A Day in the Life of a Resource-Based Economy
Scenario 1: You wake up. You make your coffee. You read the paper. You see something that mentions Hawaii. You think “I’d love to go to Hawaii!” So you go online and you make a reservation. It doesn’t cost anything, but you have to make it in advance so that you get in the queue.
You go grab some eggs (from the farm down the street), and have some fresh oj from either your own oranges or the sky garden down the street. Now, it’s 9 am and you have a choice. You can: read, sunbathe, drink, work on those architectural plans for the park down the street, write in your blog, play your guitar, work on the farm next door, go help at an elderly facility, paint, be a project manager on the building site down the street, research quantum physics, teach, make clothes, do some chemistry, DO AND LEARN ANYTHING YOU WANT.
Scenario 2: It’s a beautiful day. You decide it’s a great day for sailing. You go down to the harbor to where they keep the boats. You sign out a boat for the day. It’s free. You return the boat when you’re done. This is known as shared resources and replaces the idea of ownership. Think about what a waste it is that we all own cars that sit in the driveway for hours a day, when someone else could be using it. Or your boat. Or your motorcycle or RV. Whatever. Let’s make these resources available to everyone, anytime of day.
There are a lot of companies based on this idea popping up now. Of course, there is a monetary fee involved right now, but it’s the same concept. Here are just a few: RelayRides, The Car Sharing Network, Airbnb. What these sites take take advantage of is a plethora of things, shared between neighbors who trust each other. So refreshing, right?
Scenario 3: You live in the city. You live in a place like in this picture. This is the 8 House in Copenhagen. This is a building designed by Bjarke Ingels, who recently gave a TED talk on “Hedonistic Sustainability.” This, and other buildings he’s designed, allow you to live in a city environment, with all the benefits of nature around you. And best of all, it’s completely sustainable. Beautiful architecture does not need to destroy our planet.
So you live in this amazing place, surrounded by your happy, friendly neighbors, who are all so happy because they and you no longer have to go to a job that means nothing to you and slave away just to make enough to live. Instead, you do work in a the field of your choice. Remember when you wanted to be a fireman when you were little? Remember how you always wanted to be a doctor? Remember how you thought it would be amazing to be an astronaut? In this sort of system, you are able to pursue anything you’ve ever wanted to, because nothing costs money. You are free to study and learn about anything you want, and the only thing keeping you from greatness is your own drive.
Scenario 4: You’re kind of a homebody. You don’t want to live in the super urban, science fiction-y looking cities. You want to experience the land and nature. So, you build an Earthship, which may look something like these pictures. Or totally different. Each Earthship is unique. But what they have in common is that they are entirely off-grid buildings.
They work entirely off solar, wind and geothermal. They are built out of discarded old tires, aluminum cans and glass bottles. They collect the rain water and it gets filtered and used throughout the entire house, eventually going to water your plants and then into a special septic system. You have a green house to grow you’re own food. And you never have to leave if you don’t want. (Personally, this is what I want to live in. There is an Earthship Academy, a three week course in how to build these, and I’m pushing for my husband to go!)
Scenario 5: You are a brilliant scientist, and you love to work, work, work. You are researching a vaccine for AIDS. Imagine going into your facility everyday, and knowing that money is not an object. If you need equipment, you put in an order for it. It gets shipped to you and there is no monetary transaction. If you need more space, you work on plans and propose them to your working group. If it’s agreed on and the central city systems database computer reviews the plans and they are in accordance with keeping the city, the people, and the planet healthy and sustained, you get the green light. Build away!
Scenario 6: You are an inventor. You are researching lighting sources. Right now, everyone is using LED lights. But you come up with something revolutionary that will change the face of lighting. You present your ideas to the technology working group in your area. They are astounded. They perform experiments, using the scientific method, to determine if this is legit. It is. They immediately input this information into the world wide systems database. It is reviewed by the computer program through a series of checks and balances that will let us know if it is safer, more efficient, and all around better for the planet and for the people. If it is, then it is incorporated into the production of light bulbs and the technology is updated. (Notice there is no concern about jobs, profit, or companies losing market shares because of a new technology in this scenario.)
Scenario 7: You have a family. A couple of kids. You want to love them and give them all the time in the world. You want to watch them grow and be involved in their lives. You want to encourage them and let them know you love them. You also want to spend time with your spouse, and your friends, and your extended family. Guess what? You can do all of that. Think about never having to work two or three jobs to support your family. Never having to work super late hours just to put food on the table or pay for your mortgage. You live in a nice place that has all the comforts you could ask and it doesn’t cost a cent. It is your right as a human to have shelter, and this right is recognized. You have all the fresh food and all the time in the world to prepare it. You are free to be with your loved ones and develop sustaining, loving relationships.
I could think of so many more scenarios, but so could you. Think about it. Really think about what this system would feel like, how it would feel to be in a world where you are as free as you can possibly be to do anything you want, AS LONG AS IT DOESN’T HURT ANYONE ELSE OR THE PLANET. Pretty simple rule, hmm? Yet seemingly so hard to accept.
If you read my posts, and you think this is a great idea but you don’t know how it can possibly be accomplished or what we can do to bring it about, I tell you: just tell someone about it. Tell someone about The Zeitgeist Movement. Tell them about The Venus Project. Tell them about my blog. Have them watch Zeitgeist: Moving Forward (which is soon to be available on Netflix). The best and quickest way to action is to get people aware and to get them demanding change. Not everyone will have time or the will to promote this idea. But enough of us will, if enough of us know about it. One person can be the tipping point.