For easy reference, we’ve indexed the report by section. You can read it sequentially or jump to the any of the sections below.
- Regenerative Society
- Current Status
IntroductionToday, humanity faces our greatest challenge, and our most precious opportunity. Our activity as a species has put the Earth in jeopardy. We can directly observe that our use of resources must change. We are threatening the ability of the biosphere to support our continuity, and the future of all complex forms of life.
We appear to have reached one of those rare, extraordinary junctures in human history when a thorough transformation of society, culture, and consciousness is necessary. Climate change is the most urgent of many impending threats. As individuals, we must understand and accept the critical nature of our time. For the sake of future generations, we can become part of a wave of awakening and of action, that grows exponentially.
Under this extreme time pressure, there is great potential to quickly develop and distribute a new social model based on an ethos of global citizenship and planetary stewardship.
For this to happen, humanity must act upon our unique capacities for self-awareness and foresight. We have an opportunity to fully activate the prefrontal cortex – the brain structure that makes us uniquely human, which developed in the last forty thousand years. We must collectively work to envision a new model for planetary civilization, then design and manifest it.
This position paper outlines elements of a regenerative culture, and a path to attaining it. It is based on ongoing research compiled by Center for Planetary Culture. Over the next months, we expect to make further iterations of it, based on your comments. We will also commission other papers in specific areas of research, such as water management, collaborative decision-making, traditional religious structures as vehicles for social transformation, and cooperative economic models. If you would like to get involved in our efforts, please contact us and collaborate to our work.
CURRENT STATUSThe ecological crisis is not just a symptom or a byproduct of industrial society. It reflects a deep predicament – a crisis of civilization. Due to the rapid evolution of modern culture, we have found ourselves unable to make basic changes in our daily lives and habits that are necessary to bring human activity into alignment with the Earth’s support systems. Our current state requires a global people’s movement comprising self-educated, passionate citizens working together to reinvent our society, on all levels.
We currently possess all the necessary technological solutions and sources of renewable energy to power an ecologically and socially just society. Yet the world’s governments and business sector have shown they are unable to address our planetary emergency. The intrinsic logic of our political-economic system requires constant growth and over-consumption.
According to estimates, energy corporations spend $900 million a year on think tanks to influence public policy. Billions more are spent on lobbying and advertising. This expenditure supports our continued dependence on fossil fuels, and the belief that we lack a viable alternative.
Accelerated climate change, species extinction, and ocean acidification endanger our collective future. While everyone on Earth will be impacted eventually, poor people in the Global South suffer first from the effects of environmental degradation. Around the world, indigenous people have been the first line of defense against the extractive industries, which threaten traditional ways of life.
The modern financial system continues to concentrate wealth in fewer and fewer hands. In our world today, two billion people earn under two dollars per day, while less than 1% of the population control more than 50% of global wealth. 85 individuals possess more wealth than half the human population – 3.5 billion people. This vast inequality of wealth contributes directly to social injustice and ecological decimation. For humanity to survive and prosper, we must distribute resources, knowledge, and technical solutions far more equitably. This requires a fundamental change in socio-economic paradigm – and a new worldview.
1. DE-FRAGGING THE TECHNICAL INFRASTRUCTURE
• Derive power from renewable energy sources;
• Remove subsidies and factor in externalities, such as CO2 pollution;
• Make consumer products that are durable, with replaceable components;
• Transition to “cradle-to-cradle” manufacturing, powered by renewables, where all byproducts of manufacturing feed productively into the ecosystem.
The following three sections outline a strategic approach to change in the technical infrastructure.
TRANSFORMING OUR ENERGY SYSTEM
TRANSFORMING OUR AGRICULTURAL SYSTEM
TRANSFORMING OUR URBAN DESIGN
2.SOCIETY, POLITICS AND ECONOMY: THE TOOLS OF CHANGE
- Engaging in direct and transparent participatory democracy;
- Exercising personal and collective responsibility;
- Recognizing individuals’ inherent privilege and the influence it has on all interactions;
- Empowering one another against all forms of oppression;
- Redefining how labor is valued;
- The sanctity of individual privacy;
- The belief that education is a human right; and
- Making technologies, knowledge, and culture open to all to freely access, create, modify, and distribute.