Quora – How could stronger climate actions be successfully aligned with development imperatives?

Quora – How could stronger climate actions be successfully aligned with development imperatives?

What do you mean by “development imperatives”?

If you mean the idea of using money, then there is no stable solution to the problem.

If you mean using technology to meet the reasonable needs of all human beings, everywhere on the planet, then that is something entirely different, and a problem that has real solutions, but few seem able to even think about the scale of the issue, let alone seriously commit to action.

The short answer is:
By supporting global cooperation in the development of fully automated systems of production. A set of machines that can use sunlight as their energy source, and can mine local rock as raw material, and can use those to produce a new copy of that system of machines. The machines would also be programmed to produce a wide range of other goods and services.

If it takes that set of machines a month to make the second one, then it takes just over 3 years for there to be enough to give every person (everywhere on the planet) one.

If the set of things they are programmed to produce includes, housing, water storage systems, water recycling systems, sewerage recycling systems, vertical gardening systems, batteries, electric vehicles, household robots (to cook, clean, tend gardens, etc), educational systems, communications, personal medical systems, etc; then within 5 years of producing the first system, everyone on the planet can be using solar based systems to empower them to do whatever they responsibly choose.

It is a little more complex than that, because the last couple of doublings actually use quite a bit of energy, and would significant alter the heat balance of the earth if done here, so one of the early machines needs to be shipped to the moon, and replication needs to happen there, and the final products need to be returned to the earth. We also need a lot of those machines in space, to be able to effectively protect the earth from a range of issues like comet and meteor strike, and to develop effective methods to deal with large scale volcanism, sea level management, limiting of extremes of climate variation (and a few other threats).

Once one has tools that do actually effectively scale exponentially, then things can change very quickly.

Developing the technology is a trivial problem compared to developing the cooperative social systems required for such technology to be a positive stabilising force for individual life and individual liberty and for empowering social and ecological responsibility in all people.

One of the casualties of such a development would be the economic system of money and markets, and ideas like patriotism (that one should put any sort of “identity” above the value of individual life {either individually or collectively}).

As most things become genuinely abundant (as a result of fully automated production), then all scarcity based value metrics (what markets measure) fall to zero.

We need alternative value metrics, and alternative methods of stable social interaction that are actually compatible with securing individual life (for as long as any individual wishes to live) and individual liberty (provided such liberty acknowledges the limits required for social and ecological existence – that is liberty responsibly expressed).

Human beings are the most cooperative entities in existence, but put us in a competitive context and we can certainly compete.

Having our primary social structures based upon competitive markets is not a safe option – ever (the mathematics and evolutionary logic of that is beyond any shadow of reasonable doubt). Competitive systems reduce liberty – no escape from that.

We need to have our primary social systems clearly and expressly based in cooperation with all the concepts of responsibility that implies.

Such systems can still be based primarily in the values of individual life and individual liberty, and they must acknowledge that the liberty to destroy others is not compatible with respect for individual life (which is primary) and thus demands of everyone responsible action in social and ecological contexts (at any and all scales).

People generally need to understand that in biology, the evolution of complexity is always based in new levels of cooperation, and such cooperation must come with effective strategies to detect and remove cheating strategies on the cooperative (at all levels). At higher levels, such “cheating strategy removal systems” must leave the agents intact, and must be able to return those agents to cooperative activity.

In this sense successfully aligning development imperatives means having effective tools for global cooperation, and having those tools clearly with the highest values of such cooperation being individual life and individual liberty, and having a clear recognition that liberty in this sense comes with deep responsibilities for social and ecological systems.

Whatever we do, to be effective, it must fall within this general class of systems (the class contains infinite sets of options, so while it is prescriptive in one sense, it also contains infinite freedom in another sense).

In nearly 50 years of searching strategy spaces, I have found no alternatives that offer any real sort of security. And to be clear – the sort of security offered here can only ever be expressed in terms of probabilities. One cannot ever eliminate risk entirely, that is a logical impossibility. And one can reduce it to very low levels.

About Ted Howard NZ

Seems like I might be a cancer survivor. Thinking about the systemic incentives within the world we find ourselves in, and how we might adjust them to provide an environment that supports everyone (no exceptions) - see www.tedhowardnz.com/money
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