The transformation from a world with a deepening tragedy and on or just over the brink of disaster to a world healed and viable will need a process of guided evolution. There is no time to let this happen by itself, it must be facilitated. We now have the pre-conditions for that facilitation.We can use the historic opportunity of the Covid 19 virus pandemic as a catalyst to achieve it. Only stand back enough to see this. It is hard in the midst of a pandemic to get the necessary spatial and temporal distance from a crisis that is engulfing us.
I would like to suggest an approximate time table for a solution. I have called this process the ‘computation’ and that it should be followed by a celebration. The timing of it becomes clearer as the ecological predicament becomes clearer. The timing is sensitive to our immediate context, and that suggests that reversing and stabilising climate change, transitioning to renewable energy, and stabilising and sustaining the world’s human population must all be done in about twenty or thirty years. The year 2050 is crucial. We should have a global party then..
The changes are too great to be achieved all at once. There is no power on earth that can impose a new economic and social regime globally without releasing at the same time immense destruction, and now with the pandemic there probably is not the resource for any single agency to it. However we can gather the strands for a potential multi dimensional tapestry and put them in the same time slice with a conference. Likely such a conference or series of conferences may occur when there is no alternative, when mega death is already in the open and the global predicament is clear. Restarting global economies after the lockdown is the right moment, it needs to happen now.The project might have 3 phases:
- Recognition of the need for a global solution to all these crises which are coming of age at the same time: pandemic, population, pollution, mass extinctions, etc.
- A ‘holding pattern’ to recreate the prosperity which was lost with the pandemic, but not through blind economic forces but by act of will. I call this ‘the computation’, and we are going into it right now.
- the goal of the ‘celebration’ as a device or model to aim for, due to mature in 30 years. This substitutes a ‘party’ as an alternative to certain doom might be an achievable belief for oncoming generations.
The 30 years of the ‘computation’ are envisaged as facilitated co-evolution. There must be recognition that the ‘currencies’ of celebration are culturally defined and that they evolve. However some currencies exist already, for example the HTTP protocol and JSON script and other evolving artefacts in the technical world of coders and software engineers are already a shared currency, and a health care currency FHIR is in rapid evolution. There are many other established international standards. There is already the idea of ‘targets’ for nation groups to aim for with reducing carbon emissions. Cultural realms of value independent of the material base have a strong foundation in human history, material wealth being unachievable through most of human pre history. More are needed now and some curious ones are indeed emerging, not all as we might like (such as QAnon), but ‘out there’ none the less. A transfer of resources from first and second to third worlds can be a bi product of preparation for the ‘celebration’. I suggest a slogan: “all the seed gets through” as a promise and motivator for the young, as the generations step through this period of time.
Let’s plan for a global Celebration in 2050. Instead of a catastrophe we can envisage a cornucopia. The next 30 years are there for us to prepare for the ‘coming of age’ of the human race. Present day 30 year olds will be 60, 20 year olds 50, and I will be 103. To be young then will be heaven, but those generations which will inherit the earth are as yet unborn.