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 democracy works to grow consummer societies by minimizing social disorder and revolt. That democracy could work during transition and descent is assumed.
When approximately 100,000 refugee applications have been accepted representing perhaps 20,000 households, all households will liquidate their assets to fund the purchase of WS0004 land within a region selected that allows for other near-future watershed management units. For self-defense, a Citizen's Militia will defend the watershed and will come to the aid of any other watershed, even non-democratic ones, that may be attacked. The Militia will provide interwatershed transport of trade items and people during times of peace, and fight to counter invasion from outside the Federation of Watersheds and defend to the death the Democratic Constitution of WS0004..
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 equitably among the Founding Families, whose wealth purchased the land, without regard for the amount of wealth they were privileged to contribute thanks to any elite status they may have been favored with while living in the default society of the Empire. All real estate will be privately owned by the Founding Families. Non-real estate owning families will have equal voting rights. Each family will elect a family representative (or in case of irreconcilable differences, two) to serve in the WS0004 House of Representatives who will vote on all issues. Human rights demand respect for private property. To support the Founding Families and the democratically elected Militia Officers of the People's Democratic Militia of WS0004, refugee migrants will be allowed entry to refugee camps where they will learn how to live in a truly democratic society. While living in the refugee camps, hopefuls will have a right to work in:
Within the watershed area selected, prior property owners who refuse to agree to WS0004 policies will be given enough money to agree to move on, perhaps with added persuasion by democracy activists if necessary. Those who refuse to sell for any price will be educated by members of WS0004's intelligentsia who will take turns speaking to them. Thus, within a few years all real estate will be owned by the Founding 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 Democracy. The Founding Families, in addition to buying the land, will stockpile dry foods and store them for 30 to 50 years so the excess 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 by the remaining family farms and ability to import some food from other watersheds. As the initial 10,000 family farms becomes 1,000 family farms of five on average, prior farms will be equitably distributed between the 1,000 remaining family farms directly supporting 5,000 family farmers. Some of the other 5,000 will be doctors, dentists, teachers, retailers, and other specialists. The remaining will be hired hands to assist specialists and work on family farms.
All refugees, including all Founding Family members, agree to universal birth control with abortion as backup in case of failure. No permitted births will be voted on during a refugee's first five years during which time refugees could vote with their feet and leave. Thereafter, permitted births would be limited in number and those who should give birth will be selected by all citizens by ballot. If systems ecologist determine that 121 births per year will maintain a sustainable population, then the top 121 who receive, via fair and equatable selection by vote of Representatives, those 121 with the most votes will be certified to reproduce. A proposed amendment to WS0004's Constitution will make 'Systems Ecologist' an elected office if two-thirds of Representatives can be persuaded to vote for the amendment. The concerns raised by Federation systems scientists will be considered prior to the vote, but democratic choice by We the People prevails.
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 Founding Families. Individual refugees will 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 farms or for interwatershed travel at walking speed. Founding farm families will, of coarse, live in farm houses.
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.
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 encouraged 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 to serve Democratic society and those who are accepted will be encouraged to return to serve the Democratic People's Republic of WS0004.
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.
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 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 enough could be well above what any complex non-fossil-fueled society has ever provided.
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, all traditional religions, as well as new ones, will be supported by supporting religious leaders and democratic economists whose magnificent Houses of Worship will be provided and located near all refugee camps.
Needed consumption will be rationed via wages payable in paper money that can be spent at stores and service providers, such as those who provide 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 initially be by representatives of each Founding Family, the guardians of democratic civilization empowered by education to live the 'good life'. In a low power future fewer will live the good life, but if a watershed could support 10,000 people living the egalitarian life of enough, then a similarly wealthy watershed could support 1,000 Founding Family farms, together with the 800 Families of those who do not own farms, whose Representatives will assemble to vote on all issues. The average person will be able to consume at a 1.1 level which Federation scientists have determined to be a bit more than 'enough'. Any WS0004 citizen who fails to earn a 0.8 living will receive welfare per Representative voted terms.
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 democratically. Over time Founding Family farms may consolidate through intermarriage. Larger farms would support fewer but wealthier farmers and require more farmhands. Through entirely democratic means, WS0004 could come to ever more closely resemble WS0002.