The economic and political leaders of the world have just met to dicuss ways of stabilizing the economic system. Who or what was missing and what are the implications. The ecological system is the ‘womb’ in which the socio-economic system ‘lives’.
To stabilize the economic system in the way the G20 is suggesting, by increasing consumption to stimulate economic growth, requires inputs from the ecological system of the planet, resources; and outputs from the socio-economic system, in terms of waste and pollution.
- If the G20 take their present strategy, there is a high probability in stabilizing the economic system, they will destabilize the planet’s ecological life support system. This will lead to collapse in a similar manner to what we have just seen with the economic system alone. Though the consequences will be far more disastrous, with the possible the deaths of more than 6 billion people. Without maintenance of nuclear installations, toxic chemical dumps there is also the added possibility of poisoning the biosphere. All higher life on Earth could be made extinct for 100s million of years. Should the G20 be allowed to take this risk?
- With the increasing awareness of the problems of climate change alone, people are being encouraged to reduce consumption. In terms of energy or just unnecessary consumables such as plastic carrier bags. The consequences of not taking such simple action we are told will be catastrophic. How will people react to now being told to act in a manner which is the opposite of what we have been previously told? We must reduce consumption to save the planet and our own lives, but we must increase consumption to stabilize an abstract concept, the economy. Cognitive dissonance, confusion, lack of motivation? Is a reaction possible that will run contrary to the decisions of the representatives of the G20. Your money or your life.
- Is there another option, where we can have appropriate development of the socio-economic system that works with and enhances the stability of the planet’s ecological system? Have the leaders of the G20 rushed in a panicked, knee jerk reaction in response to what they perceive as an ‘economic crisis’. Is the situation not so much a crisis, but more of an opportunity. An opportunity to produce a new development model, that reconciles the requirements of socio-economic and ecological systems in a common cause and common goal. Should the G20 step back and really consider what they are doing?
It seems to me a powerful message, worth repeating and repeating, that people want peace, simplicity, beauty, nature, respect, the ability to contribute and create. These things are much cheaper and easier to achieve than war, luxury, ugliness, waste, hate, oppression, manipulation. Some day, when everyone understands that nearly all of us truly want the same kind of world, it will take surprisingly little time or effort to have it.-Donnella Meadows co-author of Limits to Growth
At Celtic Lion we believe there is another option. Have you any thoughts?