We have squandered 80 years on a wrong conception of how our economy works. There is much to fix…
To be wealthy is to have the things you need and want, the things that support your well-being and enable you to do what you like.
Human ecology opens us beyond a reductive view. We are part of understanding; our regard is from ‘inside,’ not as ‘outside’ observers.
This is the main notion, and the importance, of resilience. The whole life process is one of ongoing disequilibrium movement to which we must adapt to survive.
How can a civilization last, when its governing force is something so fleeting and artificial as money?
If I’m asked about the role economics plays in the environment and sustainability, my answer would be ‘what kind of economics are you talking about’?
Rob Dietz: Steady-state economics is a sustainable alternative to mainstream or neoclassical economics, which assumes perpetual growth of production and consumption. Such an economy keeps material and energy use within ecological limits, and the unsustainable (and unrealistic) goal of continuously increasing income and consumption is replaced by the goal of improving quality of life for all. In short, the focus is enough rather than more.
We make decisions, not on known outcomes but on imagined projections standing on theories of how things work. These projections have an ethical range called the ‘planning horizon.’ The better we understand the world the broader the reach of our anticipations. Conscience serves to measure how well we encompass social effects.
Economist John Kenneth Galbraith once said that “the only function of economic forecasting is to make astrology look respectable.” Unfortunately, when some economists turn their sights on the economics of climate change, their unreliable methods imperil not just the economic life of humankind but its very existence.
The key message is that the potential of small farms for global food production is determined by economic conditions rather than biological, ecological or agronomic limitations.
Interview with the late Rhoda Gilman, one of the early leaders of the Green movement. She talks about the origins of the Greens and Adam Smith’s vision of capitalism.
“If we were living in Adam Smith’s world, we wouldn’t be doing badly at all; the Greens would be right at home.”
Although we may not think that we do, we all live with faiths – ideas that we take for granted that appear so obvious that we do not feel a need to re-examine them – ideas that we do not usually want to re-examine.