Growth: the destructive god that can never be appeased

To try to stabilise this system, governments behave like soldiers billeted in an ancient manor, burning the furniture, the paintings and the stairs to keep themselves warm for a night. They are breaking up the postwar settlement, our public health services and social safety nets, above all the living world, to produce ephemeral spurts of growth. Magnificent habitats, the benign and fragile climate in which we have prospered, species that have lived on earth for millions of years – all are being stacked on to the fire, their protection characterised as an impediment to growth.

Source: www.theguardian.com

Brilliant must-read article By George Monbiot on the delusion of economic growth

See on Scoop.itThe Great Transition

Use and Abuse of the “Natural Capital” Concept

Big problems certainly arise when we consider natural capital as expressible as a sum of money (financial capital), and then take money in the bank growing at the interest rate as the standard by which to judge whether the value of natural capital is growing fast enough, and then, following the rules of present value maximization, liquidate populations growing slower than the interest rate and replace them with faster growing ones. This is not how the ecosystem works. Money is fungible, natural stocks are not; money has no physical dimension, natural populations do. Exchanges of matter and energy among parts of the ecosystem have an objective ecological basis. They are not governed by prices based on subjective human preferences in the market.

Source: steadystate.org

Excellent must-read article by Herman Daly, the father of ecological economics, on the monetary valuation of ‘natural capital’

See on Scoop.itThe Great Transition

Suffizienz als Teil der Energiewende

Es zeigt sich, dass unsere Lebensweise die Freiheitsrechte vieler gleichzeitig Lebender und erst recht unserer Kinder und Enkel in bedrohlichem Ausmaß einschränkt. Absolute Grenzen für Ressourcenverbrauch und CO2-Ausstoß sind geradezu zwingend notwendig, wenn man den Freiheitsgrundsatz zu Ende denkt. Die Einsicht in die Notwendigkeit ist nicht eine Behinderung der Freiheit – es ist ihre Bedingung.

Source: www.et-energie-online.de

Very good article (in German only) about the need to see sufficiency as the key to the energy transition.

See on Scoop.itThe Great Transition

Green jobs debate should look beyond short-term benefits, says UKERC report

renewable energy and energy efficiency create up to 1 job per gigawatt-hour more than fossil fuels and when the economy is underperforming, such as during a recession, it is sensible to focus government expenditure on these labour-intensive sectors.

Source: www.ukerc.ac.uk

Good report on jobs in renewable energy sector from UK energy think tank.

See on Scoop.itThe Great Transition

Capitalism Is a Tumor on the Body Politic: What’s the Alternative? Beyond Mid-Election Babble

The only major difference between these parties is that the Republicans wage naked class warfare without any apologies or political concessions while the Democrats offer a few painkillers to soften the blow. In some cases, Democratic leaders such as Bill Clinton and Barack Obama outdid their Republican counterparts in consolidating class power, while imposing enormous hardships and misery on the poor and middle class.

Source: www.truth-out.org

Brilliant analysis by Henry Giroux of the US mid-term elections and the role culture and education in political paradigm changes

See on Scoop.itThe Great Transition

Job Growth, but No Raises

Since the recovery began in mid-2009, inflation-adjusted figures show that the economy has grown by 12 percent; corporate profits, by 46 percent; and the broad stock market, by 92 percent. Median household income has contracted by 3 percent

Source: www.nytimes.com

Economic growth has become uneconomic and antisocial. Not to mention the ecological impacts.

See on Scoop.itThe Great Transition

Society must call business’ bluff on its fixation with profit maximisation

Executives have no choice but to cut themselves off from their own humanity when they choose to pay the lowest wages possible, destroy ecosystems and damage community cohesion.

The only reason this ruinous idea of running a business is allowed to continue is because enough executives still collude with each other to justify it and society has not yet called their bluff.

Source: www.theguardian.com

Excellent must-read article in the Guardian’s sustainable business section.

See on Scoop.itThe Great Transition

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