@Anna-M, A “fear of global decision making” is a wise fear to have, in my opinion!
Unfortunately I haven’t written up much in a format suitable for publication yet, so I thought I’d take a bit of a swing at directly answering the point you raised.
I guess the first thing I should clarify is how I use the term “governance” in relation to the Global Commons Trust (GCT). I’m using it in a broad sense, such as is described in Wikipedia:
Governance comprises all of the processes of governing – whether undertaken by the government of a state, by a market or by a network – over a social system (family, tribe, formal or informal organization, a territory or across territories) and whether through the laws, norms, power or language of an organized society. … Governance is the way rules, norms and actions are structured, sustained, regulated and held accountable.
So … I’m not talking about the kind of formal government we most often associate with the word ‘governance’ these days. The governance structure I’m proposing for the GCT is a Trust (hence the name ), with opt-in membership and participation.
Secondly, even though an opt-in Trust is not exactly an ‘authority’, the GCT’s intended scope of operations is also very much aligned with the principle of subsidiarity: a central authority should have a subsidiary function, performing only those tasks which cannot be performed at a more local level.
And I’d argue that for truly global issues, which have planet-wide impact, the ‘new’ governance tasks we need performed cannot be fairly and effectively performed at any level more local than the globe.
I think it’s important to note here that while humanity’s aggregate impact on our environment was less than global, which it was until comparatively recently (say until about 50 years ago), we were fine without global governance, but now our impact is global and we’re facing multiple tragedies of our Global Commons (atmosphere, oceans etc).
We need global governance now to manage our impact on our own habitat.
So the question now is: What form should global governance take?
One ‘obvious’ possibility that most of us are carefully avoiding talking about is a One World government which has authority over all the nations, and has the mandate to determine and enforce each nation’s ecological policies, resource allocations and carbon emission quotas.
This concept frankly scares the stuffing out of me. Out of most of us, I’d warrant … which is probably why we’re so carefully avoiding talking about it. (Elephant in the room, anyone?!) And I’m guessing that this is what comes to mind for you when you say: “I have a fear of global decision making, especially through any kind of global governance” … right?
I see the GCT as an opt-in global stewardship system for understanding and fairly distributing our ecological ‘budget’ of Commons resources, using incentive mechanisms which are not only a lot more palatable, but – I strongly suspect – likely to be a lot more effective than an authoritarian One World government approach could ever be.
However, because the GCT concept:
- is a complex adaptive systems-based design
- relies heavily on feedback loops, information flows and constantly evolving structures and parameters
- has no current real-world analogue
- is based on a different / new paradigm (stewardship rather than ownership; Commons rather than market or state; functional thriving rather than ideological stories)
… it is not an ‘obvious’ solution. At least, not to most people, not immediately.
And it needs a lot of work, not only in terms of finding words to explain it to others (e.g. funders!) in a way that makes sense outside my (admittedly somewhat atypical) head, but also in terms of figuring out the details of how the system would function, and modelling different scenarios … and so forth.