5.3.4.1.2. Community Steps

People live in communities. The community is responsible for the health and activities of individuals. Common values are reflected on the community level, since they are imbibed by individuals in the community. The community has distinct actions that can be taken for human culture to get to good places.

 

5.3.4.1.2.1. Defining Itself as a Community or State

What is a community? The biological definition of a community is a diverse, natural assemblage of populations of organisms in a physical habitat, living in an orderly manner over time. It is a living part of an ecosystem that functions as a unit, and it has emergent properties that are unique to it, properties that individuals do not have.

Plants, animals and other kinds of beings, from viruses to fungi, evolve into a community of thousands of different species. The 'checks and balances' of a complex number of predators, prey, and decomposers tends to dampen any one species from getting out of control and becoming a pest. Organisms specialize to avoid competing. Relationships become more intimate, as organisms cooperate to exploit the environment and to increase their chances for survival. Humans are one species among many in an ecological community.

Humanity developed in a community of animals and plants, as part of a clade on the same tree of life. The quality of human life has always depended on the quality of animal life. Animals have sensations and feelings, as important to them as ours are to us.

Human community organization is a cultural universal. Communities are self-making. A community has a special image and set of special beliefs related to place and history, such that they are unique and cannot simply accept most of the beliefs of other communities. Hunter-gatherers lived in bands; local bands formed part of a larger linguistic and breeding community. And, local bands gathered regularly into larger groups for ceremonies or food-sharing. Society can gravitate into groups to live, but communication across social barriers is necessary for a community.

A community implies that the experiencers share ways of experiencing or the same experiences. This enables an individual to go beyond a finite view, to see the embedded culture as one of many ways of relating self to universe

 

5.3.4.1.2.1.1. Setting the Goals of a Community

Ecological goals need to be set before economic or political goals can be meaningful. It is important for the science of ecology to identify those goals, especially regarding wild ecosystems. Ecology investigates the normative aspects of living together, that is, ethics, and the maintenance of the affairs of a community, that is, economics and politics. There can be no separation of politics and ecology. Every political act has ecological consequences and every ecological decision is a political demand for control over use of the environment.

 

5.3.4.1.2.1.2. Implementing Ecological & Cultural Goals

Local goals are appropriate for watersheds and habitat types. Educational and manufacturing goals are presented first on the local level, due to cultural differences. The following goals, taken from forestry, are not exhaustive:

Zone wild ecosystems first

Measure the productivity of all forests to contribute to a regional or global inventory, from which to make intelligent decisions

Reforest formerly forested local lands

Preserve all small old-growth areas

Protect the long-term health, integrity, and ecological balance of forests, that is, the ecological and evolutionary processes that make forests

Work with indigenous peoples to get control for them of their forests, which are often an important part of their culture

Protect local water and air sheds

Provide habitat for all species, since all species contribute to the functioning system, even agents of disease

Develop and maintain, through monitoring and intervention, demonstration forests so that people can see working models of ecologically responsible forestry in wild forests

Manage commercial forests for permanence and sustainability

 

Provide exclusive areas for recreation and aesthetic appreciation

Achieve true multiple use by strict regulation and rationing

Set up land trusts for intergenerational protection

 

Abolish clearcutting; end overcutting; focus on selection systems

Restrict cutting on private lands to less than natural reproduction

Test and promote appropriate harvesting methods for selection

Research and implement optimum combinations of roads and trails

Rehabilitate land under unnecessary roads

 

Protect the health of human communities

Open communications with all groups working in the forests

Develop paths for public participation in forest land use decisions

Broaden local economies from timber cutting-timber employment fell 15 percent between 1979-1989, a time of record cutting levels and record income

Set up cooperatives to refer and share work

Combine forest and agricultural crops where appropriate (tree crops or permaculture)

Calculate wood needs (for building, cooking and heating) for a stable local population

Tax timber and products so benefits stay local

Expand local capital in forests

Diversify local institutions that deal with forests

Encourage survival of small, forest-based communities

 

Increase manufacturing efficiencies above 75 percent (compared to a 50% world average, 67% in Japan, and 40% in Thailand)

Promote the full use of forest products; support small-scale businesses that produce new, high-quality wood products

Recycle wood products, from furniture to utensils

Reduce the demand for wood products, especially paper and discardable items

Reduce the demand for wooden buildings, the source of most demand, by encouraging native building products, such as adobe, stone, ice, and thatch, which are better adapted to local conditions anyway

 

Present ecological forestry (with its paradigm shift and new metaphors) to institutions, groups, and individuals

Educate all people to feel their connections to the forest, because, until they feel them, they will not act ethically or ecologically

Educate people to realize that long-term sustainability requires healthy forests, and that protecting forests protects jobs

Educate and train practitioners in the science, art, and techniques of ecoforestry (literacy, numeracy, and ecolacy)

Develop criteria for ecologically responsible forest uses, as well as standards for certifying ecoforestry practices and products

Work to incorporate findings from practical and theoretical sciences into a unified knowledge of forests

Resacralize forests-desacralization is a defense mechanism against loss of meaning-by emphasizing the meaning of wild forests

 

These ecological goals will direct economic and political goals, which might include:

Base the size and kind of a culture on the limits of the ecological place

Educate the human members of a community on their responsibilities

 

These goals, and others, need to be discussed and modified in a community context, through discussions and meetings.

 

5.3.4.1.2.1.3. Convening a Constitutional Meeting

Starting is simple; a community or group of communities in an area, for example in Eastern Washington and Northern Idaho, could convene a constitutional meeting. The constitutional convention would work out a new government, possibly more radical than the 1972 Montana constitution, which required a local government review process, which mandated real change in the form of government, although few changes took place. The convention would suggest the boundaries of areas, according to watersheds or other boundaries. But, the affinity of local people may decide how much is included. An example can be found in the Washington State statute of 1967.

Because of the differences in size, and the need for even the smallest community to be enfranchised, it may be useful to adopt a floterial district system as in Idaho. A representative could then represent two or three communities.

The convention could draw on the cultural depth of the region. Goals that have been only thoughts or hopes could become explicit expressions. This kind of revolution would depend on the flexibility of the federal government to accept the reformation of some of its states or regions. If the communities decided, they could create a new nation.

The new nation could join the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (UNPO), which promotes the respect of human rights of all peoples through nonviolent tolerance and self-determination. UNPO offers an international forum for nations and peoples whose causes are not addressed by the UN or by existing bodies. UNPO provides assistance to 26 groups, representing 50 million people, including the peoples of Mari and Tibet. The Lakota Nation, Mohawk Nation, and All Indian Pueblo are observers. The nation could give recognition by other unrepresented nations, such as Scotland or the Karen. The nation could apply for recognition as an independent nation through the United Nations or other new international organization.

 

5.3.4.1.2.2. Balancing Budgets for Community or State

A budget generally refers to a list of all planned expenses and revenues. A budget is an important concept in microeconomics, which uses a budget line to illustrate the trade-offs between two or more goods or directions of development.

The budget of a government is a summary or plan of the intended revenues and expenditures of that government. A budget is usually prepared by a separate department and then submitted to the legislature for consideration, changes and approval. Any budget should be required to be balanced in the long run.

As the technology of money and banking continues to make spending easier, individuals, families, companies, and governments need to adopt more effective budgeting methods, strategies, and tools to balance their outflows to their inflows and to avoid deficit, or debt-based, spending.

Presently, nearly all large businesses reforecast their original budgets on a quarterly basis. As months pass, the actual income achieved and expenses incurred can be compared to the budget and forecasts. Variances between these financial plans and actual delivery can then be analyzed to provide information that can improve performance. The trend may be traditional annual budgets being replaced or complemented by monthly forecasts or rolling forecasts. Monthly forecasts provide fresher and more up-to-date financial plans.

 

If you want to read more, refer to the entire work.

 

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