“Ode from 2030” was presented by School CEO, Hayley Jarick, at the Circularity 2023 conference on Monday, 20 November 2023, in the session “What is Life Like in a Circular World Years into the Future?”, a provocative session enabling participants to creatively set big hairy audacious circularity goals.
Ode from 2030
It’s twenty-thirty, and I’m looking back,
At the pivot moments from our track,
That changed the fate of every ant to tree,
Towards the goal of circularity.
Setting the goal in twenty-twenty-two,
An MP to an influential few,
Fuelled a viral trend down under,
To value nature and stop the plunder.
We studied Europe and began to learn,
Methodology to start the unturn,
Of the devastation they spread worldwide,
Consuming more worlds than nature provides.
We began by getting rid of our waste.
First in namesake, then no physical trace.
Soon, we realised this but softened the blow,
We don’t need to siphon but stop the flow.
So then, in the year twenty-twenty-four,
Our MPs were bolder than one before,
And declared overshooting history,
“Stop nature deficits, balance is key”.
Not everyone smiled; laggards moaned and mourned.
Power had shifted, and a new day dawned.
Players on both sides of the equation,
Capitalised on laggard confusion.
We need to take less and to conserve more,
And change the metrics we use to keep score.
GDP and growth were not in balance,
With GDC and non-fiscal happiness.
GDC, Gross Domestic Conservation.
A metric to track the progress of a nation,
In restoring biodiversity,
And thus, mitigating catastrophe.
In year one, the numbers were all bad.
It should be no surprise here, but still sad.
It was worth the painful transition to glee,
For the outcome by year twenty-thirty.
I digress from transition specifics,
My top in the field of economics.
Bio-coin revolutionised trading,
Of nature-positive sharing and saving.
Bio-coins were earned from activities,
Like sharing, gifting, and growing veggies.
Fence markets emerged to save spare produce,
Clothes, tools, and household stuff from underuse.
Renovate and refit outgrew new builds,
Reuse and remanufacture the future of guilds.
Greenfield developments are now more costly,
Than restoring old or increasing density.
BCs were paid to convert buildings back,
To plants, water or native habitat.
And not just in rural parts of our nations,
This trend also emerged in city locations.
Big houses were a social problem.
Symptom of the bigger-better phenomenon.
Unhappiness from this unreachable goal,
Fuelled purchasing of stuff beyond control.
BCs were used to reward downsizing,
To tiny homes; the impact surprising.
Need a bedroom? No, a safe place to sleep.
Need storage? This stuff, I don’t need to keep.
Need a big heater? No, a small one’ll do.
Need your own car? I can share one with you.
Need to store food? I can grow fresh instead.
Need a red bin? For what, waste is dead.
Need new supplies? I can use what I own.
Have too much left over? Need to re-home.
No urban heat island. Pollution went down.
Health and happiness restored in every town.
Well, mostly, those exploiting our planet,
Had to buy bio-coins from their profit.
The conserving biodiversity fee,
Was at last in the economy.
In twenty-twenty-five, change was brought on.
By First Nations reconciliation.
We came to appreciate history,
Not primitive, revolutionary.
Human culture that survived with this land,
For tens of thousands of years, was then fanned,
Around this great nation, in breeze and blast,
to reduce our species’ impact and fast.
The knowledge of elders past and now too,
Were listened to by those in power. (Yahoo!)
We didn’t give them a voice in twenty-three,
But we eventually listened you see.
They taught us how to value the country,
rich inhabitable land, air and sea.
We only took what country could give us,
And left the future with enough sustenance.
We grew plants and beasts best for locations,
No flora and fauna of odd nations.
We reaped what we needed, no food wastage.
Mother nature was to whom we paid homage.
Strength came from keeping family together.
No detaching when joined with another.
The “good” things lasted for generations,
With touch-ups, tweaks, and some renovations.
We valued, welcomed, and respected others.
We began to integrate all cultures.
We delinked wealth from the size of our girth.
We began to live with Earth, not on Earth.
Instead of living in isolation,
duplicating infrastructure and so on,
we all consolidated our living,
stopping our unnecessary spending.
Now, with house and food secured for all,
We began to work less. Time to live tall.
The average person worked three days a week.
Joyous hobbies, sports, and naps on the sneak.
Now, I know what you’re thinking. “This is absurd.”
“She’s dreaming.” “She’s crazy.” “Communist turd.”
Settle down a moment and let me explain,
This is all in the same political frame.
This all occurred democratically.
After studying biodiversity,
People woke up to see corporate greed,
As contrary to generational need.
Economic confusion sparked many fears.
Supply and Demand confused many for years.
Ceteris paribus, other things equal,
Is the assumption that was never real.
Price was never the only thing changing,
In products trading; buying and selling.
This assumption rendered, arguably,
the theory an empty tautology.
Are all markets truly “competitive”?
Corrupt, power, barriers, legislative.
We’ll never know, unfalsifiable.
Even Cockshott thinks the theory is laughable.
Consumers were never truly aware,
Of the planetary cost purchases bear.
Nor the social cost some supply chains had,
In the production of goods, some deadly bad.
Some tried to hide this obvious error,
pretending these were not something of bother.
The repugnancy of all victims scammed,
Sent a strong signal to corporate land.
The planetary boundary, over time,
Was restored, with give and take in line.
Regeneration. It will happen swiftly,
Sometime between now and twenty-fifty.
This trip down memory lane has been fun,
And, partly, now you know how it was done,
To switch to circularity, no waste.
So, tell me your dreams and successes post-haste!