Citizens of the United States and the world need to think about what kind of representative democracy can work best at the global level. In 2007, the Campaign for a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly (UNPA) was launched as a global network, advocating citizens’ representation at the UN. Their ranks and influence, particularly in Europe have grown steadily, consisting mainly of parliamentarians and progressive non-governmental organizations. Precisely what form of parliamentary assembly UNPA advocates is left indistinct so that a variety of voices can be considered after a consensus on its need is established throughout the international community.

Like the experiment in representative democracy that is the United States, the European Union is a noble experiment in what works and what does not. In practice, the European Parliament, like the United States Congress is unnecessarily contentious. The people(s) of the world, including the people(s) of Europe might find a better model for world democracy in the United States Senate, consisting of 100 senators representing 50 states.

A global senate might consist of two representatives from various sizes of “cultural bio-regions” – existing natural and human divisions that are more different than alike in the context of our integrated world as a whole. These could include the Great Lakes of North America, delineated in a triangle from Ottawa to Louisville and across to Minneapolis; the Great Plains of North America, including but not limited to Nebraska and Saskatchewan; the Australian Outback (rural interior of Australia); the African Serengeti, the Steppes of Russia, and so on.

In a global senate, 72 delegates could represent 36 such transnational sub-regions as described above, two delegates from each transnational sub-region. These 36 units of representation could be composed of three sets of 12 transnational sub-regions from 1) Asia-Pacific, 2) The Americas, and 3) Africa-Europe; natural north/south oriented meta-divisions that could also help structure committee work in a global senate. Legislators of nation states in each of the 36 transnational sub-regions might elect/appoint one delegate with the other delegate being elected by transnational sub-regional populaces through internationally monitored elections. Such a governing structure could synergize rather than balance power among nations.

Planetary Defense

A collection of ideas and efforts to prevent human extinction from Earth-crossing orbits (ECOs) of asteroids and comets that become potentially hazardous objects (PHOs).

Pandemics of disease

Persistent threats to the human family that emerge and reemerge across the face of Earth with potential to cause extinction or near-extinction. Pandemics can be combated through accelerated medical research at the International Space Station.

 

 

 

Interplanetary climate change

An alternative, older and more accurate concept to those represented by the more politically contentious terms, “global warming” and “climate change” (Earth-based) in the United States.

 

 

 

 

 

 

International Space Station

A partnership among Canada, Europe, Japan, Russia and the United States. The ISS is a precedent for and a record of lessons learned in planning and executing multinational collaborative space exploration initiatives.

 

 

 

International Space Elevator Consortium

One of the more exciting potential applications of nanoscience is the space elevator/shaft concept. This technological innovation could reduce dramatically the cost of sending payloads into space. Carbon molecules can be configured in a way to make possible the manufacture of super strong and light ribbon. This ribbon can be “dropped” from space to Earth (or to any celestial body) to form a tether between the celestial mass and an artificial counterweight in space. Special vehicles are now being designed to clamp onto and “climb” each side of the ribbon, powered below by laser light converted into electricity.

 

 

 

Thomas Meylan, Ph.D., evolutionary psychology and astrophysics

Thomas Meylan, Ph.D. is a thought leader in “optimizing luck” for the accomplished individual and for any work culture in the context of each. His approach draws from his background in both evolutionary psychology and astrophysics.

 

 

 

Gamma-ray bursts

The human family lives within a reality of planet-life ending radiation from gamma-rays, which can occur any moment by the right type of imploding star within the Milky Way galaxy. Current and future human generations must either evade or somehow confront this natural lethal mega-force.

 

 

 

Freshwater scarcity/stress on Earth

Freshwater scarcity/stress affects different sub-regions of Earth differently. The problem can be approached through using space-based solar power for energy-intensive seawater desalination followed by pipeline infrastructure projects.

 

 

 

Space-based solar power

Space-based solar power can be a pivotal factor in three main areas of human endeavor:

1) Fighting rapid climate change on Earth as a renewable energy source

2) Alleviating global freshwater scarcity as a power source for seawater desalination

3) Powering interplanetary spacecraft instead of more controversial nuclear power