002-2014 Club of Amsterdam. All rights reserved.    Contact     Privacy statement    Cancellation Policy