Future Catastrophic Risks ... They Can Be Prevented
Now that a preventable crisis has the gripping attention of the world’s leaders, what other catastrophic crisis on the horizon is also something that we can identify NOW and act to alter if we become statesmen rather than politicians?
First, AGRICULTURE — our seeds are controlled by one or two companies that have installed terminator genes, don’t allow farmers to reuse the seeds in subsequent years, and we have a mono-culture crop for most food items … this is a recipe waiting for disaster. One world drought or insect boom or climate change or new disease and the mono-crop is all gone.
We must encourage small agriculture once again for security’s sake, as a national strategic concern (just as Saudi Arabia once grew expensive wheat in the desert for security concerns as well). The government should encourage public seed swap / seed sharing internet groups as a backup to the often failing government and corporate efforts. There should be NO LAWS preventing farmers from using saved seed — this profit maximizing law threatens your life because it threatens your food supply. The government makes laws and says “No” to many things because of the risks or threats to our health and safety or because of fairness, and this should be one of them because of the risks that the corporations will all so deny … just as they did for what has caused the current banking crisis. That’s how profit maximization works. It doesn’t care about social, environmental or other costs like this.
The stakes are way too high here folks to let our food supply policies be determined by corporations rather than public officials thinking things through for the public good (instead of saying "let’s just let the profit-seeking corporations do it" … witness this month’s stock results if you believe that works best in the long run). Frankly “terminator genes/seeds” should be outlawed, plain and simple, because of the catastrophic risk they entail. So the big agri firms make less money, big deal. I would not let their actions threaten the food supply of my country just so they can make an extra percent, would you?
This is also not to mention the dangers of GMO foods polluting the seed bank with genes to which we have no idea of the consequences on humans or animals or insects, the increasing use of pesticides in our foods, decline of soil quality, and dwindling water supplies. Should life be patentable in the first place (outlawing this, or patenting of DNA, is a single stroke that would remove the cause of many of these problems)?
As I’ve said for years, one thing we should do is sponsor 5-8 cold storage facilities for entire variety of seeds and locate them all over the world in case of nuclear war or environmental disaster. Imagine the billion dollar cost per month of the Iraq war that wins us nothing and the MINIMAL $20+ million cost per year to maintain such facilities that can save our butts if something goes wrong. It's called "catastrophic risk insurance." Congressmen and senators, get this done NOW …
Actually, because the food supply is so important to all countries, you want lots of solutions instead of a mono-culture solution, not centralized, locally adapted. Encourage this once again....and don't give local farmers too much paperwork. Give them tax breaks as they are a beenfit to local communities.
Yes, dwindling WATER supplies. Many of the next wars will be fought over WATER. Cities can die if the water sources vanish. Is this not slowly happening? What should we do out west? We actually tried some of the Trevor Constable water engineering (rain making) equipment he produced and it works … and can even knock out tornadoes. Time for science to study them.
Speaking of water, the COLLAPSE OF FISHING STOCKS that can easily be altered … fishermen as a percentage of employment are so little, and yet we are letting this little group make policies that are destroying their own livelihood.
The MELTING OF THE POLAR ICE CAPS, if it happens, will change ocean currents and sea levels and ocean pH. There are too many possible consequences of thisto mention them here. Cities on coastal areas will disappear…should we encourage them to be built there or provide flood plain insurance to such areas? Isn’t that the owner’s risk, not ours (once it happens everyone wants a bailout)? Start thinking about this now before we build more communities in the path of Katrinas.
The die off of BEES … if they die, so does a nation’s entire food supply. Ban the pesticides (partially) responsible. Encourage local beekeeping with tax breaks once again. During WWII you could avoid the draft if you kept a certain number of beehives in certain sates. Encourage bees with tax breaks for home beekeeping hobbyists.
ANTIBIOTICS aren’t working any longer. Time to shift the paradigm to other therapies (silver, MMS, electro, H2O2, UV radiation, ozone, etc.) that do work but are non-patentable. Sorry large drug companies. Just because you cannot make MEGA bucks profits on a cure or remedy doesn’t mean you should disallow it or discourage it. Mr. Government, stop suppressing these things, get on the bandwagon, and let people try whatever they want int he health field at their own risk. There should be a Bill of Rights Amendment for freedom of medical choice just as one of our founding fathers suggested. We are at war with disease, and at war no one method works, but all methods should be tried. Stop thinking there is only one way, or that only the big monied players will find it. In the history of invention, it's the small guy who most often creates/finds the breakthrough.
ALTERNATIVE ENERGY or ENERGY NON-DEPENDENCY. Its’ ready. You just need to stop listening to the old capital base and let the forces of creative destruction let the new stuff be born. Part of our problem has been the old base’s control over what they wanted to allow to happen.
PATENT LAWS should be changed to allow a new category that will encourage instant new production. If the item is patented and the inventor selects this category, anyone can use the patent without need to negotiate a contract but for a XX% royalty fee (3% has been suggested) to the inventor. Instant rejuvenation of the manufacturing base if you insist that only domestic manufacturers can take advantage of this, etc.
The LOSS OF THE MANUFACTURING base. Sorry theoreticians, a nation cannot survive as a purely service economy. Witness yesterday….In fact, we should see policies that promote the return of the small businessman, shopkeeper and entrepreneur. This is where jobs are secure, not in corporations that would outsource your talents in a minute to someone far away who will gladly accept half your income. Store money among the people instead of corporations or banks. At some point people realize that employment is more important than lower prices (if the nation is unemployed as in a depression then people cannot buy anything), and that corporations care little about harmful social and environmental impacts/costs because they only wish to maximize profits.
The CONCENTRATION OF THE PRESS IN TOO FEW HANDS. Democracy only works when the populace is kept informed. If only five major players control most of the news, and if those five get in bed with the ruling forces, out goes democratic oversight and the prevention of policies that cause ruin when someone quite idiotic or unqualified is at the helm, etc. When the public knows what's going on, their collective wisdom is sometimes exatly what is needed. Which brings up the fact that ELECTRONIC VOTING is practically 100% susceptible to outside control and must be eliminated because the evidence this has happened is overwhelming. We can create a rocketship to take people tot he moon but cannot create a fool proof electronic voting machine?
Which also brings up the fact that PACS have too much influence over politics and should be removed from our system. Everyone suffering from less election funds means it’s a level playing field, which means no one suffers as it is all reduced proportionately. The nation becomes better off as large monied players can no longer buy influence/control over government. When they do, regulation does not happen, and things go wrong in a big way. No gvoernment works well when its concerns and legislation can be bought. Witness September 29, 2008 as a direct consequence of excesses caused by this type of influence over time.
The HIGH COST OF COLLEGE EDUCATION. Easily remedied - see Gary North, and also create alternatives to a four year degree.
MEDICAL SERVICES ... I remember when young we always paid for our own doctor vists and medicines and everything worked fine. The government pushed us towards the HMO model thinking it would help, and it did not. The old system was better with catastrophic medical insurance added. Let's see if we can go back ... and thereby enable everyone to get more than 8 minutes of your doctor's time.
LIABILITY - LEGAL SYSTEM RUN AMUCK. I'd like a law/precedence created that absolved you of liability if someone didn't use commonsense. Stick your hand out the train's window and it gets cut off -- why should I pay? You stepped on a ladder in Winterttime after you placed it on ice, fell and want to sue me? Get over it. We have to rethink our overly litigacious society and solve the liability problem. It's one reason we don't make things here anymore....so you have a choice, jobs, higher GNP, etc. versus compensating someone for their stupidity, and the lawyers who take those cases. Lawyers won't come up with the solution because they're paid by the non-solution. Where is the incentive? WE have to think of a better solution and impose it on them.
OVERPOPULATION … imagine the future results of our (on purpose) passive immigration policy as we enter into a recession and people want jobs. In Germany and England we saw racial riots and tensions when they went through something similar in the past. Going forward, the policy that has let millions of Mexicans into the country who may never assimilate fully (a BIG problem), and the coming costs to infrastructure (medical, social services, education,…) caused by these non-taxpayers, will be huge. You are not buying votes by letting this happen. Neither are you preparing for the joining of the two countries. The cultures are entirely different -- it would never work.
Gosh, there are so MANY. I had planned to write a book on these for years but it’s singing into a black hole. Only Statesmen think about these thinks and push for them, not politicians.
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