The summer of 2012 gave us a frightening indication of the speed of global warming. Arctic ice shrank 18 per cent below the previous record, causing one shocked scientist to comment: “We are now in uncharted territory”. Unfortunately, this comment applies to other environmental indicators as well. Humankind has overshot the earth’s capacity to absorb its economic wastes and is facing a broad and dangerous ecological crisis.
To date, the main response to this crisis has been government policies such as carbon taxes and international agreements such as the Kyoto protocol. These measures have failed, and it is now time to consider a more radical approach. Most importantly, we must acknowledge that capitalism is dependent on economic growth, making it inherently unsustainable. The system must therefore be replaced by a workable alternative. This difficult task should be addressed jointly by the old, who have benefitted most from past transgressions, and the young, who will experience the painful consequences.
The key to this transition is a new economic theory for guiding our production and consumption activities. I began to develop this 20 years ago, after hearing David Suzuki blame economists for the crisis. The finished product is called the Economics of Needs and Limits, or ENL. The book I wrote to describe ENL is available as a free download at my website, needsandlimits.org
However, an economic theory cannot be fully implemented without political power. Achieving this power is the central topic of my second book, which I will outline in a presentation next month on Gabriola. I invite you to join me on Saturday, November 10, from 1 pm to 3 pm, in the large meeting room at the Commons. The book is not yet complete, and I am looking for progressive commentary before it is finalised. My presentation will last one hour, leaving an hour for discussion. I want to know what you think!
|The Flying Shingle, Gabriola Island, BC, Canada ~ editor@FlyingShingle.com||Web design: Innovative Illusions (Paul Rudyk) ~ webmaster@FlyingShingle.com|