Like so much of life, the economy is very fragile. It can seem almightily powerful to most of us, most of the time. But that is not really the case.
Some people would argue that 2016 was the year that the world economy started to come apart, with the passage of Brexit and the election of Donald Trump. Whether or not the “coming apart” process started in 2016, in my opinion we are going to see many more steps in this direction in 2017. Let me explain a few of the things I see.
Every economy, every self-organizing system which is not also self-limiting within the bounds set by its environment, grows until it exceeds the ability of that environment to support and sustain it.
If both work and pleasure can be a walk or short cycle ride from our doors, then the energy demands of a culture will suddenly become much simpler and will also shrink.
Talking about historical change is one thing when the changes under discussion are at some convenient remove in the past or the future. It’s quite another when the changes are already taking place.
How long can economic growth continue in a finite world? This is the question the 1972 book The Limits to Growth by Donella Meadows and others sought to answer.
Do we need to break the system to save the climate? Permaculture co-founder David Holmgren says "yes", in rare radio interview. Then Nicole Foss replies. Plus Alex’s climate music.
When co-founder of the Permaculture Movement David Holmgren recently suggested it might be better for the world if we were to try to precipitate global economic collapse in order to mitigate runaway climate change, he received a harsh response from Transition Movement founder Rob Hopkins, and somewhat more sympathetic responses from Dmitry Orlov and Nicole Foss. The second article (due out next month) in my series for Shift Magazine will talk more about this, but in the meantime I wanted to recommend to you Agency on Demand, a fascinating take on this debate, written by Eric Lindberg.
A ferment in the environmental movement, brewing for many years, has now bubbled up into the blogosphere. We are dipping our ladle in here to take a little taste of it, even though we are quite certain it is not done fermenting.
What is correct way to model the future course of energy and the economy?…With different approaches, researchers can obtain vastly different indications. I will show that the real issue is most researchers are modeling the wrong limit.
In case I don’t use sufficiently ‘skillful means,’ please let me begin with stating: I am not advocating for intentionally creating an economic crash.
So, ladies and gentleman, let me start with this recent book of mine. It is titled "The Plundered Planet."