Update: What Every Citizen Should Know About Our Planet

May 2, 2012 • Climate Change & Mitigation, Daily Email Recap

Today, as part of our series of updates on activist organizations, I am sharing with you an update from “The Wecskaop Project” (What Every Citizen Should Know About Our Planet). Randolph Femmer is the senior writer for The Wecskaop Project, and I found the 2011 edition of his book to be an excellent read.

For excerpts and previews of the 2011 edition of “What Every Citizen Should Know About Our Planet” WECSKAOP – III, I encourage you to click here: http://www.scribd.com/doc/26119061/What-Every-Citizen-Should-Know-About-Our-Planet-2011-Edition

Randolph writes:

Right now The Wecskaop Project is focusing on its new Biospherics Literacy 101 open-courseware collections which features an easy “five PowerPoints / five days” pathway to biospheric literacy that summarizes the core data sets, principles, and understandings that constitute “what every citizen should know about our planet.”

The collections also include supplementary topic-by-topic PDFs (such as “Carrying capacity and limiting factors in population systems,” “Lag-times, delayed feedbacks, overshoot, and collapse in population systems,” “Population momentum on steroids,” and “Why 15.8 billion should be considered the demographic equivalent of a near-earth asteroid.”

Since humankind was already damaging earth’s natural systems and life-support machinery at populations of five and six billion (1987 and 1999) (only half of whom were industrialized), anything even approaching the U.N.’s 15.8 billion high-fertility projections constitute the demographic equivalent of a collision trajectory with a near-earth asteroid.

If a near-earth asteroid were on a path toward the earth, astronomers, NASA, and international space agencies would launch attempts to “nudge” the object out of its collision trajectory… but that nudging would have to BEGIN when the object is still far enough away for the nudging to have an effect.

Given our demographics, this object that is about to hit us is TEN to FIFTEEN BILLION humans on a planet whose machinery already started to break at populations of five and six billion so that the emergency nudging that must be accomplished is to ensure that the world’s highest birth rates begin nudging lower beginning …TODAY…- because EVERY hour, day, and instant that we delay has the effect of increasingly locking in the collision trajectory.

Thus, the issue of the moment – right now – is that in order to nudge these demographic near-earth scenarios out of their collision trajectory we must begin right now. So how close are these “near earth scenarios” to the obliterating collision trajectories? These scenarios and their obliterating collisions are so close that the only thing that worldwide fertility rates have to do is to average just ½ child per woman higher than the U.N.’s “medium-fertility” estimates for the calamitous 15.8 billions outcomes and impacts to emerge.

In my opinion, the most neglected population-environment issue today is the population momentum that is unfolding right now – today – in the world’s highest-fertility, least developed countries, where a generation of “Under-20s” (that comprise 40% to 50% of their nations’ entire populations) is beginning to enter their childbearing years right now. If the existing fertility practices and traditions in those nations right-now prevail (in some cases, five or six or more children per woman) this will  increasingly lock the whole of humankind, civilization, and the only planetary life-support machinery so far known to exist anywhere in the universe into nearly inescapable demographic trajectories toward the higher-end U.N. population projections of 12, 13, or 15.8 billion by century’s end.

Current projects and resources made available courtesy of “The Wecskaop Project” (What Every Citizen Should Know About Our Planet) include five freely-download-able PowerPoints and supplementary topic-by-topic population-environment PDFs for non-commercial use by scientists, students, and educators anywhere in the world.

Imagine a cost-free grassroots or “bottom-up” pathway to biospheric literacy that is achievable in two or three hours or over an easy period of one or two weeks:

PPT 1 – WORLD POPULATION AND DEMOGRAPHICS  http://www.scribd.com/fullscreen/18366094?access_key=key-20iiu722r2dhym1z49ua

PPT 2 – REAL-WORLD POPULATION CALAMITIES IN SEEMINGLY EMPTY ENVIRONMENTS  http://www.scribd.com/fullscreen/29284061?access_key=key-1d5uc7f665roaubtur7w

PPT 3 – ECOLOGICAL SERVICES AND BIOSPHERIC LIFE-SUPPORT MACHINERY  http://www.scribd.com/fullscreen/30231732?access_key=key-x4cwny8s654eee30t8s

PPT 4 – EARTH’S ATMOSPHERE AND SEAS AS RAZOR-THIN SURFACE FILMS  http://www.scribd.com/full/28709867?access_key=key-2nz7qoeakn2mqnl8h5o5

PPT 5 – EXPONENTIAL AND NON-LINEAR TRAJECTORIES IN POPULATION SYSTEMS   http://www.calameo.com/read/000676519a2f4cec2a088
POPULATION MOMENTUM -(…ON STEROIDS…) ?  http://www.calameo.com/read/000676519911b1dd3185d

WHY 15.8 BILLION SHOULD BE VIEWED AS AN EMERGENCY  http://www.scribd.com/fullscreen/55268052?access_key=key-tov3iziacuwi8o8itf0

CONSERVATION – WHY 10% GOALS MAY PERMIT COLLAPSE  http://www.scribd.com/full/18030175?access_key=key-cprix4htb45zxmqih5k

100 Key Environmental Educational CompetencieS  http://www.scribd.com/full/24864944?access_key=key-1trf14l84r1cysefcbkq
DEMOGRAPHIC TRANSITION THEORY – NEW QUESTIONS  http://www.scribd.com/full/19805610?access_key=key-26edj738ikczlrizhj5w

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