Financialization

Under a financialization system, a debt based system, you basically guarantee ecological destruction, starting in a local way but spreading globally. Something has to back up all the financial speculation, and what does it is ripping more and more out of the ground each year. What follows is rural and forest people are forced off the land at faster and faster rates as the financialization becomes every bigger multiples of the real economy. The financial system is based on loans originated for real estate, almost all of which was stolen violently as civilization spread across the planet in every faster searches for resources.

Cities and forests

I have been writing for years about the inextricable link between building cities and the destruction of both forests and the people who live in them.  In some ways the story of civilization is clear the land to build a city, then keep searching ever wider for new forests to exploit as the need for wood is forever.  As a worn out carpenter and woods worker I loved to work with wood, and cut firewood for some long winters spent making furniture. As an urbanite I watch carefully the economic development/real estate games that drive the politics of the city and seek to green them, but I see the destructive power of the forces of construction every day and I know what it does to forests around the world.  If we do not stop deforestation the world burns.  Civilization as we know it will cease to exist.  I once said we had access to enough oil to cut all the forests.  We have to stop both.  Today in RI we celebrate the stopping of an unneeded white elephant gas fired power plant.  I wish for as big a victory for the forests today as well. 

Note to a new grad

Mohammed Eid, May you do your future work with honor and decency.  We are in need of peace and ecological healing.  Two things that are inextricably linked to ending poverty.  Do the work well, do not get sucked into the war lord vortex.  Speak truth to power.  Anything else in the age of climate catastrophe is whistling Dixie.  You sound like you may know the path to follow.    Greg Gerritt Activist, Writer, Forest Gnome   Providence RI

Growing out of the climate crisis?

The grow our way out of the climate crisis school of thought like the one above by Nils Rekka, (Developing Technologies for Zero-Carbon Economics) always seems to  leave out that not only are we in a climate crisis, we are in a long term rather dire materials crisis.  We are using resources at an ever faster pace, not just energy resources, pretty much everything.   Forests for example.  You still can not build cities or make enough paper for the modern world without forests.  Anyone think the forests are healthy?:Or meeting what we need them to do for the climate crisis?  Even with advanced materials there is nothing so useful as wood,  Fish, soils, capacity of sinks.  All failing dramatically.  You will not grow the economy beyond what the rich steal without using MORE stuff.  70 billion tons a year right now.  As for biological resources, we use 1.75x’s the yearly production of the Earth.  What growth other than funny money is there?  When 90% of the growth in income goes to 1% of the population and 50% of the people get poorer each year.  That is not growth.  When depletion is calculated as economic growth, the measurement tools are inaccurate.  Wars are not profitable, many lose everything, but the arms manufacturers sell to both sides and laugh all the way to the bank. 

If we are to have the resources to successfully make the transition to a carbon zero economy fast enough to save our lives, communities and planet, then we must   close the militaries of the world and free some of the resources for transformation, and leave some of it unspent so that resource use really can go down .  It would greatly symbolic as well as a big chunk of cash and resources freed up.  We shrink the militaries to save the planet.  We all know military spending produces fewer jobs per dollar than almost anything else we could spend it on.  Spend less, get MORE jobs, use less stuff, burn less fuel.  

Peace is not popular among the elites, but even today I was reading about the Iraqi peace movement.  Peace is popular everywhere, and real disarmament would also unleash democracy, another critical factor in beating the climate crisis. 

We get all techno looking at the crisis, but we need to look holistically.  Peace, ecological healing, democracy, ending poverty and economies that work for the people, communities and planet are all connected,  I just do not think elite driven solutions, especially that do not address the long term resource hunger of the militaries of the world and what they do to create poverty,  are going to cut it, and 20 years down the road we are going to wish we had chosen the path of peace and justice and an economy focused on healing the Earth and our communities.