Thursday, October 31, 2013

Economics as if human survival really mattered

Unbridled growth, even at the cost of burning to death in our own carbon wastes.

This is what the mantra of "ever bigger is ever better" is leading us to.

What it is not leading to is ever greater happiness.

For if the richest and most powerful among us are not happy, who on earth can be ?

Some apparently.

They live and work in smaller walkable communities without - thanks to the likes of Skype and the internet - feeling at all cut off from the great wide world and distant friends and kin.

They use less carbon energy than you or I not because they restrain themselves like monks but because their life is set up spatially to use and need less carbon energy.

They don't miss what they don't need.

More green energy is not the solution to our carbon addiction : more, more, more is never much of a permanent solution - in tumour growth or in real world economics.

We must develop full happy lifestyles where we need less energy to be well off and happy.

Many small communities in the past developed some of the ways to do so ---- often centuries and millenniums ago.

But before Internet and telegraphs and radio , it came at the price of emotional isolation.

Marry the new Internet and those centuries old ways of living compactly and what will be actually born will be hard to predict - but I feel at least confident that it can't be any worse than the route-to-hell we are now taking ....

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