In general, we find it difficult to agree with others. We fear committing ourselves to a specific viewpoint, because it might be wrong and have results that we don’t like. Agreement might be one of the most difficult activities in which humans participate.
During times of confusion, distrust and fear, agreements are even more important and more difficult to make. Urgency can muddle thinking and we make mistakes in our haste to get back to what we are used to and what feels most comfortable.
Clearing away chatter and misinformation, stripping down circumstance to the most fundamental base is the difficult task we are all asked to attempt, over and over during our lives. Not unlike throwing out stuff you will never use that has been stored in the attic or garage. This process helps organize the mind. Too many ideas can clutter, just like too much physical stuff in piles all around. Convictions that have served you in the past may no longer be useful. Or, they may be strengthened by reexamination, brought back into the light, put to use. This weeding process can increase our discernment and help us find what rings true. As you decide which ideas to keep and which to throw away, try to resist the comfort of returning to well worn paths, just in case there is something that was missed.
Part of what increases reluctance to agree is that many important problems we confront are presented as massive, world wide, and endlessly complex. The solutions to which, can only begin to be understood by experts. This excludes most of us. Those who hazard a ‘new’ solution are ignored if they have no “credentials” or, if they do, ridiculed if they depart from the status quo of their specialty.
Another influence that creates division as we consider what to agree upon is the deliberate use of lies to promote confusion and chaos. These are ancient tools of control. The “firehose of falsehoods” can become too much to resist and the alternative, amending the “American Dream” or other pleasant illusions, too horrible to imagine for some of us. There are many for whom belief is stronger than reality. These are the wells from which religions spring but also, creativity and inspiration. We need that capacity to dream but tempered with real observation. People who tip the scales mentally toward belief “magic” are not stupid or evil. They are exercising an area of the mind that we all have, but unrestrained by critical observation. Dreaming, in the United States, is encouraged to a fault. Our country, is known for and defined by The American Dream.
We are, from childhood encouraged to dream instead of reason. “Wish upon a star” and your dreams comes true. No other effort is necessary or encouraged. Even the “work hard and you will succeed” notion is a dream for most people, because for profit economics will not allow most people to “pull themselves up by their bootstraps.” And, the rare success stories that fit this definition are waved in front of us constantly through media, as if to say, “this could be you!, you can be a millionaire too!” Meanwhile, the reality is that a very small percentage of our population are very wealthy and that percentage gets smaller every decade.
In the end, each of us has to trust what we understand and improve our own education and sleuthing then broadcast the results as best we can for the consideration of others. This is not easy nor will it ever end.
For my own part, I present the beginning of a possible economic solution for your consideration. I was once convinced that everyone understood the benefits of renewable energies, sun, wind and biomass, that these energies would naturally overtake fossil fuel use and start to heal and protect human health and the natural world. It was just a matter of education. But as time passed and the % of renewable to fossil energy remained a very small amount of energy use even though good information was everywhere available, I realized that the massive influence pressed by the fossil industries, aided by their access to unlimited funds to influence information, was more than adequate to suppress renewable energies for another 100 years. These companies are not evil (but extremely short sighted), they are only completely committed to traveling the money value road. And this affects all of us through the choices available to us and the social/economic and natural impacts of the products these companies produce and promote.
Recently there has been an uptick in investments in renewables. Now money can be made with them. They can fit into profit economics. Interest rates are so low that investment in RE is producing more return than money in the bank. Along with improved batteries for solar and cheaper solar panels available from China, a small leap for solar has occurred. But this will only continue if these conditions for making profit continue. Even though, the increase in renewable to fossil ratio has not been exceptional. Market forces are conservative and not easily transformed. Energy sources that have built economies and Nations for 100’s of years have trained our minds and businesses into their inevitability. And our government has strengthened their influence through tax cuts which result in even more money available to reinforce their brand. Change can only be emboldened by a critical mass of agreement that clears the way for the life value road.
Money value road, Life value road?
Lucky for us these roads can parallel each other and be complimentary. One is like a super highway and the other a fine country road that invites us to get out of our car and take a refreshing stroll through beautiful woods and fields. We know the money value road very well. We are introduced to it as children through advertising. Products were promoted to us, then we would badger our parents to buy them. Soon a new product surfaced that we couldn’t resist and we learned to replace what we desired a short while ago with something new. This training takes place while we are so young that it feels normal and the way things have always been when we become adults. But this early routine was simply our dominant for profit economic system grooming human behavior to its own benefit. Profit can only be made if most of the population buys and replaces goods regularly and frequently. “Planned obsolescence”, infinite growth economics, social engineering, are terms that describe this activity.
But, we live on a finite planet with fragile and finite natural resources. Some of these resources and life forms that have evolved over millions of years and cannot be replaced, have already been destroyed. It is clear to most of us now as we watch the destruction of mountains, forests, oceans and arctic ice, in the name of profit, that there is no future in this. Human influenced Earth changes have made it necessary to name a new geological epoch after us. The Anthropocene. It acknowledges the, “significant human impact on Earths geology and ecosystems, including, but not limited to, anthropogenic climate change.”
It is time to bring a moderating force to the surface. A parallel economic force that locates, produces and distributes Basic Human Needs and protects the Natural World. A collaboration between profit economics and humane economics (Energy Currency) can become transformative. Agendas are often hidden in assumptions. And the results of these agendas create many destructive symptoms that we cope with and try to eliminate constantly. Our present dominant world economies challenge every living person and natural system. It could be described as an intellectual “Trojan Horse”. It has smuggled its agendas into our minds through the deception that it has something we simply can’t live without. Otherwise, why would endless resource depletion be accepted as reasonable? Why would we accept as reasonable, humans living in poverty, people relocating from their countries in desperation, children starving? Our present economic functioning has evolved from an engine of growth to a destructive distraction. Our economics desperately needs a life standard.
We know by heart the functions of profit economics but we know in our hearts that life is missing from its calculations. All life, not just human life. The goal of an Energy Currency Economy is to value and protect human life so that we can then be empowered to protect all life. As more stress (the corona virus), is placed on our present unequal socio/economic systems its weaknesses become even more apparent. It is clear that it cannot provide sufficient healthcare, food or education and shelter for our citizens and for most of World population. This is a disaster because it is human energy that is essential for economies to function, societies to thrive and people to survive. Reduction of population is not an answer. Our present human domination of Earth is much too complex and intertwined for the wealthy minority to do without the rest of us. Population is important, and will naturally balance and reduce when people feel secure and know their descendants can survive.
Human energy is essential and renewable. Survival needs can be measured and valued, not with money, because it fluctuates in value and can be manipulated, but in units of energy. Depending on what essential needs are being calculated. Let’s consider food and water, it can be calculated in calories, joules can be used for daylight hours needed for teaching and learning, BTUs for fuels needed for constructing shelter, schools, hospitals and infrastructure. Our true “right to life” is assurance from birth to birth that each person has food, shelter, education and healthcare. Basic needs equal the real basic income. The real, living wage.
What we have when human needs are measured then made into a parallel value system is Energy Currency. What is represented by this is not profit or accumulated wealth. EC represents the basic survival of each human being. What we need for a healthy and secure life. What feeds and sustains our human energy currents. And these, in return power our human systems, everywhere. Our energy contribution is expressed in our work, art, empathy, parenting, learning, educating, communicating, etc…it combines into a massive current of human energy, that contributes to the motion of society. This is the essential human energy that keeps socio/economic systems running and our species evolving. “All life is only a movement to which the same general laws of movement which govern throughout the physical universe must be applicable.” Nikola Tesla. We, humanity, are at this time, a Force of Nature.
Food security, shelter, education and health care are the elements that are needed for optimal human development, physically and emotionally. When general distribution of these needs is accomplished through Energy Currency with the help of computer systemization, our human current will flow from our best selves influencing our children, the future development of humanity and protecting all of Nature. Change environment and you change the people living in it.
If we look carefully, we can see that for profit economics is strangling our hope for Democracy; our hope for human dignity world wide. It controls governments, encourages unnecessary competition and “survival of the fittest”. Resulting in survival of the opportunistic and often cruel among us. This situation has frightened and impoverished at least half of our population and a massive percentage of World population. Of course there are individuals taking advantage of the imbalance. They try to lure vulnerable, naïve people into their movements and use them to increase their own power and influence by promising them a better life. This situation can only be counteracted by a worldwide guarantee of food, shelter and education for every person, birth to birth. Creation of a dedicated, Energy Currency flow, that parallels our present economic systems and is providing these essentials will start to relieve the crippling symptoms that are driving human populations to desperation and destroying Nature Please consider reading more about this at renew-the-earth.org and helping us to better clarify and simplify this idea.Thank you. Susan Caumont, April 7, 2021