Let me make this perfectly clear…
by Bob Leonard
Someone asked me if our current pause in economic activity, resulting in a contraction of GDP growth, is like the Finite Earth Economy (FEE). No, it is definitely not. If it were, you could answer these questions with a “Yes”:
- Is it part of a plan to achieve a rapid transition to renewable energy, restore soils and biodiversity, and reverse ecological breakdown? If not (i.e. if the government is bailing out fossil fuel companies and cruise lines), then it’s not FEE.
- Does it introduce policies to prevent mass unemployment (e.g. a national service and retraining programs)? If not, then it’s not FEE.
- Does it include policies to reduce inequality (e.g. a progressive tax on carbon emissions, excusing the poorest people and nation states)? If not, then it’s not FEE.
- Does it plan for strategic retreats (migrations internal to and between countries due to the effects of our climate crisis)? If not, it’s not FEE.
- Does it target ecologically destructive production (e.g. manufacturing processes that emit large amounts of greenhouse gases, planned obsolescence, factory farming)? If not, it’s not FEE.
- Is there investment in universal public services, to improve health and education and ensure everyone has access to what they need to flourish (e.g. a National Well-Being Index)? If not, then it’s not FEE.
- Does it promote a shift toward community, collaboration, cooperation, and crew consciousness? If not, then it’s not FEE.
What is happening right now is a recession, perhaps even a depression. Depressions happen when growth-dependent economies stop growing. We need to build a different kind of economy altogether: an economy organized around the well-being of people and Nature… a Finite Earth Economy.