Mobilizing to Save Civilization: What You and I Can Do

Educate yourself, your community and your elected representative to reverse current climate change trends.


| August/September 2008





One of the questions I am frequently asked when I am speaking in various countries is, given the environmental problems that the world is facing, can we make it? That is, can we avoid economic decline and the collapse of civilization? My answer is always the same: it depends on you and me, on what you and I do to reverse these trends. It means becoming politically active. Saving our civilization is not a spectator sport.

We have moved into this new world so fast that we have not yet fully grasped the meaning of what is happening. Traditionally, concern for our children has translated into getting them the best health care and education possible. But if we do not act quickly to reverse the Earth’s environmental deterioration, eradicate poverty, and stabilize population, their world will decline economically and disintegrate politically.

The two overriding policy challenges are to restructure taxes and reorder fiscal priorities. Saving civilization means restructuring taxes to get the market to tell the ecological truth. And it means reordering fiscal priorities to get the resources needed for Plan B. Write, call or e-mail your elected representative about the need for tax restructuring to create an honest market. Remind him or her that corporations that left costs off the books appeared to prosper in the short run, only to collapse in the long run.

Or better yet, gather some like-minded friends together to meet with your elected representatives to discuss why we need to raise environmental taxes and reduce income taxes. Before the meeting, draft a brief statement of your collective concerns and the policy initiatives needed. Feel free to download the information on tax restructuring in Chapter 13 of Earth Policy Institute's Plan B 3.0: Mobilizing to Save Civilization.

Let your political representatives know that a world spending more than $1 trillion a year for military purposes is simply out of sync with reality when the future of civilization is in question. Ask them if the Plan B budget — an additional $190 billion a year for eradicating poverty, stabilizing population and restoring the Earth — is an unreasonable expenditure to save civilization. Ask them if diverting one sixth of the global military budget to saving civilization is too costly. Introduce them to Plan B. Remind them of how we mobilized in World War II.

Make a case for the inclusion of poverty eradication, family planning, reforestation and renewable energy development in international assistance programs. Urge an increase in these appropriations and a cut in military appropriations, pointing out that advanced weapons systems are useless in dealing with the new threats to our security. Someone needs to speak on behalf of our children and grandchildren, because it is their world that is at stake.





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