TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2017
Eric Lee, A-SOCIATED PRESS
TOPICS: COOPERATIVE, FROM THE WIRES, SUSTAINABLE PROSPERITY
TUCSON (A-P) — Following the general principles of watershed management design allows for variation within the limits of what works. Designs not specific to geographical watersheds are necessarily general, lacking in details, and therefore of general interest, useful for considering options.
When approximately 100,000 refugee applications have been accepted representing perhaps 20,000 non-divisible households averaging five humans each, all households will liquidate their assets to fund the purchase of WS0002 land within a region selected that allows for other near-future watershed management units. For self-defense, all watersheds in a region will come to the aid of any other watershed that is attacked. The militia of each will provide for interwatershed transport of trade items and people most of the time, during times of peace, and be able to mobilize guardians to counter invasion from outside the Federation of Watersheds.
Land use management will involve selecting 20% of the watershed for support of humans and their mutualist plants and animals. Areas for development: agricultural, industrial, and residential, with prescribed buffer areas, will be determined by best-guess methods, together with interconnecting transportation corridors within each watershed and between watersheds as trade routes. Developed areas will include one or more refugee centers to provide short-term housing for up to five years, work and construction areas, storage area, and supporting infrastructure:
Private property will be personal possessions. Within the watershed area selected, existing property owners who refuse to agree to WS0002 policies will be given enough money to agree to move and live in luxury elsewhere. For a price, most living in the consumer society will sell their property. Those who refuse to sell for any price will in time die and most of those who inherit the property will sell for a price. Thus, within a few generations, all private real estate will be acquired without armed conquest.
If the long-term carrying capacity of a watershed requires 3 hectares per person and 30,000 hectares are available to be managed sustainably as an agro-ecosystem, then the carrying capacity is 10,000 humans. The initial population may be 100,000 people. By becoming early refugees, a lifetime food supply of dry goods could be acquired while the acquiring is good and stored in anoxic containers, e.g. rice, wheat, corn, beans, other grains and dry foods. The dry food would be processed as needed to support the surplus population. The watershed's ability to grow fresh foods would supplement the stored food until death by natural attrition lowered the population as it transitioned to self-sufficiency in food production and ability to import some food from watersheds better suited to dryland farming assuming the less agriculturally favored watershed had resources to trade. A watershed located on the cost could trade salt and some dried fish, for example. Watersheds suitable for growing cotton could trade cotton for salt and fish.
If current ability to produce food via industrial agriculture were used to divert production from feeding animals to produce meat, to long-term grain storage to support one generation of excess human population, then corrective negative feedback loops involving Malthusian deaths could be avoided. Animal agriculture could be downsized, for a time, a few decades, to only maintain breeding stock. As animals become non-breeding, they would provide the only meat for human consumption. The stockpiling of dry feeds could precede the widespread realization that doing so is adaptive. When the need to transition to managed watersheds based on biophysical economies of enough become more evident, the stockpiled food could be distributed to new watersheds as they form provided refugees agree to United Federation of Watersheds policies.
Global Malthusian deaths secondary to overshoot could be avoided within all watershed management units provided universal birth control was implemented with provision to support populations in excess of carrying capacity until reduced by natural death.
All refugees would agree to universal birth control with abortion as backup in case of failure, and to no permitted births during a refugee's first five years during which time refugees could vote with their feet and leave. Thereafter, permitted births would be by a birthpon rationing system distributed by lottery until wanted births equals needed births, which would occur within 30 to 50 years of initial flux of refugees. If carrying capacity of watershed is 10,032 and life expectancy is 76 years, then the monthly allowable replacement birth rate is 11. Period. No humans get a vote in matters of simple math. Eleven birthpons per month would be rationed out. Over the centuries, as carrying capacity or life expectancy change, the birthpon ration would change. In temperate areas, birthpons would be distributed annually so births would tend to coincide with the most prosperous time of year. Humans and all other organisms can live within the carrying capacity of their environment or overshoot with emergent corrective negative feedback loops even though no one voted for them. Only humans, exercising foresight intelligence, have the potential to manage human demands on Nature's resources to avoid overshooting environmental production.
Each refugee center will include a Maker space for construction of rolling rooms, rooms big enough for one person and made to last a lifetime. Construction materials would be imported and stored while materials needed are available. Individual refugees would work part-time to help build mobile rooms for those who had been in the refugee camp longest. With experience gained, each would oversee construction of their personal room they would be responsible for maintaining for life. On death, contents and items of value would be recovered, distributed per will, and the room burned with owner's body in it as funeral pyre. Rooms are of modular construction and any two can be assembled into one larger room for two. Parents oversee construction of rooms for children to insure they last a lifetime. Interior design is configurable to meet personal preference as it changes, but footprint of all personal residences are the same. Exteriors would be flat and white to invite artful paintings. All rooms are supported on four legs to allow leveling on uneven sloped land and minimize disturbance of vegetation. Large wheels can be attached to allow rooms to be moved within a watershed or for interwatershed travel at walking speed.
Primary mobility will be by walking. Bicycle technology will allow for long distance travel from the outer areas of a watershed to central service areas within a day or two. For those unable to walk or ride bicycles secondary to medical disability or age, vehicles with electric assist, not to exceed 5 watts per kilogram, may be used provided power needed to climb hills is not used to exceed average human power vehicle speeds (15 km/hr). Transport of materials by vehicle will also use less than 5W/kg, with exception of emergency and first responder vehicles if present. Initially trucks may deliver materials to the watershed storage areas, but private overpowered vehicles will be excluded from entry.
Emergency transport by air is possible, without fossil fuels or other high value fuels, by using rail mounted compressed air water rockets to accelerate a smaller water rocket with glider attached, the second stage being used to lift the glider to a height needed to glide to a regional hospital. Such use of high-technology is energetically possible, but not needed to maintain a functioning complex society and most watersheds may not have resources to spare for such complex systems for occasion use. A ground-based ambulance system would be optional too, used more often, and could be supported by wealthier watersheds. WS0002 may never be able to support an ambulance system, much less an air-ambulance system.
Children will not only have access to Rosetta Bliss and Encyclopedia Bliss as required by the Constitution of the United Federation of Watersheds, but all will be encouaged to teach themselves to read and to pursue scholarly and scientific interests. Those who apply to the Federation Academy will be celebrated for their endeavor and those who are accepted will be encouraged to return to serve WS0002.
Information is of the highest transformity and preserving electricity based IT has the potential to provide widespread access to information (and misinformation) via low-power smartbook [smartphone level] technology. If each individual had 5W to 40W of solar PV for personal use, to charge their smartbook and AA/AAA batteries to power LED lighting, then benefits could far exceed that of any other use of limited electricity, whether to power can openers or refrigerators. Such technology cannot be depended on, so paper-based information is alternative. Thousands of copies of Rosetta Bliss will be on hand and at least one copy of Encyclopedia Bliss per village is minimal.
The ability to cook food is a practical necessity unless a watershed's population is less than would support a population of hunter-gathers who cook. Cooking when possible by solar ovens, evacuated glass tubes, and parabolic reflectors is the highest value (lowest environmental cost) method, with biomass wood-gas stoves for backup when cloudy.
A policy of one cooked meal per day is enough as leftovers can be taken for later consumption without a need for food preservation. The refugee camps will organize daily meals to provide for food needs if not wants.
Solar dehydrators based on the Appalachian design have a potential to preserve foods. Fermentation is practical and canning of high value foods is possible using solar parabolic cookers and pressure cooker technology.
Central population areas may support medical clinics, nursing and hospice care, and dental clinics. The people will benefit most from a health care system, instead of a sickness care system, that starts with preventative care, provides baseline medical care, and ends with palliative care. Optometrists could maintain eyesight with eye glass technology.
Repair facilities are needed to maintain such technology as a watershed can support. A library could have a community server with area-wide WiFi. A copier/printer/scanner/fax machine could be in each library for community use. There would be no consumer devices and shared devices would be repaired. Maker Spaces as community workshops could provide tools for resident use as needed. Power tools could be powered by solar panels and used only when the sun shined. The level of services that could be provided in a low power society of a bit more than enough could be well above what any complex non-fossil-fueled society has ever provided. High value services cannot be depended on and expectations can always exceed sustainable ability to deliver.
A watershed could encourage the recreational use of all psychoactive substances humans can smoke, ingest, or inject. The design would include policies to deal with the consequences. To simplify, WS0002 will begin with a no recreational drug use policy and individuals who value doing drugs, whether currently legal or illegal in their place of residence, can decide to not apply to become a member of WS0002. Should evidence show that human males need to be drugged to make them functional in a complex cooperative society, for example, then as a non-recreational drug, a drug might come be prescribed for use by the male population. Adult males refusing to do the drug would voluntarily emigrate or be banished to another watershed that would have them as a member. Intrawatershed policies may change. The Federation regards resident recreational drug use, not involving children or the child-like, to be a local issue. Within WS0002, prescribed psychoactive substances are not recreational. A hospice patent who wanted to try LSD, could tune out by turning on. Physicians who pander to human weakness by 'prescribing' alleged 'medical' whatever to whomever would need to find other ways to be of service.
Needed consumption will be rationed. During the transition, residents will recieve 'just enough' to prevent a greater than five percent increase in mortality, namely a 0.8 or 80% ration. As excess population declines, the ration will increase to 1.0 on average, a level of consumption most will experience to be optimal as evidenced by living a 'normal' life expectancy. Excess consumption as a possible motivator for exceptional service may, but need not be, allowed up to 1.25 times more than enough. Allowable excess consumption, if possible, will be distributed as perpons (personal use coupons) that will function as money used to, to 'buy' whatever is desired, as perpons can be horded, stolen, or used to acquire goods and services per wants rather than needs. The perpon annual ration will be determined, divided by the watershed population, and given to each resident annually for discretionary acquisitions. Some level of waste or excess can be tolerated, and will be. The amount will be determined annually.
Following Federation determined policies is required to be a member watershed entitled to benefits and protection of membership. That residents can claim 20% of a watershed for use by humans, their domestic plants and animals—is a given. Residents can only choose to secede from the Federation. Population management, of humans or their livestock and pets, is a local issue. Exporting surplus population or exploiting the resources of Nature's 80%, is not an option. The carrying capacity of a watershed is determined by best-guess science. No one gets a vote. If per capita consumption is increased, then population decreases. No one gets a vote. If residents want to increase per capita consumption, then, as a matter of personal preference, per capita consumption can be increased, and those who understand the consequences, who maybe know enough to have an opinion, will get a vote.
Other issues may involve matters of preference or expert judgment. In such cases, the merit of each voter will be assessed. All will get a vote, but each voter's level of understanding of the issue will determine the value (1% to 100%) of a vote. Those assessed to have less than a 70% understanding of relevant information relating to making an informed judgment will have their vote discounted. Those assessed to have a 70% to 100% grasp of relevant information will have their vote prorated to count from 1% to 100%. The results determine matters that involve preference or judgment. Only if an issue is entirely a matter of preference, without foreseeable consequence, such as what color a public building should be, will all votes count 100%.
Naturocracy involves listening to Nature. WS0002 will be a managed agro-ecosystem 'ruled' by the best guess of those who listen to Nature, who could be wrong. WS0002 will have a special interest in using technology over an above what is actually needed to perhaps benefit more than may be lost by using it. The known risk is that using technology may involve coming to be used by it. Some solar PC panels for personal use to charge small batteries and information technology will be an ongoing experiment. When what Nature is saying, metaphorically speaking, is not clear enough, yet action is required, a meritcratic vote will determine the best guess that could also be wrong, so consequences will be especially closely assessed and revoted on as indicated.