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« A Prediction For The Next Generational Cycle: Making Hay In A Crisis | Main | Infrastructure »

January 04, 2009

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Matt

Another excerpt from Earthdance:

"Note, by the way, that
autopoiesis as a definition of life does not include growth or reproduction, though
these are features of many living entities. One can be alive without reproducing,
perhaps an important recognition in an overpopulated world."

Matt

Interesting link:

http://www.ecologyandsociety.org/vol2/iss2/art11/#Abstract

Matt Holbert

Sound familiar?:

"Because the dominant focus of technology is to substitute labor (a process known as productivity growth), an imbalance in income growth sets in between those sectors where productivity rises—in other words, industry—and those where it cannot; in health care, education, justice, and public administration, for example. Wage demands in these sectors cannot be absorbed by rising output, although due attempts are made by amalgamating schools, closing senior citizens' homes and hospitals, abolishing police corps, and overloading the courts. The ultimate outcome is that the modern welfare society is disappearing, to the benefit of growing private consumption and the enrichment of a small elite. The neoliberal model thus becomes the future: miserable public services, bad public transport, decrepid and unsafe inner cities, overcrowded and ever more unhygienic hospitals, impoverished senior citizens; unmotivated, poor education; neglected culture, minimization of scientific research, and environmental neglect. Every government today holds up this agenda, and it is no wonder that they are all concerned above all with cranking up production growth, in the hope that this will generate funds with which to compensate for the new poverty. That may have worked with growth in the past, but it does so no longer, because an ever greater proportion of each new round of production growth consists of negative economy: compensation and repairs, processing of waste and controlling of complexity, in other words expenditure that is taken to be income. The contemporary example par excellence is in those countries which today suffer from war, guerrillas, and dictatorship, and where the arms industry is earning masses of money and, when one day there is peace, so will the demolition companies, the clear-up gangs, the contractors, the international consultancy agencies, the whole redevelopment business. When, twenty-five or fifty years from now, the country has been redeveloped to its condition prior to 1990, no net achievement will have been made, but the growth figures will be high."

TAKING NATURE INTO ACCOUNT: A Report to the Club of Rome
Wouter Van Dieren, Editor;
Springer-Verlag, 1995; ISBN 0-387-94533-4; Phone: 1-800-SPRINGER

Source:
http://dieoff.org/page25.htm

Matt Holbert

One way of understanding our predicament:

"Since any human being, regardless of his personal contribution, is a social dependent with respect to the energy resources upon which society operates, and since every operation within a given society is effected at the cost of a degradation of an available supply of energy, this energy degradation, measured in appropriate physical units such as kilowatt-hours, constitutes the common physical cost of all social operations. Since also the energy-cost of maintaining a human being exceeds by a large amount his ability to repay, we can abandon the fiction that what one is to receive is in payment for what one has done, and recognize that what we are really doing is utilizing the bounty that nature has provided us. Under these circumstances we recognize that we all are getting something for nothing, and the simplest way of effecting distribution is on a basis of equality, especially so when it is considered that production can be set equal to the limit of our capacity to consume, commensurate with adequate conservation of our physical resources."

Source:
http://www.hubbertpeak.com/hubbert/hubecon.htm

Matt Holbert

We have wasted 36 years:

http://www.theecologist.info/key27.html

Matt

John Stuart Mill:

"It is scarcely necessary to remark that a stationary condition of capital and population implies no stationary state of human improvement. There would be as much scope as ever for all kinds of mental culture and moral and social progress; as much room for improving the Art of Living and much more likelihood of it being improved, when minds cease to be engrossed by the art of getting on."

Source: http://www.theecologist.info/page31.html

Matt Holbert

"The real threat to humanity comes from totalizing ideologies and the denial of human rights, rather than a curiosity about nature and nurture."

Steven Pinker
Source: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/11/magazine/11Genome-t.html?pagewanted=2&_r=1

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