by Mike Nickerson
Since 2006 The World Federalist Foundation has been a supporting partner of “The Sustainability Project,” led by Mike Nickerson. His book, “Life, Money and Illusion; living on Earth as if we want to stay,” provided the backdrop for over 600 lectures, workshops, meetings and other public speaking engagements across Canada.
On a good day one can sense, through the fog of our world’s problems, a faint light, a glimmer of a place where humans live in balance with the Earth and with each other.
Viewed from the challenges of today, that place seems to be a long way off. And it is. The values by which people manage themselves must change.
Sometimes it helps to state things in simple terms. Basically we need to pursue “More Fun, Less Stuff.”
Renewable energy and electric equipment will be needed, but they are not enough. A positive future requires a shift in social values.
No longer can growth be our goal. No more producing and consuming, earning and spending ever more! We need to maximize fulfilment from living, with the least possible material entanglement. Let’s see who can get the most satisfaction from living with the least material throughput.
Almost every dollar we spend represents extracted resources and pollution. The benefits go to enrich the top 1% and leave the bottom part of the population to deal with the waste. If your purchase won’t cause waste or inequity, go for it!
Learning, love and laughter, sport, music, dance, creativity, appreciation and helping others offer unlimited opportunities for satisfaction, with minimum material requirements. And they’re fun.
Material necessities of food and shelter can be sustained by integrating sustainably with the natural world.
Humans can eat well forever if we use our intelligence to avoid overshooting local capacity. Air, water and a handful of soil elements are the building blocks for all living things. These elements can cycle indefinitely through soil life, plants, animals, ourselves and back to the soil. By caring for soil, communities can have everlasting life.
For shelter, buildings can be assembled that require almost no outside energy. Comfort is maintained by facing the sun to capture its warmth when needed, and
for cooling, we can engage shade trees, hold onto the cool of the nights and tap the chill of underground.
Health care at the preventative level, and education, rely mostly on the unlimited resources of knowledge, and our willingness to help each other.
If secure, healthy life is what we want, we can quickly shift our over-productive economy to systems that fulfill our basic needs. The energy from wind and sun can keep these systems going, with the surplus used to make other useful items designed for durability. The problems and waste of today will become a chapter in history books.
More Fun, Less Stuff. Can such a meme nudge its way past the well-funded directives to earn and spend, earn and spend, grow, grow, grow? These four syllables can lead us out of our overgrown self-destructive place toward a place that can assure the grandchildren a world in which to raise children of their own.
Not that hard to imagine, is it?