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 involves going with what works, and prior experience is that a landed aristocracy works. Tweaking the Feudal SYSTEM will enable it to be sustainable.
When approximately 100 refugee applications have been accepted representing perhaps 20 households averaging five exceptional persons each, all households will liquidate their assets to fund the purchase of WS0003 land within a region selected that allows for other near-future watershed management units. For self-defense, a legion of Praetorian Guards will defend the watershed and will come to the aid of any other allied watershed that is attacked. The Guards will provide interwatershed transport of trade items and people during times of peace, and fight to counter invasion from outside the Federation of Watersheds or insurection from within.
Land use management will involve selecting 20% of the watershed for support of humans and their mutualist plants and animals. The area will be divided equatably and owned by the First Families whose wealth purchased the land. All property will be privately owned by the ruling families. To avoid conflict to determine which family rules the watershed, each of the founding families will rule for one year in the order in which they joined WS0003. Commoners will not own property other than personal possessions they can carry when relocated as needed. To support the First Families and their Guards, refugee migrants will be allowed to serve in:.
Within the watershed area selected, existing property owners who refuse to agree to WS0003 policies will be given enough money to agree to move on, perhaps with added persuasion by Guards if necessary. Those who refuse to sell for any price will be made an offer they can't refuse. Thus, within a few years at most all private real estate will be owned by the First Families.
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 refugees who will work to enable the watershed to support civilization. The First Families, in addition to buying the land, will stockpile dry foods and store them for 30 to 50 years so the excess commoner population can be fed. 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 other watersheds.
All refugees living on First Family lands would agree to universal birth control with abortion as backup in case of failure. 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 special dispensation to those commoners who merited the favor 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, as in humans don't get a vote. Eleven birthpons per month would be allowed.
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 by the First Families. 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 for commoners 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 between Estates 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 First Family 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 and each Estate will have a water rocket airport. No ground ambulance system will be needed.
Children of the First Families will not only have access to Rosetta Bliss and Encyclopedia Bliss as required by the Constitution of the United Federation of Watersheds, as will all children, but will be groomed from birth with help from the best tutors money can buy to apply to the Federation Academy, and those accepted, who return to serve WS0003, will be honored and rewarded more so than by serving the Federation nor any other watershed.
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. Those living about each Estate will receive free WiFi with content provided by Estate servers.
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. Once a year Estate cheifs will offer free classes so commoners may enjoy their food maximally.
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 Estate 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 enough could be well above what any complex non-fossil-fueled society has ever provided.
First Family members will require 250 energy slaves each, therefore the selected watershed they buy will contain a hydroelectric dam whose output, over an above powering the Estates, will power industrial manufacturing owned by the First Families whose output will be used to trade with other watersheds for goods and services not provided by the watershed nor by the people allowed to live in it.
When not working to serve the First Families, all refugees and their descendants may use approved recreational drugs, e.g. soma, alcohol, marijuana..., as doing so serves the SYSTEM. To help commoners understand their place in the SYSTEM, traditional religion will be supported by supporting religious leaders and economists whose magnificint Houses of Worship will be provided and located near the entrance to each Estate.
Needed consumption will be rationed via wages payable in paper money that can be spent at First Family stores and service providers, such as for medical or dental services.
Following Federation determined policies is required to be a member watershed entitled to benefits and protection. That residents can claim 20% of a watershed for use by humans, their domestic plants and animals... is a given. Local governance, being a local affair, will be by those appointed by the First Families, the guardians of civilization as Americans, Europeans, Japanese, South Koreans, Australians, and others empowered to live the 'good life' exemplify. In a low power future fewer will live the high life, but if a watershed could support 10,000 people living the egalitarian life of enough, then a similarly wealthy watershed could support 5,000 commoners at a higher level of consumption who serve 100 elites who could consume much more. If 10,000 consume 1.0, or 10,000 units of available energy and resources, then 5,000 commoners could consume 1.2 times more per capita, or .6,000 units, leaving 4,000 units for the 100 to consume at a level 40 times more than 'enough'. If the First Families increased their population to 150 and attempted to maintain their level of privilege, then 150 x 40 means they consume 6,000 units, leaving 4,000 for the 5,000, or 0.8, which is 'just enough' and the commoners may perceive the decrease from 1.2 to 0.8 as 'not enough' and revolt. Conflict would increase perceived scarcity until it became a real scarcity of 'not enough' and class conflict could collapse the SYSTEM. Knowing this, the elites would take care to keep the servants of the SYSTEM happy at a 1.2 level of consumption. In this manner elite privilege for a few could be maintained in a sustainable SYSTEM in which the commoners also live a privileged life of 1.2 more than enough on average. Lower class commoners might adapt to a 0.8 level of consumption (maybe 2,500 consuming 2,000 units), allowing middle class commoners to consume at a 1.3 level (maybe 2,300 consuming 3,000 units) and upper middle class servants of the SYSTEM, wannabe ultra elites, to consume at a 5.0 level (200 consuming 1000 units).
A pale reflection of current fossil-fueled industrial society could be replicated within an agro-powered watershed and if carefully managed, it could be made to work, but why make it work? Is maximizing consumption for a few and allowing all to consume more than enough desirable? What are the non-monetary costs? Competitive acquisitiveness works during the exuberance of growth, but cooperation, requiring trust between equals, is what works during descent and sustainable coexistence with other humans and their environment.