Newsletter No. 52 - October 2015
Links to other Newsletters can be found here.
1. The Big Problems We Face
2. Crimes Against the Future
3. Steps in the Needed Direction
4. Steps to be Stopped
5. A Book, Two Journals and a Discussion Paper
6. A Coming Event
1. THE BIG PROBLEMS WE FACE
The threat of nuclear war, together with the existing reality of international and internal conflict and injustice, mass international migration, global overpopulation, uncontrolled climate change, shortage of drinking water and food, and the prevailing injustice and destructiveness with which rich and powerful people and countries continue to cheat the poorer and weaker majority - all those could hasten the suicide of our species. They are among the urgent problems we now face.
How should we set about dealing with them?
2. CRIMES AGAINST THE FUTURE
The World Future Council has an interesting article on crimes against future generations. It defines them as "actions which are so terrible that they put the very survival of life at risk or threaten the way of life of communities" and believes they "should be prohibited and prosecuted". See www.worldfuturecouncil.org/crime.html.
One of these crimes is Ecocide. See www.eradicatingecocide.cmail20.com/t/ViewEmail/r/
3. STEPS IN THE NEEDED DIRECTION
(1) The UK Labour Party's vision of a fairer, more prosperous future is being promoted by Jeremy Corbyn, with the well being of our planet, its people and ecosystems at its heart. It is obviously well meant, and should be made feasible in practice. See www.ekklesia.co.uk/node/21998 and www.theecologist.org/blogs_and_comments/commentators/ 2978777/jeremy_corbyn_the_green_britain_i_want_to_build.html.
Whether Jeremy Corbyn is aware that the concept of "Labour" as a political party is out of date is unclear - see www.jamesrobertson.com/news-jul15.htm.
But in many ways he is pointing the way to a better future.
This extends to "a different type of foreign policy based on political not military solutions; on genuine internationalism that recognises that all human life is precious, no matter what nationality" - www.civilisation3000.wordpress.com/2015/09/23/corbyns-stance-on-defence-read-james-hirst-on-forcestv-website.
While Jeremy Corbyn's platform is widely seen as anti-business, Prof Prem Sikka of the University of Essex Business School suggests that "in many ways it is pro-business: investment in transport, education, housing, healthcare and digital economy helps business".
(2) Dennis Meadows: "Growing, Growing, Gone: Reaching the Limits - Toward a Transformative Vision and Praxis".
"Aspirations and good fortune will get us only so far. Human survival cannot risk reliance on them alone".
(3) Basic Incomes for All
Providing a basic income to all citizens will enable more of the world's people to live responsibly towards one another and the planet. Here are some examples of progress.
(4) Nationalised Money
The money supply should be provided free on behalf of the population (at global, national and local levels) and not as debt for the private profit of banks and similar businesses. For example see
(b) ScotPound, a digital currency for the public good - www.neweconomics.org/publications/entry/scotpound-digital-currency-for-the-common-good
(5) Accounting for Natural Wealth
We go to extraordinary lengths to log the vicissitudes of financial markets, reporting their ups and downs daily on the news. Yet, if we were to do the same for our truest wealth, that is natural wealth, the picture would be predictable and bleak. In the UK, 60 per cent of the species we know about are in decline. Climate change could put one in six species at risk of extinction. Daily, we break international restrictions for air and water quality.
Yet giving more focus to what was happening to our stores of natural wealth would make us more motivated to do something about it.
(6) The Solution to Population Growth
"Fortunately, the solution to population growth is within our grasp. It is well established that when poverty is alleviated and particularly when women and girls are educated, and have access to primary health care and family planning, political autonomy and economic power, fertility rates drop. This has been demonstrated time and time again, in nations around the Earth".
See a detailed explanation at www.greenparty.ca/en/policy/vision-green/world/population.
(7) A Better Solution to International Peace
An open letter to Ban-ki Moon, UN Secretary General can be found at www.politicalcleanup.wordpress.com/2015/09/13/corbyn-a-threat-no-he-would-have-left-the-middle-east-and-us-in-relative-peace.
4. STEPS TO BE STOPPED
(1) "A bottomless Pit and a White Elephant".
So was described the £24.5bn project to build the first nuclear reactor in the UK in two decades. The quote is from Lord Turnbull, Cabinet Secretary in the UK between 2002 and 2005, who now sits on the House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee.
See www.theweek.co.uk/60778/troubled-hinkley-point-opens-door-to-chinese-reactor-in-essex and www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-somerset-34306997.
It is clearly irresponsible of the present UK government to risk disaster on these proposals, on both economical and terrorist grounds. They should be stopped at once.
(2) The Climate Case Against Shale Gas
The fracking industry and its advocates tell us that shale gas is cleaner than coal, and that we must shift from coal to gas to cut emissions, as happened in the US. But that's a red herring.
The proof of that is very clearly set out at www.greenallianceblog.org.uk/2015/09/18/the-climate-case-against-shale-gas.
The proposed programme of fracking in the UK should be stopped at once.
5. A BOOK, JOURNALS AND A DISCUSSION PAPER
(1) "The 21st Century Revolution: A Call to Greatness" by Bruce Nixon is to be published by Acorn Independent Press in paperback and e-book this month. Information about the book will soon be available from www.brucenixon.com.
This is definitely a must-read book. I strongly support the following endorsements other people have made.
"This is a book jam-packed with solutions - hurrah! And, it all starts with the self; great change calls on each of us to step up and respond to the call of greatness. Whether it be changing our politics, our monetary system, our laws, our business ethics - at the heart of each resides something truly great. Bruce Nixon brings to life not only what is possible, what is already emerging, and also what could yet come into being. Polly Higgins, Barrister, International Ecocide law advocate.
This is an amazing book - not just because it tells us what's wrong with our society and how to put it right - but because it is full of hope and love for people and our planet. The world is a better place for The 21st Century Revolution - A Call to Greatness and its author Bruce Nixon - the book inspires me to help make the 21st century revolution happen. Neal Lawson, Chair of Compass.
The greatest problem of our age is disempowerment - part of a political project to shift ordinary people out of power and out of politics, to leave them content to judge their identity by the brand of smart phone they rent. Bruce Nixon lays out the fullest dimension of this disempowerment and its fatal consequences. But he also outlines a way out; a way for all of us to become real citizens in a real democracy. The call to greatness not only refers to our own personal liberation from the shackles of disempowerment, but to the scale of the collective endeavour it will allow us to embark on - saving our species. It doesn't get much bigger. Nick Dearden, Director, Global Justice Now.
"Read this excellent analysis of what's gone wrong, take heart, and fight for positive change!" Yvonne Roberts, Journalist and Fellow of the Young Foundation
Don't despair - read this book! We can have a new economic system that works for people and planet, if enough of us meet the current (huge) challenges head-on and summon the greatness that each of us are capable of. Bruce Nixon brilliantly sets out a course of action and hope. Stewart Wallis, Executive Director, New Economics Foundation
We need to be both planning for a better world and actively setting out a route towards it. That needs the input of the many - and the democratic focus of this book is very much welcome, as is its understanding that our economic, social and environmental crises - and the solutions to them - are interlinked. Natalie Bennett, Leader, Green Party of England and Wales
Bruce highlights the harmful consequences of our debt-based money system and the need to change the way money is created. Ben Dyson, Founder of Positive Money"
(2) The New European - www.neweuropean.org. A twice yearly journal. You can download its series. You will see my contribution at the first item in Volume 21 no. 1 - Spring 2012.
The Social Artist, a quarterly journal - www. socialcredit.schooljotter2.com/publications/social-artist.
(3) "Future Finance - Discussion Paper No.1, 07/2015B": World Future Council - Voice of Future Generations, www.worldfuturecouncil.org/fileadmin/user_upload/ Future_Finance/WFC_-_The_Monetary_System_In_Crisis..._Jul_2015.pdf.
This masterly 30-page paper by Matthias Kroll constructively discusses variations on proposals for much needed monetary reform. It's good to see Jakob Von Uexkull and the World Future Council reflecting the voice of future generations in that way, as well as at Item 2 above.
6. A COMING EVENT
Saturday 7th November, Bristol, 11am-5pm, Conference on The Economics of Hope with Molly Scott-Cato MEP - www.greenchristian.org.uk/joy.
8 October 2015