MONDAY, DEC 21, 2015





TUCSON (A-P) — Meta-summary:

  • Earth's first global empire, the Euro-Sino Empire, will (likely) collapse or otherwise "fade away" as all prior regional ones have.
  • The great hope, the basis for off-the-scale optimism, is that this time around we have the intellectual tools (information + science + time) to understand our trajectory.
  • The descent part has always seemed lamentable to those living through it.
  • A teachable moment may arise.
  • Many will wonder if descent/collapse could/should be avoided the next time around.
  • Some will point out how the business-as-usual norm will have to change to avoid repeating the pattern and perhaps enough will transition to create a new world norm where sustainable progress (asymptotic) in loving and learning can be realized.

The newest feature article is a review of Demystifying Sustainability, which says what needs to be said and says it better, so unless you have an interest in Plan B, just start by reading the Foreword and Introduction to Demystifying Sustainablity: Towards real solutions, then read the book.

For others, one option would be to read Understand the Exponential Function, as it is the cognitive starting point. Then consider the last chapter, Finis: The Nature of Things. If start and end points seem of interest, read between the alpha and omega. For those having less sciency interests and background, storytelling works best. The Cruise Ship Earth series includes overview introductory material. The Time Traveler's Tale can be read merely as entertaining fiction. For the real fiction: Hu-mans Awake. Those who know of the Elder Brothers' Warning from the Heart of the World could start there as the Kogi mámas' message is the same as our ecolate (systems literate) scientists have been offering us since the 1960's.


Develop Plan A: Planned, harmonious descent to sustainable prosperity, and.....

Develop Plan B: If Plan A fails, if turning things around before hitting the wall (of biophysical limits) fails, have comprehensive information packages prepared for the possibility our children, grandchildren, and/or great grandchildren may have to restart after crash. A remnant population will likely restart, always has so far, but Plan B is not to return to business as usual as soon as possible, but is about transitioning to a more enlightened way of knowing and living that doesn't continue to repeat the pattern of overshoot and descent. Due to human cognitive limits, individuals and teams will tend to focus on developing and implementing one plan or the other. This quasi e-book considers Plan A, does not exclude, but tends to focus on:

Plan B

Prepare information for posterity after collapse: A science-based community effort.

   1. Primary education materials for autodidacts—for citizens and generalists.

•Literacy: Lingua franca stories and storytelling, from mythology to the endeavor to tell the most likely stories (i.e. science).
•Numeracy: Mathematical storytelling by functions, equations, formulas, graphs, and diagrams (e.g. Wolfram Language).
•Ecolacy: Planetary system science as viewed through macroscope, i.e. operating manual for spaceship Earth (e.g. Ecolanguage intro to Odum Diagram Language). Science involves all three pillars of education.

   2. Specialist information needed to do focused tasks.

•Food production, preparation, preservation in local environment.
•Making and repairing needed items locally using minimum of industrially produced and transported materials.
•Information collection and interpretation for monitoring local environment.
•Specialist knowledge to perform services—repair, crafts, medical care, education, management...
•Large scale technology—long distance transport, manufacturing, energy production for industry.

Design socio-political-eco-nomic systems for future implementation that avoid post-overshoot chaotic descent (collapse) based on experiment, evidence, and modeling.

   1. Global government to manage (protect) planetary commons and set limits (see Ecolacy 101).

•Management subsystems based on watershed areas of about 100 km radius as alternative to nation-states.
•Shared global military force to prevent interwatershed aggression.
•Humans, plus their industry and plant/animal mutualists, limited to a 20% watershed footprint.
•Planetary monitoring of nature's 80% with intervention as needed to protect it.
•Set limits on industrial production and pollution centered around high energy urban centers.
•Preserve, evaluate, interpret, add to and freely distribute information.

   2. Local government based on mutual coercion mutually agreed upon as self-organized through trail and error.

•Immigration by consent of locals—in low population area uninvited immigrants would not go unnoticed.
•Open borders to visitors limited to time needed to walk across watershed or longer with permission.
•Any individual could emigrate to another watershed that would have them as a member.
•Each watershed managed as a Federation of Communities of village size (50-150) that are self-organized.
•Population of domestic animals and humans managed by each watershed to match the carrying capacity of their 20% by reducing the longage of demand.
•Freedom would include the freedom to fail within the claimed 20% without destroying the 80%.
•Failure of some of the 4,000+ watershed areas would be limited and local, as well as educational.


Summary of Summary:

Life sustainable is a race between education, maturation, and something else. Of the three pillars upon which an educated mind is supported, ecolacy alone is essential. Reading and arithmetic are nice but dispensable. The intelligentsia of the Euro-Sino Empire are partially literate, typically science illiterate, and most writings in the intellectual press are merely eloquent, unadorned by graphs or even diagrams, let alone any other signs of numeracy. Most of the educated elite know of the word "numeracy" and may have read about it, but most who are products of the educational system have never heard of "ecolacy" and have no sense at all that any human claiming a slight grasp of reality must be ecolate.


I have played many roles sometimes with the majority, but more often attempting to shock the scientific establishment into a better view. — Howard T. Odum

I include students of science among those who should be shocked into a better view. Committed doomers and cornucopians may go elsewhere. Cornucopians can soon go to Mars or one of many planned space colonies ultimately powered by Sol's Dyson sphere when not vacationing on Resort Earth. Doomers can go to their bunker and fondle their ammo.


Introduction by Special Interest

To serve the SYSTEM we become specialists (for better or worse). On the plus side we make money, and on the more questionable side we contribute to 300 years and counting of sustainable development of industrial society and its pace of planetary destruction/transformation.

Scientistic Philistines
Emergy Lovers
Political Science
Faithers/True Believers
Skeptical Inquirers

If none of the above, maybe read Cruise Ship of Fools.

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Europeans are rich.
Americans, having less than half the population of Europe, are more rich.Rich vs Poor population

Only 1.5% of households make over $200/day. By global standards, Americans are not the 1%. We are (53 / 3499 x 58) the 0.89%. America's poorest of the poor are rich by African standards.

In the USA, the only Sustainers to survive into the 21st century are traditional Hopi Puebloans who still speak Hopi and don't watch TV, share on social media, or have a motor vehicle. They have resisted acculturation, first by the Spanish then Anglos, for 475 years. There are 12 villages on the Hopi Reservation (aka Nation) and in some traditionalists live self-sufficient lives that depend on sun, soil, seeds, rain, and having a digging stick and robe. They have been farming on their mesa since about 700 CE. When the transition comes they will notice that few tourists come anymore; that the alcohol/drug and other problems among non-traditional Hopi have diminished, and that their grandchildren are eager to learn. You can't join the Hopi tribe, but you can be Hopi, you can be a Sustainer which could involve having a low-power vehicle (e.g. bicycle) and some electricity.

In South America, the Kogi, our Elder Brothers, have lived at the Heart of the World since about 900 CE and have survived, culture intact, into the 21st century. In 1990 they gave Younger Brother a warning. Younger Brother failed to listen. In 2011 they reinvited the original BBC director back to give us a final warning: Aluna. Another way to state their message: of the three pillars of education, ecolacy alone is essential.


  • Hu-mans would rather believe than know. [idea: E. O. Wilson]
  • Hu-mans reject (don't believe) what is true but unpleasant and embrace (believe) what is obviously false but comforting. [idea: H. L. Mencken]
  • Imagine: no heaven, no hell, only sky above, people living for today, no countries, nothing to kill or die for, no organized religion, people living in peace, no deeply held claims to possessions, no need for greed or hunger, a siblinghood of hu-mans, people sharing all the world....with other organisms. [idea: John Lennon]
  • Eco-mans (ecolate hu-mans) endeavor to understand the structure and functioning of the Universe to develop a model for survival that molds hu-man behavior into a plan of actions and avoidances that is oriented toward the maintenance of a viable equilibrium between hu-man demands and Nature's (the Mother's, Aluna's...) resources in which the individual and society both carry the burden of great responsibilities which extend not only to the local community but to the whole of hu-mankind. [idea: Kogi Mámas]

The challenge is to keep within the viable, equitable, bearable, but narrow equilibrium of the sustainable.

In the middle: Prosperity (e.g. traditional Hopi, Kogi, hypothetical Federation)

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