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Thoughts about the relationships between transport and the urban area it serves

Archive for November 18th, 2008

Economics blind spot is a disaster for the planet

with 5 comments

New Scientist

As long as our economic system is based on chasing economic growth above all else, we are heading for environmental, and economic, disaster

It is quite a long article, and well written by Herman Daly. He is one of the founders of the field of ecological economics, which argues that the scale of the economy must be kept within sustainable limits. He was senior economist in the World Bank’s environment department from 1988 to 1994, and is now professor of ecological economics at the University of Maryland.

So this is his opinion and sums up a lot of what I have been feeling wary about when I read about what is being done to deal with the present economic downturn.  The recent G20 meeting did not even consider the possibility that now would be a good time to reconsider what growth has been doing to us and the ecosystem on which we depend.   But then maybe we are incapable of responding

The way we’re psychologically wired and socially conditioned to respond to crises makes us ill-suited to react to the abstract and seemingly remote threat posed by global warming.

And that of course is only one but possibly the most immediate threat we face. The others include running out of the things we need to stay healthy – like food, clean water and beathable air. Let alone the things we have decided we cannot live without – most of which require huge amounts of energy and other natural resources.

Actually I think the planet will be okay in the long run. It will still be here long after we have gone and once humans and their destructive habits are gone, the adjustments will get made and life will re-emerge. And hopefully next time a more intelligent species will evolve. Becuase I see very little evidence at the moment that the people who are aware of what is happening are doing enough to get the rest of us to accept that we need to change what we have been doing

Written by Stephen Rees

November 18, 2008 at 10:10 pm

Posted in Economics, Environment