Re: [unrev-II] Rising Utility Rates

From: Henry van Eyken (
Date: Thu Apr 05 2001 - 19:05:15 PDT

  • Next message: Garold L. Johnson: "[unrev-II] OHS needs to be personal"

    Although "traditional" forecasting sees a a continuing huge increase in the
    world's population, environmentalist Maurice Strong (former undersecretary of
    the UN and the man who organized the Rio Conference) has good reason to
    expect a sharp population decline by 2030 in view of environmental and
    criminal catastrophies. He is talking in terms of 4.5 billion, with the
    disclaimer that he is not a soothsayer. If that is any solace ... Reference:
    Maurice Strong, "Where on Earth are we going?" Viking Press, p. 22:

    "At the end of the twentieth century the exponentially expanding human
    population was perceived as the greatest problem facing humankind, the
    "ur-problem" underpinning al others. Yet now [2030, vE] population growth has
    ceased: population levels are declining precipitously almost everywhere, and
    some areas of our planet have been almost entirely depopulated. More people
    are dying and dying younger - birth rates have dropped sharply while infant
    mortality increases. At the end of the decade, the best guesstimates of total
    population is some 4.5 billion, fewer than at the beginning of this century.
    And experts have predicted that the reduction of the human population may
    well continue to the point that those who survive may not number more than
    the 1.61 billion people who inhabited the Eart at the beginning of the
    twentieth century. A consequence, yes, of death and destruction - but in the
    end a glimmer of hope for the future of our species and the potential for

    Of course, this is in no way an argument against your post, Eric! What I am
    saying is that within little time WE need to learn to evaluate info faster
    and better. At this point it is high time to focus hard on that word WE. Are
    WE our elected politicians? Are WE our unelected corporate "leaders," i.e.
    the followers of short-term trends to maximize profits for themselves (and
    hardlly for their shareholders who are paid a pittance, if at all, in the
    form of dividends). Or are WE the mostly uninformed electorate a huge
    proportion of who bother to vote. Should we also include in those WE
    corporate shareholders who hardly ever say boo and are easily manipulated by
    corporate boards and executives. We probably have to ask ourselves some other
    questions about that WE given that about hald the world's economy is outright
    illegal. (Ref. Strong, p. 53):

    "Funds derived from criminal and ilicit activities can also be moved swiftly
    and anonymously into safe havens. It is estimated [no, not 2030, but right
    now. vE] that money generated from the illegal trade in drugs and endangered
    species of wildlife, as well as other criminal activities, has reached a
    level rivalling legitimate trade. This has put immense financial power in the
    hands of an uncivil society of organized crime and terrorist groups, which
    are becoming more and more sophisticated. In some cases, this underground
    financial activity is linked with corrupt elements in the political and
    corporate world to the point that political parties and even national
    governments risk of becoming the agents of uncivil society."

    Given that Spaceship Earth (not the U.S. or any other nation) requires
    responsible, well-informed leadership where the responsibility is to the
    ship's passengers - i.o.w. I am talking about some form of democracy - it
    behooves the electorate to be well-informed. Can we get to that point within
    the five or so elections over the next two decades - to say nothing of
    autocracies and theocracies? And if there is any hope at all, would that not
    likely include a call on electronic augmentation? And does this not make
    world citizenship an important role in the life of all our Earth's
    inhabitants - come good times and bad? Can anybody in his right mind say, "My
    job comes first, citizenship last."

    Aren't these the sort of messages we should be propagating - messages that
    inform the public at large what our technology aims to do for them, how it
    may help them, to get them interested? Regardless of profits? The bottom line
    is not money. The bottom line is survival, if not our own, certainly that of
    our offspring!

    Anybody out there so irresponsibly foolish to think think I am ranting?


    Eric Armstrong wrote:

    > ..... Since
    > we stand to run out of oil completely in the next
    > 20-40 years, and since overpopulation continues to
    > dwarf our ability to generate power,
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