- We need a new economic system, a new society, a new social contract, a new way of life. Here are the great tasks that history has given to our generation.
- This is the ninth and final installment in a nine-part series looking at the need for a new economic system. Previous installments are listed below.
John Scales Avery, Countercurrents.org
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22 August, 2015 | We must achieve a steady-state economic system
A steady-state economic system is necessary because neither population growth nor economic growth can continue indefinitely on a finite earth. No one can maintain that exponential industrial growth is sustainable in the long run except by refusing to look more than a short distance into the future.
Of course, it is necessary to distinguish between industrial growth, and growth of culture and knowledge, which can and should continue to grow. Qualitative improvements in human society are possible and desirable, but resource-using and pollution-producing industrial growth is reaching its limits, both because of ecological constraints and because of the exhaustion of petroleum, natural gas and other non-renewable resources, such as metals. The threat of catastrophic climate change makes it imperative for us to stop using fossil fuels within very few decades.
John Scales Avery is a theoretical chemist noted for his research publications in quantum chemistry, thermodynamics, evolution, and history of science. Since the early 1990s, Avery has been an active World peace activist.
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Series | The Need for a New Economic System, Part 8: The Cooperative Movement
In the future, small cooperative communities, like the Ghandian villages or Transition Towns, may be able to give us not only a more sustainable way of life, but also increased happiness, based warm life-long friendships and the pleasure of doing good to others.
Series | The Need for a New Economic System, Part 7: The Coming Global Food Crisis
The resources of the earth and the techniques of modern science can support a global population of moderate size in comfort and security; but the optimum size is undoubtedly smaller than the world's present population
Series | The Need for a New Economic System, Part 6: Adverse Effects Of Globalization
We need instead to reform our economic system and to give it both a social conscience and an ecological conscience. Let us restore democracy! Let us have governments that work for the welfare of all their citizens, rather than for the enormous enrichment of the few!
Series | The Need for a New Economic System, Part 5: The Threats And Costs Of War
Can we not rid ourselves of both nuclear weapons and the institution of war itself? We must act quickly and resolutely before our beautiful world and everything that we love are reduced to radioactive ashes.
Series | The Need for a New Economic System, Part 4: Neocolonialism And Resource Wars
In addition to the enormous suffering, waste, injustice and ecological destruction produced by modern wars, we must recognize that in an era of thermonuclear weapons, war has become prohibitively dangerous. Therefore we need a new economic system.
Series | The Need for a New Economic System, Part 3: Climate Change and the Urgent Need for Renewable Energy
One of the greatest threats to the survival of the human species and the biosphere is catastrophic climate change.
Series | The Need for a New Economic System, Part 2: Entropy and Economics
We urgently need to shift quickly from fossil fuels to renewable energy if we are to avoid a tipping point after which human efforts to avoid catastrophic climate change will be futile because feedback loops will have taken over.
Series | The Need for a New Economic System, Part 1: Limits to Economic Growth
It is obvious that on a finite Earth, neither population growth nor economic growth can continue indefinitely.