Handbook of Planetary Management
© 2010 Joseph George Caldwell. All rights reserved. Posted at Internet web site http://www.foundationwebsite.org . May be copied or reposted for non-commercial use, with attribution. (Part 1: 6 June 2003; Part 2: 13 February 2010, updated 6 March 2010)
Part 1. Awareness
For millions of years, during mankind’s hunter-gatherer phase, the human population of Earth was on the order of five million people. With the development of agriculture and other technologies about ten thousand years ago, the population increased to about 250 million at the time of the Roman Empire. With the advent of the fossil-fuel age on Earth in the late Middle Ages, the human population began to grow very fast. It now (2010) stands at about seven billion, and is increasing by about 80 million per year. The human population now consumes about 40 percent of all of the “current” solar energy usable by biological organisms, and more than half of all fresh water. It is the most numerous mammalian species on the planet, and the largest single species in terms of biomass. Massive human numbers and industrial activity are causing the extinction of an estimated 30 thousand species per year and are thereby destroying the ecological balance of the biosphere.
The large size of the human population will not continue for very much longer. The world’s petroleum supplies have been about half used up, and the remaining reserves will last for less than half a century at current rates of consumption. More significantly, the ecological balance of nature has been so disturbed that ecological collapse (significant and major change) is occurring long before the end of the petroleum age. Most of the human species live in abject poverty, misery, hunger, disease and squalor. Limits have been reached on agricultural food production, and the world’s fisheries are now collapsing from overfishing and pollution. The world’s natural-growth forests are being destroyed at a rapid rate, and will soon be gone from most parts of the world. Much of nature is being destroyed by human-generated pollution and destruction of natural habitat.
Although appeals to stop this destruction have been increasing in urgency and frequency for many decades, mankind as a whole has been totally unwilling and/or unable to stop the destruction of the biosphere. It is clear that human population growth will continue until the system collapses catastrophically. There are many factors at work in this process of destruction, including human greed, ability to tap the massive energy stored in fossil fuels and thereby cause massive changes to the environment, addiction to the material benefits of industrialization, the stranglehold of the “religion” of economics on human culture (i.e., greater industrial production, both overall and per capita, is “better”), contempt for all other species, and the widespread belief that God will remove (“save”) all “good” people from the ruined planet (“End Times” concepts, such as Apocalypse, Armageddon, Tribulation, Rapture, etc.).
Dynamic systems almost always fail catastrophically. In the case of human industrial civilization, which is now causing massive changes to the planet’s environment and will soon exhaust the energy source (petroleum) that is enabling massive human numbers, it is obvious that the catastrophic demise will occur very soon (at the latest in a few decades when petroleum supplies exhaust, but more likely within the next few years). The only real issue to be resolved is how much more damage will be caused to the biosphere prior to the collapse and whether the human species survives. If industrial society could continue until all petroleum is exhausted, a substantial proportion of all of Earth’s species would have been exterminated. If industrial society ends very soon (e.g., by war, disease, famine), the “Sixth Mass Extinction” of the planet will end with the extinctions to date.
As noted, the religion of economics has a very strong grip on human society. Although economic development and industrial activity have been totally responsible for the ecological destruction that is currently being wreaked on the planet, the myth that more economic development and industrial activity will make things better is widely believed. Almost everyone believes that more industrial development will improve the standard of living for himself and his family, and that the associated ecological damage that occurs is not important.
A few writers have shown very convincingly how mankind’s current global industrial activity is analogous to cancer or other serious disease (in this case, a disease that is destroying the biosphere), but few people are willing to accept that mankind in its current numbers is a pathogenic or parasitic organism. Most people simply do not want to hear that an estimated 30,000 species are being made extinct every year by human activity. Collectively, human society is in a state of mass denial that the biosphere is undergoing massive, immediate and irreversible change, that the large human population is completely unsustainable, and that human population collapse is imminent.
It is now impossible that the situation will improve by peaceful means. Globalization (global industrialization at high levels) has a stranglehold grip on human society. No world or national leader is willing to propose, or promote, or even accept a decrease in either the gross national product or the gross national product per capita. Global petroleum supplies will exhaust so soon that there is now no way for human population to decline slowly to sustainable levels. Human population increased in direct proportion to petroleum availability, and it will decline in direct proportion to petroleum availability. The fact is that billions of people will soon die – and not from old age! The coming die-off of the human species will be the direct consequence of either the decline in petroleum availability or mankind’s destruction of the environment – global war, disease and starvation are just around the corner.
The significant issue facing the planet is not how to avoid catastrophic collapse, since that is now inevitable. The significant issues are what to do after it occurs, and how to prepare for the post-catastrophe era (to minimize the destruction being caused by global industrialization and to ensure the establishment of a long-term-sustainable system of planetary management after its demise). The Foundation websites have analysed and discussed this situation at length, and have presented examples of long-term sustainable human populations and organizations. One such population is a synarchic (Platonic) government of a “minimal-regret” population consisting of a single-nation high-technology population of five million people and a globally distributed hunter-gatherer population of five million people.
The purpose of the Foundation websites is to promote awareness of the human population problem, suggest solutions to this problem, and to help bring about conditions such that when the industrial world collapses, a better (i.e., long-term-sustainable) system of planetary management is established (set up and maintained). Much of the website material to date has been concerned with description and analysis of the problem, and a general discussion of solutions (see, e.g., Can America Survive?). Recently, more material has been presented concerning specific approaches to planetary management, or to ensuring that a rational (long-term-sustainable) planetary management system is established. This handbook is one more step in that direction.
Without modern industrialization, the human population did not have much impact on Earth’s ecology. In a hunter-gatherer mode (on the order of five million people globally), it had practically no impact at all – it was just one minor mammalian species, living off the land. Even with primitive agriculture (on the order of 250 million people globally), it did not have a large impact. The world’s tropical forests and oceans remained pretty much as they had for millions of years, and mankind’s use of natural materials caused little impact on the planet’s biodiversity. The big change occurred when mankind began to use modern technology, tap fossil fuels on a large scale, and increase its population dramatically. The planet can support a few hundred million people living under primitive (agricultural) conditions, or about five million living a high-technology lifestyle, without causing major disruption to the biosphere. Examples of long-term sustainable human populations are: about 5-20 million hunter-gatherers; or about 250 million primitive-agriculture people; or about five million high-technology people; or the latter together with a small number of hunter-gatherers (e.g., five million). In other words, the “carrying capacity” of the planet is from about five million people to a few hundred million, depending on the level of technology, and the greater the level of technology (energy use, pollution generation), the fewer the people that can be supported long-term. Whatever the total number of human beings, the macroscopic impact of the human species on the biosphere must be very small, for that population to be sustainable in the long term.
If mankind is to be able to stop the ongoing mass species extinction, it is necessary to dramatically reduce the level of industrial activity on the planet. Economic development and industrial activity are the problem, not the solution. The problem is how to bring about and maintain a reduction in industrial activity, when almost everyone wants more.
Some see a solution by means of war. Because of all of the problems being caused by mass industrialization, the likelihood of occurrence of global war and the magnitude of its consequences are increasing. The main problem with war as an approach to solving the world’s current ecological problem is that the very people who would win are the ones in favor of global industrialization! As long as most people believe that industrial activity is the solution to the world’s problems, and that more is better, the survivors of a collapsed industrial world would simply rebuild industrial society, and the ecological destruction of the planet would resume. It does not seem likely that forceful action (violence) is a solution to the world’s ecological problem. Too many people are committed to large human population and global industrialization, and too few seek a solution. If a small number of people tried to bring an end to this current world paradigm by force, they would almost certainly fail. Furthermore, a small group of people cannot control a large population against its will for very long. Global war will likely occur as part of the demise of the global industrial age, and it may be useful as a means of establishing a long-term-sustainable system of planetary management, but it is not relevant to maintaining such a system for a long time.
As long as most of the world’s population is committed to (addicted to) global industrialization, it is unlikely that a different system of planetary management would arise. As Neale Donald Walsch has argued forcefully, however, action follows belief. If the survivors of a global catastrophe believe that a resumption of global industrialization will improve things, then that is what they will seek to achieve. If, on the other hand, the survivors see clearly that global industrialization was in fact the problem – the very source of the planetary destruction – then they will seek to avoid a resumption of the industrial age. And this is the key to the solution.
Although almost no one at the present time is willing to decrease industrial activity to a low level, that attitude can be changed. As observed above, the industrial era will end soon, and it will almost surely end in a catastrophic collapse (global war, disease, famine, or whatever). When that happens, the survivors will see that large-scale industrialization has failed, and they will have experienced first-hand the destruction that it has caused. They will understand the disastrous consequences of a large human population and global industrialization, and they will be receptive to change. It is at that time that a significant opportunity will exist for significant and lasting change.
In order for the post-catastrophe surviving human population to be receptive to change, it is very important that they be fully aware of the reasons for the collapse of global industrial society when it occurs, and also aware of planetary management approaches that will avoid a repeat of the destruction caused by the present system. Establishing this awareness is the primary mission of the Foundation websites – to disseminate information describing (1) the state of the world, (2) the reasons why large-scale industrial society must collapse and do so catastrophically, and (3) planetary management approaches that will avoid further destruction and a recurrence of the experienced collapse. When most people of the world genuinely believe that global industrialization was the problem that destroyed the world, then they will act to prevent its re-emergence. It is at that time that it will be possible to establish a planetary management system based on synarchic government of a minimal-regret global population of ten million people.
I observed above that almost no one believes that global industrialization is the problem and that it is destroying the planet. Almost no one. There is a one group of people, however, that is appalled by the level of violence in the world and the destruction of nature by global industrialization, and who are also very much convinced that a transformation to a better world is both possible and imminent. That is the group of people who are generally called “New Agers,” but it also includes spiritualists and mystics. New Agers have a vision for a better world. They are optimistic that a new world order can be established in which people can live in peace with each other and in harmony with nature.
In addition to their viewpoint that world peace and harmony with nature are possible, New Agers possess another attribute that is very important – their large numbers. There are literally millions of people who are interested in New Age / New Spiritualism concepts. The only thing that is lacking is that, although these people are optimistic that the world is about to enter a new Golden Age of peace and harmony with nature, they (as a group) do not see exactly how this will happen, or exactly how it can be brought about. Moreover, they are not generally aware that they as a group are the key to solving the world’s problem. Many are convinced that the dawning of the Age of Aquarius will bring substantial and significant change, and that this change may even be turbulent and violent. Some are convinced, nevertheless, that if enough people believe and hope for world peace and harmony with nature, this will happen.
While the New Age / New Spiritualism movement is a phenomenon of the last few decades, it traces its beginnings in spiritualist and personal development movements from ages past. There have been many writers in this field. Some of the more successful or better-known ones are Rudolf Steiner, G. I. Gurdjieff, P. D. Ouspensky, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, René Guénon, Julius Evola, Frithjof Schuon, Jean Gebser, Neale Donald Walsch, Thom Hartmann, Gary Zukav, Michael Talbot, Fritjof Capra, and Laura Knight-Jadczyk, just to name a few.
New Age devotees will be strongly attracted to the synarchic government / minimal-regret population movement, since it aligns well with many of their principal interests and concerns. The term “synarchy” was in fact introduced by the 19-th century spiritualist, Saint-Yves d’Alveydre (although the concept was introduced much earlier, by Plato). The goal of world peace and harmony with nature is a common goal for New Agers. Except for the single high-technology city-state, all human population will be organized tribally. Thom Hartmann (The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight) summarizes the five primary traits of tribal groups: (1) political independence; (2) egalitarian structure; (3) get their resources from renewable local sources; (4) have a unique sense of their own identity; and (5) respect the identity of other tribes. With an end to the sixth mass species extinction, the diversity of species in the biosphere will be promoted. The diversity of the human species, too, will be promoted, with the re-emergence of independent tribes all over the planet. The likelihood of plagues, epidemics and ecological disasters will be dramatically reduced, since the gross intermingling of human beings and other species that characterizes globalization will cease.
The “evolutionary agenda” of Barbara Marx Hubbard (Conscious Evolution) will be realized: (1) meet basic food and shelter needs of all people; (2) limit our population growth; (3) restore Earth’s environment; (4) learn to coexist with other species; (5) learn sustainable economic development; (6) shift the vast military-industrial technological complex toward building new worlds on Earth and in Space; (7) redesign social and economic systems to enhance human compassion, cooperation, and creativity; (8) emancipate individuals’ unique potential and life purpose; (9) explore and develop the further reaches of the human spirit and the universe beyond the planet of our birth. Overall, “the planet makes its transition from it high-technology, polluting, and overpopulating phase to a system that fulfills its collective potential.”
The unified-planet goals of Neale Donald Walsch (Conversations with God, Book Two) would be realized: (1) an end to wars between nations and the settling of disputes by killing; (2) an end to abject poverty, death by starvation, and mass exploitation of people and resources by those of power; (3) an end to the systematic environmental destruction of the Earth; (4) an escape from the endless struggle for bigger, better, more; (5) an opportunity – truly equal – for all people to rise to the highest expression of Self; and (6) an end to all limitations and discrimination holding people back – whether in housing, in the workplace, or in the political system, or in personal sexual relationships.
The world vision of James Redfield (The Celestine Vision) would be realized: (1) overcoming poverty and world hunger; (2) preventing crime; (3) protecting the environment; (4) saving the forests; (5) an end to mass terrorism and warfare; and (6) transformation of culture from planned obsolescence.
The vision of L. Ron Hubbard (Scientology) would be realized: A civilization without insanity, without criminals and without war, where the able can prosper and honest beings can have rights, and where man is free to rise to greater heights.
One of the fascinating aspects of the minimal-regret population proposed in Can America Survive? is the fact that it allows for and promotes both a high-technology society and low-technology societies on the planet. At the present time, the high-technology culture (Young Culture, in the terminology of Thom Hartmann) is exterminating the primitive culture (Older Culture). (It is also exterminating itself.) In a minimal-regret-population world, both cultures exist in harmony. The high technology culture (the synarchic government) promotes the survival of the low-technology culture – that is its primary mission, its reason for existence, its meaningful work (its secondary mission is advancement of scientific and spiritual knowledge). The low-technology society preserves the tribal community life that is so meaningful to human existence. Human beings are able to develop both in a high-technology culture and a low-technology culture. Both exist on the same planet in a symbiotic relationship: the high-technology culture protects the low-technology culture (and ensures its own continued existence) by preventing the rise of mass (global) industrialization. The low-technology culture, dispersed over the planet and with limited intermingling, promotes greater diversity of the human species and dramatically reduces the likelihood of human-species extinction from a localized catastrophic incident (because of geographic dispersion and very limited intermingling).
When I said above that New Agers / spiritualists / mystics as a group do not see exactly how world changes can be brought about, I am referring to details, such as setting up a synarchic world government after the global collapse of industrialism. The New Agers know exactly what approach to use. It is the approach of mystics and spiritualists. It is the long-established “secret” to success – meditation (prayer), desire, visualization, planning, action, etc. (see Napoleon Hill’s Think and Grow Rich for more on this). All that is lacking is specificity and clarity in setting goals and objectives. Once the New Age community has a clear understanding of the nature of the global crisis (e.g., as described in Thom Hartmann’s The Last Hours of Ancient Sunshine), it may set specific goals to bring about a better world. Except for Hartmann, most New Age writers seem oblivious to the severity of the environmental crisis. As long as they and the New Age community are unaware of the nature and seriousness of the crisis, nothing will happen. Knowledge and awareness are very important. As Laura Knight-Jadczyk writes, “Knowledge / awareness protects, ignorance endangers.” Once they are fully aware, nothing can stop them. Action will indeed follow belief.
It should be emphasized here that information from spiritual sources has a high degree of equivocation (unreliability), and must be evaluated with a very critical eye. Much information from spiritual sources is false or misleading, like the messages of the Oracle at Delphi and channelling. Some, perhaps much, is total nonsense, like the ramblings in a dream. All such information must be carefully evaluated in the light of knowledge, using critical reason. In any event, these sources can provide useful clues to the nature of reality, and may suggest useful alternative future paths to consider. The fact is that physical science has proved disastrous for mankind and for the biosphere, and spiritual science can provide useful insight and guidance.
The forces of global industrialization are very powerful. They are committed to and addicted to the complete destruction of the planet’s biosphere. Stopping them will not be easy. The war against global industrialization will not be easy to win. The battle to establish world peace and a stable biosphere will involve much hard work, commitment, and sacrifice. And it will involve much faith. As noted in the Bible, “Prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare.”
In order for the New Age community – or any other community – to work enthusiastically and effectively on a particular program for achieving the ultimate goal of world peace and harmony with nature, it is necessary that they be aware of the problem, understand its nature, and believe in the program (i.e., believe that it is an effective and desirable way of achieving the ultimate goal and generally superior to other alternatives).
The Foundation websites propose a synarchic government of a minimal-regret population of ten million as a feasible and desirable means of achieving a long-term-survivable human population and biosphere. To encourage the adoption of this planetary management paradigm, the Foundation websites present detailed information on the nature of the crisis and the proposed solution. They also present suggestions for additional steps that may be taken to increase awareness and acceptance of the proposed solution, and that will increase the likelihood that the solution will be attempted and successfully implemented. These steps include the following:
· Publication of the book, Can America Survive?, which presents a detailed analysis of the current state of the world and a rationale for implementing a minimal-regret population on Earth.
· Publication of articles that discuss various aspects of planetary management, synarchy, and the minimal-regret population.
There is no central organization coordinating the movement to establish a synarchic government of a minimal-regret population. There are several reasons for this. First, it is anticipated that at some point the national governments of the world will move against the synarchic-government / minimal-regret-population movement, since it is antithetical to all they stand for (i.e., the industrialized world, globalization). (There is substantial precedent prompting this belief – both France and Germany moved against Synarchy early in the twentieth century.) The vulnerability of this movement is substantially reduced by the lack of a central organization. Second, it is considered advantageous from the viewpoint of credibility and acceptance if the Foundation / synarchic / minimal-regret movement has no commercial interests, motives or basis. As long as the movement is a “grass-roots” one, and there is no central organization or headquarters, there is no need for large amounts of money to accomplish the movement’s goals. The “organization” exists only as an idea: with no physical or financial assets, there is nothing for the industrial world to attack or destroy. Nothing is more powerful than an idea whose time has come. The movement has no need for monetary funding – it is the power of conscious evolution that will enable it to come into being.
The general approach of the Foundation website is to make effective use of certain features of the present system of global industrialization to bring about a synarchic world government and minimal-regret population. The current system is so large and powerful, and so committed to destruction of the biosphere, that it cannot be overcome with a “frontal attack,” and its collapse will be so sudden, devastating and uncontrolled that it may destroy everything, including the chance to establish a long-term-sustainable system of planetary management. The key to establishing a long-term-sustainable system of planetary management will be to take effective advantage of some features of it, and retain some features of it, as it collapses (“Let no good crisis go to waste,” as the Obama administration asserts). The approach is, as in the martial arts (Tae Kwan Do, Karate, Jujitsu), to apply skill and leverage to use the opponent’s mass and momentum against him, to your advantage. One way in which this is being done is to make use of the Internet to disseminate information on planetary management – using globalization’s information-technology resources to educate people on the nature of the current destructive planetary management system and the long-term-sustainable system of planetary management that may replace it. Other ways in which the assets of the present system may be used effectively to replace it with a better system are discussed in the sections that follow.
Part 2: The Synarchist Manifesto
This Part (update of 15 February 2010) is dedicated to my son, Joseph George Caldwell IV (12 August 1960 – 18 January 2010).
It was the time of the preacher
In the year of ‘01
Now the preaching is over
And the lesson’s begun
It was the time of the preacher
In the year of ‘01
Now the lesson is over
And the killing’s begun
It was the time of the preacher
In the year of ‘01
When you think it’s all over
It’s only begun
Selected verses from “The Time of the Preacher,” from The Red Headed Stranger collection, words and music by Willie Nelson
A lot has happened since Part 1 (Sections 1-6) of this Handbook of Planetary Management was published in June of 2003. Since that time, the system of growth-based economics has continued unabated and world population has continued to soar, from 6.33 billion to 6.98 billion today (February 2010; source: University of North Carolina world population clock at http://www.ibiblio.org/lunarbin/worldpop). Environmental damage continues to increase and the sixth mass species extinction continues. This is “business as usual” – large human numbers and industrial activity continue to destroy the biosphere. The significant thing that has changed, however, is that there is a growing agreement that global oil production is decreasing, i.e., we are passing “Hubbert’s Peak” on “Hubbert’s Curve” of global oil production (the exact peak is uncertain because of substantial fluctuations in production, caused by variations in demand (caused by economic and demographic circumstances) and in supply (caused by discovery of new oil sources and exhaustion of existing ones)).
The purpose of setting up the Foundation website was to disseminate information about a proposed strategy for a long-term-sustainable biosphere and human population – the “minimal-regret” population strategy (consisting of a single high-tech nation of five million people and a globally distributed low-tech population of five million hunter-gatherers). The website has achieved this objective. The number of “hits” by visitors has increased from zero in 1999 when it was established to about 3,000 per month in 2003, to about 20,000 per month today. The works posted on the Foundation website are downloaded frequently throughout the day, and there are many links to the website from external servers. The concept of a minimal-regret population is now widely discussed and debated.
In the ten years since the minimal-regret population strategy was published in Can America Survive?, not a single feasible alternative global population strategy has been proposed. In the absence of alternatives, it appears that the minimal-regret strategy will be implemented upon the collapse of the current world economic system (growth-based economics, large human numbers and industrial activity).
This Part 2 (Sections 7-10) of the Handbook of Planetary Management sketches some alternative scenarios for the near-term future. The purpose of these sketches is to stimulate discussion and facilitate planning by those who seek to implement a minimal-regret population strategy after the collapse of the present planetary management system.
The title of this Part 2 is “The Synarchist Manifesto.” Although I have previously defined what I mean by synarchy, it bears repeating. Synarchy is a system of planetary management, or world government. My concept of synarchy is a single government similar to the government of Guardians proposed by Plato. The word “synarchy” was coined by the French mystic Alexandre Saint-Yves d’Alveydre in the late 1800s, as representing a unitary form of government opposed to “anarchy.” Synarchy refers to a single world government, as contrasted to the current anarchic system of a couple of hundred nations all competing for domination. Saint-Yves conceived three major institutions of social control: religion, politics and economics. In my concept of synarchy there is no role for any of these three institutions. There is but a single institution, the government, which manages the planet much in the same way that a captain and crew would operate a space ship – Spaceship Earth, in this case. To quote from my previous article, On Synarchy (posted at http://www.foundationwebsite.org/OnSynarchy.htm):
“In my concept of a single planetary management organization, there is no room for economics, politics, or religion as social institutions of control. With respect to economics, the primary role of the planetary management organization is to prevent industrial activity anywhere on the planet outside of the high-technology single-nation city-state. With respect to politics, the planetary management organization is operated as a mission-oriented business or military organization or a church, not as a political entity. There is no room for politics in this organization (although the hunter-gatherer tribes over the rest of the planet are free to adopt whatever political system they prefer). With respect to religion, although there is a fundamental and profound role for the spiritual, religion plays no role in the organization (once again, the hunter-gatherer tribes are free to establish whatever religions they desire).
Economics is the driving force that has corrupted mankind and is destroying the planet. Economics – the dismal science. In his 1930 essay, “Economic Possibilities for Our Grandchildren,” mathematician John Maynard Keynes observed the fatal limitations of economics as a long-term basis for human society:
“Some day we may return to some of the most sure and certain principles of religion and traditional virtue – that avarice is a vice, that the extraction of usury is a misdemeanor, and the love of money is detestable. But beware! The time for all this is not yet. For at least another hundred years we must pretend to ourselves and to every one that fair is foul and foul is fair; for foul is useful and fair is not. Avarice and usury and precaution must be our gods for a little while longer.”
Some Closing Remarks
There is a lot of discussion and argument over the term “overpopulation.” See, for example, the Wikipedia article http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Overpopulation and the Wikiquote http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Overpopulation. Many people do not realize that economic development dramatically reduces the number of people that can be supported by the biosphere on a long-term-sustainable basis. The reason for this is that high-tech people consume many times – perhaps 100 times – more energy and other resources as low-tech people. Using this rule of thumb, the impact of a high-tech person on the biosphere is about 100 times greater than the impact of a low-tech person (primitive agriculture or hunter-gatherer society). High-tech people use more space, use more of the recurrent solar-energy “budget,” consume more resources, cause more (and more severe) pollution, and destroy more of nature than low-tech people (each high-tech person causes the destruction of about an acre of natural land, in conversion to infrastructure such as buildings and roads). Industrial production produces much waste that is not easily recycled by the biosphere (such as chlorine-based chemicals, which are not generally produced or consumed by natural organisms). Using the exemplar factor of 100, whatever level of low-technology human population can be accommodated without causing noticeable impact on the rest of the biosphere, the level of high-technology population that can be accommodated is at least one-hundredth times fewer. Hence, for example, if the biosphere can accommodate 500 million low-tech people on a long-term-sustainable basis, it may be able to accommodate perhaps only five million high-tech people on a long-term-sustainable basis. These numbers are illustrative. No one knows just how damaging the impact of high-technology society on the biosphere really is. These numbers are inferred simply from the approximate ratio of energy utilization for high-tech vs. low-tech people. The point is that, contrary to what economists may say or imply, economic development places much greater per-person demands on the biosphere’s resources, and the biosphere can hence accommodate far fewer, not more, of them. The only means to long-term-survival is to keep human numbers and industrial activity as low as possible. For more discussion of this phenomenon, see my article The End of the World, and the New World Order, at http://TheEndOfTheWorld.htm.
In just a few years, the world population will have dropped from seven billion to at most a few hundred million. If you are still alive, you will find yourself in either of two situations. Either you will be a member of the nuclear power that has won the first stage of global nuclear war, or you will be living in a “post-apocalyptic” world that has no energy to run its fabulous machines, and is slipping back into simpler times. If you want to picture what most of the world looks like, consider the following passages from the Bible (extracted from Can America Survive?):
Jer. 1:14. From the north disaster will be poured out on all who live in the land.
Jer. 2:7. I brought you into a fertile land to eat its fruit and rich produce. But you came and defiled my land and made my inheritance detestable.
Jer. 3:2. Look up to the barren heights and see. Is there any place where you have not been ravished? By the roadside you sat waiting for lovers, sat like a nomad (an Arab) in the desert. You have defiled the land with your prostitution and wickedness.
Jer. 4:5. Disaster from the north. …For I am bringing disaster from the north, even terrible destruction. A lion has come out of his lair; a destroyer of nations has set out. He has left his place to lay waste your land. Your towns will be in ruins without inhabitant. The whole land will be ruined, though I will not destroy it utterly. Therefore the Earth will moan and the heavens above grow dark…. All the towns are deserted; no one lives in them.
Jer. 6:10. To whom can I speak and give warning? Who will listen to me? Their ears are closed so that they cannot hear.
Jer. 8:20. The harvest is past, the summer has ended, and we are not saved.
Jer. 25:31. The tumult will resound to the ends of the Earth, for the land will bring charges against the nations; he will bring judgment on all mankind and put the wicked to the sword….Look! Disaster is spreading from nation to nation; a mighty storm is rising from the ends of the Earth. At that time those slain by the Lord will be everywhere – from one end of the Earth to the other. They will not be mourned or gathered up or buried, but will be like refuse lying on the ground.
Jer. 30:11. …Though I completely destroy all the nations among which I scatter you, I will not completely destroy you.
Jer. 31:40. The city (Jerusalem) will never again be uprooted or demolished.
Jer. 48:10. A curse on him who is lax in doing the Lord’s work! A curse on him who keeps his sword from bloodshed!
Lam. 1:1. How deserted lies the city, once so full of people!
Lam. 4:9. Those killed by the sword are better off than those who die of famine; racked with hunger, they waste away for lack of food from the field.
In either case – a member of the surviving high-tech nation or a survivor of the destroyed industrial world – you have important issues to address: What will you do for food and shelter, and security? If you are a member of the technological nation that has won the first engagement, these concerns will have been addressed by the military’s long-range planning. If you are part of this community, you have a “higher” issue to address: You will be faced with the decision of whether to work for the establishment of a long-term-sustainable system of planetary management, or for a re-establishment of the industrial society that is now destroying the biosphere. If instead you find yourself a denizen of the now-low-tech remainder of the world, you have some really basic survival problems to address. That part of the world – over ninety-nine percent of it – will quickly form into tribes and warlord fiefdoms. If you do not survive, you have nothing to worry about. If you do survive, you had better have a plan. As Nietzsche is said to have remarked, “A man without a plan is not a man.” If your country is not making plans to survive global nuclear war, who is doing the planning for you? Visualize yourself in the post-apocalyptic world. Picture yourself in this situation within the next two years. You have no food, and you have no weapons. What will you do? Your first concern is physical survival, and you will work this out with your fellow survivors – or you will not. More importantly, your society is headed for a primitive existence for the next several million years. What will you do for spiritual sustenance? The political and religious systems of your former world failed. What will replace them?
Many people might believe that all that matters after global cataclysm is surviving in the high-tech nation, and that if they end up in a “hunter-gatherer” world, then their life would be of no significance. But this is not the case. The members of the non-industrial world will have a superb opportunity for spiritual development – perhaps a far greater opportunity than the members of the high-tech nation, who in fact are at a disadvantage in developing spiritual capabilities because of the distractions of technology.
I mentioned earlier that it is my belief that the solution to the planet’s current crisis will be achieved (or, at least, understood) only by spiritual means. Mankind has opted to rely on physical science and established religions for guidance, and they have brought nothing but destruction and devastation to our biosphere and species, and impoverished our spiritual life. They have caused the problem and exacerbated it. Our political and economic system (growth-based economics) is based on destruction of nature and on economic slavery. Our religious systems are based on ignorance, blind faith, intolerance, bigotry, denial of facts and rejection of reason. As Einstein once remarked, the kind of thinking that caused a problem is unlikely to get us out of it. What will be different the next time? It is time to search for knowledge, truth and understanding, and to reject ignorance and denial. The solution to mankind’s problems lies in the field of spiritual science.