24 Jun 2013

Are Growth And Consumption Our Enemies?

By Warwick J S Smith

On current figures, moving to a sustainable economy will be even harder than reducing carbon emissions. A first step would be to kick the economists out of the halls of power, writes economist Warwick Smith

Professor Ross Garnaut recently argued that those of us interested in sustainability must not make economic growth our enemy, but instead must focus on sustainable growth which reduces resource intensity:

“When we see economic growth in this light, we recognise that the important thing is to make sure that we put in place policies that encourage resource-conserving and discourage resource-using capital intensification and technological change”.

It’s an appealing argument. The theory is difficult to fault. If we recycle more raw materials, focus on services rather than goods and harness technological developments to improve resource productivity (producing the same or more with less raw materials) we can keep the economy growing while reducing our ecological footprint. However, if we move past the catchphrases and do some maths the enormity of the task becomes clear.

According to the Living Planet 2012 report, Australians use about 6.5 global hectares (gha) per person. A global hectare is one hectare of arable land with average productivity and is a way of combining many measures of resource use into a single figure. These measures include carbon dioxide emissions and a tally of the cropland, grazing land, forest, built up land and fishing grounds required to supply a population with their current consumption. While the world has a biocapacity of about 1.8 gha per person, Australia’s capacity is almost 15 gha per person.

Determining what a sustainable economy is rests on whether or not we look beyond our borders. Based on the above figures, we could say that we are already exceeding our footprint allocation by almost 400 per cent. Or we could conclude that we are at less than half our resource capacity. I use the Living Planet report only as an illustration here, others have used different measures to examine sustainable resource use and have come up with comparable results.

Of course, if we and all other countries with a global hectare surplus were to use it all for themselves it would leave substantially less than 1.8 gha per person for the rest of the globe. To me, the only ethically defensible position is to aim for the global average of available biocapacity and, through exports, share our excess with others. Making our economy sustainable by this measure, and maintaining economic growth as Professor Garnaut suggests, is a herculean task indeed.

If we assume a very successful long term GDP growth rate of 3 per cent, our GDP will quadruple over the next 50 years from about $1.4 trillion to just over $6 trillion. In order to play our part in creating a sustainable global economy we must cut our resource use down to 27 per cent of what it is now (1.8/6.5). So, taking account of economic growth, our resource intensity must be cut by about 94 per cent over the next 50 years in order to achieve sustainability. These back of the envelope calculations are rough (not least because the total number of available gha is decreasing over time and global population is rising) but good enough to illustrate the challenge.

On the other hand, if our economy didn’t grow, we would only have to cut resource intensity by about 73 per cent to be using up only our share of global resources Only 73 per cent!

Growth or no growth, if we take sustainability seriously – global sustainability that is, not parochial ideas about sustainability – then we have to quite radically change how we live and how we do business. There’s no indication that we’re even thinking about these issues, let alone ready to work on achieving sustainability.

In order to effectively curb greenhouse gas emissions and meet other sustainability goals, our governments need to be willing to make policy decisions which will not optimise economic growth and voters need to understand that this is desirable. Somehow the economists took over the halls of power and, being an economist myself, I know this is a serious problem.

Is anybody other than Ross Garnaut even talking about this stuff in the mainstream? Gillard or Swan? Abbott or Hockey? The Greens talk about these issues when they’re given the chance but even they have to temper the message to avoid being seen as too radical. A serious transition to a sustainable economy would take even more thought, planning and sacrifice than transforming to a low carbon economy.

I don’t believe economic growth per se is the problem; the problem comes from making growth the number one priority, above the environment and above social and individual wellbeing. Can we have a growing economy while we work towards sustainability? Yes. Can we have a sustainable economy which values the wellbeing of the citizens when growth is our primary goal? Almost certainly not.

While I agree with Professor Garnaut that we should not make economic growth our enemy, we should certainly re-evaluate the closeness of the relationship, not only for the sake of the environment but also for our overall happiness and wellbeing.

Log in or register to post comments

Discuss this article

To control your subscriptions to discussions you participate in go to your Account Settings preferences and click the Subscriptions tab.

Enter your comments here

EarthFan
Posted Monday, June 24, 2013 - 14:11

Our priority should be to stabilise and reduce the world's population. Stabilising Australia's population is easily done. Our birthrates have been below replacement levels for 36 years.

Reducing the world's population is a much bigger challenge. We could start by refusing to accept as migrants, people from large families. Countries that have reduced their reproduction to fewer than two children per woman, should not be accepting refugees from places in the world that haven't. Or if they do, it should be small families, with sterilisation the price of rescue.

Consumption is our enemy. Species are becoming extinct at an alarming rate. And yet the people in fast breeding countries are still going to want a western lifestyle. The best we can do for them is to help them reduce their birth rates.

 

rparker
Posted Monday, June 24, 2013 - 15:26

Some clarification may be needed regarding Ross Garnaut's position on technological change.

Warwick Smith reports Garnaut as stating:

“When we see economic growth in this light, we recognise that the important thing is to make sure that we put in place policies that encourage resource-conserving and discourage resource-using capital intensification and technological change” - See more at: http://newmatilda.com/2013/06/24/are-growth-and-consumption-our-enemies#comment-form

“When we see economic growth in this light, we recognise that the important thing is to make sure that we put in place policies that encourage resource-conserving and discourage resource-using capital intensification and technological change

However he also stated that:

“When we see economic growth in this light, we recognise that the important thing is to make sure that we put in place policies that encourage resource-conserving and discourage resource-using capital intensification and technological change” - See more at: http://newmatilda.com/2013/06/24/are-growth-and-consumption-our-enemies#comment-form

“When we see economic growth in this light, we recognise that the important thing is to make sure that we put in place policies that encourage resource-conserving and discourage resource-using capital intensification and technological change” - See more at: http://newmatilda.com/2013/06/24/are-growth-and-consumption-our-enemies#comment-form

“When we see economic growth in this light, we recognise that the important thing is to make sure that we put in place policies that encourage resource-conserving and discourage resource-using capital intensification and technological change” - See more at: http://newmatilda.com/2013/06/24/are-growth-and-consumption-our-enemies#comment-form

"Increases in capital per worker could be resource-saving or resource-using – and he suggested China would provide an example of the former, Garnaut said.

The same went for productivity growth which came from technological change – much technological improvement resulted in less pressure on natural systems per unit of economic value."

I am a bit confused by these apparently contradictory positions regarding the benefits of technology.

I hope that Garnaut is firmly on the side of using technological refinement as an essential tool for resource conservation and optimisation. Technological change is essential if we are to reign in fossil fuel consumption and limit climate change.

thomasee73
Posted Monday, June 24, 2013 - 17:23

rparker,

 

Contradiction disappears if you read Garnaut's quote as

"...discourage resource-using capital intensification and [discourage resource-using] technological change."

rather than

"...discourage resource-using capital intensification and [discourage (all)] technological change."

 

merdeka04
Posted Tuesday, June 25, 2013 - 09:53

I don't think so, as long as the government can provide work for the people I believe that everyone will survive. - Casa Sandoval

PopulationParty
Posted Tuesday, June 25, 2013 - 11:31

The main reason consumption has become a problem, is because population numbers grew so big, and there aren’t enough resources to go around.

A sustainable economy starts with a stable population, otherwise we're chasing our tail on necessary changes to consumption and environmental impact, locally and globally.

We've got a chance at this federal elkection to tackle population: www.PopulationParty.org.au

garrycl
Posted Tuesday, June 25, 2013 - 14:08

Thank you Warwick.

Yes, if we are growing it is "how" we grow that is important. Also, it is this same "how" which should allow us to be deeply propserous when we are in a steady state.

Evan
Posted Tuesday, June 25, 2013 - 14:12

The hope lies with business I think.

Like all those socialist greenies in the insurance industry.

The pollies (in the majors) obviously don't have the courage or integrity to care about what happens to our children or theirs.

douglas jones
Posted Tuesday, June 25, 2013 - 17:07

Damn the time and Adam Smith, as each has much to answer.

The time? Well in Smith's day resources were becoming more available and pollution was not even recognised, no cue forthcoming from the environment. Thus a system developed in which consumption was by and large to drive the economy. Sure the entrepreuner would find new ways technology would grow but the cue from the environment was slow in coming and even slower in acceptance. Just think, we could have been without the present warming,exuberant atmosphere and fires galore had we acted to reduce fossil fuel usage.

But no profit was all and the environment capital was not even acknowledged as existing.

Given the thoughts that might have revolved had Smith added environment to the accounting table, he might have made humans well being not profit as the end point. Just as another wanted to use energy as a measure, a money.

fightmumma
Posted Wednesday, June 26, 2013 - 09:54

earthfan - perhaps we could start the sterilsation with all the people who think other people's human rights should be violated by forced sterilsation?  And perhaps the next phase could be to sterilse all those populations who are overrepresented in consumption...which would be all the people in western countries and especially USA...that would certainly save the planet for 1000s of years...the problem is consumption and that problem is of smallest prevalence in non-western countries...

fightmumma
Posted Wednesday, June 26, 2013 - 10:03

Hi Douglas - yes but on extension from what you say, the scariest and most dangerous aspect fo consumption-based economic health, is that it frames and conceptualises wellbeing in terms of money and consumable commodities.  This is dangerous because it completely ignores, as you say in mentioning accounting legers, other forms of wellbeing, wealth, capital, investment, assets etc, especially the non-material sorts...social, emotional, cultural, aesthetic, environmental...which threatens diversity.  Survival is all about diversity for through diverse traits organisms can adjust and respond to environmental, social change.  We live in an age of homogenising forces, dynamics, objects and relationships...for example the only "answer" for solutions is consumption and stimulus to consume/produce/innovate for more consumtion/production...economists of Smith's ilk have humanity by the short and curlies...til we begin new social movements that express and demand new values, practices, standards from our governments, leaders and market players...that life in the modern age needs to be about more than material objects

This user is a New Matilda supporter. DrGideonPolya
Posted Wednesday, June 26, 2013 - 10:12

Ssutainable growth is possible but NOT with a carbon -based economy.  Australian Treasury modeling indicates that under Labor Carbon Tax and ETS policies Australia's Domestic GHG pollution will increase from 578 Mt CO2-e in 2010 to 621 Mt CO2-e by 2020. Labor's climate criminal policy of unlimited coal, gas and iron ore exports means that Australia's Domestic plus Exported GHG pollution will increase from 1,512 Mt CO2-e in 2009 to 2,578 Mt CO2-e in 2020 and that Australia will exceed by a factor of three (3) the whole world's terminal greenhouse gas (GHG) pollution budget that must not be exceeded if the world is to have a 75% chance of avoiding a catastrophic 2C temperature rise. Indeed Austtralia exceeded its "fair share" of the wprld's terrminal GHG polution budget in 20113 (see "2011 climate chnage course":https://sites.google.com/site/300orgsite/2011-climate-change-course ). . It is estimated that climate change inaction may result in the avoidable deaths of 10 billion people this century. (see Climate Genocide: https://sites.google.com/site/climategenocide/ and "Are we doomed? Too late to save earth?", 300.org: https://sites.google.com/site/300orgsite/are-we-doomed ).

Australians who vote Lib-Lab (Liberal-National Party Coaltion or Labor) are betraying their children, grandchildren, Humanity and ther Biosphere. I have detailed 100 reasons why Australians should reject Gillard Labor but Mainstream media lying in Murdochracy, Lobbyocracy and Corporatocracy Australia ensures that most of these reasons are kept well away from the Australian public. Apprised of these matters, decent Australians will vote 1 Green  and put Labor last until it reverts to decent values (the Coalition Opposition is just as bad but, unlike neoliberal Labor, has not actually betrayed decent Labor voters and values) (see Gideon Polya, "100 Reasons Why Australians Must Reject Gillard Labor " , Countercurrents, 24 June 2013: http://www.countercurrents.org/polya240613.htm ).

.

This user is a New Matilda supporter. guywire
Posted Wednesday, June 26, 2013 - 14:33

Mumma I thought you might have died and gone to heaven!

But no matter what the rationales here I loved the words "kick the economists out of the halls of power". they are always raving about what is best for the rich to get richer but can never predict a downturn. What gets me is how they can keep thinking that everyone can be rich when wealth is guaged by poverty and visa versa. Especially if the highs and lows are somewhat dependent on global investments. How can we be a rich country if most of us are not rich and nearly all of us are wage slaves with little prospect of change. My cat guages wealth by leisure, he's either catching mice or sleeping.

This is a good and rare article.

A first step would be to kick the economists out of the halls of power, writes economist Warwick Smith - See more at: http://newmatilda.com/2013/06/24/are-growth-and-consumption-our-enemies#comment-form

A first step would be to kick the economists out of the halls of power, writes economist Warwick Smith - See more at: http://newmatilda.com/2013/06/24/are-growth-and-consumption-our-enemies#comment-form

jackal012
Posted Wednesday, June 26, 2013 - 16:32

fightmumma

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MBpwq6zmuTo then afterwards go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OSaT9utl4Ys, you'll like her Feminist Credentials.

 

and then ask yourself what is so fantastic about being Yank before you read my rubbish at.

 

- See more at: http://www.newmatilda.com/2013/06/24/reaching-out-compassionate-undecided#comment-48342

 

jackal012
Posted Wednesday, June 26, 2013 - 10:09

 

fightmumma
Posted Wednesday, June 26, 2013 - 19:03

guywire - ah at least I went to heaven rather than the other place haha!! Nar, just exams so have to not distract myself with these sites!!  I constantly laugh at a 40-something year old having to remember things for exams and do things that need grading and assessing by others - it cracks me up whenever I think about it...didn't I do this once before about 20+ years ago!!???  And as to remembering quotes, statistics and years of author publications...ok I'll start rolling around on the floor laughing!!

GW I'd suggest that the reason these people don't pay much attention to cause/effects of downturns is because they don't fund the costs/risks of those, like the banks in USA, they use public money to save themselves...and place politicians in power with "austerity" policies that never affect their own selves...

And they can do anything with numbers, you can make entire populations look like they're ALL on a good wicket if you aggregate them just right...can completely erase unemployment for eg...how do we have such low unempl with almost no manufacturing industry??!!  Could it be because "employment" no longer means having a job where you work 9-5pm and take-home a livable wage?  Though the one hour of "employment" that now disqualifies one from being categorised as "unemployed" will do little for that person to afford...hmmm...rent, mortgage, electricity, petrol...or to actualise human dignity (nar that's too expensive isn't it...and besides...only those who aren't dole bludgers DESERVE dignity....right?!!  We'll treat you like scum of the earth for not working, but we'll not include you in relevant statistics cos you work 1 hour even if  this will do little for your "selfdetermination".) (I'm being sarcastic there in case someone doesn't pick it!!).

What's so ingenious about these ideas?  I'm struck by the thought that 60 years ago people didn't buy STUFF or throw it away like they do now...they darned socks, products had a respectable longevity and repairing things was cheaper than chucking them and buying new ones...no one's entire mortality and selfworth relied on little icons of technology with screens, pixels and apps and people survived just fine, you could eat fishnchips at the beach without feeling like an obesity criminal who would drop dead next week from shame or hypertension (I'm not sure which).

And on a related note - why is it that with all this "deisrable economic growth" that almost every service directed at the health and wellbeing of our society is under such duress at present that no departments can adequately do their jobs?  From the parole board to police investigations to prison populations to mental health to education to hospitals...there'ssupposed to be some trickledown effect but why exactly, if current economics practices are so great, why are all the institutions that uphold the health, wellbeing and social capital of our nation crumling?  Listen to the nurses, the ambos, the TAFE and Uni teachers, the social workers...???

OK enough of a rant for now!

fightmumma
Posted Wednesday, June 26, 2013 - 19:56

Jackal - there's something weird about a beauty pageant contestant believing in patriarchy to the extent of promoting male genocide...afterall...which body image ideal is she obeying when she makes herself look a certain way and walk, talk, behave a certain way to win a competition about beauty...whose beauty and whose definitions of beauty?  That's really weird!!

jackal012
Posted Thursday, June 27, 2013 - 08:57

Did you get the Military bit towards the end about how man had to sell their right to life to get a VOTE in America's great Democracy only to have the Constitution (the 6th Amendment) ignored by local courts to force workers, the working classes, into paying more Taxes, (when they should not be paying taxes), then the Corporations who are supposed to pay the Taxes and don't.

workers 860 billion????

Corporation 250 billion ????? So Democracy, Great Democracy or a Marilyn Monroe Democracy. So, do we follow the Yanks and that CRAP like Lemmings over the Cliff or ??????.

fightmumma
Posted Thursday, June 27, 2013 - 09:42

Jackal I think you would like the writings of George Ritzer, in books like The McDonaldization of Society, because it explains how society comes to be organised in such rigid, controlled ways, with rationalisation as the underpinning value...using the processes of the production line and efficiency to highlight how all through society now, people are controlled, caluculated, organised etc only along lines of efficiency.  It's an interesting perspective, I'm not sure how Ritzer includes power relations in his theories though or if he does what a lot of modernday sociologists do and completely ignores the question of class as an important socially structuring phenomenon that impacts life chances and quality of life...

Jackal, once people become "just numbers" (as in the case of the general tax payer) they lose any power.  People with wealth and power to influence, can be immune to the loss of their humanity (which a mere aggregation of demographical figures causes) and thus immune to the dissolving of their individual voices/interests into a writhing mass of Others...they can sustain an independent and noticable voice which will get listened to and obeyed.  Democracy in such a social process becomes irrelevant and impotent...only an external icon/ideal that we all believe in the same way we once believed in the Cross/priest/Cathedral of religion for the protection of our immortal souls...

It is a sad statement of the effectiveness of that system of dominance, that not only have problems of inequality/poverty etc not been resolved, but that the new System, has such power that it can reconceptualise the entire inequality problem into not existing at all (such as the impacts on our social structures of the loss of manufacturing industries, of "creative destruction, of fudged unemployment figures, of taxation/welfare policies)...quite remarkable ... but very scary!

jackal012
Posted Thursday, June 27, 2013 - 10:57

fightmumma "girlrightswhat"  is very smart, always uses facts  and figures to mount an argument and is quite good, she has a lot of subs.

 

Now you are every bit as smart, logical as she is, start your own blog just as she has and I'l be one of you subs. She makes damn good video's, you can too.

"fightmumma fight, but fight the good fight". its a lot longer then, "girlrightswhat"

fightmumma
Posted Thursday, June 27, 2013 - 11:53

Jackal, this whole internet thingy really intrigues and amuses me - it's as if once upon a time, if people had a view, cause etc they started/joined a religion or social movement, usually with some sort of values, purpose, logic (us-them, drama, interpersonal interactions, concrete social groups and activities etc) - now with the aid of the internet and technology, anyone can preach anything and anyone else can access it, believe, critique, interact with it etc - but all usually without anything tangible and profound actually happening as a consequence.  I love a good ol chin wag and could probably crap on just as loquaciously as this lady!!  But I'm just a bit too real-life, active and practical for blogs!  NM, Crikey and "places" like GetUp! or change.org are about as dedicated as I get to blogs!!  But rest assured - when I have something to say, it'll get noticed and the world will change!!  I've a few things in the works now - a bit of a david v goliath thing because I'm taking on The System...and I'd prefer to write a real book or a thesis to a blog...or a real-life program that contributes to social change/imrprovement.  But thanks for the suggestion!

jackal012
Posted Thursday, June 27, 2013 - 12:39

your welome

 all change starts small and grows'

remember however that the original working class feminist ideals fought for 50 years to defeat child slave labour.

I admire this woman as I do you because your both smart, talk sense and talk your truth quitely and clearly, as opposed to loud and aggressive like me.

there are brooms and  then  there are brushes, all serve a purpose.

 

EarthFan
Posted Thursday, June 27, 2013 - 15:17

"sterilse all those populations who are overrepresented in consumption...which would be all the people in western countries" 

Fightmumma!   Haven't you noticed! The western countries have already reduced their reproduction levels to fewer than two children per woman. Except the Catholic immigrants from south of the US border. So sterilisation of whites of European ethnicity is quite unnecessary. I know a lot of white males who have undergone sterilisation quite voluntarily, and if it is good enough for them, it is good enough for every other male in the world.

Here is a hypothetical for you:

Suppose that all the earth's wealth and resources were equally divided among all the people alive on planet at this moment. Then half of the earth's population paired up and had two children per woman, and the rest of the world produced four children per woman. How would the earth's resources be distributed then? Would it be fair for those families of six, to demand that the families of four, give up their share of the wealth, so that their extra children would have a larger share?

I don't think that it would be fair at all, but refugee advocates want those who have restrained their own reproduction, to provide for the children of the heavy breeders.

fightmumma
Posted Thursday, June 27, 2013 - 15:43

earthfan - the thing is, if your ideas were to have any claim of accuracy, validity, reliability, then the idea that reducing breeding leads to reduced consumption and therefore reduced threats to the planet's survival...would show-up in the evidence, of what consumption occurs in the nations with less breeding.  But the fact of the matter is, using rates of consumption, the consumption has only increased in nations with less breeding...in my opinion this completely discredits any claims that targeting population effectively impacts consumption and global long term survival.  The logical conclusion would be to eliminate those who consume to excess, rather than those who breed, as the evidence shows that population amount has little to do with consumption rates.  It has more to do with wealth, with self centredness and with fragmentation of values that emphasis social, emotional and environmental health, wellbeing and intelligences. 

It is appropriate to highlight at this point, that the modernised, westernised nations are the ones who have abandoned values of this type - simply because the wealth/wellbeing/power of the most wealthy relies on excessive consumption.  Cultures that respect long term wellbeing, the health of the environment, the wisdom of elders, and collective participation, will be less of a threat to the planet's survival...this certainly does not include western culture...and unfortunately, through wars and colonisation, we have ruined other cultures that might hold the answers to overall survival and wellbing of people and the planet we rely on...such as our own indigenous people who knew how to live in harmony and respect to their tribal lands and families...surviving for 40,000 years...as opposed to modernised, "scientific" western culture that after 150 or so years is already threatening the entire planet's longevity.

EarthFan
Posted Thursday, June 27, 2013 - 16:12

"The logical conclusion would be to eliminate those who consume to excess, rather than those who breed,"

Fightmumma: As I have already pointed out, those who consume to excess ARE ALREADY reducing their population. Refugees wanting asylum in western countries are seeking a western level of consumption. It is unreasonable for them to ask for entry unless they are willing to do what the western country has already done  - reduce their reproduction to fewer than two children per woman.

This is not forced sterilisation. The asylum seekers can stay out of the western countries.

fightmumma
Posted Thursday, June 27, 2013 - 16:14

earthfan - but why are you suggesting population reduction if it doesn't result in a positive effect on consumption rates?

EarthFan
Posted Thursday, June 27, 2013 - 16:41

"ruined other cultures that might hold the answers to overall survival and wellbing of people and the planet we rely on...such as our own indigenous people who knew how to live in harmony and respect to their tribal lands and families...surviving for 40,000 years."

Really Fightmumma! I suggest that you educate yourself on the realities of a hunting and gathering economy.

The aborigines' economy didn't allow for food to be stockpiled as an insurance against bad seasons in the future. Or move food from places where it was abundant to where it was scarce. Likewise with water. The people have to move to where the food was on foot.

What exactly do you imagine happened when a series of bad seasons followed a series of good ones? Was there a benign central government to enforce rationing until the weather got better?

Are we to suppose that, in times of food shortage, the aborigines of one group did not extend their foraging into country occupied by other groups? Are we to suppose that those groups did not defend their livelihood by the only means available: violence.

The Aborigines who were living in Australia when the Europeans arrived, inherited their country from the winners of centuries of battles against other indigenous Australians. They acquired their occupancy the same way the Europeans did: through violence against Aborigines.

"aborigines living in harmony"

Where did you get that from? Clearly you haven't read the memoirs of William Buckley, an escaped convict who lived with the aborigines in Victoria for thirty years before they had much contact with Europeans. According to his account, the aborigines were in a constant state of warfare. 

A hunting and gathering economy does not allow for population increase. Once the carrying capacity of the land is attained, the death rate has to match the birthrate, which was at its maximum. The aborigines had a high death rate before the Europeans arrived. They may even have been in greater danger of rape and murder than modern day asylum seekers. 

 

EarthFan
Posted Thursday, June 27, 2013 - 17:06

"why are you suggesting population reduction if it doesn't result in a positive effect on consumption rates?"

Who says that population reduction doesn't have a positive effect on consumption rates? You haven't even defined what you mean by consumption rates, or how they are measured. How many countries have actually reduced their populations for you to be able to compare the effects?

Obviously if a single person has a consumption rate of x, then 100 people, each with a consumption rate of x will have a consumption rate of 100 times that of a single person.

Here is a repeat of an earlier post:

A nuclear family of 4 in Australia has a far higher rate of consumption than a rural family in eight in Pakistan, so long as you only take one generation into account. Hold the fertility rate at the same level and take two generations into account. Then you are comparing the consumption of a family of 6 to that of a family of 38 (6x6+the original parents). Then take a third generation into account, maintaining the same fertility levels-10 compared with 218. Sooner or later the poor family will have a higher consumption than the wealthy one, but their living standard will still be low. Should the small family have to lower their consumption in order to increase the living standard (consumption) of the large family?

fightmumma
Posted Thursday, June 27, 2013 - 17:53

western countries have the highest rates of consumption even though they have smaller population growth.

Reading your post about Indigenous australians gives the impression you think no one can survive without western style governments - a fact made unreliable by virtue of multiple cultures existing with a diversity of social organisations for thousands of years...western style governing (particularly now with globalisation, mass consumption in wealthy nations, and a disconnect with natural production processes).  Also gives the impression that nobody even existed before money economies, which is just plain ridiculous.

Your comments about aboriginal culture only supports the assertion that you lack a comprehensive understanding of it.

EarthFan
Posted Thursday, June 27, 2013 - 19:24

"Your comments about aboriginal culture only supports the assertion that you lack a comprehensive understanding of it."

Really! How so? Which of my statements is incorrect, and why do you think that it is incorrect?

EarthFan
Posted Thursday, June 27, 2013 - 19:29

"Reading your post about Indigenous australians gives the impression you think no one can survive without western style governments"

If you get that impression, your reading comprehension skills are sadly lacking. 

EarthFan
Posted Thursday, June 27, 2013 - 19:46

"western countries have the highest rates of consumption even though they have smaller population growth."

But they are still growing, because they keep taking immigrants from fast-breeding countries, so we would expect their consumption to grow also.

fightmumma
Posted Friday, June 28, 2013 - 13:10

As the so-called "leaders" of modernity, western nations have a social/environmental responsibility to lead the way when it comes to management and regulation of consumption and of consumption-based economic "growth".  Growth that culminates in destructiveness of the environment and of social/emotional/mental health is not really growth at all, growth that is at the expense of others' wellbeing/prosperity/rights is also not real "growth" - it is regression based on greed and self-centredness devoid of social responsibility/accoutnability.  If certain nations want to make claims of "civilised society" and justification of a particular economically-based organisation of the social world...they have an equal obligation to use their power and influence ethically.  History shows humanity of the western variety fails in this, justifies its failures and ignores its failures, that it produces gross social/cultural/national inequalities which it demonstrates no intention of acknowledging or addressing.  This needs to change regardless of people's opinions or beliefs about who "deserves" what family status/size/geographocal positioning or citizenship.

jackal012
Posted Friday, June 28, 2013 - 19:10

fightmumma you obviously didn't watch and or listen.

This woman does not crap on, she thinks and comes up with facts. I think she is amazing. I do not say this lightly.

The only other reason you might think she is craping on is if your a man hating feminist.

if you want to know what she is about watch http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lz3YxFbrwsY its about the bloke in Norway Anders Breivik. Very interesting. some real facts,

Its called, "No one wants to talk about Anders Breivik"

fightmumma
Posted Saturday, June 29, 2013 - 00:48

nar I don't think she craps on as in "has nothing worthwhile to say" I just meant to talk and talk!  I thought what she said was very interesting and pretty much sums up my own views on feminism.  But as I said, personally I feel I do more good by concentrating on one thing at a time and putting some action into my beliefs, I'm a single parent, I have a child with serious disabilities and I have other priorities.  It is my responsibility to address things that are within my sphere of control ie it is wise to know what one can do something about, rather than to only talk and cover multiple issues without ever contributing to any social change.  For me this starts with grassroots, self and those I can personally make contact with:

God (or whoever) grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.

Hating is too much negative energy for me...

Bob Karmin
Posted Thursday, July 4, 2013 - 11:00

Malthus is dead. Long live Malthus!

 

casusbubble
Posted Wednesday, December 11, 2013 - 23:07

Take a two-pronged approach to weight loss by combining your diet with an exercise regime. You'll be more motivated if you create an exercise plan made up of activities you enjoy. There are many activities that you can choose from, such as dance classes, joining a sports league, talking walks with friends or joining a running club. Use your imagination, and it won't be hard to come up with ways you can get a little more exercise in your daily life.

renegade diet
paleo burn