It is an increasingly complex world we live in today. While disasters of all kinds (natural & man-made) seem to be everywhere…have we ever wondered:
What actually sustains us and all other life-forms in this modern world?
This working paper is simply a tribute to our mother earth. Without her, nothing exists (including our governments), and nothing matters anymore.
As a result, implementing long-term solutions to tackle climate change should therefore be seen as top priorities. In today's highly correlated world, by tackling climate change, it could also resolve many other issues, including our aging population and national security. Here, let us envision all the possibilities.Solution #1 - Proactive Measures + Precautionary Principles
(1) EMF (Electromagnetic Frequency) Technology Re-design
Wireless technology is known to be harmful to the bee colonies, therefore, it would just be a matter of time - depending on individual's exposure thresholds - before we "humans" are being affected too. EU has defined "Electromagnetic Sensitivity" as illness that exhibit symptoms related to brain cancers, infertility, migraines, sleep disorders, chronic fatigues, hypertension, heart disease, anxiety, depression, etc. A potential epidemic is looming. This is especially true in
North America, where people are now being exposed to Wi-Fi 24/7 (e.g. Wi-Fi towers + Smart Meters everywhere), also much earlier in their life too (e.g. iPhones are becoming babies' latest nanny for busy moms!). Therefore, we should be proactive on this by:
1. Offering R&D funding to attract innovative proposals for re-design and improve current EMF technology, in a way that is clinically proven to be non-harmful to living species.
2. Enforcing a ban for marketing/selling cellular devices to children under 12 years-old (i.e. EU policy).
3. Assigning designated "cubicle" and/or "usage areas" for Wi-Fi to protect vulnerable population in public spaces, including schools, hospitals, public transit, etc. (i.e. EU policy)
4. Launching a nation-wide EMF Public Awareness Campaign to proactively prevent potential "EMF health epidemic" from happening in near future. Afterall, public awareness in EMF might also act as the real solution to resolving recent rises of mental health issues in teenagers.
(2) Nuclear Power Plants Phasing Out
By phasing out existing nuclear power plants, it will resolve problems in three areas:
1. National Security -- eliminating potential national disasters due to meltdown accidents and/or nuclear weapon invasion.
2. Pollution & Climate Change -- acting as a long-term solution to stop nuclear waste pollution in land and water (i.e. underground waste leaks due to more frequent earthquakes and natural disasters).
3. Economic Power House & Job Creation-- As a result of eliminating nuclear energy, our nation will finally have a chance to fully implement renewable energy as supply options (i.e. solar, wind, geothermal). This major breakthrough would finally move us forward in our stagnating climate change agenda, and attract local and foreign investors in this open-market of renewable energy.
(3) Localized District Energy Operations
This will prevent unnecessary seasonal/regional "black-outs" due mainly to unreliable power grid structures that are too lengthy and cumbersome to diagnose at the first place.
(4) Surplus Power Feedback to Grids
This strategy will serve two purposes:
1. To ensure continuous backup powers are readily available if black-outs ever happens.
2. To act as monetary incentives for individual house owners switch into renewable power generation system (i.e. For every kW surplus energy generated by house owner, they will receive 60% of rebates based on the current market price, whereas the power authority & provincial government will retain the remaining 40% for administrative and maintenance purposes.)
(5) Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) with "Packaging Deposit Levies" as Dual-Measure Policies
- All manufactures are required to "close-the-loop" for their product's production cycle, or will be faced with disposal penalties.
- To impose a mandatory Packaging Deposit Levies on all consumer products. The standard amount of charge will be determined by product size and whether or not it can be fully recycled in municipal facilities. The ultimate goal of implementing this "dual-measure" policy is to encourage advanced thinking on both sides (i.e. manufacturer and consumer). For instance, if juice/milk bottle would cost $0.25 extra, whereas CFL light bulbs' hard plastic case would cost $2 extra -- both sides will ought to re-think their "choices" (i.e. manufacturer: how we should re-package our products in order to have lower deposit fees being imposed? consumer: with infinite choices in the marketplace, I will choose a product with lowest deposit fees).
(6) Healthy Workforce Initiatives (HWI)
- Design & implement a province-wide workplace health-issue survey to "check-in" with worker from various sectors. The data results will reflect the necessary labour policy changes in response to our aging population and the correlations in work-life-balance for different generations (Baby Bloomers, Generation X, Y, Z).
- UK is the pioneer in taking proactive measures in building a resilient workforce. Since 2014, UK has launched nation-wide "Healthiest Workforce Study", along with annual nomination in rewarding the healthiest companies and employees.
- Major advantage for HWI include: As a win-win solution to address constrains in three areas:
1. Public Health -- By reversing the trends on preventable diseases that are directly related to stress and burnout (e.g. headache & migraine, insomnia, fatigue, obesity, hypertension, heart disease, etc), hospitals and medical teams can focus more on other emerging tasks and/or research projects.
2. Long-term Care & Employment Gaps -- With a healthy workforce, where everyone is happy and engaged, this would result an increase in team moral, productivity, and work satisfaction. An engaged worker is also more likely to continue working beyond their retirement years. Thus, an aging population could become a welcoming enhancement to the existing workforce, especially when employees' well-beings are being look after upon entering into the workforce.
Some of the proactive actions would include: (1) Implement "flexible work hours and/or working from home policy" to encourage work-life balance; (2) Implement "reduce work hours and/or workload policy" for employees over 55-years-old to encourage senior worker stay active at work after retirement; (3) Cultivate a national-wide respectful culture for seniors. Re-branding "seniors" as our community's "golden treasures". Encourage seniors to stay active by offering "seniors-free" on all local public transits. Encourage senior to participate in various skill-shares. For example, recruit seniors to teach community courses, also invite them to speak in school about their "unique" life stories. Partner with local schools, libraries and community centers to recruit seniors to act as mentors for younger generations. By remaining healthy and active, and being respected by societies, seniors will enjoy being alive longer, because they have good reasons to stay strong.
Solution #2 - Economy Trends Shifting & Reform
- Replace GDP with "XXX" and recognize "triple-bottom-line" for accounting measures -- to account for both tangible & intangible elements (e.g. work-home distance, volunteer time, pollution, noise, environmental crimes, health & welling-being index, etc).
- Recognize and act upon the subtle shifting trends in "Consumer Empowerment". Regardless of sectors or industries, "Business-to-Business (B2B)" must now begin to adopt "Business-to-Customers (B2C)" approaches in order to maintain one's market competitiveness.
- "Public-Private-Partnership" will be the essential foundation in future economic developments.
- Businesses and organizations must re-align short-term institutional incentives (i.e. election cycles, and quarterly earnings expectations etc), towards "long-term-focus" requirements to address our biggest collective challenges.
- Build into existing tax system to support a research university that gives away certain kinds of knowledge for free.
- Reinvent a property tax system where we have ownership of land that is registered in a government office, that people can pledge as collateral.- To plan new communities with "self-sufficiency, localization" in mind. (e.g. utilize natural lights and off-grid power in all residential and commercial housing, with local farmers nearby and essential public services within 30km etc).- "Checkerboard-Planning" - is a pilot project in Singapore designed to tackle the problem of urban density. It's unique design successfully balances the needs between building commercial/residential spaces along with green and walkable spaces for local communities.- "Inclusive Urbanization" - is a planning model to transform "slums" or "ghost cities/towns" into liveable communities, which also helps eliminate the vulnerabilities to breed criminal grounds and/or terrorist networks.Solution #4 - Educational & Behavioural Revolution- Learn from Sweden: (1) new drivers must pass mandatory course on basic environmental impacts as a requirement before taking road test. (2) expose K-12 kids to the outdoor environments, and teach them to respect nature and all living creatures. This is the "key foundation" to help build a collective respectful culture with individual's good characters early on.- "Pact and Stick K", UK's pioneering behavioural Insight Team, using "monetary perks & penalty" system to motivate user not to miss a gym session, etc.- "O Power" Energy, using behavioural efficiency data system to help consumers be proactive in energy saving. .- "Net-Zero Energy Commercial Buildings Initiatives (CBI)", aims to challenge buildings' net energy consumption to be matched with its own energy production for the year.Solution #5 - The Idea of Charter City StrategyIn order to support the population of another billion people on this planet, we would have to dramatically reduce the human footprint on Earth by building more cities for people to live. To achieve this, we could begin with a charter that specifies all the rules required to attract the people who we'll need to build the city. With that charter, people will move there. The city can be built. This is the concept behind Charter City model.To make Charter City work, we need good rules. We also need the choices for people - people can come live under the new charter, but not to be forced under it. The final thing we need are choices for leaders - we need to allow for the potential for partnerships between nations. For example: China & Britain had worked together to build the market model through its actions in Hong Kong, and it did more to reduce world poverty than all the aid programs that we've undertaken in the last century. So if we allow for these kind of partnerships to replicate, we can get those kinds of benefits scaled throughout the world.In some cases, this will involve a delegation of responsibility, a delegation of control from one country to another to take over certain kinds of administrative responsibilities. This model is all about choices, both for leaders and for the people who will live there.Final RemarksIn conclusion, to truly build a resilient nation, we must be open to new ideas, and willing to take the first steps for changes to happen. With this working paper, we have put forth our collective first steps for our governments. However, we must keep focusing on the ideas of reinventing good rules -- so we, as a nation, don't get stuck with bad rules -- that's when we will no doubt be moving steadily forward and making our world a better place for future generations.
Solution #3 - Polycentric Community Planning