From the Left- The Daily Commercial: My vision for America includes possibilities for better choices

John Heimburg Guest Columnist

In my vision of America, humans will have learned some basic lessons that will allow them to survive and thrive as an integral part of the Earth’s creation.

In governance, “All men [persons] are created equal.” People and great ideas, not money, will make decisions in our government. “Equal Justice Under Law,” carved over the entrance to the Supreme Court, will have become a reality. Our laws will be just. Not hurting others will be the recognized basis for our freedom. Our children will be taught basic research skills and how the government works. Everyone will be encouraged to develop to their full potential, with education continuing throughout life. Residents of neighborhoods will decide what policing and other services look like. Restorative justice will play a central role in the court system at every level. We will have no more “throw away” people.

Our job is to take care of the Earth. Much of our mining will be from dumps, both on land and in the oceans. We will have realized that all materials we have thrown “away” are still available to use if we are clever enough. Digging into the Earth’s crust for raw materials will be a last resort. Commercial and family farm agriculture will no longer be extractive, but regenerative, with all of the “waste” products going back into the soil. Poisonous chemicals will have been replaced with the knowledge of how the delicate balance of bio-spherical relationships work — from microbes through fungi, insects and other animals, including us.

Common sense and technology will solve population growth and connectivityCities will be part of the solution (see “Cities of the Future,” National Geographic, April 2019). “Sponge” cities will offer green roofs, rainwater capture and cleanup, urban composting, farms, gardens and an energy efficiency in heating and cooling not possible where human habitation is more spread out. High-speed rail connecting all major cities will be networked to energy-efficient transport systems serving all towns, villages and rural communities. Fiber optic cable installed in these transport corridors will bring low-cost, effective Internet service to every community, no matter how rural. A highly flexible energy grid, powered mostly from the sun, with wind, water, geothermal and battery supplements, will draw energy from all clean sources, including from consumers.

Cooperation is a more powerful economic system than greed. Cooperatives — nonprofit businesses where members, usually employees and customers, are in charge of decision-making — will be the predominant economic model. Capital is paid a fixed return on investment and does not vote. When decisions are based on what is best for the employees and customers, everyone wins long-term, including the Earth. Cut out of the loop will be the Wall Street speculative gamblers who use cut-throat measures for quick, substantial profits.

Is this all naïve pie-in-the-sky? No. From 2014 to 2016, sustainable investment in agriculture grew 33% to $9 trillion. Investors look at such metrics as quality of life for farming families and biodiversity of the land (see “Living Bird” magazine of Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Winter 2021). The book “Drawdown,” edited by Paul Hawken, summarizes the work of a consortium of scientists who show we already have in place the solutions to reverse global warming. And, brought to scale, our investment will return billions in savings. So, what’s holding us back? A few powerful people invested in fossil fuels and a lot of corruption in government. What will it take? A growing awareness of the possibilities; a vision of what might be; and an insistence by the more than 7 billion of us on this planet whom our government needs to make intelligent choices.

Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.” — Proverbs 29:18


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