How to save^H^H^H^Hchange the world with money?

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jacob
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Post by jacob »

Would it make sense to simply buy up land so as to prevent further encroachment from "development"?
I know it's been done before. Rain forest, national parks, etc.
The question is, what's the odds that this will work in the long run? Couldn't people just change the law, say, a 100 years from now?
On a related note, is it moral to project power into the future long after one is dead?


jacob
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Post by jacob »

Alternatively, is it better to accept defeat when it comes to the world itself and "lifeboat" the most important part of civilization, e.g. establish the equivalent of medieval monasteries?
Here's an idea (an heirloom with imbedded information)
http://rosettaproject.org/


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Ego
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Post by Ego »

Will it work in the long run? Maybe. Maybe not. People must continue to place value on the project after those who initially made the change are gone.
Rather than simply setting land aside to be untouched, some have tried to create systems where the stakeholders - those who might be tempted to promote future changes - benefit by keeping the land in its natural state.
A while back we visited the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in Uganda. The WWF set up a program where the local people guide visitors to see the mountain gorillas in the wild and reap the benefits from a hefty conservation fee. It was one of the few programs in Africa that I felt actually worked well. Gorillas were fiercely protected. Rainforest was protected. Locals benefited and enforced long-term thinking rather than short-term destruction. (firewood, cattle grazing, slash/burn farming).
Unesco has tried to create similar incentives with the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve in Mexico but they are faced with greater challenges (short season, valuable timber...) and are having less success.
It is moral to encourage long-term thinking and discourage short-term ignorance in future generations long after one is dead. If we are able to place hurdles in the path of those who would unthinkingly destroy forever that which cannot be rebuilt, it is not only a moral act, it is one we are morally obligated to do.


KevinW
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Post by KevinW »


I know it's been done before. Rain forest, national parks, etc.

IMO, Audubon has the better model for this. A durable corporation buys the land and holds it privately. That structure can defend itself pretty well.
I think the most effective charitable efforts have been foundations with a charter that is concrete enough to stimulate interest but general enough to allow the implementation to change over time. For instance the Carnegie Foundation's goal of "improving teaching and learning" or the Gates Foundation project of "saving lives in poor countries." The foundation structure, with a board of directors and staff, can adapt the charter to changing circumstances.


lazyboy
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Post by lazyboy »

"Would it make sense to simply buy up land so as to prevent further encroachment from "development"?"
thats what I`m planing to do as I reach the point of ER.
Well you never know what people in future will do, but I think it is like ERE, you have to show others by the way of example so they may understand, see the beauty, and follow your example.
So my plan would look like this:

not only buy land but show people, paticularly kids, how nice these places are. Than establish some kind of foundation that protects these places as long as possible after my decease.


chenda
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Post by chenda »

Yeah I think it can work in some circumstances, but its not guaranteed; land can be compulsory purchased, requisitioned, stolen or simply become less valuable as time goes by. Its impossible to know what resources will be needed and valued by future generations. The opportunity cost of not developing land may become too high.
Incidentally, restricting land from development goes back a long time - medieval forest law is one example, vestiges of which still remain in parts of Europe today.


secretwealth
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Post by secretwealth »

It seems to me a more productive way to discourage development would be to lower the amount of people on Earth through greater birth control incentives.


jacob
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Post by jacob »

@secretwealth - Not sure. Natural drives to procreate are strong + there are incentives from corporations which need more customers, governments which need more soldiers, religions which need more worshippers, ... I think overpopulation will eventually result in an epidemic once the world is so overpopulated that it can no longer feed itself and maintain adequate immune systems. Then the cycle will restart.
@lazyboy - The Last American Man (book) does exactly that one parcel at a time.
@all -
I was inspired by this

http://www.denverpost.com/environment/c ... ected-area

(buy the land, let the government protect it)


EMJ
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Post by EMJ »

Talk to a land trust/land conservancy.

They may be able to help you set up a conservation covenant or easement that prevents development on land you own - this can be advantageous taxwise. Or you can support their work on other land.


chenda
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Post by chenda »

@ secretwealth - I think though economic development itself will reduce overpopulation. Population growth tends to be very low in the developed world (ignoring immigration) and very high in the developing world. If/when the rest of the world catches up with the west, the worlds population may well stabilise or even fall. And of course, many other environmental problems caused by poverty and underdevelopment would be alleviated.


secretwealth
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Post by secretwealth »

chenda, I agree completely. Personally, I'm not worried about the end of the world or some kind of ecological calamity; I think economic and technological developments will render any resource squeeze irrelevant.
My bigger concern is how and when we make the transition from a growth economy dependent on non-renewable resources to a stagnant economy dependent on renewable resources. Fracking postponed this transition at least on the energy side of the equation, but we built so much in the last decade and created so much still under-utilized wealth (buildings, infrastructure, virtual ecosystems), that we're going to have difficulties growing at a stable pace in the near term. This is particularly annoying for investors.


Marlene
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Post by Marlene »

Im the town where I used to go to school there is a park that is taken care of by the government - it used to be the posh house and park of some factory-mogul. In his testament he gave the park & house to the local government with the obligation to keep it open for public. As far as I know this already works for app. 60-100 years.
Of course - if the transition Secretwealth describes runs in a bad way, that might not keep - but what is certain except death and taxes?


KevinW
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Post by KevinW »

This kind of thing makes me question whether ceding land to the government really protects it indefinitely:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/ ... story.html
TLDR: After years of budget cuts, national parks cannot afford and have deferred maintenance, and the grounds are visibly falling apart.


George the original one
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Post by George the original one »

The private organisation Nature Conservancy, http://www.nature.org, does a good job.
Metro, the regional government agency in the Portland area, http://oregonmetro.gov, does a mediocre job. I think the problem in Metro's instance, is one of buying land using government bonds to establish a reserve system of parks. The biggest problem is that these reserve parks are not open to the public and Metro has no funding to properly develop the reserves they already own.
Edit: for those who have never heard of a regional government, it is like a local city or county government, but coordinates land use planning amongst several cities and counties. It is not statewide, hence the name of regional government.


Marlene
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Post by Marlene »

Thought a bit more on this - in Europe the offer in e.g. supermarkets changed, because people were willing to spend (more) money on products that are produced more "nature-friendly". Nature-friendly being a broad term, but a little change spread over a whole country could be the start of a change of mind for the masses.
So, if one wants to change the world through money - one could spend that money according to what products tend into that direction.
On the other hand - land that cannot be entered by humans is land that will hold it´s most natural flora and fauna. Best, if that area holds nothing of interest, or is too far out of reach for humans. One example were the "taboo"-areas in New-Zealand, that according to one report were installed by the Maori to prevent "overshoot".
Other example: one time there was an nature-preserver award awarded to the army because on their bases the nature thrived (planted for e.g. concealment and left alone most of the year). Paradox but still an example.
Natural example: mountain regions that are hard to access but not interesting because them not being K2, Mount Everest or being Tibet or Dharamsala.
So in my opinion if I hold land throughout my livetime it is at least save in that time, which at the moment could be a great benefit, because of peak oil.
And even if I turn it over to the government or my (potential) kids and they only can keep it from being developed for their livetime that´s still a success, because in the meantime other areas for these flora/fauna might develop (e.g. through a shrinking of industry).
tl;dr

Parks could be great and keep their value for nature in the long run because of peak oil. Areas that are out of reach/ uninteresting are best.
Change the world through money by buying products that point to a more sustainable future, aka put the money where the mouth is.


MadPenguin
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Post by MadPenguin »

If a corporation wants your land for development, they will just take it by eminent domain. Politicians are inherently corrupt and either by flatout kickback or the promise of future tax revenue they will take your land and give it to them.
@ secretwealth - "Personally, I'm not worried about the end of the world or some kind of ecological calamity; I think economic and technological developments will render any resource squeeze irrelevant."
Belief in the technology and economic Gods wont make the situation any better. This is a finite world. Infinite money and waiving iPhones around chanting Gates and Jobs verses cannot create oil, lithium or make cold fusion work. :)


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Stahlmann
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Re: How to save^H^H^H^Hchange the world with money?

Post by Stahlmann »

Well, set your own trust fund for issues you care about.

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