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Sue Everatt - Resource-Based Economy - at TEDxPasseigDesBorn

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Sue Everatt - Resource-Based Economy at TEDxPasseigDesBorn [Applause] ♫ Money makes the world go around, the world go around, the world go around.♫ Yes, sadly today, it is money that we allow to make the world go around. But imagine for a moment, being washed up on a desert island. No matter how many hundred-dollar notes you have, if you've no food, no water, and nothing to build a shelter with, your hundred-dollar notes aren't going to save you from anything. So what is it that we really need? Is it money? or is it access to the necessities of life? Now, you look like a very clued-up audience, so I'm going to assume that you all already know how money is created through debt and that it can be used, and in fact it is used to create artificial scarcity, by speculation with food prices, for example. Scarcity: when there isn't enough of something for everyone. We've always lived with scarcity, and that's basically why money was invented, because it got too complicated to carry things around, like chickens and tomatoes in exchange for things, especially when talking about exchanging chickens, or tomatoes, for something like a house. We've always lived without enough, so there's always been people that have had to steal; there's always been a reason for corruption. The system we have today has corruption built into it because of scarcity. And most of the abberant behavior we see today comes from an environment that leads to it through a lack of access to what we need to survive. Scarcity today is manipulated as well, so as to create a 'need' for something, like when the latest electronic gadget is brought out, and it's made in a limited edition, or when farmers are paid not to plant crops, so that the markets can maintain their prices, or raise them. In a monetary system, it's not interesting to have an abundance of anything, because the more there is of something, the cheaper it becomes. And feeding us a mentality of exclusivity, or being the first and the best to get something before anybody else just provokes competitive value memes that are very harmful. But that's the past, or it could be. Money has become an all-powerful tool, it's true, but it's become a manipulative and destructive one that is no longer helping the planet, quite the reverse. But I'm here to tell you that we have much more powerful tools all around us, yet we don't give them the value that they deserve, because we think the use of money is obligatory. These tools are science and technology. I'm here with my Powerpoint today, thanks to the technology that allowed me to communicate over long distances, with a fabulous team of people around the world who created these designs and these images for me. Thank you, I love you guys. And we all came here today by car or in an aeroplane, and when we go home tonight, our homes are full of technology that helps us. How many of you got the latest cell phone in your pocket? Your cell phone contains more processing power than all of the huge computer systems used to send the first man to the moon. So you see, it's not Wall Street executives, and it's not politicians, and it's certainly not bank managers who make your lives better. These people have got no idea how to solve world hunger; they don't know how to make more environmentally-friendly infrastructures for our cities. It's the scientists and engineers who discover new cures for illnesses and who create robots to automate boring and repetitive jobs; these are the people that make our lives better, safer, and more comfortable. How much more advanced as a species could we be if science and technology was not being held back by lack of funding, or having funding, but with vested interests? It's solutions we need to create, by using science and technology wisely and humanely. These tools are only as good, or bad, as the motive behind their use. With the technological knowledge we have today, we could create all we need to live on the planet and eliminate scarcity. Look at the factories that are able to produce, practically without manual labor. Technology is bringing us automation, whether we like it or not, and it's here to stay. And you know what? In a monetary system, robots are always going to be preferable to human labor because, robots don't take holidays. They don't get sick, they don't join unions, they're much more productive and far cheaper than human labor. Even the service sector is becoming automated now. And here's a few very simple examples that perhaps you don't even think about as being 'jobless' creation. Gasoline stations with no staff, automatic supermarket cash points, purchasing online, all these mean jobs lost. We're even seeing robots now that can be waiters. So you see, there's very little that's immune from becoming automated nowadays. Eventually, everything will be automated, and we really do need to think how we're going to manage in a monetary system, if nobody has any work? How are we expected to purchase the goods that are automated? The robots sure aren't going to want to buy any! Even if money no longer existed, we would be able to produce, because we have the factories, and we have the resources. So, if we have the factories, and we have the resources, could we not look to outgrowing the use of money? We already produce enough food to feed many of the millions of starving people out there. But it's thrown away, thousands of tons of it daily, due to criminally inefficient distribution methods and controlled prices. And what about electronic goods? Things that we throw away without even having used them, or things that break down shortly after the warranty expires. Wouldn't it be logical to have things made to last? Using technology, wisely, we could create efficient and total city systems, rather like this one. And here, I'd love to be able to credit myself with these ideas, but they are the life's work of a man called Jacque Fresco, who lives in Venus, Florida, and who for the past 70 years has been working on the concepts of what he calls a Resource-Based Economy. This is one of the designs for one of his cities. Let's see if I can explain, very briefly, a little bit about it. The central dome ... or 'theme center' would house the core of a cybernated system that could manage and distribute the goods and resources, without vested interests, and equitably. Does it make you nervous to think of machines in control of something like that? Have you ever seen anybody hooked up to a life-support machine in a hospital? We need the same sort of idea, but extrapolated to planet size. Imagine, a web of sensors around the world after a natural disaster somewhere, telling us what is needed, where it's needed, when it's needed, instead of politicians saying "I'll send so many millions of dollars" and the money never getting to its final goal. The buildings surrounding the central dome can provide the community with a variety of cultural activities such as art galleries, concerts, music, arts, theater and so on. You'll notice there's a lot of lush, green landscaping there. This will be very important in the cities. As we move out, these buildings here can house the design and development centers. The cities would also be built with their own production and distribution installations in place, so as to avoid having to transport goods and resources from thousands of kilometers away. The residential area can have a lot of different free-form architectural houses, which can be built practically without manual labor, by using contour crafting. These houses can produce their own energy, they can recycle their own waste, and they would require a minimum of maintenance. Some people might prefer to live in skyscrapers or apartment blocks, and these would be very community-focused. There would be communications and networking systems in place, education facilities, health care and child care. And for those of you that don't want to cook, we can even have dining areas where you can go, get anything you wish made for you, by a robot, of course. Depending on the geographical area where the city is built, one of a variety of different alternative energies could be used, and areas would be set aside for the production of alternative energies. It might be solar energy, it might be wind generators, it might be geothermal. There are many different kinds of alternative energies. Imagine cities run entirely on clean, renewable energies instead of being condemned to use fossil fuels. Not long ago, I read an article in a magazine where a politician was saying that alternative energies are more expensive. Of course they are, in a monetary system. But, the wind doesn't charge us per gust, and the sun doesn't charge us per sunbeam. We don't have to transport the sun from one side of the planet to the other. We don't have to invent wars and kill innocent people to obtain its heat. We don't have to carve into the earth's surface and plant pipes to transport the wind, and we don't have to pollute the oceans and the seas to gain energy from the tides and the waves. We think we are so smart and civilized, yet we actually pay to live on a planet that gives us everything for free, and we're in debt! We think we're so smart and civilized, and we keep using the same methods over and over and over again, trying to fix things. Isn't that Einstein's definition of madness? We could have an agricultural belt, where organically produced food can be offered to everybody without the use of pesticides. One of the ways that this could be grown is in hydroponic towers similar to this one, and these are actually already being built around the world; Singapore has a fantastic one. This would allow us to produce locally and again, avoid transporting from thousands of kilometers away. Today's system produces such ludicrous results, as it's cheaper to bring lemons and oranges from the mainland of Spain to this island than it is to grow them here, when for hundreds of years there were lemon and orange trees all over the island. It's crazy. A circular waterway would surround the agricultural belt for filtration and irrigation purposes. And then the outer perimeter (I'm getting good with this gizmo), the outer perimeter can be used for a variety of recreational purposes, whether it's riding, biking, hiking, whatever, and also sports and so on. And all of these areas would be easily accessible, thanks to clean, efficient, fast and safe transport, such as Maglev trains. Or how about a carpool of GPS-guided, self-driving cars that come to you when you want one, take you to wherever you want to go, and then return to the carpool. How great that would be, not to have to drive around looking for parking anymore, no huge parking lots with cars sitting there for hours a day. Now, how stress-free would it be to live in such a society, with everything provided, and yet no incentive for corruption, but every incentive to grow and change with the times? How different would our values be as human beings to live in such an environment? A hundred years ago, we weren't crazy consumers, running around, buying this or that product, trying to make ourselves happy and more successful by doing so. Our values are inculcated by the culture that surrounds us, and, if we are bombarded by advertising that manipulates us to become good little consumers (and it works), so can we be educated to understand the natural laws of the planet. To understand, not like today's education that seems to teach us we're somehow superior to nature. [But] to understand that we must live within the carrying capacity of what the Earth can give us and not take more and more until there's nothing left. To appreciate and desire goods that are made to last, instead of this use-and-throw-away economy that we have today, that money obliges us to keep the economy going. We need to have an education that teaches us to: the better we make society for others, ultimately the better we make it for ourselves and then gives us the tools with which to make that, which would, in great part, be science and technology. We need to understand that frontiers are false. They create divisions, and we're all one human species. Next time you fly, see if you can see from the plane's window a line in the earth that says "This country starts here, and this country starts there." I don't think you're going to see it. It's of no importance where we were born, what god we were taught to believe in, what customs we learned. People of any nationality would love the chance to live in peace and with all the necessities of life provided without a price tag. Our problems are global problems, irrespective of the political party running the country. Therefore, the solutions must be global. If the root cause of this is scarcity and poor distribution of resources, we need to share the resources. We need to take the management of the planet and its resources out of the hands of a few nations and corporations, and get it into the world heritage. The example of lemons and oranges in this small island is just a very small drop in the ocean of, the huge ocean of political 'don't know how' we see in place today. This is what I mean when I say "Politicians don't know what they're doing." They're not architects, doctors, teachers, agronomists, environmentalists. Why are they making the decisions in these areas then? Can you see that we're running the planet basing our methods on money and on opinions made by people whose capacity is really highly questionable? Let's give the scientists and engineers the really dire problems we have to solve. Let's allow them to work without monetary pressures to create a world and use the scientific approach to create a world without war, poverty, or deprivation of any kind. Science comes closer to solving problems than anything else, and there's no right-wing way or left-wing way to conduct it. When we reach a time that we can unleash science and technology to improve everybody's lives, we will see exponential results, and that will be the beginning of a civilized world. The sum Resource-Based Economy is the sum of all the wonderful ideas that we've heard about today and that other people talk about on TED Talks. It's a very holistic idea. It's the sum of all the promises for a better after-life that the holy books give us. The best thing about it is, that we could have it now and not wait to die to get it. We have the technical personnel and the resources to create that paradise on Earth. But what's missing is a feasible and attainable direction to work towards, and a Resource-Based Economy offers that by looking at the root causes and solving those problems. It's the spiritual acceptance that we are all one family, on one little planet, under the same sun, and in the same danger of obliteration if we don't radically change how we manage the planet. It's the sustainable and ecological green point of view. It's collaboration instead of competition. It's technology and the scientific approach to improving everyone's lives, empathy in the place of profit and monetary greed, and it's humanity in the place of these little pieces of paper we call money. What I've spoken about today is just a very, very short and small part of what is a much larger idea. It's impossible to fit it into eighteen minutes. I do hope that I've given you enough information to pique your curiosity, so that you'll keep looking into and finding out more about a Resource-Based Economy. Thank you. [Applause]

Video Details

Duration: 18 minutes and 45 seconds
Country: Spain
Language: English
Producer: TEDxPasseigDesBorn
Director: TEDxPasseigDesBorn
Views: 211
Posted by: ltiofficial on Oct 27, 2013

Sue Everatt explains how it would be if the world economy was based on resources instead of money.

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