Desert Colonization and Aboriginal Hosting
By John Taylor; 2009 Oct 03, Mashiyyat 07, 166 BE
Seeing Earth From Space
Viewed from space, our planet looks blue because most of its surface is covered in ocean. However, if we look closer and restrict ourselves to the land, fertile regions look green and deserts look grayish brown. A surprisingly large percentage of the land mass between the equator and the poles is grayish brown rather than green. Two gray belts circle the planet. At night, green areas light up, but the gray desert regions remain black, a sure indication that they are barely populated. This is surprising because deserts receive tremendous amounts of energy from the sun. By rights they should support more agriculture, provide more energy from solar PV panels and have larger populations than anywhere else.
What is worse, with the advance of global warming, these desolate places are spreading.
In a cooler time, the looks of some of desert ecosystems were deceptive. They supported a surprisingly broad diversity of life; some, in Australia and Mexico, even rival the rain-forests in variety of native species, if not in biomass. But now that the planet is heating up, temperate climates shrink and lakes, both above and below the surface, dry out. The barren regions are becoming as devoid of life as the moon. What little water was available in these swathes of gray and green is evaporated by unrelenting heat.
The challenge of re-greening and colonizing these arid regions is challenging, almost as challenging as colonizing the moon. Forestry expert St. Barbe Baker travelled across the Sahara in the 1950's studying the possibility of colonizing the world's largest desert. He found that it would be possible, by planting large numbers of trees, to alter the climate there to make the area habitable. Subsequent studies have confirmed that if coastal regions are forested, the climate of the interior becomes wetter.
The difficulty facing those who would colonize the deserts, however, is not phsyical but political and religious, especially in the Sahara. National borders prevent mass immigration and cultural divisions keep regions, even these all-but-unpopulated regions, from being regarded as the property and heritage of all humankind.
The formation of a comprehensive world government, that is, one based on continental sub-federations and designed on the Comenian model of three independent, affiliated branches, would instantly tear down these mental and bureaucratic barriers. It would allow reforestation and other terraforming mega-projects to reclaim this land. This would be followed by an influx of millions of people now forced to live in sub-standard housing that is not only overcrowded but also extremely destructive to the environment.
How to Colonize the Deserts
The formation of a world government will immediately end the need for national governments to defend themselves from one another. At the same time, a just, well-designed world order would put an immediate end to the bitterness and separation that breed terrorism. Large standing armies would be demobilized and the trillion-dollar-a-year arms industry grind to a halt. Such de-militarization would suddenly create a huge labour pool and free up vast funds for reconstruction. In order to take advantage of this brief opportunity, the new world government should immediately undertake large mega-projects, such as the colonization of desert and mountainous regions and the World Belt discussed earlier.
At the same time, permanent structural changes should be introduced to make the transition from a weaponized economy to an irenic UCS as smooth as possible. Every one of the structural changes that we have been discussing here, such as hillside construction, localized, co-operative ownership, and many other reforms in architecture, politics, religion and finance, is designed to avoid dissipating the precious resources that peace would place in the hands of a newly united human race.
A global federation would be able to offer a powerful incentive to hurry all of this along: citizenship. Of course, in the long term everybody would automatically become a world citizen with full rights to travel and live anywhere in the world. However, in the early transitional stage from our present nationalist order to world order, a world federation would be well advised to confer the benefits and responsibilities of citizenship selectively. Specifically, at first only those who live in and actively contribute to a hillside development should be deemed by the world government to have earned the title "world citizen."
Since these developments are under construction around the world, and since the modular living units inside hillside developments make it quick and easy to pick up and move to any development anywhere in the world, residents could take full advantage of their citizenship.
Although they are part-owners of the property around them, the finances of these developments is designed to facilitate transfer of one's stake from a former residence to the new one. With this complete mobility, members could choose to reside anywhere it is possible to support themselves, without need for permits, visas, passports or other blocks to free movement. An inhabitant of a mound development in Canada could move his or her dwelling unit directly to a mound development in the Gobi desert at a moment's notice, without going through customs and immigration. In the same way a family who gains experience in the newly reclaimed land developments in the Sahara might take their expertise to an Australian desert development, without perceptible change in lifestyle.
This ordered mobility would assuage the greatest fear of wealthy nations, that tearing down border barriers would subject them to a sudden influx of foreigners from poor nations, eager for a share in their affluence. The many rules and regulations built into hillside housing projects, and their shared, co-operative economies, would assure that movement is ordered, that everybody works, and indeed that there is no particular advantage to living in a rich country over a poor one.
Settling the Claims of Aboriginals in One Shot
It is already in everybody's interest to see to it that as many people as possible reside in hillside developments, since they are a form of high density housing. They are designed from the ground up to reduce emissions and have the smallest possible impact on the environment. Our present, wasteful, freestanding style of buildings and streets do not compare. Clever use of the carrot of the advantages of world citizenship would make it even more attractive to move into these cooperative projects, even for magnates living in their mansions set far off on vast estates.
The world's aboriginal peoples are the ideal ethnic group to be the first to move into these developments. Native peoples have a deep reverence for the land and caring for the environment. Their ancient traditions of living in harmony with the land, without our irrational, obsessive attachment to exclusive ownership of property and real estate. Their religion and philosophy are already compatible with both world citizenship and the cooperative atmosphere and small, tribal households that characterize a hillside housing development. All these are prime requisites for mound living. The fact that they value the co-operative atmosphere of living in small, communal groups with shared accommodations makes them perfect candidates to be "first citizens," acting as hosts and sponsors for other ethnic groups entering these communities.
As soon as a world government forms, aboriginals would be given the rights of world citizens. In compensation for the historic injustices they have suffered from civilization, they would have first dibs at living in and designing hillside developments. All land claims would be settled as they are traded for choice shares and IPO's in the common property of a new development. Needless to say, they would also share in the obligations of world citizenship, such as paying a percentage of taxes directly to the world government.
Once they have taken this step, the legal distinctions of native peoples would end once and for all. All residents would enjoy equal rights as world citizens, without discrimination. The motto would be, all for one and one for all; the heritage of one people would be the heritage of all, and that of all would be to preserve each culture and see that it thrives to the greatest extent possible.