Global Issues and Solutions in a Nutshell – Peaceniks, Warriors and Realists

Helmut Burkhardt, Toronto, 14-12-13

War is much more expensive than peace. War is also more dangerous and there is less justice in war than in peace. Why then did our ancestors fight wars and why do people today go to war instead of choosing peace? Life without conflict is only possible if there is no shortage of vital resources. Infinite resources in a finite world, was the false premises of peaceniks. Therefore, peace was seen as wishful thinking, and reality was that there will always be wars.

In the past the valid premises of the warriors was that wars can be won and the winner gains access to vital resources. However, with the advent of nuclear weapons this is no longer true and therefore, applying the law of force does no longer make sense; now the warriors are turned into unrealistic dreamers. It has become suicidal to fight a nuclear war when mutual assured destruction is guaranteed.

When therefore, in business as usual scenarios, both war and peace are unrealistic for future modes of survival, what needs to be done, what will a desirable future be like?

Resource scarcity, the root cause of conflicts must be eliminated. This is a politically inconvenient social and ecological truth. Humanity must exercise self-restraint. By implementing good global governance, realists must adjust human numbers in a fair way, must limit the per capita resource consumption, and must implement appropriate technology so that the ecological footprint of all humans is less than the ecological capacity of planet Earth.

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4 thoughts on “Global Issues and Solutions in a Nutshell – Peaceniks, Warriors and Realists

  1. Humanity must exercise self-restraint. By implementing good global governance, realists must adjust human numbers in a fair way, must limit the per capita resource consumption, and must implement appropriate technology so that the ecological footprint of all humans is less than the ecological capacity of planet Earth.

    …. realists must adjust human numbers in a fair way, . . . . If we raise the standard of living by education and diminishing the difference between the rich and the poor, human numbers will not be the problem . . . look at Europe, japan etc. the rich don’t have the crowd of children, its the poor because they think they will need them for their age . . . . Good Governance needs fair incomes in the age . . . .

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    • Raising the standard of living by education may be one of the fair ways of adjusting the human numbers. However, the human numbers cannot be eliminated from the sustainability equation. The standard of living is a second relevant factor, and the kind of technology is a third factor in Sustainability of human civilization.How all three necessary factors influence each other is represented in the graph shown in the post ‘Politically inconvenient Ecological Truth’. To sustain the present human numbers at the present living standard of the rich and with the present technology we need five planets. Even if the rich reduced their standard of living by 80%, the present world population using existing technology would already surpass the ecological capacity of the planet according to the results of the research of the Global Footprint Network. — Considering the reaction of the Greek to only a few % reduction of their standard of living, it is unlikely that the Rich will reduce their resource consumption by more than 80% without a violent revolution.

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    • I have to say that “realists must adjust human numbers in a fair way” has some pretty creepy implications. Humanity is either unable (poor) or unwilling (rich) to exercise self restraint. Economic theory is based on the premise that all people always want more. When will that change? Consumption and growth are essential components of current economic realities. This is unsustainable in a world still seeing substantial population increase. The “world governance” currently in place does not have the power, the support, unity, or as a result, the will to effect essential changes that would be necessary on an urgent and global basis. This means that your “good global governance” will only come after, and as a result of a Truly global human disaster

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      • Can a truly global human disaster be prevented? Not in business as usual in the existing growth based paradigm or through voluntary restraint. Only a transparent and trustworthy global government with legislative, juridical and executive powers could achieve the necessary change in a civilized manner through the force of law. After the age of reason and with all the technical tools at our disposal, humankind should be able to prevent the barbaric traditional methods of using the law of force to implement the necessary changes.

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