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Sustainability and Economic Paradigms.

Written By: - Date published: 8:19 am, November 2nd, 2022 - 84 comments
Categories: uncategorized - Tags:

Our economic system and the FIRE economy,  based on finance and exponential expansion, cannot handle de-growth. The whole system depends on infinite and exponential growth. Too many people extracting more than they contribute.

The wholesale resistance to slight changes to the current paradigm, makes de-growth unlikely. Persuading everyone against their own immediate interests to accept such fundamental changes, is almost an impossibility. Especially as our Neo-Liberal economic settings mean the down sides will be born by those who can least afford it. Note the backlash from farming alone, even though it is a sector that is, in reality, better able to absorb transition costs than many others.

The wealthy and powerful will never give up enough, to support the “just transition” needed to get majority democratic support for change.

The folly of “infinite growth in a finite world” is obvious. But even minor steps, such as polluters bearing their true costs, towards the paradigm change needed to a more socially, economically, and environmentally sustainable civilisation are resolutely opposed by those with power. It doesn’t fill me with hope that more effective changes, such as the “Circular economy”, are possible in time.

Without a “Just transition” change is also unlikely to be democratically supported by the rest of us.

https://thestandard.org.nz/can-we-have-a-future-with-capitalism/

https://thestandard.org.nz/what-we-were-doing-wasnt-working/

https://waterqualitynz.info/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FIRE_economy

84 comments on “Sustainability and Economic Paradigms. ”

  1. weka 1

    The wholesale resistance to slight changes to the current paradigm, makes de-growth unlikely. Persuading everyone against their own immediate interests to accept such fundamental changes, is almost an impossibility.

    The trick is to demonstrate that it is one's immediate interests to change. Eventually we will all be at that point. Some of us have been at that point for a long time. Much of this is to do with the narratives we tell. There's a balance between making clear just how serious the shit is that we are in, and not leaving people with that alone because then they despair and give up and will just focus on their own immediate needs from a place of denial.

    But it's not the only story. We can also tell the stories of what change can be done, what empowers us, what gives us the better chance of going forward.

    I'm also not convinced that everyone is focused on their immediate needs. Many people care about what happens to their children and grandkids.

    Especially as our Neo-Liberal economic settings mean the down sides will be born by those who can least afford it. Note the backlash from farming alone, even though it is a sector that is, in reality, better able to absorb transition costs than many others.

    Farming isn't a monolith, and many farmers are stuck in the same stupid neolib system as the rest of us, only with terrible levels of debt.

    yes, just transtion. I don't know if the situation is that different from what it was before. The middle classes have the most power here, they have the leeway and resources to start the ball rolling and do so in a way that makes transition possible.

  2. Gosman 2

    There is a fundamental misunderstanding of the concept of economic growth that many people have. Economic growth is not consuming more resources. Indeed it can mean consuming less resources in many cases. To gain the same (or similar) benefits that someone gets from a modern smart phone would have required several times the resource usage thirty plus years ago for example.

    Also the idea that the World is running out of resources is a fallacy. What the World is running up against is the constraints of using available resources that are easily accessible at this time given the technological limitations we face. Most resources are not used. They merely change form to less useful resources. Even the fossil fuels that we burn for cheap energy are not really disappearing. Lot's of it are being changed in to CO2 which obviously causes problems. However it can also be converted back to fuel via various methods that are not yet economically viable.

    • weka 2.1

      just because some consumer goods are smaller than they were 30 years ago, doesn't mean that we're not using too many resources. Sustainability is in part the relationship between the population and the carrying capacity of the landscape that those people live in. In NZ with low population relative to land, we are using more resources than can be generated by the land. We don’t have to, we can transition to a sustainable system.

      There is easily available accounting of the problem in online footprint calculators. Maybe try one out.

      https://www.footprintcalculator.org

      • Gosman 2.1.1

        I suggest the calculation you have linked to is nonsense and is more a value judgement than reflective of objective reality. In fact looking at the calculation I don't seem to be able to progress further than the food question so it is quite amateurish.

        As for carrying capacity of the land, given we live in a system where there is global distribution the carrying capacity of NZ is irrelevant. Singapore on it's own can't support 5 million people but does a more than adequate job of doing that by engaging in trade

        • Jenny are we there yet 2.1.1.1

          As individuals, but even more importantly, collectively as a society, we need to stop chasing the quick buck.

          An export led-recovery, or the return of mass tourism. That ain't gonna save us. It's gonna make things worse.

          We need to pull the whole lot up root and branch. We need to scrap the profit driven agri-business export model that is heating our atmosphere and fouling our rivers, we need stop pandering to high end tourist market. With the little time left we need to prioritise protecting our world instead.

          The Christian Bible Mark 8:36 Jesus asks us;

          "What does it profit a man to gain the whole world if he loses his soul?"

          Today we must ask ourselves as a people and a nation;

          What does it profit us to gain the whole world if we lose our biosphere?

          • Gosman 2.1.1.1.1

            Thankfully for the wider Green movement your ideas aren't the ones that are being promoted because there would be little chance of any successes based on that thinking.

            • Drowsy M. Kram 2.1.1.1.1.1

              Thankfully for the wider Green movement your ideas aren't the ones that are being promoted because there would be little chance of any successes based on that thinking.

              Not seeing a significant increase in long-term "thinking" sad

              Why do civilizations collapse? [17 March 2016]

              "The Five Horsemen of the Apocalypse":
              1. Major, uncontrollable population movements.
              2. The rise of major new epidemic diseases.
              3. Collapse of states – state failure and increased warfare.
              4. Collapse of trade routes and massive famines.
              5. Climate changes.

              Continued (economic/population) growth, and associated containment of societal violence, has allowed this iteration of human civilisation (instantly connected; truly global) to continue its balancing act on a narrowing tightrope, as the five horsemen wait for TINA / BAU to play out on spaceship Earth.

              • Gosman

                Funnily enough the population increase now are in the areas of the World where incomes are the lowest.

                • Drowsy M. Kram

                  Funnily enough…

                  Yes, that is indeed hilarious laugh

                  The revised, extended version of the poem focuses more clearly on its true subject – the onset of acquisitive individualism and a society of conspicuous consumers. In the poem, purchased artefacts displace human agency and "trivial things" come to dominate. – Pope (1712)

                  Not to worry – if, 100 years from now, civilisation's 'situation' is 'The Road'-bad, life will still be more viable on spaceship Earth than off it.

                  The Washington Post said the film "is one long dirge, a keening lamentation marking the death of hope and the leeching of all that is bright and good from the world…

                  More 'dirge':

                  The missing risks of climate change [26 Oct 2022]
                  The interplay within and between different physical and social systems plays a crucial role in defining when and where impacts will manifest themselves, and these interactions are often only poorly understood. This leads to large and growing uncertainty estimates and a wide range of incompletely understood and underestimated risks. For example, the potential for climate change impacts to drive social discontent, dislocation and relocation, and instability and conflict, are all deeply uncertain, but potentially crippling.

                  Excluding these risks from economic assessments is equivalent to placing a probability of zero on their occurrence.

                  https://garryrogers.com/tag/limits-to-growth/
                  https://mahb.stanford.edu/blog/moving-away-progrowth/
                  The current economic system being utilized and internalized relies on perpetual growth. It has long operated counter to the reality that we are confined to a finite planet with finite resources. Yet, this system continues to be practiced and promoted globally. As the environmental and social repercussions of disbelief in limits become increasingly clear, so does our need for a new economic system —one that is not wedded to growth. Neither growth in the number of consumers nor growth in the amount consumed.” – Erika Gavenus

                  Climate change: UN warns key warming threshold slipping from sight
                  There is "no credible pathway" to keep the rise in global temperatures below the key threshold of 1.5C, according to a bleak new UN assessment.

                  There's just over a week until the next major climate conference, known as COP27, starts in Egypt.

                  Whether or not King Charles will make "a virtual contribution" is riveting.

              • Hunter Thompson II

                Agreed, the current system – if you can call it that – rests on a sort of mass delusion. Cracks are now appearing,

                What's not devoured by Time's devouring hand?
                Where's Troy, and where's the Maypole in the Strand?

                James Bramston
                Art of Politics (1729)

          • Jenny are we there yet 2.1.1.1.2

            "…..we need stop pandering to high end tourist market. With the little time left we need to prioritise protecting our world instead."

            Instead we prioritise chasing the big bucks and trash the biosphere in big and little ways, in every way that we possibly can. Right up to the point we destroy it.

            Often, as in this case, for frivolous reasons.

            Lyttelton's biggest cruise ship set to arrive, but what does it mean for the environment?

            Amber Allott 05:00, Nov 03 2022

            Local businesses celebrated last week when the Celebrity Eclipse and the Grand Princess docked at Lyttelton’s new $67 million berth on Thursday and Friday respectively….

            …..The Ovation of the Seas is scheduled to arrive at the port on Thursday, carrying about 4180 passengers.

            Lyttelton Port Company (LPC) says it will be the largest cruise ship to ever visit the port.

            ……until April 10, 2023, will see 85 cruise ships berth in Lyttelton Harbour, carrying about 170,000 passengers and 35,000 crew.

            Akaroa will host another 15 ships, carrying another 8000 passengers and 1000 crew.

            While the cruise season is expected to inject $262 million into the local economy, Crown research institute Niwa has previously raised concerns about the environmental risk to Lyttelton Harbour.

            https://www.stuff.co.nz/environment/130329110/lytteltons-biggest-cruise-ship-set-to-arrive-but-what-does-it-mean-for-the-environment

        • weka 2.1.1.2

          I suggest the calculation you have linked to is nonsense and is more a value judgement than reflective of objective reality. In fact looking at the calculation I don't seem to be able to progress further than the food question so it is quite amateurish.

          you can suggest whatever you like Gosman, but you basically just said "I don't like that".

          As for carrying capacity of the land, given we live in a system where there is global distribution the carrying capacity of NZ is irrelevant. Singapore on it's own can't support 5 million people but does a more than adequate job of doing that by engaging in trade

          yes, we live in a system that obscures the footprint because it pretends that if shuffle the cards around on the table enough they will magically increase. There's nothing sustainable about it so I don't know why you are using it as an example.

          Where does Singapore's food come from? A landbase. What is the carrying capacity of that landbase for its people? Does it produce so much that it can export to Singapore? Who is measuring that? Who is auditing the sustainability and regeneration?

          What happens when the soil depletes? Keep importing fertiliser. What happens when we hit the limits of the non-renewable phosphate sources?

          How is any of that going to work once we transition to post-FFs?

          The carrying capacity of the land matters, because everything we do arises out of the natural environment.

          • Gosman 2.1.1.2.1

            We either import fertiliser, make it here, or find an alternative that becomes available. Ultimately whatever is most beneficial to us at an economic level is what people will choose to do. That is what we have been doing for thousands of years. Singapore doesn’t care what the carrying capacity of a landbase needed to sustain it is. The people of Singapore live there because they can make a good living and get what they need easily.

            • Robert Guyton 2.1.1.2.1.1

              " That is what we have been doing for thousands of years."

              And look what we are facing now!

              Perhaps your model needs to be … jettisoned, and a better one embraced?

              • Gosman

                You detail the better model and show it working at a practical level and then we can talk about alternatives. Until then you might as well wish for a Communist utopia.

                • Robert Guyton

                  Your favoured model has driven us to the brink. I don't have to provide you with a better model, one you'd attack in any case, however, there obviously is one or many, because there have been humans successfully existing long before this present economic system was adopted.

                  • Gosman

                    Except the previous systems don't seem to have been any better at managing environmental degradation. For example the arrival of Maori in NZ led to massive loss of forest cover across the total land mass of the islands as well as the extinction of all the sub species of Moa and Haast eagle and the massive fall in numbers of seals in NZ waters. This from a society that numbered less than 200,000 at it's height and that had a technology level that was similar with neolithic cultures in history. Yet Maori culture is being promoted by some as a viable alternative to our current paradigm to better manage out environmental impact.

                    • Robert Guyton

                      You're choosing systems that fit your narrative. If, in fact all past societies have failed in their bid to exist without harming their habitat, we should now forge a system that DOES work! Certainly, the one we are clinging to (you are) presently, is not that model. We have the capacity (lots of bright minds) the infrastructure (internet/libraries etc.) and the necessity (see "climate change", "species extinction" etc.) for transformational change – let's do it, Gosman! There's a place for you in this new world 🙂

                    • weka

                      For example the arrival of Maori in NZ led to massive loss of…

                      So did the arrival of Pākehā. So why are you promoting Pākehā culture as a viable system for running human society?

                    • Gosman

                      Because Western culture enables the rapid adoption of new technology and the society can be efficiently transitioned to a new paradigm through the use of the market mechanism.

                    • tWiggle []

                      In fact, Maori were early adopters of all types of new technology, not just guns. The Waikato was very effectively farmed under communal Maori cultivation, using introduced horticultural and agricultural breeding stock. This, incidentally, led to British colonists eyeing up the Waikato for themselves. I saw a fantastic display of Maori language newspapers from the 1860s at Auckland public library once. At that stage, the exhibition said the Maori literacy rate was higher than for Europeans in New Zealand. Not too bad a pivot for 30 years or so.

                    • weka

                      ok, but the topic here is overshoot and how to prevent climate collapse. Nothing you have said here demonstrates that Western culture economics can function as a sustainable and regenerative system.

                      It would help if you would say where you stand on climate crisis, because we might all be wasting our time here.

                    • Gosman

                      I think it is vital that we price the externalities of various activities negatively impacting our environment and causing AGW and factor them in to our economic behaviour. I would like to see a more unified approach on this across the World to stop nations from riding the coattails of others and avoiding the hard lessons. The best way to do that is agreement on a budget on GHG emissions for the next 50 to 100 years and then allow markets to determine the best way of addressing that.

                    • weka

                      ok, that's a pretty hard core denial of the crisis.

                    • Gosman

                      " The Waikato was very effectively farmed under communal Maori cultivation, using introduced horticultural and agricultural breeding stock."

                      Not quite. Maori agriculture in the lower Waikato and south Auckland area went in to terminal decline from the mid 1850's mainly due to adverse market conditions. Maori lacked the resilience of western commercial faming systems to weather such a downturn.

                      But that is a topic for another discussion.

                    • Gosman

                      That is because we are not in a crisis. Not by a long way.

                    • Robert Guyton

                      "Because Western culture enables the rapid adoption of new technology and the society can be efficiently transitioned to a new paradigm through the use of the market mechanism."

                      True Believer!

                    • Tricledrown

                      Gosman your colonial white supremacy shows how ignorant you are .Maori survived near extinction so much so that one of the excuses used in WW1 that the Maori population was so low that the govt didn't want Maori to enlist as it would further reduce their numbers,But the govt didn't want Maori also learning warfare was the real reason.Maori have changed and moved on since colonization while you are trying to claim Maori don't care for the enviroment by painting Maori as primitive.Gosman free education didn't happen till the 1880's in Europe illiteracy was widespread only about 10% of Europeans could read and write fluently outside of religious text.NZ was one of the first countries to have good free public education.Your 1950's attitude shows your living in the past.

                    • Tricledrown

                      Gosman your claim that Maori agriculture was in decline by the 1850s is pure white supremacist lies.Maori farmers were supplying most of the food to the migrants as well as the Australian gold fields as well as Calfornia,Maori owned most of the coastal shipping during this time.Most Eurupean settlers in the early days came from urban enviroments and didn't know how to farm plus most of land they had settled on wasn't fertile.The decline of Maori agriculture happened a decade later than your spurious claim and that occurred because of confiscation of land by colonial settlers.which you willfully ignore to paint Maori in the worst possible light even though they were excellent at adopting modern technology as well as being good business people.

                    • Gosman

                      Tricledrown this is not the place to discuss that topic. I will reply to you in Open Mike.

            • weka 2.1.1.2.1.2

              We either import fertiliser, make it here, or find an alternative that becomes available.

              what fertiliser, how is it made, where does it come from? Do you understand that physical reality means that things like fertiliser have to come from actual physical things. That plants need certain conditions and inputs to grow. And animals.

              Ultimately whatever is most beneficial to us at an economic level is what people will choose to do.

              Including the climate collapse. Or do you think the IPCC are making shit up?

              That is what we have been doing for thousands of years. Singapore doesn’t care what the carrying capacity of a landbase needed to sustain it is. The people of Singapore live there because they can make a good living and get what they need easily.

              They will care when there's no food though. Or do you think that the scientists doing the work on climate impacts are making shit up?

              • Gosman

                There will always be resources available to make fertiliser. The question is whether they are in a form that makes them easily usable and commercially viable,

                • weka

                  There will always be resources available to make fertiliser.

                  The only way I know that statement to be true is if we're talking about regenag/hort tech.

                  If you mean we can always extract something, I'd like to know how that works from non-renewable sources.

                • Tricledrown

                  gosman we could harvest the bs coming from you and we could export the surplus

              • Gosman

                There is not going to be no food. There may well be massive food shortages but we have managed that before.

                • Drowsy M. Kram

                  There may well be massive food shortages but we have managed that before.

                  Gossie, you've done it again! If "managed" includes localised famines, then yes, it’s likely 'we' will 'manage', for a time.

                  Maybe spaceship Earth can continue to nourish 8+ billion human passengers, as civilisation pumps out greenhouse gases so we can continue to live in the manner to which we've become accustomed.

                  At least we won't run out of CO2 and CH4.

                  "All I want is what everybody wants – preferential treatment!" – Homer S.

                • weka

                  yes, we manage that by letting lots of people die. Is that what you are suggesting?

                  • Gosman

                    Not at all. Our current system has been the best at moth managing massive increases in population AND ensuring that when shocks happen people don't starve. It is the centralised State controlled systems that have ended up failing people in this regard. Look at the numbers who died in China after the Communist takeover in that nation.

                    • weka

                      Not at all. Our current system has been the best at moth managing massive increases in population AND ensuring that when shocks happen people don't starve.

                      Best is meaningless when the standard is low across the board. The issue here isn't who is 'best', it's what systems are sustainable, resilient, and regenerative. If you don't have those three things then the situation will get worse until collapse.

                      For instance, capitalism and the global economy don't have any current strategy for food shortages. What you appear to be saying is that we should retain BAU despite that, let x number of people die, because the alternatives are worse. But you won't look at the alternatives.

                    • Gosman

                      Of course capitalism has a current strategy for food shortages. It is called the market mechanism and rapid mobilisation of capital investment.

      • Jenny are we there yet 2.1.2

        I don't believe that lifestyle changes or my carefully monitoring of my personal carbon footprint on the individual level will cut it.

        The glittering consumerist techno world, the industrial agriculture and urban manufacturing and mass production that keep our shop shelves groaning under the weight of food and consumer goods, kept going by the multibillion advertising industry propaganda to get us buy more, to fly more, to dispose of more, to dump more, to waste more, to pollute more, and most importantly of all consume as much as we possibly can.

        Why do I say this?

        One of the most visible lifestyle changes in our consumerist society are the appearance on our roads of shiny new EVs (electric vehicles), one of the most common problems mentioned about EVs, is that power from the grid that charges EVs is often generated from fossil fuels. The obvious answer to this objection – get rid of all fossil the fueled fired power stations. Generate grid power only through sustainable means. But even when the energy that keeps EVs running generated sustainably, EVs are not the answer to addressing climate change, (for one thing EVs create problems for the environment in their construction and manufacture.)

        The problem is much bigger than what sort of car I drive, or what how big my personal carbon footprint is.

        In New Zealand methane emitted by herbivores, cows and sheep from industrial agriculture are this country's biggest source of dangerous greenhouse gas emissions. Solutions to this problem are limited to reducing the national dairy herd to more sustainable levels. Banning all new dairy conversions and returning dairy farms to crop lands. (Some crops like oats can be processed to make dairy replacements, with little emissions compared to dairy milk from cows and sheep.)

        Talking seriously about climate change. Is not about our personal carbon footprint, It's about redesigning our civilisation from the ground up, from agriculture to industry to transport.

        To effectively address the threat of climate change a complete and total redesign of how our society works is required.

        'Change on this scale is not practical'

        Change on this scale may not be practical, but it is also not negotiable. We do it or we die.

        'It will wreck the economy'

        Yes, it probably will wreck the economy, But, the human made economy will recover, it always does. The natural world once wrecked won't recover. Germany and Japan had their economies completely destroyed by WWII but you wouldn't know it today. The natural world is different if we destroy it, it stays destroyed. Even if we don't totally wreck the natural world, the natural world that survives our climate destruction and plastic contamination and air pollution and species destruction and deforestation, will be forever changed for the worse, impoverished, less vibrant, less life sustaining, more life threatening. If we don't change our ways the lives we will leave our grandchildren to live will be ugly brutish and short.

        • Gosman 2.1.2.1

          Try and sell a set of policies in a democratic system with the argument "Yes, it probably will wreck the economy, But, the human made economy will recover, it always does. " and see where you get. I guarantee you won't win power.

          • Robert Guyton 2.1.2.1.1

            Yes, it will significantly re-jig the economy as it presents now, but, yes, we will form a more suitable economy, coz we're smart.

            • Gosman 2.1.2.1.1.1

              It still will be too much of a hard sell. I'll enjoy countering the position.

              • KJT

                It is not "a game" Gosman.

                • Gosman

                  It will become one if you persist in trying to use the challenges of dealing with AGW to promote a socialist political agenda.

                  • JeremyB

                    "I would like to see a more unified approach on this across the World"

                    "It will become one if you persist in trying to use the challenges of dealing with AGW to promote a socialist political agenda."

                    Make up your mind.

                    • Gosman

                      Working together for a common good is not restricted to Socialism. The concept of free trade agreements and the joint stock company are all capitalist concepts where people voluntary either agree to follow a set of rules benefiting the wider community or pool resources to gain greater benefits.

                    • KJT

                      where people voluntary either agree to follow a set of rules benefiting the wider community or pool resources to gain greater benefits.

                      Socialism!

                    • Gosman

                      Not socialism. Voluntary collectivism based on the liberty of the individual. The foundation for all successful capitalist societies.

                  • KJT

                    I'm looking for workable solutions during an incoming disaster.

                    You. Are just refusing to grow up and face reality!

                  • Tricledrown

                    gosman greed is good that is capitalism ,exploiting everything and everyone so a few can hoard vast sums of money and resources.Economic fascism where the very wealthy dictate to the rest using useful idiots like Gosman to pump out propaganda.

              • Jenny are we there yet

                "It still will be too much of a hard sell. I'll enjoy countering the position." Gosman

                The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way. 14
                But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult…
                Matthew 7:14

                Take it easy Gosman, lie back, enjoy your comfortable countering position on the highway to hell. Ride on until you ride right over the cliff of biosphere collapse.

          • Jenny are we there yet 2.1.2.1.2

            "Try and sell a set of policies in a democratic system with the argument "Yes, it probably will wreck the economy, But, the human made economy will recover, it always does. " and see where you get…." Gosman

            Unlike the liberal centrists who just glide past these harsh political realities, you make some good points, Gosman.

            Good for you.

            Britain had a democratic system.

            When faced with the existential threat of fascism, Churchill promised the British people, blood sweat toil and tears. And then delivered on it.

            Despite this ominous promise, and the terrible cost to the British people in its delivery, Churchill is remembered as, 'The Greatest Britian of all time'.

            As the book and the movie "The Darkest Hour" showed, Churchill could have made peace with the Nazi empire if he chose to. Instead Churchill bypassed his own tory party, who were for talking terms with the Nazis, and made a coalition with the Labour opposition to fight the war.

            Churchill put his faith in the British people and gave them the unvarnished truth. Churchill's faith in the people was not misplaced. they rose to the occasion.

            The rest as they say, is history.

            Climate change in my opinion is a more real threat to humanity now, than fascism was then.

            We need leaders who will tell it like it is,

            That without victory there is no survival

            “You ask, What is our policy? I will say; ‘It is to wage war, by sea, land and air, with all our might and with all the strength that God can give us: to wage war against a monstrous tyranny, never surpassed in the dark lamentable catalogue of human crime. That is our policy.’ You ask, What is our aim? I can answer with one word: Victory—victory at all costs, victory in spite of all terror, victory however long and hard the road may be; for without victory there is no survival.”

            Given in the House of Commons May 13, 1940

            https://www.thoughtco.com/blood-toil-tears-and-sweat-winston-churchill-1779309

    • KJT 2.2

      Reality, Gosman, doesn't support your view.

      Any attempts to decouple economic growth and resource use growth, so far have been failures. There is no reason to believe that such attempts will be any more successful in future.

      An example is cars. A reduction in petrol per energy output in petrol cars, has been offset by car companies using those advances in energy efficiency to sell larger cars. Net energy use per vehicle has actually increased. The drive for economic growth/profit. We could have had degrowth. The imparative to make ever greater profits caused the opposite.

      • Gosman 2.2.1

        Except there are far more smaller cars available today than there were in the 1960's. Cars back then were big AND heavier.

        Name me the smaller cars from the 50’s and 60’s than the ones we have now and name me the bigger cars that we have now compared to back then

        • JeremyB 2.2.1.1

          Smaller: Bambina, Mini, all Kei cars

          Larger: all 4-door utes, all SUV's

        • Tricledrown 2.2.1.4

          morris minor was one of the most popular cars, people used public transport much more buses trains were full not many people could afford cars they didn't travel long distances or commute in cars.its hard to find a car park in most suburbs these days every household has multiple cars, you were lucky to see any cars parked on the streets prior to the 1970's

          • Belladonna 2.2.1.4.1

            I learned to drive in a Morrie!

            Just reflecting on my choices of cars over the years. Up until I had kids – I'd always chosen tiny cars – reflecting my inner-city commuting patterns – and desire for easy parking (the joy of squeezing into a tiny parking space!).

            But, once I had kids – that was simply no longer practical (need a boot large enough for a pram/stroller; and reasonably high off the ground so I wouldn't wreck my back wrestling a toddler in and out of a carseat; as well as being obsessive about safety ratings).

            Now, with older kids, you need enough space for shlepping around all of their gear (sports, music, theatre, etc.) as well as adult-size teens and their friends.

            Given that PT is quite simply not reliable or available for all travel – you still need to have a car sized to meet the maximum level of daily needs.

            I'd like to see an alternative to this – but I don't.

    • pat 2.3

      There is a fundamental misunderstanding of production (on your part)….stop and think about everything you use in your life and then consider whether you could supply that through your own efforts….a typical western consumption is personally impossible….you (and we) rely upon 1) energy and 2) third world labour.

      The energy is declining

    • adam 2.4

      You know gossy your take on economics is utter bullshit, when your lot pull this crap over and over.

      https://www.icij.org/investigations/panama-papers/

      p.s oh look, Venezuela is doing fine – how many times have you predicted it was going to fall over.

  3. Ad 3

    The new flooding+managed retreat report out today was instructive.

    Insurers are helping focus.

    National can't stop the tide rising.

    • Robert Guyton 3.1

      "National can't stop the tide rising."

      But they can (and will) declare that they can, in order to harvest votes.

  4. arkie 4

    A quick video outlining the insufficiency of the carbon capture tech ‘solution’:

  5. pat 5

    'Too many people extracting more than they contribute."

    i.e.the global north (of which we are a part)….with energy decline this is going to become increasingly evident…accentuated by the ongoing repair of climate damage….ultimately all production requires labour (enhanced by energy)…reduced energy means increased labour…are we ready?…no.

    We will be a less well supported world going forward and all indications are rather than dispensing with the desired so as to enable the necessary we will waste resources outbidding each other, monetarily and physically.

    A truly dystopian future.

  6. gsays 6

    Thanks for the read KJT.

    I came across my father-in-law's invoice book from 1975.

    He grew, (amongst other things) potatoes. There is an invoice for 2 sugar sacks of potatoes to The Little Kiwi, in Feilding. $3.50.

    Contrast that with the rigmarole, diesel miles, packaging, handling (inefficiences) that make up your chips nowadays.

    The solution is local. Sharing is a part of the solution too.

    • Gosman 6.1

      The solution is only local if it makes sense from an economic perspective to do so.

      • roblogic 6.1.1

        and if transport and agriculture are priced accurately

        and if the supermarket cartels are hamstrung

        and if we can get away from the tyranny of big oil

        and the biggest "if":

        political and economic elites giving up a smidgeon of power for the greater good

      • Tricledrown 6.1.2

        The oil industry gets more subsidies than any other industry $700 million a year in NZ.Trillions around the world!Monopolies and cartels don't make economic sense but stifle any competition from local small scale producers and retailers.The big fish eat the small fish .ie when micro breweries get bigger and get more share the 2 dominant players buy them out in NZ.When the Warehouse first started selling groceries Both Wooworths and foodstuffs each bought a 10% stake in the Warehouse effectivly ruining your pathetic economic argument.Adam Smith competition must be maintained for the so called free market to work. I have never seen Gosman defending the free market .Gosman is always defending the monopolists.

        • KJT 6.1.2.1

          Gosman usually ends up advocating Democratic Socialist solutions

          "Voluntary collective response".

          Even though he doesn't seem to comprehend, with his mistaken conflation of Socialism with Authoritarian regimes, that his offered solutions are Socialist!

        • Jenny are we there yet 6.1.2.2

          Tricledrown

          4 November 2022 at 1:55 amThe oil industry gets more subsidies than any other industry $700 million a year in NZ.Trillions around the world!Monopolies and cartels don't make economic sense…..

          It just doesn't make any sense. Labour Party leaders, who are still under the delusion of non-sensical neoliberal trickle down economic theory to eventually make things better, have been urged by the Green Party to ditch that illusion and impose a windfall tax on our banks which have made record profits off the suffering of the population enduring economic hardship over the pandemic and post-pandemic period.

          Greens: proposal to tax excess corporate profits

          In the US a windfall tax has been suggested for the fossil fuel industry that has also been making record profits over the same period.

          President Biden Must Pass a Windfall Tax

          The President's best course of action is to keep the pressure up on Big Oil by going all in on a windfall profits tax.

          CASSIDY DIPAOLA

          November 5, 2022

          ….According to reports, the policy the White House is considering is a Big Oil Windfall Profits Tax, which could tax the industry's windfall profits and use the revenue to send relief directly to the American public.

          …. As third quarter earnings reports are announced, Big Oil companies are breaking records with their latest haul—reportedly raking in over $50 billion dollars in just the last 90 days. That brings their total to just over $303 billion, and the year isn't even over yet…

          https://www.commondreams.org/views/2022/11/05/president-biden-must-pass-windfall-tax?

          Only time will tell us if the Biden administration is more Left than the Ardern administration, or whether US Democratic Party are just as welded to neoliberal lunacy, as the NZ Labour Party is.

  7. everybody knows the shit is abou

    t to hit the fan but again everybody feels helpless as individuals to do anything about it. It is just going to roll on till it stops all by itself

    • Jenny are we there yet 7.1

      '

      "…..everybody feels helpless as individuals to do anything about it" RP Mcmurphy

      While as individuals we are helpless to do anything about it. Our policy makers, who do have the power to do something about it, won't.

      The question is why?

      Are they not convinced of the science?

      Have they been bought off with corporate funding?

      Are they too cowardly to stand up to the corporate polluters?

  8. Greta is correct: capitalism and its extractive short sighted profit motive must be smashed as it is inherently opposed to the necessary transition to a low carbon future.

  9. I'm alright jack. I gotta hardly davison, a jetski, a leaf blower, a chainsaw, a fishing boat, an angle grinder and I been ta makoopeekoo and mongolia!

  10. Maurice 10

    The interesting dichotomy is that we are having to use the fruits of a dying system to try and rebuild a new system … without prematurely collapsing the existing system.

    Saying nasty things about the proponents of each system are simply inevitable – to try and force the pace of change – but are not helpful.

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