Economic Multipliers (161)

Do you know what these are?

They help CREATE wealth in systems.

Ten degree thinking could be a HUGE economic multiplier for future generations.


If anyone ever mentions climate change, ask them if they are supporting legislation which would move people inland while setting aside coastal areas for farming and national, state and local parks. Ask them if they are encouraging federal, state and local policies which would move people out of floodplains while once again setting aside those areas for farming and national, state and local parks. (Note that much government owned property can be and is ‘harvested.’ Also note that ‘highlands’ can flood and storm and sanitary sewer systems have the potential to back up anywhere.)

In 2015, 3 percent (or more) of the U.S. population was affected by flooding. That is just one year.

Do you pay for insurance? Yours is going up (OR not going down as much). Did your community and the people in it lose assets AND have to figure out a way to pay for damages, time and the core value of infrastructure which may or may not be insured? Recovery is usually painful in more ways than one. Do you get calls and letters from organizations which are constantly expanding services because more and more people are in need? A double whammy is recovering people and communities probably cut back on their own broader donations significantly as their own ‘new needs’ must be met.

Ten degrees is a LOT in the climatic world. I chose that number because I believe future generations will be dealing with a number greater than three. If you plan for 10 and only have to deal with 5, you’re way ahead. If you plan for 3 and have to deal with 7, you’re way behind.

In the Bible and many other historical texts, if you search for wisdom (versus reasons to start wars, justify crazy actions or mock religion), you’ll find a story (go back a couple thousand years to the Middle East) whereby a nation in 7 years of feast stored up enough food to deal with 7 years of famine.

To me, that foresight is not near as interesting as the technological ability to store food for seven years in a manner whereby it did not lose its nutritional value or seed potential.

The stores of food (and seeds) couldn’t:

  • be flooded out,

  • be significantly impacted by infestations of rodents and insects, and/or

  • develop fungus, mold or any other problems which could destroy the intrinsic value.

Look around in your community: How many people do you know who have the technological skills that some people had a couple thousand years ago? How many people see years of feast as a time to save for years of famine?

If you really want an understanding of how different the world is today, ponder this:

In the 20th Century, during a time of great global strife in Russia, some scientists who were responsible for a seed bank starved instead of eating the seeds they were entrusted to protect. Eaten, the seeds were food. Saved for planting, they represented ‘future harvests’ of much greater quantities of food.

It’s not possible to know whether that choice made a difference in the world today (or whether the scientists, in their existing circumstances, would have starved or been killed anyway). It is possible to know that they understood the extraordinary value of long-range planning for future generations.

In 2116, 100 years from now, your descendants should not be commenting on how many extraordinary opportunities prior generations threw away (in any country). They should be commenting on how much foresight the current generations had to deal with current and expected problems.

At one point in time, the U.S. government acquired land for the National Park System and owners were paid for their property and then allowed to live on it until they passed away. Upon their passing (many times several decades later), the property officially became part of the National Park System. That is long-range planning.

You’ll find many people who think that all of the property of the United States should be private (except perhaps the land government buildings are on). Some think all government ‘wild areas’ should remain pristine while others believe that all the nation’s resources should be judiciously managed for the benefit of the nation (including themselves of course). Others would balk at the thought of telling people they couldn’t live on a coastline or in a floodplain that might not flood in their lifetime.

I personally would like to see a ‘swap program’ whereby, as an example, if you ultimately created a checkerboard of wooded and agricultural lands in areas prone to flooding, you swapped out woods/orchards for farmland occasionally (every 20 to 50 years) to take advantage of the renewal of soil. And, it would be great if there were private/public partnerships whereby instead of property taxes for the ‘set aside’ lands, the revenue generated from any ‘harvests’ was VISIBLE, with a certain percent allocated locally, a lesser percent allocated statewide and a lesser percent allocated federally (this runs in reverse of income taxes) … perhaps a 15/7/3 split (county, state, federal).

Fees for ‘use’ could also be split in a similar manner … perhaps a 50/35/15 split (county, state, federal).

If local people had an incentive to ‘harvest’ SOME of the public lands judiciously (in a very VISIBLE way), it’s likely they would do so in a manner which benefited their community in the short-term AND long-term. And, if citizens earned more income as a result, they’d have more money … and so would the government … through income taxes.

Likewise, local people and/or businesses which benefited financially from the ‘use’ of public property would be VISIBLE, making it less likely that resources which belong to ‘the nation’ would end up benefiting only a small group of individuals. (Today many ‘individuals’ have ‘corporate’ names.)

Looking 100 years into the future and planning for 10 degrees is ‘practical’ based on what we know today. All we need are local, state, national and global leaders with foresight. (Is that all?)

If you are young, know that you’ll get your chance to be one of those leaders. Plan ahead.

Ten degree thinking may be ‘practical.’ It’s not an easy sell.