Transition Brockville archive

Tag : Limits to growth (32)

Greece’s place in the Global Monopoly Game

Sustainability / Mike Nickerson / 03 July 2015

Remember the board game Monopoly? It is based on our economic system and offers insight into these historic times.

Most players of the board game know that when one player begins to win, it is very seldom that any one else moves into the lead. Most people concede the game when a front-runner becomes obvious. According to the rules, however, the game is not over until all the properties that were acquired earlier by other players have been mortgaged and lost to the winner. When the winner has it all, then the game is over.

This end-game rule is problematic in the real life Global Monopoly Game.

[ FULL ARTICLE ]

In denial: We pursue endless growth at our peril

Peak Prosperity / Chris Martenson / 29 May 2015

head-sandSadly, it’s on the natural fronts that human denial seems to be at its most extreme. Hollywood visions and SciFi fantasies aside (where humans live in sealed capsules and subsist entirely on man-made foods), humans are 100% utterly dependent on the natural world for their survival. Food, water, oxygen, and predictable temperatures and rainfall patterns provide the basics of life.

To focus on just one part, which I also detail in The Crash Course book, humans are rapidly degrading our soils upon which everything depends.

Not only are we obviously losing topsoil to erosion and generally turning soil into lifeless dirt by stripping out its biological diversity, we are mining these soils for their micro and macro nutrients yet have no coordinated plan for replacing them.

Obviously if you take minerals like calcium and magnesium out of the soils in the form of harvested grains and vegetables, they’ll need to be replaced. Right now they are mainly flushed out to sea, never to be economically recovered.

[ FULL ARTICLE ]

The Law of Diminishing Returns

Post Carbon Institute / 07 April 2015

In this new short video Richard Heinberg explores how — in our economy, the environment, and energy production — we may well be. When previous societies have hit similar limits, they often doubled-down by attempting ever more complex interventions to keep things going, before finally collapsing. Will this be our fate too? And is there an alternative?

Collision Course – Endless Growth on a Finite Planet

The Daly News / Herman Daly / 02 April 2015

Collision-CourseHiggs documents the cogency of [The Limits to Growth (1972)] position and how the business as usual projection of the World Model has for over thirty years fit the data better than any standard economic model. She also exposes how the economists resorted to ridicule and arrogance as a substitute for reasoned refutation in their response to Limits. This story is well known to me because I was a participant in the debate. I can testify that Higgs’ retelling is accurate and insightful. It is also refreshing to me that MIT Press published her book. This indicates the welcome likelihood that some anonymous member of the MIT department of economics no longer has a veto over the decisions of the MIT Press.

What to me was new and challenging was Higgs’ detailed historical consideration of the following question: given that the Limits position is fundamentally correct, and that the growth economists’ “refutation” is based on ignorance, vested interests, and dishonesty, how did it come to pass that the economists’ erroneous position prevailed over the much more cogent and scientifically based Limits position? That it has done so can hardly be doubted, even if one still hopes for better in the future. For those of us who believe in the persuasive power of reasoned argument, this fact, and Higgs’ explanation of it, is a real kick in the head. Nor does it bode well for democracy. How did it happen? Can we learn from it? Can we recover from it?

[ FULL ARTICLE ]

Carbon emissions and the problem of global growth

Resource Insights / Kurt Cobb / 29 March 2015

Even if 2014 turns out to be a year of growth without rising emissions, we shouldn’t get particularly exercised. Nor should we be particularly excited if it continues for a time. This is because the only trend that will actually address climate change is a RAPID DECLINE in worldwide emissions (as [Senior Editor Brad Plumer of VOX] rightly points out).

Plumer makes one very telling statement in this regard:

If we ever hope to stop global warming, we’ll have to sever that relationship [of economic growth to emissions] — and figure out how to have economic growth while reducing emissions. (Alternatively, we could halt economic growth, but no one wants that.)

“Alternatively, we could halt economic growth, but no one wants that.” Two questions arise from this observation: Is it true that “no one wants that”? Who specifically wants economic growth to continue and why?

[ FULL ARTICLE ]

A shift to humility: Resilience and expanding the edge of change

On Being / Krista Tippett / 15 May 2013

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Disruption is around every corner by way of globally connected economies, inevitable superstorms, and technology’s endless reinvention. But most of us were born into a culture which aspired to solve all problems. How do we support people and create systems that know how to recover, persist, and even thrive in the face of change? Andrew Zolli introduces “resilience thinking,” a new generation’s wisdom for a world of constant change.

[ SOURCE ]

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The Transition Framework

The Transition Towns movement aims toward veering away from excessive consumption – to deal with the conjoined problems of peak oil and climate change – but also in the belief that we may create an essentially more contented society, through building strong and resilient local communities. We will get to know our neighbours better, because we shall all need one another in the time to come.

— Chris Rhodes, Resource Insights (03 June 2013)
TB Projects

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