We live in the age of ecocide.
It’s no surprise that a comprehensive, long-term beach protection strategy requires significant changes to our economic system — a system that has overdeveloped and polluted beaches to the extent that they have become unhealthy places to swim or even play in the sand.
The recent round of gridlock in Washington DC may seem worlds away from the mythological visions and spiritual perspectives that have been central to this blog over the last few months. Still, there’s a direct connection.
To get a sense of how the broader economy works, it’s useful to analyze one particular sector.
How would a non-growing economy function?
Today’s global economy is causing shortages of natural resources (both renewable and nonrenewable) as we come to the end of what might be called the Age of Extraction.
Does a new extractive technology arrive before or after limits to growth in resource throughput are in place?
Most environmental problems build slowly, almost imperceptibly as the economy weaves its way through the ecosystem.
Is any nation on Earth taking seriously the need for a true-cost economy, where we live sustainably in a steady state?
Writing a book is like going on a journey. You explore the terrain, make discoveries, meet interesting people, and maybe learn new languages. The longer the book-writing, the longer the journey.
When Cary Neeper first published excerpts of her novel The Webs of Varok on Resilience.org, one commenter dismissed the work as being “merely a polemic pretending to be a novel.” Only the first charge is correct. The book clearly is an impassioned polemic against the extravagance and destructiveness of industrial society, but it’s hardly “pretending to be a novel.” Rather, it is an involving, well-plotted story that does justice to both the hard science underpinning its interplanetary settings and the long evolutionary perspectives typical of the old scientific romances (those of H.G. Wells, Jules Verne and Arthur C. Clarke). Further, Neeper is in good company in her use of polemic, as Resilience editor Bart Anderson pointed out in his reply to the first commenter’s post. Anderson observed that George Orwell, Sinclair Lewis, Aldous Huxley and many other great authors have used polemic to poignant and lasting effect.
My question was: if GDP has so many flaws and numerous attempts were made at finding ‘better’ numbers, then why are we are still using GDP? Is it possible that there are specific interests supporting the nexus between GDP and policymaking? What are the political dimensions of this almighty number? So I set out to do my research on the history of GDP and realized that this story needed to be told. The story of GDP is the story of how we built the type of society we live in. It is the story of how economics took over all other sciences to become the servant of power.