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Forum Post: OccupyTheConstitution Environment

Posted 5 years ago on Jan. 24, 2012, 8:41 p.m. EST by Nanook (172)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

One of the greatest tragedies of the current situation is the DENIAL by the 1% of our human connection to the environment and how close we are to environmentally caused catastrophes. This immediately brings up the issue of SUSTAINABILITY. Because thinking long term is NOT a trait that most humans are good at, most people can't even envision how to go about it. But if we don't get this right, it's GAME OVER for the human race as we know it. DINOSAURS!

There is another major environmental issue that I think current society is totally missing: BEAUTY. Anyone who has visited Greece is awed by the beauty the ancient people stressed for their buildings and environment. Because of the narrow minded drive for wealth and self centeredness of the Robber Baron 1% of our time, beauty, for the WORKERS, is completely absent. And it is absent both in the work place and the communities. Of course, that isn't the case in their castles.

These subtopics will be expanded below. You can jump directly to them from the following list:

BEAUTY http://occupywallst.org/forum/occupytheconstitution-environment/#comment-607136

SUSTAINABILITY http://occupywallst.org/forum/occupytheconstitution-environment/#comment-605255

(This post is part of a collection of posts aimed at launching a new process called the National Opinion Collection System (NOCS). For more information on the process, see http://occupywallst.org/forum/occupytheconstitution-introduction/ )

7 Comments

7 Comments


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[-] 2 points by Nanook (172) 5 years ago

BEAUTY

Studies of beauty show that humans, across ALL cultures, have similar ideas about beauty. Not about all aspects of beauty, but about some key aspects of beauty. For example, in the judgment of women by men, facial symmetry, clear skin, and attributes related to sexual attraction are key. They are believed to have developed during human evolution as a mechanism for selecting good health and the ability to generate children. Judgment of men by women is related to physical strength, clear skin and social stature. These are believed to be related to the ability to remain faithful and protect children once born. Beauty is also similarly viewed in relation to the environment. A pristine natural scene is almost always viewed as beautiful. An artificial environment is usually seen as beauty if it has clean geometric lines and is free of human waste materials like trash. In short, what humans are reacting to is HEALTH in nature and security in the artificial environment. Beauty is an absolute because it supports sustainability. Beauty is an INDICATOR of human and environmental health. And, conversely, when people find themselves in an environment that they consider beautiful, it brings them mental peace and promotes their own health.

While we can find a lot more variables related to beauty, none of them are as fundamental. This is important because it leads directly to becoming a SIGNIFICANT foundation of society. That is, there was a significant item missing from the Constitution: beauty should be spread throughout the land.

What this means in practice is that introducing beauty into every corner of society should be a top priority for every manmade enterprise. Beauty should become a substantial part of a new society’s objectives. Beauty should be a top priority in architecture, roadways, interior design, city design, literature, products, food, clothing and all work settings.

So, why don’t we have this now? Simple. It's GREED! It’s Absentee landlords and industrial barons, who don’t have to live on the work site, or on the work floor, or in the city. All they are only looking at is the money. But for their own environments, they spend extravagantly. City planners typically don’t even live in the cities they are planning. They live in wealthy suburbs which are defined by natural beauty. If you drive along the river in Detroit, you know instantly when you pass from a wealth city to a poor one. Think how things would change if every corner of every city was full of flowers and looked like Central Park! Think about it. Even people living at low income would have their quality of life raised immensely.

We make a lot of jokes about the management up in the paneled offices. But that’s the point. People with wealth and control can surround themselves with beauty. But because they are driven by greed, they turn a deaf ear to providing the same benefits for their workers, or people living in ghettos or poverty.

So, the principle of beauty has to be required by law. And for those who claim industry can’t afford it, it’s just one more case where the elite have no concern for the lives lived by others or sustainability.

What is the goal? Simple. EVERY person must be provided a chance to live in a beautiful environment, right along with the goal to assure them LIFE. And when this is done, the catastrophes we now call cities will be relegated to the Dark Ages. And why did I pick the term "Dark Ages" instead of saying 'relegated to the past'? That's the great irony of history. Anyone who has visited Greece, Italy, Turkey or Egypt has seen that the ancients were light years ahead of modern society in understanding this. The large cities of ancient Greece already had sidewalks covered in marble mosaics. Their temples and storefronts were works of art. The bleak, square concrete monoliths, industrial buildings and shabby strip malls we call modern cities are monuments to 'elite' business leaders who's intellectual abilities don't extend beyond their own checkbooks.

Please comment.

(This post is part of a collection of posts aimed at launching a new process called the National Opinion Collection System (NOCS). For more information on the process, see http://occupywallst.org/forum/occupytheconstitution-introduction/ )

[-] 2 points by AFarewellToKings (1486) 5 years ago

The proverbial 'ivory tower'. The 1%. "M'Lord the peasants are revolting. Yes! They certainly are!"

Beauty Begins at home America. World. And it's more than skin deep! We can do this believe it or not and when we really got good at it, most everyone would be HAPPIER.

[-] 1 points by Nanook (172) 5 years ago

SUSTAINABILITY

While the protests that focus our efforts are called "Occupy Wall Street", world problems are NOT just economic problems. We have entered a NEVER BEFORE SEEN era in human – environment development. We are NOT going to get out of the current recession "because", in the past, we always have. That's because the past had advantages that the present doesn't have. Specifically:

Human population is now 7B. The sustainable carrying capacity of the earth, by the best current estimates, is about 2 to 3 B MAXIMUM. At 7B and growing, there are more humans alive today, than all the humans who have ever lived prior to about 1970! Humanity has ALREADY consumed the easy resources. This is no longer about projections of shortages for a hundred years from now. We have reached the time when the shortages were forecast to start and they are occurring – drinkable water, aquifers for irrigation, many minerals, wood ( even China is out of wood ), soils are depleted, ocean fish have collapsed by 90%, oil production is falling etc.

We have polluted the earth, oceans and sky. Global warming is moving the weather bands and causing severe draughts. The ice caps are melting causing sea level to rise and tectonic plates to shift. Shifting plates cause more earthquakes. Insect pests are moving into new areas already resistant to every known insecticide. Medical supplies are now showing shortages across the globe and severe plague diseases once thought eradicated are coming back resistant to every known form of antibiotic.

Automation has replaced human labor. Western society is overflowing with STUFF! People have filled their houses and now, driven by an insatiable gluttony for STUFF, need to fill rented storage building. Our culture does not know how to employ people. The cry for MORE EDUCATION is dead on arrival. Most occupational sectors can not employ more people even if those people have higher education levels. And when they do hire someone because of higher education, they have to let someone else go. Its a losing game.

And, there is the new pressure of the 3rd world wanting the high standard of living we have in the western world. Because of the western world's aristocratic attitude, this will just lead to exploitation of the 3rd world. That will lead to rebellion and increase the demand for weapons – which is a big NET LOSS of productivity for society. Why? Weapons explode and destroy infrastructure. That means all the labor and material used to build the weapons just explode - a total loss. The world then has to supply labor and material to rebuild all the infrastructure that was blown up just to get back to where we already were.

The world is NOT in good shape. We no longer have the ability to introduce new ideas and then wait a year or so to see how the changes we introduce will work. The warning time we were given in the 70's and 80's has already run out. For a good overview of this, take a look at http://a3society.org/Sustainability and pay special attention to the discussion of the Club of Rome report. What questions are then important to discuss related to a Constitution? Here is a list of comments to start off this discussion. You can jump to those directly from the list.

Should the government have the responsibility to look out into the future and describe a plan for the country to survive? http://occupywallst.org/forum/occupytheconstitution-environment/#comment-605260

How should society address RISK? Denial is NOT the answer. http://occupywallst.org/forum/occupytheconstitution-environment/#comment-605276

What activities should the government be required to do to plan for long term sustainability? http://occupywallst.org/forum/occupytheconstitution-environment/#comment-605270

(This post is part of a collection of posts aimed at launching a new process called the National Opinion Collection System (NOCS). For more information on the process, see http://occupywallst.org/forum/occupytheconstitution-introduction/ )

[-] 1 points by Nanook (172) 5 years ago

How should society address RISK? Denial is NOT the answer.

From the beginning of society, humans realized there were situations beyond their control. To protect themselves from total disaster, they invented a new product called INSURANCE. This was truly novel. It allowed many people to divide up the impact of a catastrophe so a single individual did not bear the whole brunt. Of course, corruption soon got into the process, leading to the disaster insurance has become today.

One example is commodities trading. Rather than do a solid analysis to understand the true problem and deal with it equitably with the lowest cost impact to society, commodities trading turns it into a superficial game, where people make wild guesses and the house takes a big cut of the income.

Another example is calling something insurance while evading one of the PRIMARY fundamentals of insurance: i.e. something being outside of human control. Dental insurance is like that. You buy what is called insurance. But it mostly pays for regular cleaning and exams, which are going to happen anyway. Then, when something goes wrong and you need dental work, which is the part that is out of human control, you have to pay.

Another example is the current sham in medical insurance. Again, it's the human control issue. If we know with HIGH confidence that smoking leads to greater medical problems with higher medical costs, then why don't people who CHOOSE to smoke, voluntarily, have to pay MORE? How about people who are obese?

And one more example which is at the top of the list of corruption: allowing corporation board members to buy INSURANCE against prosecution for wrong doing ( officers and directors insurance ). How is this different from allowing bank robbers to buy insurance against getting caught? How about gambler's insurance?

To give this discussion some novelty to start with, let me propose an idea to deal with the climate deniers. There are many people who believe that we need to take serious action to prevent environmental collapse. Let's call these the "green" movement. Why don't we give them strong support for this. Let's create a fund that they can contribute to which is used, only, to invest in new technologies to solve environmental problems. So far, nothing new. What is new is the next step. As time goes on, scientists will become more precise about establishing the cause and effect relationships. Based on the new knowledge, those who paid into the funds early will get special treatment. This would include lower rates for electricity, water, sewer, fuel, garbage disposal etc. As the environment does get worse and needs additional fixing ( which it will ), the early adopters will get special discounts to make additional payments into the fund, and will also get tax breaks for government required expenses. Furthermore, when the rationing starts, they will get preferred delivery.

(This post is part of a collection of posts aimed at launching a new process called the National Opinion Collection System (NOCS). For more information on the process, see http://occupywallst.org/forum/occupytheconstitution-introduction/ )

[-] 1 points by Nanook (172) 5 years ago

What activities should the government be required to do to plan for long term sustainability?

When the stakes get high but the information needed to make decisions is not blatantly clear, the process devolves into political infighting. The discussions are then driven by charisma and special interest money, rather than science. What processes should we put in place to DIRECT government action to get the right answers to managing our environment?

(This post is part of a collection of posts aimed at launching a new process called the National Opinion Collection System (NOCS). For more information on the process, see http://occupywallst.org/forum/occupytheconstitution-introduction/ )

[-] 1 points by Nanook (172) 5 years ago

Should the government have the responsibility to look out into the future and describe a plan for the country to survive?

At first though, someone might say this is ALL the government is doing. But that's just DENIAL. There are many strong groups of people who believe that the future of the world lies in supernatural hands. So, they say, humans don't have any role in planning for the future. This is where more denial comes in. Politicians will stand up and affirm the "supernatural" view "In God We Trust", but immediately lay out hundreds of billions of dollars a year for military defense. Then there is the group of people ( anarchists) who are psychologically unable to understand social community. For them, the only process for the world to unfold is through unguided evolution based on each person making their own decisions. The Constitution doesn't address this. So, what NEW options do we have to deal with these very different opinions?

(This post is part of a collection of posts aimed at launching a new process called the National Opinion Collection System (NOCS). For more information on the process, see http://occupywallst.org/forum/occupytheconstitution-introduction/ )

[-] 2 points by AFarewellToKings (1486) 5 years ago

All opinions have to be weighed against all other opinions to arrive at decisions. The decision has to be checked to insure it doesn't have any negative impacts. Then people who don't understand or agree with the decision continue to study it. Only when consensus is reached does the action begin. Better to let computers manage these tasks than politicians. Eventually it becomes a continuous operation of management where the system is so efficient at looking out for everyone's future that people forget it is even part of their lives. What we call government and 'politics' today will be studied in history classes!