The Way Ahead

Galaxy

“If fear should win our hearts
Our light will have long diminished
Before it reaches the farthest star” ~ Ronan Harris, VNV Nation

My name is Enrique Lescure, and I am a board member of the Earth Organisation for Sustainability – EOS, and has been active within the network since 2007.Energy Accounting, Earth Organisation for Sustainability, EOS

Maybe it could be seen as pretentious to say that we – we who are alive today – perhaps are the most important generation that has lived during the era of humanity on Earth. That the decisions that we make – or not – during our lifetime, will affect life on Earth during hundreds of thousands, or perhaps millions of years?

Our planet has gone through five mass extinctions during its life, the last one caused by a meteor hitting the sea at the Yucátan Peninsula 65 million years ago. It ended the age of the Dinosaurs and led to the rise of the mammals as the dominant terrestrial forms of life.

While I am writing this, almost all eco-systems on our beautiful planet are put under an unfathomable stress. Complex ecosystems are replaced by mono-cultures. Heavy metals, chemicals and particles are poisoning air, water, earth and organisms alike. The rise of CO2 has been caused by emissions of fossil fuels into the atmosphere. The seas are dying. The quality of the soil is being destroyed. If this development continue, it will spiral into a sixth mass extinction event.

I am sure that you who are reading this know about this.

You also probably do know that this is caused by the current civilization that we have created.

The question is: How should we solve this?
Answers are varying. Politicians are speaking of bans, taxes and subsidies. Businesses and scientists are speaking of technical measures. Grassroot organisations are speaking of solving local problem. The complexity of the issues can seem overwhelming.

Though all these issues are really symptoms of a main cause.

What is then that main cause?

The main cause is that we have created an ecologically and socially unsustainable civilization, founded on a debt-based monetary system dependent on exponential growth. Today we are using around 135% of the renewal capacity of the Earth.

We must solve all issues with climate change, sea destruction, heavy metals and mass deaths amongst animal and plant life, and each of these problems present an enormous challenge for all of us.

The main challenge however is to reduce our usage of resources from 135% to below 100%, which means a level where the biosphere can start to recover after decades of exploitation.

I was aware of many of these problems already when I studied at high school.

Thus I started to explore ideas aimed at solving the environmental deficit we are experiencing today. I started to see that the green movement relied too heavily on changing the behavior of the individual, as well as changing details of how the systems are working today. The alternative green forces, anarcho-primitivists, deep-greens and eco-fascists, were on the other hand focusing on misanthropy and on unrealistic visions of a pre-industrial world.

At the end, my search led me to establish contact with students, engineers and researchers from many countries, who shared similar ideas on how we should proceed. Our goal was aimed at creating a realistic, tangible model on how to combine a high-tech civilization with social and ecological sustainability.

Thus we created EOS – the Earth Organization for Sustainability.

EOS was founded as a research- and grassroot network, producing a blueprint for a hypothetical sustainable civilization. This is a (well… relatively) short text called “The Design”, which is describing our ideas.

Our thoughts are the following: We are aiming to create a model for handling the Earth’s resources in a more rational and ecologically sustainable manner. In short, this proposed model is based on a) a continuous survey of the global renewal capacity, b) that all human beings get to own a share of this renewal capacity, c) that they from their share can allocate their resources to what they want to be produced for themselves, d) and that the production is determined by where the consumers are allocating their shares.

In short:

• There is a ceiling that limits how much we can use – the renewal capacity of the Earth.
• All human beings are entitled to an income floor and an income ceiling.
• No products that people are not actively asking for should be produced. This also means a radically lowered amount of working hours.

We are not aiming for a command economy, but for a libertarian, de-centralised and federated system characterised by common communication networks. Neither do we want no growth, as growth in income and living standards under a system as it is proposed by us would be a result of environmentally friendly applications and more efficient ways to utilize resources.

How realistic is our model then?

As a research network, our approach is moving towards applying scientific methodologies on socio-economic systems. Therefore, our goal is to work together with local communities, associations and groups of individuals and test aspects of the design to see how well it works in the real world, to change or scrap what doesn’t work and evolve organically.

Ideally, we aim to also strengthen local communities to increase local resilience and together form a model that can bridge the ecological crisis awaiting us, and help humanity move towards a more evolved and mature civilization.

The most important foundation of our work is that we are striving towards a sustainable world, and that we during our journey are basing our work on ethical methods that strengthen human rights and diversity.

We can all together create a civilization based on sustainability and human creativity, a stable foundation for the values which our descendants one day hopefully will spread beyond the stars.

My question to you is: What should we – humanity – become, and how should we become?

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The Case for Life (New EOS website article)

I have taken the liberty to write a new introduction article to EOS, which I want to be used to convey a certain motivational function, rather than being another boring introduction. I am not 100% happy with it, as it tells very little about what EOS aims to do, but I think the message is beautiful and would like to have it included on the new website.Image

 

Earth. A shining sapphire of life in the vast ocean that is the Milky Way. A sphere, roughly thirteen thousand kilometres across, sheltering and harbouring a promise. A promise that can spread light through the galaxy.

 

For billions of years, the conditions on Earth has allowed life to develop from humble origins, into a beautiful, cascading symphony of life. This symphony has survived five mass extinction events, one where all but one twentieth of all life perished. This current symphony we are living through has been on-going for 65 million years. The Eocene era has been the golden age of mammals, which have established themselves as the dominant form of vertebrates on the land surface of the Earth.

 

During the later stages of the Eocene Era, Humanity was born. We are the first species on the planet who can deliberate the future, organise technological civilizations, ponder on our own inner nature and whether or not we ever will find any beings similar to us anywhere in the Universe. We can create music, architecture, arts, poetry, literature and philosophy, and feel awe and wonder for the time we have been given on this Earth.

 

We are also the first species that alone has come to determine the fate of all other species, all life-supporting systems and the entire biosphere…

 

We are about to usher the sixth great mass extinction of life on the planet, a fall which would drag us down into the abyss of a dark era. Yet, we have – by evolution or providence – been given the ability to imagine a better future, a future shaped by the beautiful and radiant capabilities of humanity.

 

This is fundamentally the reason why EOS is existing. We believe that the most valuable thing in our Universe is not gold, nor silver, nor oil. The most valuable thing in the Universe is Life. Worlds that can harbour life are, for all what we know, are rare as single drips of clear water in vast, scorched deserts. Thus, we conclude that a conscious and enlightened civilization would take it as its credo to pursue the preservation of its biosphere as its top priority.

 

That is unfortunately not the case with how the human race is behaving in this era. For the last generation, we have collectively been using more resources per year than the Earth can renew. If we continue down that slope, we will be heading for a gaping abyss, and our light will fade long before it reaches the farther end of the galaxy.

 

We believe that we, humanity, fundamentally are carriers of the greatness, beauty and light that we dreams of possessing, and that we – at the end of the day – will do what we must do in order to ensure both the survival of the biosphere, and the dignity of the human race.

 

We have the ability to create a sustainable, high-tech civilization. A civilization which will rise and spread throughout the Milky Way. A civilization unlike anyone previously seen on Earth, consisting of a blossoming diversity of cultures, values and diversities, all unified around the ethos of making life on Earth thrive. A civilization which has abolished war, hunger, homelessness, illiteracy and poverty, and has given all human beings the opportunity to rise to the upper reaches of their individual potential.

 

But, we do not have much time at our disposal. The severity of the crisis that we have all contributed to will in a few decades cause the collapse of the current biosphere. That will usher in a series of events that will cause suffering to fall on humanity, worse than any previously seen during the time our species has existed on Earth!

 

You are very lucky.

 

You have been born during the greatest challenge that has ever befallen mankind. You have the power to change the destiny of your species and the fate of the Earth.

 

What is mattering is not your age, your race or your gender. Not your income, your social status, your real estate, your flat screen TV or your Xbox.

 

What is mattering is whether or not you will save your world. Whether or not you will take an active stand in the greatest challenge that has ever been thrown on mankind. Whether or not you are willing to take part of the defining moments of the 21st century.

 

You are very lucky to have been given this opportunity. Future generations might never again experience the freedom to make an existential choice.

 

We want to help you embark on this journey into the unknown. We want to help you learn and develop your experiences. We want you to succeed. We want you to have fun.

 

We want to walk this road together with you.

 

We want to connect. To help build your community. To help you produce and thrive. To help you develop your potential. To help you gain true freedom and become the master of your own future.

 

The dawn of a new era begins now.