It’s the stupid economy, you stupid economists
Our economic system is based on the concept of constant growth.
We are expected to constantly increase our production, and purchasing. If retail sales, share prices, or property prices don’t continue to grow, there is doom and gloom from the pundits.
Marketers use manipulation to persuade us to discard our old stuff, and buy new. Fashion decrees that last year’s hot new look is now unattractive, and we must buy this season’s latest. Our technological gadgets are constantly in need of replacing to keep up with the latest innovations.
But there is a huge flaw in the theory of constant growth. We live on a finite planet that is already overpopulated, with finite resources.
Oil is not the only commodity that is reaching the limits of capacity to supply. Many minerals that are used in the myriad of products we now take for granted as components of civilized life, may soon be in short supply. (See Earth Audit by David Cohen, New Scientist May26-Jun1 2007, Vol.194, Iss.2605, pg 34).
Why don’t economists get it? Why do we unquestioningly swallow their “expert” pontifications?
To put it as plainly as I can –
We – can’t – keep – on – using – up – all – the – earth’s – resources. They – will – run – out. There – isn’t – enough – land – and – water – for – today’s – population – to – have – the – standard – of – living – you – and – I – currently – enjoy. (See From Naked Ape to Superspecies, David Suzuki and Holly Dressel).
Limiting population growth is an urgent imperative. Even here in New Zealand, the pressure on our environment from only four million people, living a lifestyle of excessive consumption, has caused many pollution problems.
We must work towards a new economic system that has the common sense to acknowledge that continual growth is physically impossible.