Introduction to Website

Written by
Lory Kaufman

You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”Buckminster Fuller

This includes the creation of an economic system which can facilitate a long-lived civilization.
(The theme of this paper and site.)
The economic paper this blog supports was written twice. Once for the economic conference; Degrowth & ISEE Joint Conference scheduled for Manchester UK in 2020, but had to be cancelled because of the Covid pandemic. The conference was then rebooked as an online conference for July 2021. However, during the intervening year it became evident that lessons the pandemic was trying to teach us were being ignored. Therefore the paper had to be rewritten with the pandemic in mind. The original theme stays the same at heart, but the pandemic has necessitated an additional twist.

The first paper posited that human civilization cannot endure because our current economic system is not designed for the long-term stability, and that its inability to change quickly was becoming human’s and the planet’s ruination.

An alternative economic structure was put forward, a concrete example a steady-state economy, showing how it could be structured to last for hundreds of years, and hopefully much longer, all the while allowing humans to not just survive but thrive. All these details are in the paper still. What was added was the proposition that countries who are sticking closely to the current rules of economic growth are having the poorest success in preventing Covid infections. This is because business lobbies and the conservative elements in government have done everything possible to continually open up the economy, essentially siting how individuals and businesses need cash flow. This has allowed more virulent and easily transmitted variations of the Covid virus to have hosts to mutate with in and then spread.
Imagine if our economic system WAS REDESIGNED to withstand such occurrences, if our economic system protected the wellbeing of individuals, instead of forcing them to make unwise and risky choices to provide for themselves and their families? Imagine if the human world worked under an economic system that allowed people to safely hunker down for three, six or twelve months. The variants wouldn’t have developed and taken hold.

But we must also be aware of the underlying reality that our current economic growth system fostered the pandemic. In fact, it made the appearance of a biological calamity a foregone conclusion. It wasn’t a matter of if, but when. Our current economic growth system promoted the over-population of humans, crowding out and causing the extinction of thousands of other life forms.

Because of humanity’s economic system, we’ve fouled the planets air quality, every ocean, sea, lake and river, virtually every watershed on the planet. There is not one area of land or sea on the whole planet not negatively impacted by humanity’s existence. As well, the majority of scientists are telling us the infrastructure of the Earth’s biosphere, the web of life which all depend on, is collapsing. These too are referred to in the newer version of the paper, and expanded somewhat in the various supporting background blogs that follow in this blog platform.

What follows then is a series of blogs giving more background information and details than could be fit into the paper this website’s opening paper written for the Degrowth & ISEE joint online conference in July of 2021. The blogs can be read in order or you can jump around to topics that catch your eye. Either way, hopefully they will help readers understand and appreciate that a steady-state economy is both possible and its implementation will have benefits for society.

We look forward to comments below each blog.

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