Friday, April 29, 2016

Moving Towards a Regenerative Economy

The world as a whole must move beyond our current economic structure to avoid a catastrophic environmental, economic and social collapse.  Our structure of capitalism and socialism needs to be replaced by the principles of a regenerative economy.  Regenerative economics is based on a concept of "holism" meaning that everything is organized into systems that are interlinked and function together; when these pieces function together they form a larger pattern.  This form of holism is something that we have observed in everything.  The universe is organized into systems.  These systems are so incredibly broad they can be applied to the sacred geometries of the ancient Greeks to the study of ecosystems and social media today.  The way that regenerative economics differs from the current approach to sustainability is that instead of using the reductionist logic to solve the problems, it aims directly at building healthy human networks, by using these universal principles and patterns.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Changing our values

The regenerative economic system places the health and maintenance of the earth in front of profits. In order words, it changes our values. These priorities force companies to consider the impact their practices have on the environment. While working to regenerate capital assets, this economic system could offer benefits that extend to areas like social health and awareness. Under pure capitalism, children are taught to value things like wealth, success, and fame. For the rest of their lives, cost-benefit analyses are made in respect to those values, usually at the expense of something or someone. The cost is money, and the benefit is money. This profit driven mindset is demonstrably damaging to the environment and society. For example, hydraulic fracturing causes ground water contamination, methane emissions, and air pollution.

              The solution is a change in societal values. Once environmental sustainability is valued higher than profits, a radical shift should occur. People would still make cost-benefit analyses, but now, the cost is the environment, and the benefit is the environment. This kind of thinking will spark new industries to emerge, providing more employment opportunities and expansions. Income inequality could also be reduced, as rich corporate executives would lose profits, while the working class would benefit from the opportunities of a new industry. When greed isn’t the main driving force for the economy, many of the human rights and environmental violations by companies will be eradicated, hopefully opening the door for a more cooperative, and inclusive system of economics that will sustain our world to the end. 

Saturday, April 23, 2016

The True Value of Our Earth

Understanding Regenerative Economics
Understanding the true value of our planet!

Regenerative economics is all about understanding the substantial amount of capital that our Earth contains. If not used properly, as many practices that we currently employ.

Ecological Limits to Human Activity

“reconciling our aspirations for the good life with the constraints of a finite planet.” 
-Tim Jackson

As a society we must learn how to operate within our planets means, this of course leads to the need for individuals to take a step back and consider what natural resources they consume everyday that are becoming more and more limited on our planet, as well as being some of the catalysts to the deterioration of our planet. This leads me directly to another area for consideration: Resources that we continue to use as commodities that have lead to resource scarcity and lasting impacts on our planet, the most obvious of which is Climate change.

1.     Oil
2.     “Strategic Minerals”
-Which includes, (copper, tin, silver, chromium, zinc and many others)


Jackson, Tim. Prosperity Without Growth: Economics for a Finite Planet. London: Earthscan, 2009. Print.

The Realities of a Carbon Tax

As we become more educated and focused on sustainability in economic practices, we tend to seek out one or two simple solutions that would be able to preside over what are very complex problems.  If we are to reach a point of peak regenerative economics, industrial entities must act in ways that not only preserve their resources, but also actively repopulate them.  The primary resource being the Earth itself, whether or not companies directly rely on it for their products.  A large problem currently facing the majority of the industrialized world is that of pollution resulting from the industrial process.  One solution that has been proposed is a carbon tax that would command that companies are taxed relative to their pollution rates.  The idea being that this tax would force companies to sharpen their policies on pollution and reduce it in an effort to benefit them economically.  Simply, apply a new standard to the market and the market will control itself.

In theory a carbon tax is a great idea and one that could certainly make at the very least a respectable impact on the problem of pollution in economic practices.  However, it is important to take into account all aspects of a carbon tax and how these aspects transfer to reality in order to reach the determination that it is not a catch-all solution. 

First: Those most entrenched in working towards desired levels of sustainability often thoroughly endorse government control and regulation.  A carbon tax may seem like the perfect marriage between conservative and liberal ideologies (appealing to the left by reducing pollution and to the right by limiting government interference in the market), but in reality a simple carbon tax would likely not be effective enough to move the needle substantially in the direction of desired levels of sustainability.  The belief that the market will be able to sort out pollution problems through different structure tweaks by itself grows less and less likely by the day.

Second: Say we apply a carbon tax to the market and it makes a significant impact in the field of reducing carbon pollution. Great. Now what about the litany of other pollution problems that face the industrialized world?  There are numerous sectors of the market that deal with their own specific pollution problems and require their own specific pollution solutions.  “Believing a single tool will accomplish everything requires seeing the economy as a frictionless machine, a spreadsheet, not what it is: a path-dependent accretion of past decisions and sunk costs, to be tweaked and unwound (Putting a price on carbon is a fine idea. It’s not the end-all be-all).”

Third: Let’s return to the previous scenario wherein we apply a carbon tax and it makes a positive impact.  Is this a victory for proponents of sustainability?  Yes.  But instead of it being the single victory we’ve been waiting for to wash away all of our pollution problems, it’s more like a tiny grain of sand on a vast shoreline.  Think of it this way; we need to win enough games to make the playoffs.  Then we need to win the series of rounds one and two.  Then we need to win our conference championship.  Then we need to win the World Series.  If a carbon tax is effective it’s akin to us hitting a double in the first game of the season.  This is the gap between the improvements a carbon tax could make and the improvements that we have to make.  The goal is to reduce carbon emissions to as close to zero as we can, as fast as we can.  We must transition to a new foundation of industry that constantly works towards the interests of the market and sustainability within it.  Condensing that idea into a single sentence and typing it was work, now think about actually implementing everything that goes with the idea it presents.

A carbon tax is certainly a positive idea and possibly one that can make some modicum of change.  The takeaway here is that it will take many, many positive ideas enacted to make the change necessary in a way that benefits all parties involved.  Be enthusiastic about the cause, but refrain from pouring your entire belief system into one idea that presents itself as a solution to one-hundred problems.

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