Economic Grows and Consumption

His commitment to sustainability is not restricted to academic life, he is the scientist who also “walks the talk”: his cell phone was hip ten years ago, he avoids flying (which can be a challenging principle to follow at times) and actively encourages his environment to explore the joys of green living.

There got to be a better way

Miklós Antal, ecological economist, is a postdoctoral researcher at the Autonomous University of Barcelona. He now studies macroeconomic aspects of sustainability transitions. Previously he was engaged in energy modeling at the Central European University in Budapest. He got his PhD in economics and MSc in engineering-physics at the Budapest University of Technology and Economics.

A Giant Ponzi Scheme

Why is it that in order to make a living, you must waste fuel idling in traffic? Why do we waste precious resources producing things totally unnecessary and sometimes harmful to our own health. Is there a rational reason why our economy produces and distributes junk food? Instead of producing healthy food, we use our scarce, depleted land, and draw mega-gallons of the water rom our ever-shrinking aquifer.to make junk food. Why must we squander our land, water, and energy to produce and consume useless crap.

Western economic model.
It’s a living

We go about our daily routine. We get up; go to work and complain about traffic. Sometimes, we like our jobs, sometimes we hate them. We sit in traffic coming home.  Not that we like it, but many of us are comfortably miserable with this daily grind.  Of course,  we complain, but do we have a choice? Got to make a living!  It’s a job.  We have dinner – if we have time, it’ll be homemade, but often it’s precooked, frozen and microwavable. Then a little TV,  followed by some restless sleep.  Morning: and the routine repeats itself  – day after day.  People are creatures of habit. We accept it and get used to it.

We don’t think much about how what we do affects our world. We  just live as everybody lives. It’s always been like that, and always will be.  Right? 

We watch the news.  At last, the economy is recovering,  more jobs are available and unemployment is decreasing.  Hooray, we can afford to buy more stuff.

Some of us watch the History Channel – Mystery of the Lost Civilizations . Cool stuff!  Of course,  it could never  happen to us. We are smarter and know a lot more than these ancient civilizations. We are here to stay

Yes, finally, we can afford it; it’s time to go shopping. We are surrounded by wondrous shopping malls, and more are being built all the time. Life is good.

Rarely do we think where the stuff comes from or what becomes of all that garbage we take out every day. It’s simple: the truck comes and takes it away.

Apparently we have the mentality of a Thanksgiving Turkey!

Consumption may be a two way street
Consumption may be a two way street

Dead end!

 

Ignoring the environment
Jobs at any cost?

Researchers at one of the world’s leading think tanks have developed a computer model that predicts serious implications for our way of life as a result of our incessant need to consume resources like oil, food, and fresh water. According to a team of scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the breaking point will come no later than 2030, and when it does, we can expect a paradigm shift unlike any we have seen before in human history – one that will not only collapse the economies of the world, but will cause food and energy production to decrease so significantly that it will lead to the deaths of hundreds of millions of people in the process.” A renowned Australian research scientist says a study from researchers at MIT claiming the world could suffer from a “global economic collapse” and “precipitous population decline” if people continue to consume the world’s resources at the current pace is still on track, nearly 40 years after it was first producedhttp://news.yahoo.com/blogs/sideshow/next-great-depression-mit-researchers-predict-global-economic-190352944.html

A giant Ponzi scheme.

GENEVA (Reuters) – The global jobless queue will stretch to more than 200 million people this year, the International Labour Organization said in its annual report on Tuesday, repeating a warning it has made at the start of each of the last six years. http://news.yahoo.com/global-jobless-hit-record-200-million-ilo-230617257–business.html

Wasting the planet
Making a living?

Question: What do we need to live and be happy?  Answer:  We need food, water, a place to live,  fellow human beings, family, friends and a livable climate.  Additionally in order to have fulfilled lives, we need to do something that we love, whether it be growing a garden, reading a book, appreciating a painting or traveling the world.  Doing keeps us alive.

Our society, our way of life, our economic model are all in trouble. A portion the world’s population is experiencing food and water shortages. We are dependent upon non-renewable energy sources.  Human population grows , resources decline, and now climate change is upon us.

Why is it that in order to make a living, you must waste fuel idling  in traffic?  Why do we waste precious resources producing things totally unnecessary and sometimes harmful to our own health.   Is there a rational reason why our economy produces and distributes junk food? Instead of producing healthy food, we use our scarce, depleted land, and draw mega-gallons of the water  from our ever-shrinking aquifer.to make junk food. Why must we squander our land, water, and energy to produce and consume useless crap. 

We are busy, so busy that there is little time to enjoy our family and  friends. Is the really the way to go? Do you really need all this stuff?  How can this be?  Why do we need to make and consume more and more in order to “make a living”? 

The answer is simple : Our Western economic model is a Ponzi scheme, a pyramid scheme.

 

Scorched Earth economy
Coal mining in Appalachia.

Ponzi scheme: A fraudulent moneymaking scheme in which people are recruited to make payments to others above them in a hierarchy while expecting to receive payments from people recruited below them. Eventually the number of new recruits fails to sustain the payment structure, and the scheme collapses with most people losing the money they paid in.” http://www.thefreedictionary.com/Ponzi+scheme

The  Western World’s Ponzi economy: in order to sustain itself for itself, it must have consumers with insatiable appetites, and  those appetites must be continually stimulated by producing more goods. Thus using more limited resources. Of course, the scheme must and will collapse when resources are not available. No resources equals no goods which equals no consumers and thus no economy … game over! Countries around the world are rushing to adopt and implement this Western economic model. They are happily joining the crowd running toward the cliff.

Farmland is shrinking
Food crisis

Food and land shortages are growing. Arable land and food production are intrinsically locked together. Land suitable for food production is declining every year. The implications of a food crisis are closely linked to another issue that has the potential to further threaten global food security.  Building more factories and cities turns potential life giving crop land into concrete.  That concrete may result in stronger GDP numbers, but the urbanization, rising disposable income and population growth contributes to rising demand for food. “Up to 30 million hectares of farmland are lost annually due to environmental degradation, conversion to industrial use or urbanization,”notes Olivier De Schutter, United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food in a report. China is one of the best examples of this. The country’s population is set to level out slightly by the middle of the century, but its accelerating economic expansion is increasingly destabilizing the food balance.” http://www.sott.net/article/255795-Why-Chinas-explosive-economic-growth-could-trigger-a-global-food-crisis

An infinitely growing economy is dependent on an infinitely growing population, a population that is already placing inordinate burdens on the finite resources of a finite planet. Unrestrained growth, like any cancer, will kill us, and it could happen quicker than we think. It’s time we seriously think about these problems, and seek solutions.  We are heading towards catastrophe, an inevitable catastrophe, unless we humans recognize the problem and change our waysOur future is ours to build or to destroy.

Cost of the “Progress”

Experts have a stark warning: that unless we change course, the perfect storm of population growth, dwindling resources and climate change has the potential to converge in the next century with catastrophic results.

Unchecked growth.
Consumption

Economists and politicians are talking about the need to “grow our economy” This blind addiction to growth remind me of hoards of locusts dying after devouring their food supply until their is nothing left for their sustainability.
I hope eventually humanity will come to it’s senses. I hope.

But recent events dashed whatever remains of my optimism. In a radio interview with Voice of Christian Youth America, Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) argued that his belief that global warming is a hoax is biblically inspired. Promoting his bookThe Greatest Hoax: How the Global Warming Conspiracy Threatens Your Future, Inhofe told interviewer Vic Eliason on Wednesday that only God can change the climate, and the idea that manmade pollution could affect the seasons is “arrogance

Continue reading “Cost of the “Progress””

Enjoy the Flight

Lately we witness a disturbing trend around the world. Western economies are in trouble. Financial problems plague most of the “developed world”. Unemployment is high. Energy costs are rising.

Lately we are witnessing a disturbing trend around the world.  Western economies are in trouble.  Financial problems plague most of the “developed world”.  Unemployment is high.  Energy costs are rising.  These problems are not limited to Western societies.  There are global problems:  food and water shortages, disillusioned populations, social upheaval and deforestation.  In my opinion, the underlying roots of the problem are deeper and much more serious than we are led to believe.  The problem is our worldwide

Consumption based societ
More junk

Consumption-based Economy.

Problems that I see with our lifestyle

Food: mono-culture; chemicals; genetically-modified food

Raw materials:  open-ended consumption of non-renewable resources; waste – a substantial percentage of  products manufactured is simply useless junk, wastefully squandering energy and natural resources.

Unemployment Causes:  lack of skills; inferior education; expensive higher education; failing schools make for an unemployable workforce; constant productivity increases, decreasing the need for workers; corporations can do more with less to generate bigger profits; people buy less (general population has less money to spend); in its desire for greater profit, the corporations are dedicated to reduce overhead by laying off employees.

Continue reading “Enjoy the Flight”