"System change is now inevitable. Either because we do something about it, or because we will be hit by climate change. '...

"We need to develop economic models that are fit for purpose. The current economic frameworks, the ones that dominate our governments, these frameworks... the current economic frameworks, the neoclassical, the market frameworks, can deal with small changes. It can tell you the difference, if a sock company puts up the price of socks, what the demand for socks will be. It cannot tell you about the sorts of system level changes we are talking about here. We would not use an understanding of laminar flow in fluid dynamics to understand turbulent flow. So why is it we are using marginal economics, small incremental change economics, to understand system level changes?"

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Stating the Obvious

For those having a hard time with the obvious, here is a quick and excellent summary.

7 comments:

Andy S said...

Along similar lines:
First as Tragedy, Then as Farce

Dan Olner said...

I'm sure this has been up here before, but here's a good companion video from the University of Minnesota's Environment Institute. It does the one-two punch of terror and hope very well.

Nescobar said...

Mike at WtD has a great new initiative:

http://watchingthedeniers.wordpress.com/2011/02/11/generation-adaptation-the-new-collaborative-blog-wants-you/#comment-3297

Michael Tobis said...

Andy, that one was anything but obvious. I am not sure what the fellow's prescription is, though I'd like to know. I agree that poverty has to be made systemically impossible.

That we are focused on "growth" for the ultra wealthy sectors under the circumstances where poverty still exists is quite bizarre.

Andy S said...

I agree it certainly wasn't obvious. By "along similar lines" I suppose I meant that both videos argued that we need to radically rethink our attitudes to overconsumption, ethics and inequality. Sometimes, feel-good gestures such as "fair trade", "organic" or "carbon offsets" can be ultimately be counter-productive because they are cosmetic and distracting, allowing us to feel better while providing an excuse to avoid doing something actually sufficient to deal the underlying problem. It's a kind of denial.

Besides, I have always had a liking for philosophers who challenge our assumptions, even if they lead us to unsatisfying, or even absurd, conclusions. I'm thinking of Peter Singer, Paul Feyerabend, Noam Chomsky.

More Zizek here: Are we living in the end times? Climate change gets a mention halfway through.

John said...

The video first points out the "victory" of the "free market" over the "planned economy."

It later says the future will be bleak unless we plan well for the unavoidable post-fossil-fuel world.

Agreed to both. The four items that are presented as necessary for the needed transition do not compute until other critical issues are dealt with.

So, to avoid the bleak scenario, the FIRST thing to do is to strangle the well-PLANNED corporate disinformation machine that continuously tells us WE can't plan.

The second thing is not to assume that we must plan for a population of "only" 7 billion. The third thing is to halt the world's population growth.

Only then can the other items mentioned can be effectively addressed.

I'm not terribly optimistic about the achievement of a non-bleak transition.

John Puma

Neven said...

I've made a torrent for Anna Haynes' Global Warming Poster (there's a small jpg file and a big psd file in it).

That torrent listing site - One Big Torrent - is quite good by the way. It's run by some Chomsky fans. Lots of good documentaries, audio files and e-books.