"A map of the world which doesn't include Utopia isn't even worth glancing at." —Oscar Wilde

 "Look at the world around you. It may seem like an immovable, implacable place. It is not.  With the slightest push— in just the right place— it can be tipped."—Malcolm Gladwell

"You cannot have a global economy without a global society. Right now a billion people live on less than a dollar a day. Everything is about keeping going in the right direction. You'll always be wrong about details. We need agreement about what the right direction is. People who live at moments of transition have a greater responsibility. Of course we'll stumble. But we ought to be stumbling in the right direction." —Bill Clinton



If There Is Abundance For All, We Will All Be Billionaires

There were 1062 billionaires in the world in 2008 according to Forbes Magazine, which keeps track of this phenomenon (there were also over 9 million millionaires) [1] .  The definition of a billionaire that is used by Forbes to determine whether you can be a member of this club is that your net worth, as measured by the dollar value of your stock and bond portfolio, real estate and other property, salary, and other income and holdings needs to be a billion dollars or more.

Given that the average net worth of the average person in the world is considerably less than this, probably closer to $10,000 per person than $1,000,000,000 (using the same criteria to measure net worth), how is the world going to get "abundance for all"—or seven billion billionaires?

Are we all going to get 20% of the shares of Microsoft or own a significant piece of Manhattan or Tokyo? That's not going to happen in today's world. Neither is robbing the Federal Reserve, printing our own money, or waiting for the Tooth Fairy to bequeath us a blank check going to get us all to the plateau of being a billionaire.

Seven Billion Billionaires

'"If you wish to make apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe." —Carl Sagan

As we saw in the previous chapters, economic well-being and wealth increases enormously in the world as basic human needs are met.  It increases even more as our educational, human rights, security, environmental, and other needs are also met. Adding these together make us vastly wealthier, perhaps even richer than millionaires, but still shy of the "billionaire" category. Either something else is needed, or we need to look at how we define wealth.

What is going to make us all richer than any billionaire alive today is access to a world of plenty, where everyone, including the rich, is safe. A world where everyone is better off than they are today, where basic human needs and rights are fulfilled, where the environment is being regenerated, and the world is alive, if not with the sound of music, then at least the sounds of excited contentment, educated disagreement, concerned problem solving, and enthusiastic opportunity development. A world where the poor do not fear the rich, and the rich do not fear the poor.  Where the poor do not fear that the rich will come and throw them out of their home, deny them access to food, electricity or a job— or the rich fear the poor to such an extent they imprison themselves in "gated communities" behind "security" walls, fences, and guards, living a life of increasing alienation from all that makes life worth its while.

Right now, much of the technology the average person in the developed world has access to could not of been bought for a billion dollars 10 to 20 years ago. The latest laptop computer, cell phone, GPS device, wireless Internet access, even the Internet itself, as well as the Human Genome, the images from the Hubble Space telescope and the latest advances in medical science could not of been purchased for all the money in the world before new technologies made them possible and available.  In a very real sense, people living in the developed world are richer than all the kings of all history, measured by our life expectancy, freedom from disease and privations, our children's chances of living past their fifth birthday, and our access to information and the toys and tools of the 21st century.

In the time it will take you to read this sentence the number of transistors in the world will increase by 1 billion. As each of these transistors finds its way into the information processing tools of our civilization our access to the power of information is increased and often amplified.

"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."—Arthur C. Clarke

The average citizen in the 21st century encounters more information in one month than a human living a hundred years ago encountered in their entire life.  With this unprecedented access to information come unprecedented powers.

We have learned over the last decades that the way we measure personal and societal wealth is incredibly limited. We have learned that if we just count our personal portfolio or money, or our Gross National Product, we are not only limiting what we are, but what we can become. The underlying premise behind the drive to expand how we measure our success in such measures as the UNDP's Human Development Index, and the plethora of other indices such as the Environmental Pressure Index, Environmental Sustainability Index, the Genuine Progress Indicator, Human Well being Index, the Social Progress of Nations Index, and the Ecosystem Well being Index is that we need a more sophisticated set of measuring tools to evaluate where we are and where we are heading.  How we currently measure success and progress are not just limiting our possibilities and vision, but as they only count a small fraction of our true wealth, they in effect, impoverish us all.

We have also learned over the last decades that the services performed for us by our environmental support systems— by nature— are providing every person in the world with a vast uncounted income and dowry or endowment. These services, such as processing wastes, absorbing carbon, providing oxygen, heat, cleaning the atmosphere, regulating climate, moving water, providing energy and materials are essential to not just our economy but to life.  Without them our entire economic and technologic infrastructure is but an empty shell, suggesting promise, but devoid of life.  Imagine our technological infrastructure on Mars— without our biosphere providing its many services such technological wealth would be merely the vestiges of a lost civilization and the inspiration for a science fiction story: Ozymandias on steroids on Mars. 

"Anything we can't live without and can't replace at any price could be said to have an infinite value." —Paul Hawken,  Amory Lovins,  Hunter Lovins

The conservative monetary value placed on many of nature's services is in the neighborhood of the world's gross world product— about $50 trillion per year. [2]   If the natural assets that produced these trillion dollar services (or "interest") each year had a monetary value, that value would be at least in the range of $400 to $500 trillion. [3]   But we can't stop here. The Earth, without its 94 million mile away refueling station is but a lifeless rock.  Without the Sun to power all the biological and other processes our world can't support life, build up its genetic resources or do much else other than accumulate the random crater from meteor impacts.  Adding our planet's fuel station into our net worth equation bumps all the passengers on board Spaceship Earth into the billionaire category quite quickly. Valuing the Sun'sdaily output of energy at the relatively inexpensive rate that petroleum was priced  (a very low $20 per barrel) results in the "absurd" valuation of $1 trillion trillion ($1 X 1024) per day. [4] Taking the much-reduced figure of just the Earth's daily receipt of energy from the Sun and valuing it in the same way, we find that the Earth receives $50 trillion worth of energy each day. [5]   Each year's receipt is over $18,000 trillion. 

Added to this sizable figure are a few others. The net benefits of the U.S. Clean Air Act have been estimated at $5.6 to $49.4 trillion over 20-year period. $22 trillion is given as the best estimate. [6] There are a host of other wealth producing analogs to the Clean Air Act that have been implemented throughout the world that are generating vast amounts of net benefits (even though they are not entering most of the calculations for Gross World or Gross National Product does not mean they are not wealth producers).  These trillions need to be recognized and added to our net wealth. On top of this should be added the worth of the world's genetic endowments.  What are they worth? One answer might be: how much would it cost us to replace or duplicate from scratch the current genetic codes of every living system on the planet?

"Not everything that can be measured counts, and not everything that counts can be measured." —Albert Einstein

A trillion here a trillion there, pretty soon it all adds up.

In addition to this vast wealth, we need to add a number of unknowns.  As pointed out in Strategy 11, Oceans: Regenerating the Ocean of Life, less is know of the oceans than space.  Once we systematically inventory this vast resource that covers 75% of the planet we will locate large quantities, and possibly different types, of additional wealth for the world.  From the few studies that have been carried out, indications are that the biodiversity of the ocean bottom is rivaled only by tropical rainforests. [7]   In addition to the biological, genetic and mineral wealth in the ocean, there is the mineral (and other) wealth contained in the Moon that adds to the total making all the world's inhabitants billionaires.

With the addition of the net worth provided to every person in the world by the services performed by nature and the additional wealth brought into our lives by our new technology, lengthening life spans, increasing mobility, access to ever larger quantities and qualities of information, abilities to communicate with others, overall quality of life, and most importantly, the provision of all this for all the people in the world, the notion that all the human beings in the world are potential billionaires is not that far off.  The transition of seven billion people to actual billionaires will take the combined vision and will of all the people in the world today, and the implementation of strategies such as those found in this book. 

The following describes how the world of seven billion billionaires would look; but first, it addresses how we, global citizens in a global society, might pay for what we want.

Win/Win/Win/Win/Win/Win (WinN):

Individuals, Community, Country, Environment, Economy, and Enterprise Winners

The world envisioned in Abundance for All is not a world of winners and losers. Neither is it a "win/win" world.

There are always more then two sides in any complex situation and getting the world what it wants is clearly an incredibly complex situation. With more than 200 small to large plots of land-focused entities laying claim to sovereignty, over 63,000 profit-focused multinational corporations, three million plus issue-focused non-governmental organizations, well over 6 billion survival, growth and well-being focused individual human beings, and an increasingly active set of environmental forces clamoring for attention— the world is not a simple win/lose or win/win equation.  For a global problem solving/capacity building strategy to be successful it has to make winners out of everyone.

Each of the various individual strategies in Seven Billion Billionaires has its unique purpose and seeks to accomplish specific goals.  But what happens when the strategies are combined together?  What happens to the world when all of these actions are taken?  What happens when the primary objective of each strategy is achieved or as it is being reached?  What are the spin-offs, secondary and tertiary effects of the process of reaching the objectives?

How We Can Pay for Our Investment

Never before in the entire history of the planet has so much been possible for so many for such a small amount and in such a short time.  With a relatively small portfolio of investments per year for the next decade—less than one-half of one-one hundredth of 1% (.00475%) of the gross world product— everyone in the world would be wealthier, healthier, safer, more secure, and the standard of living would be racing forward at an unprecedented pace in an environmentally sustainable way.


"Not to dream boldly may turn out to be simply irresponsible." —George Leonard

How Governments Could Fund Getting the World What It Wants

The $228 billion per year investment is proportionally 43% smaller than the cost of the wildly successful Marshall Plan that rebuilt Europe after World War II.  That 1948 plan used 1.1% of U.S. GDP. [8]   The Abundance for All plan would use only .48% (1/2 of 1%) of Gross World Product. [9]   It would use about 10.3% of the U.S. Federal Budget— substantially less than the U.S. military's take from the U.S. taxpayer. [10]

  • Funding source #1: The governments of the world allocate the needed investment funds.
  • Funding source #2: A value added tax (VAT) is placed on global commerce (all imports and exports) sufficient to raise the needed investment.

How Removing Subsidies Could Fund Getting the World What It Wants

Another way of looking at the cost of the Abundance for All plan is in terms of the "perverse subsidies" given out that both distort markets and encourage behaviors that harm the environment.  These subsides are over three times the total costs of all the Abundance for All strategies ($700 billion per year)— and that is according to the world's various development banks. [11]   (Academic sources put the number near $2 trillion. [12] , [13] )  Removing these annual $700 billion subsidies would do more than pay for all the Abundance for All strategies three times over, it would help regenerate the environment and strengthen the ecological foundations of our society— as well as make markets more efficient and fair.

      Funding source #3: Remove perverse subsidies to existing systems and invest a portion of these $300 to $700 billion funds in getting the world what it wants.


How the Rich Could Fund Getting the World What It Wants

Yet another source for funding the Abundance for All strategies is philanthropy. The largest intergenerational transfer of wealth in human history is taking place in the next five to twenty years. In just the U.S., an estimated $15 trillion will be passed from the World War II generation to the Baby Boomer generation.  If 1.5% of this transfer of money were used to get the world what it wanted, all the strategies would be funded. If 10% were "tithed", $1.5 trillion, 6 and half times the total amount needed, would be available. 

A subset of this funding strategy could be aimed at the super-rich.  It would feature a "catalog" of projects that the very wealthy could consider funding. Each project would be thoroughly described in this catalog, along with its technical feasibility, social benefits, economic benefits and potential profitability, implementation time, and costs. [14] The projects would be "expensive", and memorable, conferring upon the investor the possibility of being remembered by history on the same scale as Lorenzo di Medicis, Ferdinand and Isabella, and the pyramid builders of Egypt. Such investments would come with naming rights —such as the Paul Gardner Allen [15] Feed the World Project, or the Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Alsaud [16] Eliminate Illiteracy Project.

The 1,068 billionaires in the world have a net worth in excess of $1.5 trillion. Investing 15% this in getting the world what it wants would make everyone, including the world's richest people, almost immeasurably wealthier.

  • Funding source #4: Provide incentives for the investment of inherited wealth in getting the world what it wants.
  • Funding source #5: Allow the super rich to invest in and name the projects that will get the world what it wants.

How Individuals Could Fund Getting the World What It Wants

The cost of all the Abundance for All strategies could be met if every person in the world in 2003 invested about $36.  A fairer cost sharing could be worked out so that those in wealthy countries paid more than those in developing countries. If just the one billion wealthiest people in the world invested, each would contribute $228.  If just U.S. citizens decided to make the investment, it would be a little over $800 per person.

Given that us consumers in the world spend nearly half the total gross world product in our household purchases, what we as groups of consumers can do is formidable. 1.1% of our total household expenditures would be enough to cover the cost of the entire Abundance for All program. [17]

  • Funding source #6: Set up a mechanism for individuals, religious groups, and aid organizations to invest in getting the world what it wants.

How Corporations and Civil Society Could Get the World What It Wants

By working together on delivering products and services that meet basic human needs in emerging markets, corporations and civil society will make huge contributions to getting the world what it wants.

  • Funding source #7: Provide incentives for corporations to invest in getting the world what it wants.
  • Funding source #8: Tax speculative cross-border financial transactions (the so-called Tobin tax, named after American economist James Tobin [18] ) in the global money markets.  Close to $1.5 trillion per day is speculated in foreign exchange transactions. A tax of 0.00045% (less than one-half of one-thousandth of 1%) would generate close to $250 billion per year.

  • Funding source #9: Develop an internationally accepted definition of taxable expenditures, an international code of taxation, end unregulated off-shore tax havens, develop a global tax information center for use by governments and civil society as a vehicle to exchange corporate and other tax information— and place a small tax on global expenditures to raise the investment needed to get the world what it wants.
  • Funding Source #9A: Shift taxes from things to be encouraged, like employment and education, to things that should be discouraged, like energy consumption, pollution, and energy inefficiency.
  • Funding source #10: In an act of visionary, bold and passionate patriotism, the U.S. government funds the entire amount, using its military budget as the source for this national security investment.
  • Funding source #11: China (or France, Japan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Iran, etc.) in a bold, visionary move on the international stage does the same as a means of embarrassing the U.S.
  • Funding source #12: Civil society, following the example set by the Rotarians in the eradication of polio from the world, ban together and, picking one of the things the world wants, gets that for the world.
  • Funding source #13: Socially responsible investment funds, such as The Calvert Fund, set up a Abundance for All Fund and invest in corporations that are meeting the needs of the 4 billion people at the base of the global economic pyramid.
  • Funding source #14:: Organized religions, reeling from moral scandals that undermined its legitimacy, decides to seize the moral high ground, sell some of its assets and invest the proceeds in getting the world what it wants.
  • Funding Source #15: The citizens of the world realize how powerful they are and decide they want the world to work for everyone.
  • If the U.S. were to match Japan (or Sweden) in efficient use of energy it would save $200 billion per year and make its industry more competitive at the same time. [19]

A View of the Whole—Synergies: What Will Happen When

Seven Billion Billionaires: Scene 2

With universal access to health care, infant and child mortality and birth rates will continue to go down, and life expectancy will continue to rise.  The Primary Health Care Program would result in a marked decline in maternal death rates, particularly in developing countries where they are currently highest.  Close to 495,000 mother's lives would be saved each year if every country had access to adequate health care. 

The Providing Health Care for Children strategy would result in families having fewer children because more children survive.  As a result, population growth has another force driving it towards a leveling-off and a stable population becomes more possible and probable—perhaps before the 2050 timeframe that UN demographers now forecast as the likely date.  Economic productivity goes up as debilitating illnesses are reduced, and education is more effective when low levels of health and nutrition are no longer present to prevent children from taking full advantage of schooling.

The elimination of the injustice and immorality of 10 million children dying from preventable diseases each year will not just be a cause of rejoicing but a moral and morale boost to the human species who know we are better than what the world currently allows to happen.

The AIDS Prevention and Control Program and the Malaria Prevention and Control Program would help stabilize the spread of these incredibly destructive plagues on humanity, slowing and then stopping the downward health and sometimes-economic spiral of some parts of the developing world. The Polio Eradication Program would finally rid the world of another major debilitating disease, and free resources for additional noble tasks.  The incredible organizational infrastructure put in place to combat and win the battles against smallpox and polio, and then malaria and AIDS can be used for other society-wide health improvement tasks in the coming years.  The Global Diabetes Reduction Program will result in a healthier global population as this deadly and costly scourge is brought under control.

There will be a decrease in illness-induced poverty. Through improved health care, and access to that care, a lowered environmental threat of disease, widely disseminated health information, better living conditions and greater access to food, the individual strategies described in this book will combine to produce a great reduction in the illnesses that leave many people either unable to work or under-employed.  With such increased individual health and vitality, society and local economies become healthier and more robust. 

The synergy of adequate supplies of food, brought about by the Global Hunger Relief Agency, the Increased Fertilizer and Irrigation Availability Programs, the Local Food Systems Research Program, the Regenerative Food Systems Program, the Subsidy Eradication Program, and the Global Information and Early Warning System— along with access to healthcare, clean water and improved housing will result in a marked improvement to the quality of life for the individuals, families and communities where these needs are not currently being met, but will also impact regional, national and international society as the stability and productivity of each region increases.

As water supplies and sanitation improve through the Clean Water Infrastructure and

Water Efficiency Strategies, the underlying causes of most debilitating health problems will fade. Two million children who die each year in the poor regions of the world from these causes will live to be productive members of global society— adding to our collective wealth.

Other combinations of the strategies would raise the world's standard of living in different ways.  The well being of children would be raised dramatically.  Besides reduced infant and child mortality, with universal immunizations polio would join the ranks of smallpox as a disease eradicated from the planet.  Measles, whooping cough and other childhood diseases—and sometime killers—would be greatly reduced or eliminated.  Better child nutrition will result in healthier children, eliminating the specter of reduced brain development caused through chronic malnutrition.  With fewer maternal deaths in childbirth, fewer children and families will be left motherless.  With better educational opportunities for women, children will be among the first beneficiaries of mother's new knowledge.  Children throughout the world will have, for the first time in history, unparalleled chances of reaching their full physical and mental potential.  Their contributions to society as they mature will more than pay for all the Abundance for All strategies. [20]

The Empowering Women strategy at the heart of stabilizing the world's population will result in much more than "merely" leading to a stable population. Adding women to the team of global and local problem solvers adds enormous resources to our collective problem solving abilities.  In some regions of the world where women are currently held in check by extraordinarily repressive restrictions that govern their behavior and options such an action will nearly double the talent, depth and capacity of the region's human resources.  All regions of the world will be transformed as the energy, perspective, intelligence and compassion of women are released from the shackles of paternalistic fears.

All of the strategies would directly or indirectly provide jobs, thereby increasing employment and combating poverty.  The Debt Retirement strategy would free much of the capital currently tied up in servicing debts—thereby increasing the amount of capital available for investing in social services and education. The Credit for All strategy would increase employment and productivity by harnessing the entrepreneurial capacities of those huge populations currently without access to credit of any kind.

With the elimination of illiteracy, the raising of educational levels for everyone and the improvement of schooling in general, social and economic productivity will rise as more information and know-how enters into society's decision-making processes and more options become more readily available.  Literate people are prodigious consumers of information.  The global communications industry—the suppliers of information—will be a direct beneficiary of rising educational levels.  Publishers and other suppliers of information for literate people will prosper as their market size increases by almost 1 billion people.  All the problems of the world will be affected as more and more people become better educated and informed.  Democracy tends to flourish in well-educated societies.  As Thomas Jefferson has pointed out, "The best defense of democracy is an informed electorate."

With global access to the Internet through the Internet for All strategy the entire world will, in a sense, be able to see itself and talk to itself. The self-reflective quality that it this will bring to our species will have many unpredictable and profound results.  It is, in retrospect, little surprise that a species as communicative as ours, and which consumes information in such prodigious quantities and qualities would create something that enables it to speak and share information with anyone, anywhere and at anytime.  What will be a surprise is what we do with this capacity.

Access to the higher educational resources of the Internet will make a university level education available to everyone on the planet— increasing the value of the human resources of the world, increasing the amount of creative and sophisticated intelligence brought to bear on the opportunities and problems of the world, and advancing science, arts and commerce. If the world can get to its current state with 100 million college students, what will happen when there are 3 billion?

As democracy grows throughout the world as a result of the Global Polling and Referendum programs, International Democratic Election Fund and global PeaceKeepers force the planet might see the demise of all the more repressive forms of government and a corresponding increase in the freedoms of press, religion and individual expression found in the world's older democracies.  One of the benefits of a thriving democracy is that it allows more intelligence, creativity and problem-solving abilities into the process of solving society's problems than do more centralized command and control forms of decision-making.  As more people are involved and democracy flourishes, the fuller potential of any given society will tend to be realized.

As the Global Problem Solving Simulation Tool (EarthGame) comes on line and gains wide acceptance more creativity and imagination by more people will be focused on the problems of the world.  The gap between compassion, concern and effective action will become narrower as people learn how to harness the world resources for the greater good of society.

Another assumed benefit of global literacy and rising educational standards is the reduction of innocent and ignorant people's gullibility and vulnerability to emotional manipulation that leads to fears of other people and the resultant prejudice, hatred, "ethnic cleansing" and other euphemisms for genocide.  As Buckminster Fuller pointed out, "Each generation is born into less and less misinformation, and more and more reliable information."  As we learn more about the world, our ignorance and fear of other cultures and people with different religions, clothes, looks, tastes, foods, beliefs, and customs than ours becomes less threatening.  And, as a possible tertiary benefit, our knowledge of our own culture will increase.  As our knowledge of others increases, our knowledge and understanding of what we are not becomes clearer and our own beliefs and customs come into sharper focus.  We learn to see who and what we are as we see what we are not.  Our culture-distinguishing features rise from the ambient background noise to take on a texture and substance that is unique.  Another way of saying this is, "Globalization drives diversity."  Even as it interconnects us all into one global market, it also makes it clearer to each of us what we are bringing to the market.

By eliminating the need for time- and energy-consuming trips to obtain water, reducing the debilitating effects of disease through extending health care and improving sanitation, providing access to the Internet and its vast informational resources, protecting and enriching the soil of existing farmlands, and teaching effective, regenerative farming techniques, the productivity of farmland and farm workers and the quality of their lives would be significantly improved.  Rural/urban inequities in services and opportunities would decrease thereby lessening the migration towards the city and decreasing the growing pressure on metropolitan environments.

Stabilization of the world's population, the new health care system, projects to provide clean water and sanitation systems for those lacking adequate facilities, the health education campaign, and better housing would clearly have a dramatic yield in reducing general illness and allowing existing health systems to meet more of the needs of their regions. 

One of the worst results of poverty would be reduced significantly as homelessness was eliminated through the Self-Help Housing strategy and the Housing Tenure strategy. Nations would become healthier, more politically stable, and more environmentally secure as adequate housing and thriving communities replace densely populated, unsanitary urban squatter camps.

Other interactions would yield ameliorating effects on the environment.  One effect would be long-term protection against the potential damage of global warming.  The combined effects of planting more trees and grass with a program to reduce both immediate consumption and long-term dependence on fossil fuels would reduce the carbon emissions that are the major cause of global warming.

The greening of the deserts would be another environmental boon.  Planting large numbers of trees, undertaking a major soil conservation effort and increasing organic fertilizer usage would actually reverse the process that has been turning farmlands into deserts.  The local environments and the world at large would benefit from the addition of these stable ecosystems.  They would maintain and in some cases foster an increase in biodiversity and provide the world with both additional places of beauty and vacation spots.  In addition, by changing the albedo of the local microclimate they would help bring about increased rainfall—thereby accelerating the further greening of the deserts.

The saving of the oceans from our ignorance of what they really are and their true worth would not only preserve this resource for posterity, it would insure the survival and quality of the present day.  As the World Oceans Organization and its various programs went into effect the world would no longer be able to assume the oceans are infinite just because they are bigger than what we can see across, and in working out how to cooperate on this truly global task we would learn and test out the survival skills of a truly planetary species.

The Planet Genome Project will enrich the depth of our understanding of what we are and make possible the radical preservation of the vast richness of our planet's entire genetic heritage. 

Removing the perverse subsidies that hamstring the global economy will enable the people of the world to "vote" economically without the marketplace election being rigged. Removing subsidies returns at least a portion of the economy to the control of the people and make the market's allocation of resources less distorted and more efficient.  Grading governments on their performance, on standards of living delivered to citizens, makes government more responsive to the people, rewards good governance, transparency, and creative cultivation of opportunities by former bureaucrats interested in keeping the status quo happy.

Programs to replace open sewers with effective sanitation systems and to increase the efficiency of energy use and the adoption of clean energy sources as alternatives to fossil fuels and nuclear power would sharply reduce local and global pollution.

The combined effects of greater energy efficiency and development of renewable energy as an alternative to fossil fuels and nuclear power would enable the world to develop without the destabilizing impact of dwindling sources and rising prices of energy.  The renewable energy sources are more evenly distributed throughout the world than are the fossil fuels.  Their distribution in locations that have few sources of industrial energy makes them ideal sources of clean energy that is appropriately matched to end use needs.  An energy system based on renewable energy sources will be more diversified than our current system.  As such, it will be less vulnerable to supply interruptions caused by international political events, local terrorist attacks or malfunction.  Such an energy system will not only be more stable, but also provide more employment as the number of energy harnessing devices proliferates

Renewable energy sources, because they cannot be depleted, will have a stabilizing impact on the global economy as energy prices become less volatile.  Given the economies of mass production, large numbers of small-scale renewable energy-harnessing devices will be able to be produced for less than large- scale one-of-a-kind power plants.  The savings and benefits to society are not only found in production of the energy harnessing devices themselves—transport and transmission costs and losses are reduced, breakdowns that could cripple a system if a large scale power plant goes down are eliminated, and there is more flexibility in dealing with fluctuations in demands and emergencies.  As the Sustainable Energy Systems strategy went into effect, and renewable energy became the dominant energy source in the world, the rising competition for smaller and smaller amounts of remaining oil supplies would be lessened.  In addition, as renewable energy sources are by nature distributed around the globe they are less likely to be under centralized control— thereby fostering a more decentralized and democratic society. [21]

With the world's basic human needs problems moving towards solution, local, national and international security would be more stable.  As the basic human needs of each country were met, the personal and national security of each group of people would increase.

Eliminating landmines from the world through the Global Landmine Eradication Campaign will eliminate a pox on the planet that, from at least one perspective, is worse than many of the natural diseases afflicting humanity. This child and adult citizen-maiming device was invented and deployed by humanity. We had and have the choice to use these devices, something we don't have when it came to most of the diseases of humanity.  Eliminating it will be both an economic, humane and moral victory that will free up large tracts of valuable farmland, and increase the productivity and safety of these regions.

The Dismantling/Eliminating Nuclear Weapons strategy will remove the most dangerous threat to human survival yet developed by humanity. Once this threat is gone, one can only speculate on the psychological impact of the elimination of this pervasive dread and drain on the human spirit.  Once this gun to the collective head of humanity is removed from the world, and the world gets used to the idea that the threat is gone, humanity, especially those currently living in areas that are or could be a target for the use of these, and other, genocide weapons will not only breathe a collective sign of relief, the level of stress in the global psyche will be reduced by an order of magnitude.

Building upon the stabilizing force for peace and international security would be the UN PeaceKeepers.   This empowered global peace-keeping force that could guarantee the sovereignty of each nation from outside aggression could operate at a fraction of the costs of the combined national military expenditures.  A guarantee of protection against aggression by the UN PeaceKeepers would allow each nation that has spent large amounts of resources to protect itself from real or imagined threats from its well-armed neighbors to free up resources previously used by the military

More important than keeping the peace is making it.  The PeaceMakers force would add to the world a set of techniques, skills and expectations for the use of non-violent, passive resistance forms of social change and conflict resolution.  With all or the majority of the citizens of the world armed with the proven techniques of relentless non-violent social disruption, civil disobedience, and creative monkey wrenching— kept in constant real-time communication with each other and the rest of the world through cell phones and other telecommunications devices— a new level of citizen lead social change is possible.  The cell phone phenomena of "mobbing", coupled with a social change agenda could create a new form or level of democracy, civic engagement and entrepreneurial social change.

Many of the programs listed above could be implemented by the military or with its assistance.  The discipline, energy, organization and logistical capabilities of the military make them ideal for securing the peace of their country and the world by participating, or leading, reforestation projects, greening of deserts, providing clean water and sanitation facilities, stopping soil erosion and providing shelter for the people in their regions of the world.  Such "disaster relief" activities would harness "weapons of mass salvation" and be the foundation of a universal service agency that would help the areas of the world most in need.  Such activities would be an ideal bridge for those countries that did not feel safe letting their standing armies disband or decrease in strength, but who were willing to take the first step towards increased regional and global security by allowing their soldiers to participate in the type of activities described here.

The Global Arts and Spiritual Heritage Programs will enliven the hearts and minds of global humanity by stimulating the expression of what we are, give us a glimpses of what we can become, and inspire us to reach for more.  They will increase cross cultural communication, travel, and respect as they educate the world about the multi-faceted explorations of the human spirit and our individual and collective concepts of beauty, harmony and truth.  By further awakening us to the spiritual and artistic wonders of the world our horizons and humanity expand, we become more knowledgeable and appreciative of both the differing cultures and ways of perceiving in the world and our own uniqueness.

"The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams." —Eleanor Roosevelt

Money Follows Vision

The set of strategies described in Abundance for All would not, of course, result in a problem-free world or eliminate all of our world problems. Once we solve the most pressing current set of problems, nature will see to it that we have a new, more complicated set of problems to solve.  As Buckminster Fuller saw it, our current set of problems are the training ground for out next set— and that next set is always more complicated, as college is more complicated that high school, or dealing with your child's request for the car keys is more complicated and difficult that dealing with their request for a new bicycle. 

The solution of our current problems would, however, change the world in fundamental, even revolutionary ways.  Meeting the entire population of the world's basic human needs, guaranteeing their basic human rights, providing a secure, safe world, and regenerating the environmental basis upon which we all depend and thrive, would lead to a world that is profoundly different than any world humanity has lived in the past. We would be in a world where the ethic was not the bestial survival of the fittest, but instead, the fittest survival of all. 

A world without a positive image of its future is a threat to itself. [22]   A pervasive fear of the future can lead to alienation, apathy, nihilism— or worse, a self-fulfilling prophecy.  The vision of a world where our basic human needs and rights can be provided for is the crucial predecessor to the world where these problems are solved.  The information that something is possible, even more than possible— economically and technologically feasible and morally compelling— is a prerequisite to making that vision real.  The vision of a world that works for everyone, and the steps needed to make that vision tangible, can lead us towards a purposeful implementation of the those needed steps. 

Resources can always be found, even created, to implement a vision— whether it is going to the moon, invading Iraq, or eradicating smallpox or polio.  Once a vision is clear enough to enough people, a "tipping point" is reached and the necessary societal will needed to make the vision real happens.  To reach the tipping point, the vision has to be compelling. It needs to be, if it is a global strategy for reducing poverty or bringing on a golden age of wealth and well-being, morally persuasive, technologically possible, economically affordable, and ecologically sustainable.  It is the hope of the author that this book rises at least part way to this challenge for a significant number of people.

For the first time, the existence of all humanity cannot only be secure and free from the eons-long and brutish struggle for survival— us human kind can achieve the opportunity to thrive in a manner, scope and degree unprecedented in our history.  The most important idea presented by Seven Billion Billionaires is that whether we proceed to that stage in human development or continue our present paths is no longer determined by the limits of our resources or abilities, but rather by our will.

When we examine the capacities and not just the problems of the world we expand what is possible. When we stop looking for whom to blame and start looking for what we can become, when we set the vision of the future that we want in motion, rather then try to avoid the one we fear, we rise to the higher levels of what humans can do. Becoming the self-fulfilling prophecy we want to see happen allows us to reflect the highest we can see, not the darkest we can fear.

We all become billionaires when we realize how valuable each off us and our planet already are.


After the final no there comes a yes
And on that yes the future of the world depends.

—Wallace Stevens

The good news is that the world and the forces of globalization are already moving the world in the direction of getting the world what it wants.  The additional good news is that things can move very quickly once a sufficiently large number of people decide they want something. If 55 million nicotine addicts in the U.S. can give up smoking in the 1980s, [23] what was referred to as a "social earthquake," then other transformational changes that involve less difficulty can also happen virtually "overnight". 

The following will give us an idea of the scope and rapidity of the movement towards a world that works for everyone.


Creating Abundance for All—Seven Billion Billionaires:

Getting the World What It Wants— Breakthroughs

  • Life Expectancy up nearly 40%: Life expectancy has gone up in every country in the world.  Global life expectancy has gone up 35% since 1950.  From 48 years in 1950 to 66.7 in 2001. [24]   Such an awesome increase is unprecedented since life began on this planet. (China's life expectancy increase has been even more dramatic: In 1930, life expectancy in China was 24; in 2000 it is close to 70— a three-fold increase in two generations.)
  • Death rates down 40%: Death rates have gone down in every country in the world. In 1950 death rate was 15 per 1000 people, in 2000 it is 9 per 1000. [25]
  • Birth rates down 40%: Birth rates have gone down in every country in the world.  In 1950 birth rates were 37 per 1000, in 2000 they are 22 per 1000. [26]
  • Immunized children up 1400%: In 1974, 5% of the world's children were immunized against the six main vaccine-preventable diseases: polio, diphtheria, whooping cough, tetanus, measles and tuberculosis. By 2001, over 72% were immunized. [27]
  • Population growth rate slows to 1.18%: Human population grew at the rate of 0.04% from 1 AD to 1650 AD, rising with technological and medical advances to an all-time high of 2.1% between 1965 and 1970.  In the early 1990s, the annual average dropped to 1.6%. [28]   In 2002 the population growth rate dropped to 1.18— the lowest it has been since rates peaked. [29]
  • Infant mortality down 78%: Infant mortality has gone down 78% since 1950—from 250 per 1000 births to 56 in 2001. [30]   Measured as a rate, infant mortality has been cut in half in 30 years (1973-2003), from 11% of live births to 6%. [31]
  • Literacy levels up 220%: World literacy rates have risen from 25% in 1900 to 80% in 2000 [32] despite the addition of over 4 billion people to the world in the same period. Illiteracy among adults in low-income countries fell from 47% to 25%, and for women it fell from 57% to 32%. [33]
  • Primary Schooling up 33%: Over 75% of the world's children complete at least 4 years of primary schooling.  This is an increase from the 1960s where the figure was at 50%. [34]
  • Child mortality down 40% to 80%:  Under 5 child mortality has dropped from 37 per 1,000 live births in 1960 to 7 per 1,000 live births in industrialized nations in 2001— a drop of 81%; from 216 to 90 in developing countries (down 58%); and from 282 to 160 in the Least Developed Countries in that time span (down 43%). [35]   About 2.5 million fewer children will die in 2000 than in 1990. Tens of millions will be spared from malnutrition, 750,000 fewer each year will be disabled, blinded, crippled or mentally retarded.
  • Killer Childhood Diseases Being Conquered 1— Measles down 89%: Measles caused 7 to 8 million child deaths per year in the 1960s.  By the late 1980s it was reduced to 3 million.  By 1998 this was lowered to 900,000. [36]
  • Killer Childhood Diseases Being Conquered 2:  As of 1995, more than 1 million child deaths per year from diarrhea were prevented through the use of the low cost therapy of oral rehydration. [37]
  • Killer Childhood Diseases Being Conquered 3:  The number of children immunized against whooping cough, measles, tetanus and diphtheria in 1970 was less than 10%; over 4.5 million children were dying each year from these causes.  Many millions more were left deaf, blind or crippled by polio and measles.  By 1990 nearly all countries reached the 80% immunization (75% for sub-Saharan Africa).  This effort has saved the lives of over 3 million children per year and the annual prevention of about 400,000 cases of polio.  Basic immunization is estimated to have saved over 20 million children from all preventable lethal diseases since 1980. [38]  
  • Killer Childhood Diseases Being Conquered 4—Polio reduced 99%:  In the early 1980s, 400,000 children per year were being crippled for life by polio.  By 1990 it was cut in half to 200,000.  By 1991 it was cut in half again, to 100,000.  In 2002, there were approximately 1,200 polio cases in the world.  All of the Americas, the entire western hemisphere, have been free of polio for over 10 years.  In 2000 there were over 4 million children below the age of 10 who were growing up normally instead of paralyzed for life. [39]
  • Killer Childhood Diseases Being Conquered 5— Tetanus deaths down 57%: In 1990, tetanus killed over 700,000 infants in the world. In 1998 this was down to 300,000. [40]
  • Malaria in China reduced 90%: Malaria incidence in China has decreased 90% since the early 1980s. [41]
  • Guinea worm disease reduced 99%: Guinea worm disease has been reduced by 99% since the late 1980s—from over 5 million cases to less than 72,000 in 1998. [42]
  • Hunger is down 15% to 46%: the number of malnourished people in the world declined form 956 million people in 1970  (25% of total world population) to 815 million in 2000 (13.5% of world population). [43]
  • Per Capita food consumption up 23%: The world produces 23% more food per person in 2000 than we did in 1961. [44]    Per capita food consumption has gone up in every country in the world since 1950.  All of the developed world, plus most of Latin America, and Egypt and Malaysia have reduced malnutrition to less than 10% of their children—the lowest in history. [45]   Global per capita food consumption has increased 24% from 1961 to 1998; [46] in developing countries over the same period it has increased 38% (from 1,950 in 1961 to 2,663 calories per person per day in 1998. [47]   In addition, the price of food has fallen by two-thirds from 1957 to 2001. [48]
  • World is less vulnerable to famine: Because of trade and global transportation and communication capabilities the world is less vulnerable to food supply disruptions.
  • Iodine deficiency down: Over 60% of all salt is now fortified with iodine—thereby reducing the amount of iodine deficiency in the world, which has been the cause of brain damage in over 26 million people. [49]
  • Access to safe drinking water up 173%: 30% of the people in the developing world had access to safe water in 1970; in 2000, the number has risen to 82%—despite the addition of 1.9 billion people. [50]
  • Access to sanitation is up 164%: 23% of the people in the developing world had access to sanitation in 1970; in 1990 it had risen to 44% [51] and by 2000 the number has risen to 61%. [52]
  • Wealth Increase:  Poverty has been reduced more in the last 50 years than in the preceding 500. [53]   The number of people living in "extreme poverty" ($1.00 or less per day) has been reduced by 200 million over the past 20 years, despite the addition of over a billion people to the world. [54] The percent of poor people in the world has decreased from 50% in 1950 to 25% in 2000. [55]   Over the past 50 years, some 3.4 billion people have become "not poor .Ó [56]   More than 85% of the developing world and 90% of the developed world are richer than they have ever been. [57]   Real income has gone up for 4.9 billion people in 160 countries in the world since 1985.  86% of humanity is richer in 1995 than they were in 1985. [58]    China alone has lifted 400 million people out of poverty in the last 25 years. [59]
  • Real per capita income is up 43%: Per capita income rose 43% from $987 in 1980 to $1,384 in 2000. [60]   GDP per person has also risen over 25% from $5,688 in 1980 to $7,714 in 2002. [61]
  • Economic expansion continuing: Gross World Product rose to $48 trillion in 2002, up from $6.7 trillion in 1950, $10.7 trillion in 1960, $17.5 trillion in 1970, $25.3 trillion in 1980, and $34.2 trillion in 1990. [62]
  • Computers up: The number of computers in 1970 was less than 100,000; in 1995 the number reached 160 million and by 2003 there were over 800 million. [63]   Internet access is over 600 million in 2003.
  • Nuclear arsenals decline 44%: The explosive equivalent of 29.1 million tons of TNT- roughly 4,000 warheads was dismantled last year.  In 1985 there were over 50,000 nuclear weapons; in 2003 there were about 28,000. [64]
  • Protected areas: There are now over 8,600 natural preserves and protected wildlife habitats in the world, with a combined area of roughly 792,265,000 hectares. [65]   There are also 730 World Heritage Sites [66] , up from 12 in 1978. [67]
  • Solar energy: Over 200,000 homes in developing countries are now using rooftop-mounted solar electricity panels. [68]
  • Wind energy: From 1998 to 2002, global wind energy capacity increased three-fold. Wind generated electricity provides enough power to meet the residential electricity needs of 35 million people. [69] The cost of wind-generated electricity has dropped from 38¢ a kilowatt-hour in the early 1980s to roughly 4¢ a kilowatt-hour today on prime wind sites.
  • Automobile emissions down: Automobile emissions in the U.S. have been reduced 90% since 1970. [70]

It is my hope is that this book will be a positive weight on the side of getting the world to tip towards abundance for all by providing a vision that's creates the will that engenders the initiative and action that transforms the world.

[1] and
and "Does inequality matter?," (The Economist, June 14, 2001, p. 9).
[2] Robert Costanza, et. al.. "The Value of the World's Ecosystem Services and Natural Capital," (Nature 387:253-260, May 15, 1997).
[3] Paul Hawken, Amory Lovins, Hunter Lovins, Natural Capitalism, (New York, Little, Brown, 1999. p.5).
[4] The Sun's daily production of energy figure is based on 173,000 trillion watts of solar radiation X 24 hours; from M. K. Hubbert, "The Energy Resources of the Earth" (Scientific American, September 1971). Conversion to barrels of oil based on conversion rate of 1,642 kwhs per barrel.
[5] Ibid, Hubbert.
[6] S..W. Pacala, et. al. "False Alarm over Environmental False Alarms" (Science, August 29, 2003, p. 1188).
[7] John Temple Swing, "W hat Future for the Oceans." (Foreign Affairs, September/October, 2003).
[8] Jeffrey H. Brinbaum, ÒA Mideast Marshall Plan?Ó (Fortune, October 28, 2002, p. 158).
[9] GWP on 2002 was $48 trillion; from OECD and IMF, as reported in Vital Signs 2003, (Worldwatch Institute, Washington DC 2003, p. 45).
[10] FY 2003, estimated total U.S. budget outlays are $2.212 trillion; for FY 2004, estimated total outlays are $2.272 trillion. 
U.S. military expenditure in 2003 are $399.1 billion (Center for Defense Information)
[11] "How many planets? A survey of the global environment", (The Economist, July 6, 2002, p. 16).
[12] Ibid.
[13] Norman Myers, J. Kent, Perverse Subsidies: How Tax Dollars Can Undercut Both the Environment and the Economy. (Island Press, Washington DC, 2001). See also: James Gustave Speth, "Recycling Environmentalism" (Foreign Policy, July/August 2002 p.76) who estimates environmentally perverse subsidies at $1.5 trillion.
[14] This wonderful idea is from David Brin; See: The Eye of the Needle Foundation,
[15] The world's third richest person. Net worth in 2001 was $30.4 billion;
[16] The world's sixth richest person. Net worth in 2001 was $20 billion;
[17] Private consumption expenditures spent on goods and services at the household level were over $20 trillion in 2000. (State of the World 2004, Worldwatch Institute, W.W. Norton & Co. New York, 2004, p.5).
[18] "Roasting an old chestnut," (The Economist, September 8, 2001, p. 81).
[19] Norman Myers, "Consumption: Challenge to Sustainable Development "(Science, April 4, 1997, p. 54).
[20] Buckminster Fuller and John McHale described the U.S. "G. I. Bill" in a similar manner. They pointed out the technological and productivity advances created by the wave of American soldiers returning to college after the WWII more than covered the costs of the actual outlays of money that paid the soldier's tuition. See: Utopia or Oblivion by Buckminster Fuller and The Future of the Future, by John McHale.
[21] It could be argued that a society's dominant form of energy and its means of supply is reflected in its government. This thesis would suggest that a more centralized power supply would lead to a more centralized, command and control form of  government,  and that a more decentralized form of energy supply would lead to, or even generate, a more democratic form of government. Looking at George W. Bush's background in the U.S. oil industry could suggest that this experience has shaped his views on government.
[22] As Russell Ackoff puts It, "The inability to envision a positive future is, in itself, a threat to survival." In Redesigning the Future, (New York. Wiley, 1977).
[23] Norman Myers, Consumption: "Challenge to Sustainable Development" (Science, April 4, 1997, p. 54).
[24] UNDP, Human Development Report 2003, (New York, UNDP, 2003, p. 240).
[25] The World Bank, Human Development Report 2002, Human Development Indicators, p.50
[26] ibid.
[27] UNDP, Human Development Report 2003, p.212; and "Jabs for babies in hot placebo" (The Economist, April 28, 2001, p. 46).
[28] Cohen, Joel E. "Population Growth and Earth's Human Carrying Capacity" (Science Vol. 269, July 21, 1995).
[29] Vital Signs 2003, (Washington DC, Worldwatch Institute, 2003, p. 66).
[30] UNDP, Human Development Report 2003, (New York, UNDP, 2003, p. 212).
[31] World Development Report 2003, (The World Bank, Washington DC, 2003, p. 6).
[32] UNESCO Yearbook, UNESCO.
[33] World Development Report 2003, (The World Bank, Washington DC, 2003, p. 6).
[34] UNICEF Annual Report 1996
[35]   United Nations Population Division in UNICEF Annual Report 1996; 2001 data from Human Development Report 2003.
[36] ibid. and WHO, Removing Obstacles to Healthy Development (Geneva, WHO, 1999, p. 7).
[37] ibid.
[38] United Nations Confronting New Challenges: Annual Report on the Work of the Organization, 1995, UNICEF Annual Report 1996
[39] ibid.
[40] WHO, Removing Obstacles to Healthy Development (Geneva, WHO, 1999, p.24)
[41] WHO, "Malaria 1982-1997," http://www.whoint/wer
[42] WHO, Removing Obstacles to Healthy Development (Geneva, WHO, 1999)
[43] Vital Signs 2003, (Worldwatch Institute, 2003, p. 28).
[44] FAO, in Bjorn Lomborg, The Skeptical Environmentalist, (Cambridge University Press, 2001p. 61).
[45] United Nations Confronting New Challenges: Annual Report on the Work of the Organization, 1995, UNICEF Annual Report 1996
[46] Bjorn Lomborg, The Skeptical Environmentalist, (Cambridge University Press, 2001, p. 61).
[47] FAO AGROSTAT database, accessed in 2000.
[48] World Bank Food Index, in Bjorn Lomborg, The Skeptical Environmentalist, (Cambridge University Press, 2001p. 61).
[49] UNICEF 1996 Annual Report
[50] UNDP, Human Development Report 2003, (New York, UNDP, 2003, p. 257).
[51] World Development Report 2003, (The World Bank, Washington DC, 2003, p. 6).
[52] UNDP, Human Development Report 2003, (New York, UNDP, 2003, p. 257).
[53] UNDP, Human Development Report 1997, (UNDP, New York, 1998).
[54] World Development Report 2003, (The World Bank, Washington DC, 2003, p. 7).
[55] World Development Report 2004 (The World Bank, Washington DC 2004), has slightly different figures for a different time frame: from 1981 to 2001  extreme poverty dropped almost in half, from 40 to 21 percent of global population; extreme poverty dropped by 400 million, from 1.5 billion people in the world to 1.1 billion.
[56] Bjorn Lomborg, The Skeptical Environmentalist, (Cambridge University Press, 2001p. 72).
[57] Ibid. p. 77.
[58] World Development Report 2003, (The World Bank, Washington DC, 2003, p. 7).
[59] "Rich man, poor man," (The Economist, September 27, 2003, p. 39).
[60] World Development Report 2003, (The World Bank, Washington DC, 2003, p. 6).
[61] Vital Signs 2003, (Worldwatch Institute, Washington DC, 2003).
[62] Ibid.
[63] World Development Report 2003, (The World Bank, Washington DC, 2003).
[64] Center for Defense Information,
[65] World Conservation Monitoring Centre, Cambridge, UK.
[66] "World Heritage Site" is a UNESCO designation for cultural or natural sites considered to be of outstanding value to humanity.
[67] Vital Signs 2003, (Worldwatch Institute, 2003, p. 52).
[68]   State of the World 1995, (Worldwatch Institute, Washington DC, 1995).
[69] Vital Signs 2003, (Worldwatch Institute, 2003, p. 38).
[70] U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

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