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Response to “Grizzly Protocol”

Published: Nov. 6, 2021


Dear Editor: I was interested in a piece you shared last week, J “Grizzley Protocol” by Tim and Mary Jarvis (https://westernfriend.org/blunting-impacts-global-warming), and I am sending this response.

While I am supportive of many of the Jarvis proposals, I have significant concerns for some. 

Inheritance suggestions are inconsistent. An annual limit of  $100,000 “inheritance” seems low. A later point says all personal wealth goes to the state upon death—so are we allowing inheritance, or not? Does a widow only own half her house plus 100,000 of her partner’s half, and the state owns the rest? The inheritance plan needs to be refined.

I was most shocked by # 16 to halt all migration. This proposal seems to benefit wealthy countries and punish poor countries. Does someone who lives on an island that goes under water just drown? Does someone in an area that has become desert mean starvation and dehydration? This is inhumane treatment of our neighbors. They are the least likely to have contributed to global climate change and have the fewest resources to a adapt to it where they are. Furthermore, not all migration is contentious or conquest; there is evidence that migrants are helpful to economies and communities. I understand the problem of overpopulation but letting the poorest die while others with bigger carbon footprint thrive seems misguided. How is that right? 

Taxing those who have children might reduce population slightly and raise money for the government, but it would not be viable for long. The rich may proliferate while the poor must sacrifice having children. The rich kids have more of a negative impact on the climate.  Have we gained? Might more education, access to contraceptives, and disallowing fertility treatments be more effective?  Further, when there is a reduction in births, we still need to have young workers to care for the elderly.  Typically, immigrants fill the gap.  A lack of immigration and fewer children being born in Japan has created a damaging top-heavy (older) population.

About breaking up the corporations (18d): because most investment is in mutual funds, both companies are likely to be equally funded with no consequence of creating competition between them. They could easily collaborate, make similar economic decisions, and hire lobbyists.  I do not see how this reduces the wealth-based economy.

Similarly, 18 g suggestion that stockholders pay for corporate sins—"including criminal” is nonsensical. Enforcing it would be an administrative nightmare. Adding “even if they sold it” punishes investors who chose NOT to support the company anymore. Criminal liability for loaning money to a neighbor who commits a crime is frightening. Stockholders lend money to companies, and if the company errs, they lose their money. If they will be criminally liable as well, they will be reluctant to lend to anyone. Where will the small, local, sustainable business get start-up money or expansion capital? Furthermore, many of the stockholders are retirement investment funds, etc. Should retirees be penalized because plan administrators made a bad stock choice? The stated goal is to prevent corporations using bankruptcy so get out of responsibility. So, change the laws about bankruptcy and personal responsibility of directors and executives. 

While I support the intentions, the plan is ill-considered.  Experts in corporate law and theory, tax law and theory, and international equity should be involved in developing economic alternatives. I’d like to see a statistical analysis of the impact of such ideas, as well. Are the specific numbers arbitrary and subjective, or based on research?  Why set maximum income at $50 million?  Should the same rules apply everywhere, or might they vary by region, by local environmental conditions, or by local sustainability efforts?

from Diane Pasta, Salmon Bay Friends Meeting (11/2/2021)