ANALYSIS & SYNTHESIS OF SHORT-TERM TACTICAL INTERDEPENDENCIES
Methods for analysis of short-term tactical interdependencies include precedence diagrams, interdependency matrices, and optimization techniques such as linear programming. Software is readily available to do the number crunching. For example, the following is a block-triangular matrix derived from a square matrix of dependency relations for twenty transition policies:
20x20 POLICY MATRIX EXAMPLE
Policies are described on the left column, and numbered 1 to 20. The matrix shows the twenty policies, with rows and columns reordered for time phasing and grouped by interdependencies. Numbers in the matrix cells indicate the degree of dependency of the row policy on the column policy (1=minimum, 9=maximum). The main sequencing of projects is shown down the diagonal. Blocks around the diagonal group policies that are tightly coupled and should be formulated simultaneously and managed concurrently to minimize costly iterations. Basically, the matrix provides visibility on the time-phasing of policy formulation and implementation so as to minimize costly delays. It would be critical to update the matrix frequently as requirements change over time.
The following are recent contributions to tactical optimization of energy systems:
To track knowledge evolution, the links within each section are listed in chronological order. Most of the links to online sources will be moved to the Directory of Sustainable Development Resources in the November 2011 issue. Please send comments and suggestions to the Editor.
1. Global Citizen Movements & The Widening Circle
"The term Global Citizens Movement (GCM) refers to a profound shift in values among an aware and engaged citizenry. Transnational corporations, governments, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) remain powerful actors, but all of these are deeply influenced by a coherent, worldwide association of millions of people who call for priority to be placed on new vales of quality of life, human solidarity, and environmental sustainability. It is important to note that the GCM is a socio-political process rather than a political organization or party structure." Global Citizens Movement (GCM), Encyclopedia of Earth, November 2007.
A high priority of global citizenship is education, either informally through personal contacts and public means of communication such as the internet, or more formally via programs sponsored by educational institutions.
Worldwide education at all levels is crucial tactical requirement. UNESCO has a worldwide program, but universities and other educational institutions must contribute. Needless to say, the family is the best school of sustainable human development.
Collecting and sharing standardized and comparable data among member states
Making international comparisons and applying peer pressures (including "benchmarking") to align policy among member-states and other social agents.
It is often the case that "soft methods" are not persuasive, and more tangible incentives (positive or negative, but always nonviolent) are appropriate. The following section is about reforming tax codes so as to mitigate greedy (and irresponsible) human behavior in financial markets.
There are taxes that focus on depletion of natural resources ("depleter pays principle") and/or the deterioration of natural resources ("polluter pays principle"). One key tax reform proposal that deserves further consideration is the "Land Value Tax" (LVT), originally proposed by American economist Henry George in 1879. The underlying concept is to shift tax burdens from earned incomes to unearned incomes.
Hartzok, Alanna. The Earth Belongs to Everyone, Earth Rights Institute - Institute for Economic Democracy Press, 2008. See pp. 190-192 for data on global maldistribution of wealth.
Basic Income Earth Network (BIEN). Basic Income Earth Network (BIEN), Note: The Basic Income Earth Network was founded in 1986 as the Basic Income European Network. It expanded its scope from Europe to the Earth in 2004. Web site as of 30 May 2011.
Work dignifies the working person, and quality work even more so. This applies to all kinds of work, from the most humble to the most exalted. The objective of guaranteed basic income is not to induce laziness but to liberate people from a salary system that incentivizes conformance rather than creativity. To ensure that this is the case, quality standards are needed.
All humans have a propensity to cut corners. Regardless of how income is taxed (Section 5) and returned (Section 6) to tax payers, there is a continuing need for quality standards in all kinds of human work.
What about quality standards for financial institutions? ISO 9000 could be used, but it would seem that the financial services industry should have a dedicated five digit standard (such as the 50001 for energy).
8. Transferring Subsidies from Fossil Fuels to Clean Energy
The transferring of subsidies from the fossil fuels industry to the clean energy industry is understandably a sensitive political issue. The fossil fuel industry is enormously powerful. The age of fossil fuels has practically run its course. However, the temptation to keep producing and using "cheap energy" is very strong regardless of environmental consequences. The United States of America has yet to ratify the Kyoto Protocol because "it is bad for business." The "easy profits" derived from the exploding manipulation of worthless financial assets is also bad for business, but not yet recognized as such by the general public. Subsidies are tricky business, and there seems to be a paucity of expertise about the societal cost of subsidizing pollution-intensive industries.