Thursday, June 23, 2011

Economic Growth in a Finite World

 A Changing Business Community

This blog post by Tom Honig is an example of an antiquated, human-centered perception of economics. In this day of climate change, Peak Oil, habitat loss and depleted water and soil, this kind of thinking leads to economic collapse for all species, especially our own.

"they want a bike path across vacant land at Arana Gulch."

Arana Gulch is not vacant land. Arana Gulch is a verdant living ecosystem chucky-jammed full of life. This is a comment made in ignorance attempting to minimize the damage caused by development of a paved 12 foot wide bike road through critical habitat for endangered and sensitive species.

"economic growth does a lot of good things. Jobs, tax revenue for local cities and the county, opportunity for all ages and even a relief for the need to commute elsewhere for jobs, goods and services."

Progressive economists are learning that economic growth does a lot of bad things, chief among which is destruction of natural habitat and despoliation of natural resources.

See Czech, B. 2009. Ecological economics, in Encyclopaedia of Life Support Systems. Developed under the auspices of UNESCO-EOLSS Publishers, Oxford, UK

At some point (now would be a good time) humans must grow up and join the rest of the world as contributing members of the web of life, not selfish takers considering our desires foremost above all else.

"Jobs" is not the answer to our economic woes. "Jobs" is the problem. "Jobs" require continuous growth and expansion in a world of finite resources. This is impossible.

What we need is meaningful work in exchange for, clothing, housing and social support. There's plenty of work to be done in our communities, enough for everyone who wants to live here on the terms set by the local bioregion. Those who want more than the local environment can provide must look elsewhere.

"Continuous growth is the philosophy of the cancer cell." Ed Abbey