Pursuing endless waste-producing economic growth and preserving a habitable planet is not possible. Mindless exponential growth will mean endless recessions of increasing gravity when ecological limits are passed.
Traditional political parties base their thinking on the illusion that the Earth’s resources are without limits, and that it is possible to continue eternal, exponential growth in economy, material consumption and ecological debts. Alas, the Earth is a planet; a closed system, and we are quickly approaching the limits, or have in some cases already passed them.
Some hundred years ago some people believed the Earth was flat. Today, many people have transformed the “Earth-is-flat-thinking” to “the-Earth-is-endless-thinking”. We even hear from some of these people that it would be a sin not to consume all natural resources right away, since they are “gifts from God”.
However, the Earth is limited, and so are its resources. Endless, consumption-driven, waste-producing, exponential material economic growth simply cannot provide sustainable and equitable lives for seven billion, not to speak about the nine billion people we are estimated to be 35 years from now.
The current liberalized monetary economy underperforms for the majority of the world’s human population, and it creates more problems than it solves.
Our environment is being depleted, there is an increasingly violent international competition for energy and other sources, the world’s wealth is increasingly unequally distributed and concentrated on the 0.1-percent multibillionaire group, while many become increasingly indebted and most people feel insecure for the future (Wolf, 2012).
Too many of the world’s leaders and their friends; the billionaires, are shamelessly corrupt, stealing ordinary people’s money and hiding it in tax-havens. If they wanted to, the world’s leaders could easily fight corruption by demanding the end of tax-havens . Why don’t they?
Our consumer society is based on building up a tremendous and unmanageble ecological debt. When debts become unmanagable, what happens to the economy? Is increasingly frequent crises a symptom? The Chinese economy is often portrayed as a miracle. However, some analysts predict a coming ecological collapse, with grave consequences for the Chinese economy – and with implications for the rest of the world. The markets are volatile and unpredictable. We seem to go from one crisis to the next. At times it seems like reckless speculators rule the world’s major economies.
If a system does not perform, we should not ask for more of it. We should replace it with something that works better. We need economics for a sustainable future. The International community through the UN tries to sketch a new path towards more sustainability in the new UN Sustainable Development Goals (UN-SDGs).
A transition to green economy requires new ways of thinking about economy, new strategies, more tedious planning and new attitudes.
Online lecture: Climate, resource, and ecological crisis require a transformation to a green economy
Produced by Yannick Schillinger
Circular / green economy / waste reduction
- The EU Commission: Towards a Circular economy
- EU Law: Towards a circular economy: A zero waste programme for Europe.. Introduction: a circular economy in support of sustainable growth
- Why a Circular Economy Is Key to Sustainable Development (and Why Business Must Lead the Way)
- GRID-Arendal: Towards a Green Economy – Pathways to Sustainable Development and Poverty Eradication
- Time to grow up into a living earth economy
- Portfolio of Cradle to Cradle Certified Materials Launched for the Fashion Industry
- Elon Musk’s Unbelievably Simple 12-minute Killer Break Down on Climate Change
- Sweden’s recycling is so revolutionary, the country has run out of rubbish
and has to import rubbish from other countries to keep its recycling plants going.
- To Avoid Ecological Destruction, Prosperity Must Be Separated From Economic Growth
- How the renewable energy transition could usher in an economic revolution
- EU: Circular economy
Social injustice / taxation /tax havens/ Illicit flows
- OECD – Global relations in taxation
- Letter from economists: to rebuild our world, we must end the carbon economy. The carbon economy amplifies racial, social and economic inequities, creating a system that is fundamentally incompatible with a stable future (2020)
- Inside the Panama Papers: Massive Leak Shows Worldwide Leaders’ Corruption (April 2016)
- Panama Papers: Leaks spur global investigations (BBC, April 2016)
- A classic case of social injustice – A new video by Naomi Oreskes, noted Harvard professor and chronicler of climate science
- Illicit financial flows
- UN & Economic Commission for Africa (2015) High Level Panel on Illicit Financial Flows
- Corporate Europe Observatory – Exposing the power of corporate lobbying in the EU
- The European Alternative Trade Mandate
- The Alternative Trade Mandate Alliance
- Alternative Trade Mandate – ATM (FB)
- Namur Declaration of 5 December 2016: An EU-Values Driven Path to Negotiating and Concluding Economic and Trade Agreements
- Traités européens: Paul Magnette lance la Déclaration de Namur
- Morbid Inequality: Now Just SIX Men Have as Much Wealth as Half the World’s Population (Feb 2017)
- Mindless Overconsumption Is Destroying You and the Planet (May 2017)
- It’s the Wealth Gap, Stupid: Inequality Drives ‘Economic Anxiety’—Both Real and Perceived
- Wealthcare: Ayn Rand and the invincible cult of selfishness on the American right
Threats to world economy
- We Could Be Witnessing the Death of the Fossil Fuel Industry—Will It Take the Rest of the Economy Down With It?
- Neoliberalism Is Destroying Almost Everybody’s Lives—How Many People Even Know What It Is? Crisis after crisis is being caused by a failed ideology. But it cannot be stopped without a coherent alternative.
- More Confessions of an Economic Hitman: This Time They’re Coming for Your Democracy
- The Elkington Report: How climate change will impact the global middle class
- The Collapse of the Middle-Class Job
- World’s Biggest Banks Are Driving Climate Change, Pumping Billions Into Extreme Fossil Fuels
- How the Super-Rich Will Destroy Themselves. The super-rich may be hastening their own demise, while taking the rest of us with them.
- Conflicts of economic interests by limiting global warming to +3 °C
- Chomsky: America Is on the Decline: Guess Who’s to Blame? Noam Chomsky wants to make America great again, but you’ll never believe who he thinks will save it.
- How the Gig Economy Is Changing the Way We Work and Live
- The Biggest Long-Term Threat to the Economy Is Climate Change
- Why business will make or break the SDGs
- Modeling sustainability: population, inequality, consumption, and bidirectional coupling of the Earth and Human Systems
- The Climate Catastrophe We’re All Ignoring