The following message was conveyed to me. I feel compelled as an American and a citizen of Earth to distribute this perspective to as many people as possible. I believe the source could be extraterrestrial:
I hail from a different planet, and have been instructed to communicate with your species. Ages ago, we faced a situation quite similar to what you humans are facing now. We were overpopulated, consuming resources, and polluting too fast for the collective environment to keep up. We also suffered from the staggering inertia of “greed gone wild”. The engines of our economy ran on consumption, especially that of fossil fuels. But we were wrong. Greed and decadence drove us deeper into our illusion, as nearly all the wealth gravitated to the very top. Ultimately, our economy began to collapse, crushing the working class to the edge of existence, just as we were pushing ecological envelopes towards their breaking points...
Our chance to change course came on the heels of an industrial strength environmental disaster. Our government and the responsible business parties stimulated a mitigation and conservation effort to try to clean up the mess. We were able to use that opportunity to show the advantages of a conservation-based economy. Now, Conservation and Mitigation are the primary products of our economy. What we do “for a living” is make our planet more habitable for our species,.. and for all the others connected to our fate.
Fossil fuels have long since become the dessert of the energy menu, rather than the main course. - Only used sparingly for special occasions. At present, we produce next to nothing you would call "disposable" or “recyclable”. Among the few things we recycle more of are: Uranium, Oil, and Water. All non-durable plastic bottles, bags etc… were phased out long ago.
Since our energy and resource requirements had become far less than those of your society, we could disconnect the long transmission lines to many rural areas; supplying those austere energy needs, primarily, with wind, solar, and geothermal; backed up with hydrogen, some hydro, reasonably clean biomass and methane. The main power grids in most urban areas are powered by a number of primary sources, including recycling fission reactors. Solar, wind, geothermal and countless micro and piezo applications help to reduce the load on the main grids. Our conservation practices across the board reduced our demand for all major utilities by more than 60% over the two-year transition period. The little things added up as well. For example, we converted all exercise equipment to feed back into the grid, rather than feed off the grid. When folks find themselves underemployed, they can stay fit while helping to minimize their electricity bills. In short, we converted our entire economy from laisse faire, consumption-based to conservation, localized food, staples, health maintenance and energy production.
We still fundamentally apply a capitalist monetary system, and produce some “non-essential” consumables, but nothing is created just to make money. Greed, while it may still fester in our subconscious, finds no reward on our open market. That was easier to fix than you would think…
Once we were able to convince a handful of our wealthiest (billionaires in US currency) of the urgency caused by our combined economic and ecological crisis, we were able to shift the economic matrix from a suicidal path to a pro-life path. (I know that phrase has a somewhat different meaning in your culture. – perhaps sustainable or regenerative is more vernacular) Important for us was a large public coalition, in concert with the conscious billionaires. Together we crafted and submitted a legislative package to our governing body on behalf of the people.
Adopting that legislation made it possible for us to facilitate the translation and transformation of our local and large - scale economic machinery. We wanted to work towards a future that might make sense. We got our opportunity to try something, and it has worked infinitely better than the dinosaur economics we’d been blindly perpetuating."
Since I received this message, Warren Buffet and Bill Gates have, in fact, initiated a conscious billionaire effort. This is historic and, I think, fantastic. The next segment will cover many of the specific legislative notions that were conveyed to me.