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I feel ashamed of my current government (note I didn’t vote for them!). They called themselves “The Greenest Government Ever” ha ha!. Never I have a seen a government so dismissive of environmental issues and the views of its people, so short sighted, so unenlightened and so downright stupid!. They are so addicted to the myth of growth, to big business and to magical thinking that it is truly scary. They only see what they want to see.
Its just the same as with GM. They expect technology to “save” us. Don’t confuse us with the facts they say, we’ve made our minds up. Thankfully they aren’t drilling near me yet but I feel for those people near Blackpool and in Sussex, lets hope they can make enough of a fuss to delay things before the whole business in shown to be a great big misadventure.
btw. I think fracking companies in the UK will be forced to declare what is in the fracking fluid to the Environment Agency, which is better than the US. But for David Cameron to say its safe when properly regulated is wishing thinking, the technology is only so good, and accidents with well casings, etc… will happen, they cannot be wished away, especially is earthquakes have been positively linked to fracking now.
An excellent essay. You’ve expressed very well the uneasiness I’ve felt by valuing nature by its ‘dollar’ value. I have occasionally been quite convinced by this, by the likes of Tony Juniper (ex Friends of the Earth director) who strongly argues we haven’t do so well in protecting the environment so far – v. true. (doesn’t mean this new approach will work!)
There are many problems with this approach, one being that it greatly narrows the debate, it might restrict is to an argument about what the price is. But mostly its an admission of defeat, if you wont play my game then I’ll join yours (mainstream economics) but then the environment is ripe to be stripped bare.
We end up with simple cost analysis (which economists love). Is the economic benefit of destroying the environment more than its price? If so, says mainstream economics then we must destroy it – it is efficient to do so they say. Never mind that this 1-dimensional analysis misses out all other aspects, and that the price could be way off the mark, even if you could price nature – which is a nonsense.
debt deflation means deflation (the lack of money flowing around the system) caused by debt which has to be written off. Since 97% of money is credit then this credit is extinguished when the debt is written off (banks stop lending). This causes a huge lack of money in the system which cannot be replaced by QE measures, etc..
Its serious for everyone, even those who do not have debt because businesses collapse, people lose jobs, etc… without money to lubricate the economy it grinds to a halt. The defensive strategy to make sure you can hang onto some money=cash, while banks are collapsing, see some of the TAE primers for how to do this.
Hope that mostly correct, I’m no expert.
Great post. I too think this is our biggest stumbling block. I do also believe the mainstream sees growth as a religion, such a fundamental truth that cannot be questioned and we must have faith in, with a ‘heaven’ where the whole World population has been lifted out of poverty, all work is done by robots and humans have 100% leisure time. Of course its nonsense!
Folks might like to visit John Michael Greers essays on this exact subject.
Also, there are some new ideas out there in non-growth movements but they are far from mainstream. I think that is changing – very very slowly.
You might want to read “Prosperity without Growth”
or read Molly Scott Cato, economist for the UK Green Party.
In principle I agree, we will all lose in the long run. This measure is at least less insidious than us savers losing it gradually over years though low interest rates and high inflation due to QE.
But what about those reckless and criminal banks and their shareholders bearing the loss? What about a transaction tax across Europe to pay back these banking losses, it desperately unfair that innocent savers which don’t purse high leverage risky deals get to pay up.
Wow! He has really shaken things up with his 5 star party coming third in the election. Well done!
It seems like he has some fantastic ideas for improving democracy even though a little naive in others (but thats better than being plan wrong like the rest of them!). I really hope for positive change but I think this will be a long and hard fought battle. At least some fresh ideas will get exposed and talked about. Best of luck Italy, and to all Europeans.
I will be watching closely.
Brilliant and accurate summing up of the situation by Nigel.
I NEVER thought I applaud him like this.
I’ve always been pro-Europe, and I still am to some extent but these bailouts are just funny money, smoke and mirrors and don’t solve a thing! We are being lied to treated as idiots every single day. Thanks to Nigel for exposing the madness to more people.