Print

Print


What is unbelieveable is that we are 
informed that the end of our 
wonderful depression (i'm not 
prepared to participate in the word 
game by using recession) will be 
over when we are back on the track 
of 5% annual growth.  They say this 
with a straight face.  I have 
reduced my critique of capitalism 
with those who are math challenged 
to show them that the product of 
1.05 by itselff over some number of 
years yields a large number. The 
popular masses are not abstract 
thinkers; but in the end they are 
the ones who must grasp the 
consequences of unlimited growth.  
Consequently i simply invite them to 
determine themselves that 5% growth 
means that over the next 100 years 
there will be 131 times what we 
presently have, that we'll have to 
spend 131 times what we spend today, 
that there will be 131 times the 
waste that we produce today, etc.  I 
believe that the head in the sand 
response of your New Zealand 
intelligentsia is disingenuous.  
They are not the ones who are going 
to suffer.  It is the children of 
everyone; their existence will 
become untenable.  I encourage 
everyone of us clever science types 
to shift our attention from 
exclusive communities of 
intelligentsia to the popular masses 
by presenting not just scenarios of 
what the planet will be like but 
show them that just as a 5% mortgage 
compounded monthly means that they 
pay 4.5 times the initial principle 
for their home over thirty years so 
also does 5% growth mean that 
everything from paper to automobiles 
to human shit will be 4.5 times what 
it is now after thirty years; and 
that's not good!

We have got to stop just talking 
among ourselves in our wonderfully 
abstract language and communicate 
directly, using concrete, 
understandable examples, with those 
who are being hornswoggled into 
their own destruction.

The destruction of our planet by the 
necessity, built into our economic 
system, of unlimited growth must 
become the substance of popular 
discourse.  This does not require 
much science, just common sense and 
a little arithmetic.

Robby, the Club of Rome, although to 
be credited with making public this 
central problem has never and cannot 
show that the wonderful reductions 
in consumption that you recommend 
are contradictory to the laws of 
capitalism.  The capitalists 
themselves in their overwhelming 
majority know that there can be no 
capitalism without a continual 
positive growth rate.  That is why 
your establishment organizations 
will not give voice to you and your 
friend.  I anticipate that over time 
the absolute contradiction between 
quality of life and the necessity of 
a never ending positive growth rate 
will bring people to recognize that 
capitalism has to go.  Hopefully by 
then they will also have developed a 
common vision of a viable, 
acceptable alternative.
herb

On 8/16/2011 8:20 PM, Robert Mann 
wrote:
>
> This author I've known since he 
> invited me as an inaugural member 
> of the (short-lived) NZ branch of 
> the Club of Rome.  He is our 
> country's senior practitioner & 
> critic of world modelling.  In the 
> broad tradition of Goldsmith's 
> '5000 Days' & other dire warnings, 
> a coherent perspective based on 
> science is developed.  The results 
> are dismissed mockingly by 
> growthmaniacs as 'doom, gloom'; 
> yet they are well founded and 
> never refuted.  Far worse doom 
> will result if such warnings are 
> not heeded.
> A broad theme in rational 
> responses will be to decrease 
> consumption several-fold in the 
> overdeveloped world, to allow 
> basics of life & health to the 
> billions in the undeveloped 
> world.  Even if climate 
> degradation had not been thought 
> of, such decreases of bloat are 
> justified and had better be 
> planned, rather than left to 
> market forces.
>
> He remarks:-
>
> This is science, holistic science 
> that combines information from 
> many sources, from many 
> disciplines.  In the booklet I 
> mention some of the science and 
> describe how such 
> interdisciplinary work once 
> started in the DSIR, and how it is 
> blocked today.  My recent 
> experience has been the refusal of 
> the Royal Society of New Zealand 
> (both the national office and the 
> Wellington branch) and the New 
> Zealand Association of Scientists 
> for a debate on the limits to 
> growth, and a paper on the current 
> lack of science in New Zealand and 
> the need for an independent 
> interdisciplinary study has been 
> turned down by the Journal of the 
> Royal Society of New Zealand and 
> the New Zealand Journal of 
> Science, with no feedback or 
> discussion in either case.
> There is such a belief in growth 
> (as preached by Paul Callaghan) 
> that a scientific analysis 
> pointing to the limits to growth 
> is rejected.