The Economics of Sustainability

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Phil Malpas
Joined: 7 May 2012
The Economics of Sustainability

While we all know the parameters affecting our World and our use of resources. And while many of us in Transition Towns are very focused on making a difference, there are still many people who either ignore or do not believe there is a real need to change our way of life. I have wondered why some people can be so obstinate in accepting the science. But in reading Joseph Stiglitz "The Price of Inequality" the explanation is very clear.

We are paying the price of Inequality! We are being coerced into meeting the needs of corporates, both financial and commercial, to satisfy an insatiable desire for growth. Politics of the Right are equaly being coerced into meeting these corporate needs.

Unless we change our economic, commercial and political concepts, inequality will continue to increase as will our consumption of non-renewable resources and our effect on climate.

Transition Towns have an opportunity to influence the change needed with the formation of alternative business models that operate on co-operative concepts and not the commercial model of profit before all else.

Many examples exist already in TT, but more are needed - I suggest this should be a primary focus of TT;

To encourage, to support, to form commercial co-operative ventures - in all forms of energy use.


Joined: 3 Oct 2013
Economics and sustainability

If you do not own the natural resources then it is very difficult to control sustainability. Foreign owners don't give a sh-t about our environment or economy.
The on going asset stripping of the New Zealand community by foreign controlled political parties, is a rape of the local people for personal gain.
roger douglas (the bankrupt pig farmer turned finance minister) made himself rich by selling out the New Zealand public.

The best alternative is a national barter system similar to the big business community's barter card system which allows them to avoid Taxes.

A barter card system would stop the political parties inflating the cost of everything with their taxes, to support their jetset lifestyles.
You would not have to contribute to the importing of Bently's and Ferrari's for rich playboy's.

Sounds like a good idea to me.

Unfortunately human nature being as it is, there will always be someone who wants to own everything in town.
Natural resources should never be transfered to private ownership. But of course this will not stop those who have control over resources, from seeking personal gain from corrupt supply practises, preventing even distribution.

Some argue that a small country like NZ can't compete with the huge capital funding of overseas, but ingenious Kiwis still out perform many of the world leaders.

Laurence Boomert
Laurence Boomert's picture
Joined: 3 Jul 2008
Local Dollars Local Sense

Michael Schumans 2013 book Local Dollars Local Sense (published by Post Carbon Institute)has many of the answers as does Living Economies educational Trust - we must construct the new collaborative economic power base that is esp locally focused but also can swing in wider circles - if the 8 million people who participated in local clean up days all threw $20 in pot to sue Bayer or Monsanto we would have $160 million to sue the pants off those fckers. If 75,000 members of Greenpeace Nz and Royal Forest & Bird pooled together they could buy a whole network of dairy farms and run them on state of the art clean production and show up Fonterra instead of just complaining about Fonterra - check out the Seikatsu in Japan.
Waterdragon - NZ has Bartercard - 7000 nz businesses use this non dollar B2B trading system - its not a tax dodge
people have the power right now they just haven't connected the dots fully as to how they can start using it through Co-ops, Community owned corporations, alt currencies, etc - the meek have inherited the earth they just have to stop dithering. the old dinosaurs systems simply does not have the imagination, goodwill or rapid adaptability to keep pace with it that's why they are down to dumb brute force to try to suppress evolution just like those caterpillar cells do to their own butterfly cells ; )

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