Ideas that add up #1

Ideas that add up #1

If we continue with business as usual, with overpumping, overgrazing, overplowing, overfishing and overloading the atmosphere with carbon dioxide, how long will it be before the Ponzi economy unravels and collapses? No one knows. Our industrial civilization has not been here before.

Unlike Bernard Madoff’s Ponzi scheme, which was set up with the knowledge that it would eventually fall apart, our global Ponzi economy was not intended to collapse. It is on a collision path because of market forces, perverse incentives, and poorly chosen measures of progress.

Lester Brown in Energy: Overdevelopment and the Delusion of Endless Growth

So many good ideas out there, too much wisdom for any one person to hold in their head. Shiny nuggets of truth. I’m going to snaffle up the most useful wherever they appear. A quote a day, stack ’em high.

The world economy as pyramid fraud is a favourite. The exponentially-widening base of inputs: more people, more natural resource consumption, more computer processing capacity. The rocketing rewards for the hyper-rich at the sunny apex. The way we collectively eat away at our asset base with every haul of minerals from the ground, with every species that we consign to oblivion, with every forest that we flatten for monoculture, with every water table that we poison, with every landscape we despoil and sky we foul and sea we deaden in the service of our appetites. The way the pyramid grows and grows behind an invisibility cloak of non-full-cost accounting. The way we buy into this glaringly obvious con, each feeling assured that we – if  not everyone else – will get chairs when the music stops.

This is self-evident truth. Why isn’t it widely recognized?

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