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Provisional Government of Earth, My Thoughts On
May 30, 2024
by William P. Meyers

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Join the Conversation about the Provisional Government of Earth

The earth is in an environmental crisis. We are in a Slow Motion Apocalypse. Yada yada. So what are we going to do about it?

Clearly the earth's current system of human governance is a failure. The system is oriented around nation states, with a weak United Nations pseudo global governing body that has mainly simply represented an extension of the exploitative power of the USA and its allied former imperialist powers. True, some nations are governed, from time to time, better than others. But looking at the collection of governments as a whole, they have failed to protect the planet and its ecosystems. They have failed to guarantee basic human rights for those individuals of the Homo sapiens species.

I have written about global overpopulation (of Homo Sapiens individuals) and the alternative Wonderful World of One Billion. Some governments have encouraged the use of birth control and other forms of family planning. Yet despite the warnings of scientists, ever since the world human population passed the 1 billion threshold around 1800, the world now has a population of over 8 billion. In the nations where the population is heading in the right direction, like South Korea, it is because of the efforts of women, and despite the urgings of governments. 8 billion people, even living at pre-industrial levels, would have destroyed much of the earth just planting enough food crops for sustenance. Add coal and other fossil fuels, and the destruction has accelerated over the decades.

So what is to be done?

Here I want to focus on the goals I think the Provisional Government of Earth should have, so that when (sadly, if) it becomes the government of earth, it can quickly start implementing actions to save as much of the earth as possible.

One obvious high priorities would be universal availability and use of birth control. Equally important is significant lowering of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions.

People should be fairly represented in the global government, which means one person, one vote. However, some consideration should be given to not allowing that principle to encourage any group of humans to try to enlarge its population (or shrink it more slowly than the global average). It must be in the context of lower populations for all.

The government of earth must have the power to implement the necessary environmental rules. That probably means some kind of police or even military power. It would be nice if everyone would cooperate, but given human history, I do not expect everyone will volunteer to follow the government's guidance.

Non-human species need to be represented as well. This would need to happen at the Earth level, and at national levels, and at local levels. It would be a big change, and of course I don't expect deer or starfish or redwood trees to sit in a representative assembly. Picking humans to represent species or category of species will be tricky, but it needs to be done. Obviously one individual, one vote does work for non-human species, otherwise bacteria or perhaps cockroaches would rule the world. Then again, the way things are going, without rapidly setting up a Provisional Government of Earth and allowing it to become the global government, bacteria and cockroaches could soon rule the world with little human interference.

The government of earth will need to look again at human rights. In America, at least, we have tended to state them as yes/no propositions. We need to understand shades of gray. This is particularly true of economic rights. Economic rights need to stop when they destroy or degrade ecosystems. Freedom of speech or religion should not be excused to oppress women, have too many children, or destroy the environment.

We need to put an end to war, though that might be tough in the early days, when the war lords of earth resist giving up their power and wealth.

We need migration policies set at the global levels. Given that large areas currently inhabited by humans are rapidly becoming uninhabitable, planning and guidance is needed minimize the impact of migration on other areas of the earth.

We need to rationalize the use of capital. That probably means confiscating much of it that has accumulated in the hands of a few individuals. However, keep in mind that some governments have been even worse at managing capital than some individuals. Guidance of the type where a company cannot reinvest by digging a new oil well, but can build a new solar farm, might serve as well as confiscation. Either way there is no getting around a need for a detailed, fact-driven, regulatory apparatus.

Much focus should be put on saving specific local ecosystems. Some triage will be necessary, given the impact of higher temperatures (and other changes) on many species. A rapid reduction in human population, combined with a rapid reduction in carbon consumption per person, would minimize the need for specific local measures. It would also minimize human suffering and the need for geographic relocation. Turning some agricultural land back into mixed ecological zones should be a priority.

There are a million details. This is just an initial overview. Look for a future post on how the Provisional Government of Earth could come to power (there are multiple pathways). Find ways to support the Provisional Government and its goals.

Act Up.

Don't wait for instructions.

Think, and share your thinking.

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