Saturday, August 30, 2014

Some responses to a proposal to end extreme poverty and limit humans' impacts on Earth

An email exchange:

from: John Champagne
to: Jack ***
date: Mon, Aug 18, 2014 at 4:01 AM
subject: Documenting the vacuum of responses to this call

I want to document the various responses (or lack of responses) that follow this call for a change in the rules we live by that would bring an end to extreme poverty globally AND would define limits to environmental impacts overall such that there would not be more pollution or faster depletion of resources than what most people feel is acceptable.

I am identifying the right to share natural wealth as a fundamental right. When fundamental rights are not respected, there is a moral obligation on the part of those who are aware of the violation to act to remedy the situation. The idea that environmental impacts should not exceed what most people feel is acceptable is also based on the fundamental moral precept that we have a shared human right to define overall limits.
In response to this proposal, in conversation, you have indicated that this proposal does not merit a call to local news outlets to challenge them to report the existence of the proposal or to challenge them to say why they don't report it. (Or, perhaps more accurately, you have declined to make any such call or to put any such challenge.) You have declined any involvement in an effort to create an organization aimed at bringing these ideas to a larger audience. When asked why it is OK that these ideas are allowed to languish, you have offered only a change of subject or platitudes (such as, "Everyone does what they can"... You repeated this response some time after I pointed out that everyone does what they choose to do from among the things that they possibly could do.)
If I have described the situation falsely, please let me know. If you want to confirm that this is an accurate description, I will be more able to show mental health personnel that I have made extensive effort to use language and more conventional forms of communication to bring these ideas to a larger audience. (Previously, when I resorted to a fast as symbolic protest of the neglect of ideas that could solve the world's seemingly most intractable problems, I was taken against my will for psychiatric observation and was threatened with forced-feeding and electro-convulsive treatment if I continued to refuse nourishment.)

from: Jack ***
to: John Champagne
date: Mon, Aug 18, 2014 at 1:17 PM
subject: Re: Documenting the vacuum of responses to this call

John, You have a sound analysis/message but so do Bill McKibben and the Dalai Lama. Somehow they have been relatively more successful in disseminating their message, although, clearly, most people remain apathetic (or even hostile). May I suggest that you embrace your status as a minor prophet, let your message gestate, and find other ways to engage in the joys and pleasures that the natural world (and human relationships) still provide us. Respectfully, Jack E.

from: John Champagne
to: Jack ***
date: Mon, Aug 18, 2014 at 3:05 PM
subject: Re: Documenting the vacuum of responses to this call

are you aware of and can you cite a page or two from either of them that promises limits to environmental impacts consistent with the will of the people AND a significant minimum income (say approximately $20 per day) for everyone on Earth?

There is lots of sound analysis in the world. Where are the proposals that promise to achieve these two goals?

(The amount that I refer to is based on the estimated value of natural wealth according to a team of scientists published in Nature, May, 1997.)

from: John Champagne
to: Jack ***
date: Mon, Aug 18, 2014 at 3:15 PM
subject: Re: Documenting the vacuum of responses to this call

I don't think we have the luxury of time. I figure we are already a generation (or two) behind where we need to be re awareness about what an alternative paradigm might look like (and even that a paradigm shift is imperative).

An organism suffering a cancer MIGHT carry a new life to term IF the cancer is not too far advanced in the earlier stages of pregnancy.

from: John Champagne
to: Jack ***
date: Tue, Aug 19, 2014 at 2:49 PM
subject: Re: Documenting the vacuum of responses to this call

"Sound analysis" is a somewhat vague term. As I mentioned, there is plenty of sound analysis. $20 per day is not an arbitrary amount. Neither is it vague. It is the amount that natural wealth is estimated to be worth (estimated by a team of scientists, Robert Costanza, et al, Nature, May, 1997)

The knowledge that systemic solutions are being allowed to languish is interfering with my ability to enjoy life's simple pleasures in the normal way.

If you (or any other person) can state a reason or reasons why it is OK to let these ideas languish and the reasoning appears sound, It would save me from having to take my most emphatic protest to Assumption College in Worchester, MA. (That is the place of residence/work of the professors who have thus far offered the most formal and authoritative response to this proposal, to whit: It is not realistic (because) it would require changes in human nature. They have declined to say what changes would be required, nor have they said what I wrote that led them to this conclusion.

The blog post puts the question, "Why is it OK that these ideas are left to languish?" in a more elaborate form. (There are flaws (What are they?); There are better proposals (Where are they?) There is evidence that the ideas are coming into the public discourse (What evidence?) The goals are not important (Says who?)

To my knowledge, no one has made any attempt to answer this question.

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