In this guest blog, Merton resident and Founder of Global Planet Authority Trust, Angus Forbes sets out his views on the need for a specialist global authority with a sole focus to protect the planet and enhance the biosphere.
In 2022, 33 years after Sir Tim Berners-Lee wrote the computer program HTML and gave us the World Wide Web, 5 billion of us will be connected to each other via the internet. For the first time we have the connectivity, the unity and the capacity to enter, successfully, the current void of global governance. We can now take the first action of global self-determination.
For the first time in our history as a race, we have become so powerful that we have joined Mother Nature in the driving seat of the biosphere.
We are the first three generations alive to be aware of this fact, so we now carry the greatest intergenerational responsibility: to make sure we pass on a planet of sufficient biophysical integrity and consider a constitutional mechanism to maintain it.
Our power is such that if we wanted, we could increase carbon dioxide (CO2) molecules in the troposphere to 600ppm and heat the planet by 3°C, 5°C or 7°C.
We could remove all rainforests, thereby wiping out vast opportunities for biomimicry and pharmacology, dam every river, suck dry every major aquifer or scrape away all topsoil. From this point on, the future of both the Earth and us humans is inextricably linked due to our size and power. Ceteris paribus this will never change.
Against the global force of natural capital conversion that we have unleashed — going from 2.5 billion to 7.5 billion of us in just 75 years — our preferred operating system of capitalism and consumption ergo sum (with apologies to Descartes), the biosphere has not stood a chance.
Half a century after the UN’s 1972 Stockholm declaration that decreed that the natural assets of the Earth must be safeguarded, we have instead witnessed accelerating degradation. The disparate fractured nation state system we have created is clearly not the right way to protect a global asset that knows no national boundaries.
A global planet authority can deliver the function of utility we require.
This specialist authority can make decisions based on time frames different from those used by any existing human organization.It would most likely set a global carbon price and prepare plans to safely remove CO2 molecules from the troposphere back to 280-320ppm. It would place all rainforest under global protection and pay for it. It would introduce hypothecated taxes on petroplastics worldwide and, and it would preserve topsoil. It would set targets of bio-abundance on both land and in the sea.
Operating with clear biophysical boundaries will be more liberating than we can imagine. Our economy will adapt and accelerate, growing at much reduced levels of industrial metabolism.
It is time for us to reimagine, to go somewhere we have never been before, to explore the virgin space that is global governance. History will prove that we were absolutely right to do so.
Guest blog by Angus Forbes
The views expressed in guest blog posts are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Sustainable Merton.