the bridge at the edge fo the earth

discussion with author on his book, the bridge at the edge of the earth

can capitalism sustain the environment? can the environment sustain capitalism?

key takeaways:

  • why ‘green’s are not effective: change from within the system will not work. must change the system.
  • we live in corpo-tacracy – corporates rule.
  • GDP as a poor measure of progress: growth in money supply can be reflective of a loss of well-being: that lacks of essential natural and social services were being paid for in cash and that this was expanding the economy but degrading life
  • the ability of nature to provide services
  • US would be much more secure if it had half the power.
  • over-silo specialization creates ineffectiveness and experts with no common space. this can have a spillover effect to private-public sphere. fudraising could be a reason for a multitude of 1-casue organizations. this survival by fragmentation, differentiation and niche development causes inefficiency and inter-broker co-ordination problems resulting in incoherency.

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must see movie documentary. ‘the corporate’. corporates are sociopaths. book by UBC professor bakan. read review. if corporate was a person it would be:

    • Irresponsible – it puts others at risk in pursuit of its own goals.
    • Manipulative – it manipulates people an opinion in pursuit of its goals
    • Grandiose – it always insisting that it is the best
    • Reckless – it refuses to accept responsibility for its actions
    • Remorseless – it cannot feel remorse
    • Superficial – it relates to others always in a way that does not reflect their true selves
    • Put this all together, and you have a psychopath.

____________________________

only major success to today is CFC

ozone was depleted greatly before that effect was discovered, and it was discovered by accident.

Key terms and ideas:

Leiserowitz, values attitude and behavior discuss five value required for sustainability and has some good graphs and notions

the genuine progress indicator (GPI). modify gdp according to welfare.

  • The GDP vs the GPI is analogous to the difference between the Gross Profit of a company and the Net Profit; the Net Profit is the Gross Profit minus the costs incurred. Accordingly, the GPI will be zero if the financial costs of crime and pollution equal the financial gains in production of goods and services, all other factors being constant.
  • if policymakers measure what really matters to people—health care, safety, a clean environment, and other indicators of well-being—economic policy would naturally shift towards sustainability.

According to Lawn’s model (no wiki, University of Southern Australia), the “costs” of economic activity include the following potential harmful effects:

  • Cost of resource depletion
  • Cost of crime
  • Cost of ozone depletion
  • Cost of family breakdown
  • Cost of air, water, and noise pollution
  • Loss of farmland
  • Loss of wetlands

income vs capital depletion

Hicks (1946) pointed out that the practical purpose of calculating income is to indicate the maximum amount people can produce and consume without undermining their capacity to produce and consume the same amount in the future. From a national income perspective, it is necessary to answer the following question: ‘‘Can a nation’s entire GDP be consumed without undermining its ability to produce and consume the same GDP in the future?’’

enjoyment of life vs production of goods

Fisher (1906) contended that “economic welfare depends on the psychic enjoyment of life,” not just the production of goods.

an interesting measure of environmentally friendly countries is misnamed – happy planet index. take a look at rankings. surprising. perhaps we should travel to countries according to this index.

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