Friday, February 3, 2023

Utopia or Bust — Brad DeLong

What's next. Brad DeLong makes some observations and poses some questions. He suggests that the answers the future will provide are dialectical, that is, an attempt to deal with the various facets these questions suggest. The outcomes, yet to be determined, will be the results of political struggles.

It is a usual piece to provoke thinking but it is too short and summary to include all the relevant factors. After all, the world system is a complex adaptive system with many gears and these issues are, as hie points out, age-old. They now appear in a new form.

Where I think he is right is in saying to forget the utopian thinking. We are back to the old slog, arguing over production-distribution-consumption based on self-interest. What is needed to break out of this endless cycle is a rise in collective consciousness at the individual level sufficient to raise the quality of the culture and various institutions, here especially those that sit on the commanding heights of the world economy.

This is what the US-led "rules-based order" for organizing the world system is advertised as providing, but under it the increase of inequality of income and wealth has gone exponential. De-globalization in response is not unexpected.
Project Syndicate
Utopia or Bust
Brad DeLong | Professor of Economics, UCAL Berkeley


Peter Pan said...

Ecological overshoot is simple. Say goodbye to high energy consumption lifestyles. Say good riddance to the comforts of modern civilization. Dispose of your dead.

This is what the US-led "rules-based order" for organizing the world system is advertised as providing, but under it the increase of inequality of income and wealth has gone exponential. De-globalization in response is not unexpected.

China is where it is because of that order. They will not abandon globalism or mercantilism voluntarily. It's the basis for their geopolitical power.

Peter Pan said...

Bargaining to Maintain Civilization

. Ecological overshoot is caused by technology use, which means that it is being caused by our behavior. In order to reduce emissions, there is no other choice than to reduce technology use. This requires changing our behaviors. Most emissions historically have been produced by Western Society, so Western Society must change the most in how we behave. This is not optional. If we don't change our behavior, nature will solve the predicament for us by removing habitat that we require in order to continue surviving.

Peter Pan said...

Simon Michaux: "The Arcadians" | The Great Simplification #49 - Nate Hagens

Show Summary:
On this episode, mining and geology expert Simon Michaux returns to give a preliminary framework for responses to the coming energy and material constraints described in the previous episode. This includes both practical thoughts for how to organize communities around resources and also a shift in mindset from short term to long-term and from competition to cooperation. How do we simultaneously lay out all of the biophysical constraints on the table so that we can begin preparing for and adapting to a changing future?

About Simon Michaux:
Dr. Simon Michaux is an Associate Professor of Geometallurgy at the Geological Survey of Finland. He has a PhD in mining engineering. Dr. Michaux’s long-term work is on societal transformation toward a circular economy.

Peter Pan said...

William E. Rees: "The Fundamental Issue - Overshoot" | The Great Simplification #53

On this episode, Nate is joined by systems ecologist William E. Rees. Professor Rees outlines why most of the challenges facing humanity and the biosphere have a common origin - ecological overshoot. Bill also unpacks “the ecological footprint” - a concept that he co-created, that measures the actual resources used by a given population. Bill also describes his experience as a leading thinker in public policy and planning based on ecological conditions for sustainable socioeconomic development, and the challenges he’s faced working in a system which (so far) rejects such premises. Is it possible for a different way of measuring the system to set different goals of what it means to be successful as a society?

About Bill Rees:

William Rees is a population ecologist, ecological economist, Professor Emeritus and former Director of the University of British Columbia’s School of Community and Regional Planning in Vancouver, Canada. He researches the implications of global ecological trends for the longevity of civilization, with special foci on urban (un)sustainability and cultural/cognitive barriers to rational public policy. Prof Rees is best known as the originator and co-developer with Dr Mathis Wackernagel of ‘ecological footprint analysis’ (EFA), a quantitative tool that estimates human demands on ecosystems and the extent to which humanity is in ‘ecological overshoot.’ Dr Rees is a founding member and former President of the Canadian Society for Ecological Economics; a founding Director of the OneEarth Living Initiative; a Fellow of the Post-Carbon Institute and an Associate Fellow of the Great Transition Initiative.

What Brad DeLong and a majority around the world refuse to acknowledge.

Peter Pan said...

The Simple Story of Civilization with Tom Murphy | Frankly #22

This week, Nate invites colleague Tom Murphy, professor of physics at the University of California, San Diego and writer of ‘Do the Math’, to unpack his recent essay The Simple Story of Civilization. Tom condenses the vast timescale of human life on Earth to an average human lifespan to give us a sense of the anomalous period we’re living through. What is civilization and how quickly did it come about? Can technology redirect civilization from its current perilous course? Is optimism näive or is it necessary in order to make the hard decisions within us? A 30 minute overview with Nate and Professor Tom Murphy.