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Pondering the universe


Saving the future

The earth will not wait for us to change our ways, so we must change them quickly if we are to survive as a species.

Up until the last century, humanity has been able to chew up resources and terraform the planet because there seemed to be plenty of it to play with and plenty of time to do it in. However, our population has grown to the point where a minority of the planet's population is so engrossed in its own importance that it is willing to sacrifice the earth and humanity for a few more years of selfishness.

The lifestyles that this indulgence requires is obviously unsustainable if it were scaled to the whole population, as it is unsustainable now with that minority. Without some substantial changes to how that minority live, most of them will become as disadvantaged as the current majority, as climate change causes mass migrations and rampant diseases with their consequent societal upheavals. No one will be protected from the consequences.

There is no way to pretend that we have any hope of keeping the societies we have now, let alone the utopias promised if we only continue to consume ever more resources and support economic systems that rely upon that. Time to face that our survival is not guaranteed if we don't ensure the survival of all. The wealthy may not care for the masses, but they will not survive rampant diseases if all of humanity is not attended to, let alone if those masses take their anger out on them.

Only rapidly improving the lot of all of humanity will have a chance of countering the upheavals that the future now promises. It will be challenging, both personally and as a society, but the benefit will be that we all can have a modest life with some amount of luxury while keeping the planet from cooking us. The choice is ours, now!

What follows is some of the areas that need action now to stop the failed future. Many of the actions are to reverse the consequences of following a delusion that we can indulge ourselves without consequence. This is not true and we are paying the price. There are several influential people who are largely responsible for persuading us to follow these lifestyles and we must stop them because they are not interested in our wellbeing, and don't care if we die. We cannot afford to let them continue to have that influence over us.

Address the urgent needsβ–³

There are several fronts we need to tackle now if we are to step back from catastrophe.

There are several billion of us, but most don't get enough to properly sustain themselves, so they have shorter lives and excess child deaths. We must help bring all to a better living standard so that they have hope and a sense of stability for the future. With that, they can plan their lives and make better long-term choices.

Feed the poorβ–³

People are starving for various reasons because food is not being shared.

One of the most egregious acts of tolerated stupidity is to dispose of foods and goods that have been produced to avoid what remains losing value, while billions are starving. It highlights the selfishness of a system that its wealthy beneficiaries are so desperate to preserve that they inflict mass suffering.

Of course, often what is destroyed will not directly benefit those who are starving, as they will either perish before getting to those in need, or are not directly useful to those who lives don't even have electricity for computers or whatever else we produce to fill up our lives. However, that diversion of a lot of the world's resources to produce those foods and goods that are excess to our requirements is what is creating the lack of resources for those who are starving.

We live in an interconnected world, and favouring some extremely excessively is creating mass suffering for the majority. If we are to have a world that is fair to all, we must feed everybody, even if it means that many do not get to satisfy their cravings. Our entertainment fetishes should not come at the expense of life for the many. We already produce more than enough to feed the world, but largely feed it to animals instead, from which we get a lot less.

These inefficiencies in the food chain have created a lot of the greenhouse gases, from the animals themselves to the global transport systems required to maintain the industry. The US alone has enough agricultural land to feed itself and export some, but instead it has to rely upon grains grown in other countries to feed their animals. People cannot change their diets overnight, but they may change faster if not fed false food propaganda to maintain their demand for what is actually killing them.

It is time to let people know what their food choices are doing to their health and how their choices are leading to world starvation. We can easily change our global food systems if we don't let ourselves be subverted by manufactured desires promoted by those who torture animals and don't care if billions die for their profit-making.

Improve healthβ–³

Without adequate health services, people become more sick, draining resources unnecessarily.

We already have the ability to allow all people to have a reasonably healthy life, yet we allow our illnesses to be exploited for profit while denying billions access to life-saving medicines and health care. Covid has shown how rich nations have squandered vaccines while most have no access, only to succumb to strains that mutated among those denied. Health needs to be seen as a worldwide effort than just at a national or individual level.

The threats to our health and safety are becoming more global as we travel and encroach upon wildlife areas in pursuit of exploitation for the profit of a few. Continuing upon our current path will ensure that we face even greater threats that no amount of cosmetic surgery can protect us from. It is time to reprioritise our health resources to share good health to all.

Governments must implement universal health care (UHC) if they are to give their country the best chance of being able to weather global health crises. UHC is the most cost-effective means of ensuring a healthy population, as it allows prompt dealing with people's ill health, thereby reducing the extreme interventions required when people put off treatment because they cannot afford it.

Provide housingβ–³

There are too many people who are homeless, for many reasons, yet we construct giant stadiums and offices that are empty almost all the time.

Homelessness is often seen as an embarrassment rather than as a failure of a society to provide for all its citizens. In any political system, there will always be some for whom it just doesn't work, so they will not be able to conform to that society's expectations. However, when a society makes it harder to even be able to afford necessities, there will be many that will be faced with the choice of food or shelter, and shelter is not as necessary to survival.

Having shelter has been shown to improve outlook on life, as it gives a sense of being protected. While many societies expect people to show that they are worthy of having access to housing, those that have provided housing first have shown that the recipients have a much better chance of making their lives better, leading to less overall homelessness and more societal participation from them. Housing is a societal investment, like health care, that pays dividends in a relatively short time-frame, because they enable people to feel part of the society and not a drag on it.

We build huge sports stadiums that remain mostly empty. We build suburbs with no amenities or local shops so that we need to fill land with multi-lane highways and drive to get almost anything. We build offices that are empty overnight, and carparks that are unused at night while filled with unused cars during the day. We have squandered our land and building materials to keep being exploited while being told that we are better off. This is not necessary at all, but a living out of a dystopian illusion of being fulfilled.

If we get off the idea that we need to make our lives be filled with what we hardly use, many more will be able to be housed with what they will use most of the time, and we will too.

Tackle diseasesβ–³

There is a lot of research for lucrative ailments but too little spent on tackling diseases that could be eradicated for a lot less.

Polio was almost eradicated from the world because the inventor of the vaccine gave away their rights to it. While governments often fund the original research for many vaccines, commercialisation has meant that very few benefits of that research come back to those governments. Instead, when those vaccines are needed to cope with endemics or pandemics like Covid, those same governments end up paying the monetary beneficiaries of that research even more just to cover their own populations.

The big losers are those countries that cannot afford the premium process of the vaccines, so end up being the breeding ground for even more aggressive strains that require updated vaccines and the cycle is perpetuated while the pharmaceutical companies grow rich. This is absolutely ridiculous, but so embedded is the idea that even world health is allowed to be exploited for profit that efforts to change it are vigorously opposed by well-funded lobbyists to resist it. We all suffer so a few can make money, and we funded them because some politicians were lured by relatively paltry handouts.

It is time that this system of exploitation was dismantled enough to allow essential vaccines to be free for the world. That is a fair price for these corporations to pay for being allowed to exist. Of course, they also should not be allowed to poison us as the Sacklers have done with their deceptive promotion of highly-addictive opioids. Health nor ill health should not be allowed to be exploited for profits.

Curb the excessesβ–³

Far too many resources are poured into supporting too few people or endeavours that do not provide enough benefits soon enough.

Cut wealthβ–³

Too many have far in excess of what they need to live very comfortably, robbing masses of people of the opportunity to live better lives.

1% of people control more than half of the world's wealth of US$300 plus trillion. That means these people have the opportunity to dramatically improve the lives of almost everyone on the planet, yet they just horde it. When poor people have money, they generally do not have the luxury of saving it, but must spend it to live. That spending goes into the pockets of several others who will in turn spend it. With sales taxes, most governments grab some part of each transaction, along with income tax. That aggregated tax helps to pay for government services.

But the wealthy don't circulate their money, and they take great pains to not pay taxes either. They thus become a liability on a country because they suck money out of the system, and so stop it benefitting many other people or their governments. They do this for no other reason than that they can. Of course, having so much wealth means they can exert a large amount of influence, especially if they donate a very small part of their fortunes to political parties for favourable outcomes for their businesses and lifestyles.

Money is the oil of social mobility, as it tokenises a person's worth, allowing them to choose where they work and live. For money to be useful to people, it should be circulating as much as possible, allowing others some degree of freedom in what they do with their lives. Those who withdraw money from circulation and sit on huge amounts of it thus undermine social mobility and put downward pressure on peoples' worth. If the wealthy are not going to cooperate for the betterment of all, they must be relieved of substantial amounts of their worth.

Having far more than what is needed to live a luxurious life is an anathema to fairness in society. The rich must be taxed substantially so that they do not have such huge amounts of wealth. No one should have over a $100 million, and preferably much less, as that would still be enough to invest in businesses or do whatever they want, except control the world! It is time to let people have the opportunity to live at least a small part of what they have been promised for so long, but have been persistently denied.

Some billionaires see themselves as being very successful players of the business game. Playing a game is one thing, but if a person can watch billions suffer when they can bring them out of hunger and poverty, they are not some jolly game player, but a heartless psychopath who considers their own feelings of superiority more important than mass suffering. These are definitely not the ones who we should trust with the stewardship of our societies and the planet.

Some see billionaires providing lots of jobs as a good thing, but we only have to see the quality of the jobs they provide and the stressful conditions they make their employees and contractors work under to see that they would be better off with some of the wealth their owners have accumulated. This sentiment relies upon the assumption that those billionaires are the only ones providing work, but small businesses are still the greatest employer group and if money wasn't stagnating in some billionaires' stock portfolios, it would be be spread around a whole lot more businesses.

Stop pollutionβ–³

Poisoning our air and water directly sabotages our health, forcing too many resources to be diverted towards just trying to survive.

Millions of people die per year from poor quality air, purely for a few to get rich extracting and burning fossil fuels while avoiding paying the countries from where they extracted it. So the people of a country get no financial benefits from the sale of the fuels, and get poisoned as a bonus. This is egregious and must stop, regardless of the short-term disruption that may occur. Killing people so others can pollute is not a fair system for looking after people.

Chemical and plastics are polluting our waters and oceans so much that we are eating our own plastics and destroying marine life. Businesses are not more important than people, especially if they are killing us. We must dramatically reduce our dependence upon plastics and other chemical pollutants, and elect politicians who are not beholden to the polluters. Then we can get some of our health back and maybe have a better chance of pulling ourselves out of our other stresses.

Stop corruptionβ–³

Corruption diverts resources away from those with needs to those who are just greedy. Corruption is the means by which our hopes are sabotaged.

Corruption is like a tax that only benefits the corruptor and the corrupted, while robbing everyone else of what the government was supposed to provide. The corruptors are mostly wealthy people already accumulating excess wealth but too greedy to stop at that. Every government jurisdiction should have an independent commission to investigate politicians and public servants who might be engaging in corruption.

Eliminate overindulgenceβ–³

There is too much money and resources devoted to projects that will not produce benefits that we can use now.

People like to be creative, but some are not content with confining it to their garage, but want to waste taxpayers' money on their own self-indulgent pet projects. We have the folly of space travel with some aim of colonising the moon or Mars. These ideas don't scale but just consume a lot of resources. Going into space was kicked off as an exercise in creating national pride, and while the solving of problems with getting into space has provided us with a lot of innovations, it was a very expensive way of doing it, compared to putting that money into solving the real issues we have on earth.

From the pyramids and palaces to skyscrapers and space, a few have squandered the fortunes of their societies to build self-aggrandising monuments that only benefit a very few, rather than looking after the wellbeing of all. Everywhere, poverty and hardship abound in the shadows of these monuments. We have built an economic system that requires never-ending consumption for its maintenance and now it threatens the earth. This is unsustainable.

Stop psychopathsβ–³

There are several wealthy individuals who are willing to throw humanity under the bus for their own ends. Time to stop playing nice.

Media tycoonsβ–³

Some media tycoons deliberately create societal upheaval just to show they can. They are poison.

We only have to look to the devastating effect that Rupert Murdoch has had using his media network to manipulate politicians and their followers into playing his twisted games. He has always sought to be the power broker from his early days in Australia and expanded that dystopian perversion into the whole English-speaking world.

However, other media outlets and social media owners also rely upon creating or fomenting emotional instability as their business model. They are happy to let whomever will pay them to create as much distrust and fake outrage as they want, all while taking no responsibility for the bad outcomes.


Conservatives deliberately try to prevent people being able to take control of their own lives, and spread lies and disinformation to distract from their nefarious endeavours.

Conservativism is really the outcome of centuries of autocracies where the great majority of their people had no say in the governing of their country. It is only after revolutions and the emergence of democracy that they have had to be more proactive at maintaining their power by promoting the propaganda that the masses can have what they have if they just work hard and trust them. Of course, they have had no intention of sharing their privileged lifestyles, so they have manipulated and bribed politicians to make laws favourable to maintaining their exclusive lifestyle.

In recent years, conservatives have become more brazen and now openly tell that they want to stay in power at all cost, and will dismantle democracy to do it. Unfortunately, far too many people have accepted this power grab as something to be welcomed, seemingly oblivious to that it means that they will become more disenfranchised, despite all the false talk of seeking freedom.


A lot of the social activity in today's societies in centred around celebrating just a few, to the detriment of everybody else.

Whole industries are built around the veneration of a few, be they sports-people, celebrities or now CEOs, as if they are the pinnacle of human evolution, but are really a diversion from the essentially exploitative nature of those industries. Their business model only allows for that few, serving as a sort of tease promising that we too could be one of them, but really only serving to exploit our trust so that we buy their merchandise. We are cut out of any more opportunities to enter their world because that would undermine their economics of exploitation.

No apologiesβ–³

There is too much to be done that we don't have time to pretend that drastic action doesn't need to happen now.

Forego selfishnessβ–³

Pandering to peoples' greed has built societies of selfishness and self-indulgence. It will kill us.

To change the future, all of us need to make some adjustments in our lifestyles. For those who live fairly minimalist lifestyles, not much will need to change. Those who want big homes and extravagant luxury will have to make a lot of changes. It is all about getting realistic expectations of what life is about so that all of us can share life worth living. We won't have to starve or have no indulgences, but not expect to have a lot more than we really need.

How much we need to change will be a work in progress, but it will be helped if we let go of unrealistic desires and expectations. Unfortunately, many of our unrealistic expectations have been programmed into our thinking by those who want to exploit us. We need to curb their influence over us, by reducing their opportunities to distort our thinking, so that we can reset what we expect from society and what we can do to make a better future for us and everyone else.

Drastic changesβ–³

The timeframe for our survival has sped up due to our collective inaction. We cannot pretend that we don't have to change.

Collectively, we have put off making the changes necessary to live healthily on this planet, instead choosing to believe in the false promises of those touting that we don't have to change or even that further indulgence is better for us. We are now paying the price, yet we still resist. That thinking cannot endure, so we need to face up to the types of changes we need to make.

Firstly, greed is not good. It just makes us want more than we actually need. Collectively, that creates excessive consumption of resources leading to the climate changing to the point of threatening the lifestyles that we crave. The only way around this is to let go of expectation that our selfishness should be indulged. That does not mean that we cannot have any indulgences, but that they should not be the ones that force many others to sacrifice their own needs for, perhaps even their lives.

We have whole industries that rely upon our frivolousness, usually resulting in a lot of people being exploited. Those in tourism, hospitality, entertainment and transport are exploited with low wages and stressful work just to survive. Is that fair? Of course not, but we know that those at the top of those industries are not poor, so we are complicit in their subjugation of masses of people while acquiescing to their amassing great wealth, all just so we feel good for a few hours.

Tourism has resulted in the distortion of the lives of many of the inhabitants of those destinations that they are fighting back by restricting access to tourists. Long-term rental accommodation is being diverted to high-income short-stay tourism use, creating housing crises where people go homeless because they cannot afford the inflated rental prices for what long-term accommodation is still available. All just so we can escape the supposed mundaneness of our lives. That is farming out our incapacity to entertain ourselves to those less able to do anything about their own lives.

We have bought into the idea that our wealth and happiness is somehow dependent upon working long hours and compensating for that with expensive, resource-consuming entertainment. Of course that is the lie that we are sold so we ourselves can be exploited. We don't need to work for long hours nor suppress the resulting stress with exploitative entertainment. Instead, we can back off from the stress of both by being more balanced and letting go of the many unnecessary things that we do and surround ourselves with.

To have a fairer world, we have to let go of the overindulgence that we have deemed we require. We can make do with a lot less, but we need to take responsibility for our own happiness instead of outsourcing it. That may mean learning a musical instrument or taking up a hobby, of the modest kind. That would share around the fulfillment while lowering our resource footprint. With the internet, we can travel up the world's rivers and visit other countries and learn about many and varied things. The efforts of a few can provide benefits for all.

Redistribute wealthβ–³

If all of humanity is to have a chance of a fair life, processes and policies that prevent fair distribution of resources must go.

The common denominator to all the problems we experience today is the concentration of resources into the hands of very few, robbing the great majority of the opportunity to significantly change their lives for the better. The exceedingly wealthy have been able to manipulate our economic systems to ensure their continued hold on power and wealth. They have exploited the poor in other countries to sell to the selfish in their own countries, while simultaneously sabotaging their democracies and thus their ability to define their own future.

The wealthy have generally shown a callous, if not outright psychopathic, disregard for life, human or otherwise, let alone the planet itself. We cannot trust billionaires to look after us and the planet. They have shown no willingness to sacrifice their wealth and lifestyles yet expect the rest of us to happily cling to the vain hope that we can join them if we only play their game. We don't have to accept our relegation to being accomplices in their selfishness because we can take control of the arms of government by electing only those who are really committed to serving their constituents.

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