submitted by Kelvin Hodges
I find the debate over the effects of CO2 and the resulting change in our climate absurd. Laughable. And there are two reasons. One, we deny science. That’s absurd. And two, we think changing to a regenerative society where we manage our garbage better is somehow going to reduce our wealth. Well that’s poppycock. Improving our society is going to make us healthier and far wealthier. Follow along kids!
First, let’s talk a little science. If you’re as bored as I am with this debate, skip to the wealth creation section.
CO2 is changing the climate. Period. Even non-scientists can read a chart. CO2 is at its highest level in over 2 million years. And the changes to the climate are clear to anyone who can read a newspaper.
What is laughable, is the very folks who happily use the results of science; your shirt is the result of mechanical sciences, chemistry; your car, materials science, physics; your house; again, engineered entirely with science; but now scientists are saying “we’re using the wrong fuels for our civilization” and a few geniuses are like “well, I don’t think so.” Yet they don’t tear down their house, try to make their own shirt, abandon their car. I mean really.
Regeneration means wealth, money, moolah.
The new society we are embarking on building will result in massive growth and wealth. How can I say this? First, the very definition of growth is being mishandled. Growth comes from buying an electric lawnmower just as it comes from a gas one. Power drawn from electrons is still power. It is lower cost power in the end, as it will be used more efficiently and has a lower extract cost. But the money the “consumer” saves is money they will spend on something else.
An example is cars. When we went from horse-based transport to cars, did we get poorer? Obviously buggy whip manufacturers took a hit. But society, as a whole, entered a period of wealth creation unparalleled in history. Get with the program.
You know I’m reminded of the old economists’ quandary when analyzing GDP. If “wealth” falls, the consumer goes from buying steak to buying hamburger. The net result is the same. The dollar figure changes. Happiness is the same. In fact, who doesn’t love a good juicy hamburger. But I digress.
Folks saying that the new economy needs to “degrowth” are looking in the wrong direction. What we need to do is “regrowth.” Turn the CO2 producing activities into electron using ones. Change the destructive practices, say farming, into regenerative practices. This, interestingly, should result in larger GDP. As organic, regenerative farming will require additional capital expenditures and possibly labour participation increases, at least short term.
The advantage cleaner safer foods brings may mean that the disease management (hospitals, etc) sector will take a hit, but the productivity increase in other sectors should more than compensate as healthier employees work more hours and create more wealth.
Improving our civilization to be regenerative is going to bring us huge wealth and health increases. Those doubters are patently absurd.
The one trick is getting on with it. Buy organic. Refuse waste plastic. Buy an electric car even if you have to save a little longer for the down payment. Hey, maybe bike some.
It’s not hard. And you’ll be able to look any five-year-old in the eye and laugh with them in good conscience. Enjoy. I’m off to make my coffee. Yup, organic, fair trade. Guess what, Fair Trade has made a real difference in those farmer’s lives. And I’m drinking far better tasting coffee that cost more, created more GDP and improved two family’s lives. Huh. Win win. Who’d a thought.