The WHOLE EARTH DESIGN PROJECT
“You say you got a real solution.
Well, you know, we’d all love to see the plan.”
–The Beatles, 1968
The ultimate objective of this project is to design an ecologically and environmentally sustainable economic system that will provide every individual on the planet with all of life’s essentials, and to do so in a way so convincingly that it will lead to its universal adoption. The plan is to pursue this objective in the following four stages:
STAGE I: ESTABLISH THE PROJECT’S FEASIBILITY. Here’s how:
For each of life’s ten essentials (air, water, food, clothing, shelter, information, communication, transportation, health care, and energy) we will form a workgroup to draw upon the knowledge and expertise of the many individuals and organizations around the world who are active in that field to make a plausible estimate of what would be required to meet the one-time goal of making that necessity universally available, and what would be needed thereafter to maintain its availability at that level.
Ordinarily, such an estimate would be expressed in trillions of dollars, euros, yen, or renminbe. Instead, we will also calculate the cost in units of labor. In the case of water, for example, the relevant workgroup will estimate how many workers with each of the required skill sets (engineers, planners, ditchdiggers, plumbers, electricians, pump and filter manufacturers, etc.), laboring how many hours/months/years, would be needed to meet the pure-water objective. The calculations will include, not only the labor required for the final assembly and installation of materials and equipment, but also the labor involved all along the entire chain of production beginning with the extraction and harvesting of raw materials from nature’s bounty.
Then, based upon a consolidation and integration of the authoritative estimates of the ten workgroups, we will proclaim − with the fanfare from a million metaphorical trumpets − what the facts will have clearly revealed: There is enough for everyone! Further, that the abundance of available human, natural and technological resources makes it possible to provide every individual on the planet with all of life’s essentials; that an all-hands worldwide emergency effort could bring the planet’s entire population up to a humane and sustainable standard of living in just a few short years; and that the maintenance of that standard would require as little as the equivalent of a day a week from each of us as our individual contribution to the smooth functioning of the rationally designed economic system.
STAGE II: FILL IN THE DETAILS. Here’s how:
Utilizing existing Geographic Information System (GIS) software, we will then create the framework for a virtual world in cyberspace to serve as a template for the organization of a new economic model in the real world. We will begin by geographically locating needs and resources by continents and regions, collecting the gross statistics from various government, trade, professional, and philanthropic organizations. Then, with the aid of a worldwide army of VIGs (volunteer information gatherers) − drawn to the design project by its dramatic declaration of possibilities − we will dissect those gross statistics by locating needs and resources down through increasingly detailed geographic layers until they identify and embrace the entire human population, city by city, town by town, neighborhood by neighborhood, home by home, and individual by individual, resulting in what amounts to the first Earth-wide census.
STAGE III: COMPLETE THE WINNING DESIGN. Here’s how:
First, we will assume a post-coalescent world, that is, the world toward which we are all striving, one where we act as a global family, looking after one another, sharing burdens, celebrating life together. Next, assume an entirely new operating system in which violence and money are no longer elements of control. Therefore, no armies and no banks, and none of their offspring or various instrumentalities. Then, without regard to any matters financial, political, or legal, but with a laser-like focus on the simple and direct objective of providing everyone on the planet with all of life’s essential goods and services, we will start connecting resources with needs by way of the shortest and most direct routes.
By so connecting the “resource” dots with the “need” dots and running simulations to demonstrate the potential for efficiency, out of the design project will emerge an economic model so dramatically superior to the one we have now that, if adopted, it would improve the lives of 99.99% of the world’s population.
This begs the question: If it can be shown that this is so, what could possibly prevent the overwhelming majority of the population from adopting that system?
STAGE IV: PROMOTE THE WINNING DESIGN. Here’s how:
By now the Whole Earth Design Project will have become a movement, with a capital M, supported by the millions who have participated in assembling the data. By calling it the Whole Earth Movement, or the Coalescence, we will give it a name that can serve as a banner under which all organizations and individuals trying to make this a better world can march in oneness of purpose. Meanwhile, we offer this new movement a symbol, a logo, that can be used to express support. The early Christians had the fish symbol and now the cross, Jews have the Star of David, Churchill used the V for Victory sign, the anti-war movement had the peace sign, and the Nazis had the swastika. Here’s a suggestion for the Whole Earth Movement:
What does it mean? One version of its intended meaning is that a united world [()] is better than [>] a divided world [)(]. We encourage those who agree with that sentiment to draw it in the sand, wear it on a button, stick it on a bumper, put it on a T-shirt, and include it in their email messages. Next, armed with all the facts and a powerful message, we will launch the fiercest public relations, promotion, publicity and proselytizing campaign the world has ever seen. Let it be known that − beyond the shadow of a doubt − under the proposed cooperative economic system there will no longer be cause for economic anxiety. No one will lose their home. Everyone will have enough to eat. No one will die of malaria. Everyone will have clean and safe water to drink and air to breathe. And so on, through the whole list of life’s necessities.
By now we will have developed the project’s virtual world in cyberspace, using Geographic Information System software, and made it available to the public for inspection via the Internet in much the same way that Google Earth is widely available. They can zoom in anywhere on the globe for a closer look at local conditions or pull back for the larger picture. In this way the world can follow the design project’s progress. And by now we will have also developed an avatar program with which individuals can represent themselves while exploring their possible roles in the new economy.
The beauty of a Whole Earth Design Project and the key to its success is that each individual’s participation is discussed and agreed upon and then foreshadowed in the project’s virtual world. Thus, the new society will be collectively designed in cyberspace before being recreated in the real world, having had all the details, including each individual’s role, worked out agreeably in advance. There will be much exciting and rewarding work to do during the one-off period of global reconstruction to bring everyone up to a humane standard of living. Thereafter, there will suddenly be so little work that for many adjusting to a life of leisure may prove to be the greater challenge. When finally the vast majority of the population has signed on to the program, we will set a date, have a fantastic planetary celebration, and then get to work. There’s an entire planet that needs healing and a whole new world of possibilities ready to be explored.
What’s your reaction? Could this possibly be the idea whose time has come?
Presently, the Website for the Whole Earth Design Project (www.design.thecoalescence.net) is still under construction. Nevertheless, if participation in this project is of interest to you, or if you would like to follow its development, then please subscribe to our soon-to-be-launched newsletter for the latest developments.