I cannot disagree

What are the chances that rational behaviour might prevail over the madness we call a civilization?

Transforming society and the world’s economy to a sustainable basis presents the most significant challenge to the 21st century. This challenge is unprecedented in scope. Its context is the planet as a whole. It requires a fundamental shift in consciousness as well as in action. It calls for a fresh vision, a new dream and new approaches for shaping an evolving new reality.

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Sustainability: The Five Core Principles | The Sustainability Laboratory
"If you wish to fly and want to successfully construct an aircraft in order to do so, you need to understand the basic principles of aerodynamics. Similarly, if we are serious about ensuring a sustain…

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  1. Mark Gesswein says:

    In other words, let the government determine what's best for us, since we obviously can't figure it out for ourselves. Yeah, that'll work…

  2. Chris George says:

    +Mark Gesswein Why would the government have to intervene?

    Are you saying people aren't rational? Or that economics isn't rational? Because if either is actually the case, then yes, government intervention would be required.

    It would actually work better with less government. Government needs to get out of the business of regulating markets, protecting private ownership of land and protecting shareholders via limited liability. Replace all of that government privilege with a free market. Insist that government have only one role in the economy: Enforce contract law.

    How, then, would implementing these five principles require government telling us what to do?

  3. Mark Gesswein says:

    Employ a comprehensive concept of wealth related to the simultaneous enhancement of five key forms of capital: Natural, Human, Social, Manufactured and Financial

    Align the world’s economy with nature’s regeneration capacity and incorporate critical “externalities” in all cost and benefit accounts

    Embody a measure of well-being and human development in economic calculations

    Design regulation and taxation policies to accentuate desirable and eliminate adverse outcomes, optimizing the whole

    Rely on transparent market mechanisms, calibrated to reflect “true” costs, for allocation of capital assets

    Yeah, who's going to do the 'regulating' and 'calibrating', and 'Aligning' of the world's economies? The answer is pretty simple….

  4. Chris George says:

    So his implementation invalidates the principles?

  5. Mark Gesswein says:

    +Chris George Not at all. In a perfect world, there would be no price tag on anything. People would go to work, and do things simply because that's what their role in life was, and they would never have to worry about going hungry, or not having a place to live because everything would be free. In this perfect world, people would only use what they needed. (and maybe occasionally, what they wanted)

    But, of course, the world isn't perfect, and neither are people. Things have a value associated with them, and different things are valued differently. Markets have a way of self regulating themselves, as long as the government doesn't get too far involved. What this article is talking about is legislating morality, and that's not going to happen. At least not until humans have evolved a bit beyond the ground dwelling primates that we are….

  6. Drew Sowersby says:

    Yezs. The Venus Project and the quest for a resource-based economy. Those will be the days.

  7. Chris George says:

    +Mark Gesswein So do we simply throw our hands in the air in despair and give up?

    A truly freed market would go a long way toward helping the environment, I agree. Insisting that because the economy does not respect thermodynamic laws and that the economy is the only thing worth living for and therefore we are locked into either granting government the power to do what it thinks best (some weird utopia of someone I am sure) or trusting that corporations and governments will voluntarily not destroy the planet (the current hopium) are the only options open to us because "the price" of alternatives is too high, well, seems a little fatalistic to me.

    The world is finite. Exponential economic growth is not physically congruent with this reality. Do we simply sit back and wait for the collapse then? Would it not be prudent to at least attempt to find a way out of the corner we have painted ourselves into?

    Or is there only the greed, fear and envy of our current culture and our role is to simply accept it and make the best of it and to stop agitating for better?

  8. Drew Sowersby says:

    Unfortunately yes +Chris George. The paradox is, is that many of us don't believe, or can't, just sit back and relax as it folds in.

  9. Mark Gesswein says:

    Well, you guys go right ahead and shout into the face of the category 5 hurricane. I'm sure you'll accomplish something…

  10. Drew Sowersby says:

    They call it pissing in the wind.

  11. Chris George says:

    +Mark Gesswein Thanks for provoking my thinking. I hope you found it helpful yourself.

    I liken our situation to a train running down the tracks, full tilt toward a rock wall. If, by discussing this with me, you question a little bit next time you personally are faced with adding another shovelful of coal into the boiler, perhaps even hesitate for a split second, well, it might buy someone else who is working on the brakes a little time.

    My kids are back in the passenger cars relying on all of us to make rational decisions about our activities in the real world. The fantasy life inside the train is fun and all, but the rock wall doesn't care much.

    I constantly try to provoke conversation with people who do not think like me. It is the only way that I can change my own thinking. Thanks for this and I am sure we'll talk again.

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