( Seven-minute read)
Economics is not an unbiased academic discipline, it’s an ideology. Furthermore, economics is based on the false premise that perpetual growth is achievable.
Can economic growth be sustainably achieved?
Finite resources make perpetual growth theoretically impossible. No amount of technological breakthrough or creative accounting can counter that physical fact.
Is economic growth desirable?
The short answer appears to be no.
Exponential growth will eventually take you to impossible places.
Unfortunately, we live in a world of capitalists that thrive on the great Myth of Perpetual Growth, endless growth, ad infinitum, forever, till the end of time.
It seems as though we are damned if we grow and damned if we don’t.
We’ve now with Algorithms for profit sake got to a position where there’s nothing to keep us in check – so we have to do it ourselves.
It’s a waiting game now – to see if we can learn to behave differently to bacteria in a petri dish before it’s too late and we kill our host.
It’s not worth the risk.
Ecology and economics have to be intertwined, or we’re in serious trouble.
It’s time we all get our head out of the smartphone and become smart.
We can have debates about what we’re going to do about this and that, but if you can’t see the reason in the core of what I am saying, we’ll be having two very different conversations.
There is little point in arguing any longer whether Neoliberalism is to blame for damaging ecology beyond its ability to support us. It has lead to the inevitable collision between an insatiable economic model and a finite planet whose resources are stretched to the hilt.
The perception of the need for perpetual economic growth is a fraud and this assumption creates massive risk when reaching the limits of our natural systems.
With a world population nearly at 7 billion people, the implication for economic growth seems obvious as we cannot assume that the status quo will hold in a changing climatic environment. Reaching the earth’s resource limit is inevitable if it is not already occurring.
However changing our society’s behaviours cannot be achieved through some overseeing organization.
Perpetual growth has been ingrained through exposure to intensive branding and marketing by the very corporations who provide jobs and economic growth, and round and round we go…… Enacting such dramatic change through a highly centralized governing structure that dictates appropriate resource use, population levels, and actively redistributes wealth is a hard sell even in dire times.
As a result, we cannot continue consuming more and more water, spewing out more and more carbon dioxide and burning more and more coal.
In the past 22 years, half of all of the oil ever burned has been burned.
At present, the global population is increasing by 83 million people annually and we are already consuming natural resources as if we have “1.5 Earths.”
If every person used as many resources as the average North American, more than four Earths would be required to sustain the total rate of consumption. Other words if everyone lived like the average American, the Earth could sustain only 1.7 billion people — a quarter of today’s population.
27 billion people will inhabit the planet by the end of the century and hidden in every calorie of food eaten are 10 calories of fossil fuels.
Technology can lead to greater efficiencies, it requires energy — it does not create it.
Water is obviously a key component of human life. It is also vital to energy, industry, agriculture and livestock.
With all of this in mind, it’s time to abandon the perpetual growth economic model and move instead to a model that stresses conservation, efficiency, recycling and renewability. Clearly, the world is on an unsustainable path and, by definition, anything that is unsustainable won’t last.
Above all else, we must redefine the quality of life as something other than just having “more.” The goal should be to simply have enough. Our quality of life should not be measured by “stuff,” but instead by the things that make life rich; our relationships, our hobbies, our work and our passions.
GDP merely measures what people are willing to pay for, which is not necessarily connected to the use of energy, or any other physical resource.
The world will be confronting shortages of hydrocarbons, metals, water and fertilizer, which will dramatically affect global agriculture. The latter is critical.
So why are we unable to change direction.
Because of the threat, transnational organizations have over the nation-state.
Because no one is willing to bear the costs.
Because of the amount of power capital has over labour.
As it stands, nearly half the world’s population — more than 3 billion people — lives on roughly $2 per day.
The solution is to get profit for profit sake to pay:
By introducing a World Aid commission of 0.05% on all High-frequency trading, on all sovereign wealth funds acquisitions on all foreign exchange transaction over $50,000, on all gambling and lottos wins creating a perpetual world aid fund.
By issuing United Nation Green Deal non-trading Bond.
By the introduction of a World Day of non-consumerism Advertising.
By building non atomised Societies that are attached geographical – belonging not defined by competition.
By eating together one a week.
The question is how do we communicate this obvious message, in the face of corporate control of the media, and increasingly academia, science and the political system?
All human comments appreciated. All like clicks and abuse chucked in the bin.