In order to change our impact on the environment, we have to change what we do. Changing what we do is Economics.
What is an Economy?
A system of trade based on human needs and desires.
In the early days of agriculture, farmers traded eggs for bread, and other tradesmen traded their services to farmers for food. As societies became more complex, monetary systems were devised, where money was used as an intermediary and a monetary value was assigned to goods and services based on their relative value (or the cost of production). For example, a dollar might buy a dozen eggs, a dozen apples, or a tube of caulk. Capitalism was really born with “supply and demand economics,”where the value of goods and services fluctuates based on the need for different goods and services.
Runaway “Free Enterprise Capitalism”is what we currently have in the USA. At this stage, people with a lot of money (capital) can control markets, supply, and market values. There are many ways they can do this; some legal and some not legal at all. Much of this economy is no longer based on the basic needs (food, water, shelter), but rather on how much the markets will bear and how gullible the populace is. Essentially, everyone tries to make as much money as possible till consumers can no longer afford to pay the going rates. This leads ultimately to a point where a very small percentage of the population controls nearly all the wealth and the system will begin to collapse.
To avoid a system collapse, businesses can reduce market values to the levels where workers and consumers can still survive and support those businesses. However; we are now at a time where the "biological pressure" caused by human population levels and the associated ecological destruction makes this Free Enterprise system not only obsolete, but a death sentence for the human race.
I wish I were just being dramatic.
Unfortunately, I am not.
The truth is that our present course will cause the complete extinction of Homo sapiens far sooner than we had ever considered possible. This will be the result of "Total Ecological Collapse" when the foundations of photosynthesis are reduced below critical levels.
The fortunate part is that if we begin the shift from free enterprise capitalism now to sustainable, real-valued capitalism we can avoid this disaster.
If you already have an understanding of this situation, or if your mind is open, you will be able to shift over to another economic system. If not, I implore you to take a moment to assess your own thoughts. If you come to conclusions instantly, then your thoughts are most likely not your own, but those of the many groups you are aligned with, and that limits your ability to think for yourself.
We are all subject to “tribal” mentalities: our parents, friends, ethnic groups, religions, teams, the media, ‘science’, political parties, conservatives, liberals, etc… At times we allow the ‘opinions’ of these groups to make decisions for us. They are like voices in our heads that speak for us when we are too lazy or afraid to contemplate a ‘new’idea.
Even the most enlightened person must still pause to make certain their thoughts and opinions are truly their own.
I recommend that everyone practice pausing at times to check with the center of their own intelligence.
The New Scaffold:
We cannot simply tear down the existing economic structure (regardless of how destructive it is).
We have to create a new economic model and then, carefully, transition to the new economy.
If we model an economic system as a scaffold where the jobs that people do comprise the structure of the different levels, then we can create a model for a new scaffold, bring the two scaffolds together and have the work force just walk over to the new structure.
It can be that simple.
First, we have to agree as a nation that this is what we choose to do.
Then we just need to be smart and patient. Logic is all we really need in a real-valued economy.
The new structure is based on maintaining a quality water supply and pursuing true sustainability.
Using the money from the old system, we create tax credits and government subsidies that help pay for the conversion of all homes and useful businesses to energy and water conservation. (any improvements here will be rewarded at least twice ( reduced consumption means reduced utility bills )
All new homes will be designed and built with the best resource conservation methods for that region of the country.
Virtually everyone in the alternative energy industry will be employed verbatim. And there will be a surplus of jobs (scaffold space) to absorb engineers, draftsmen, architects, tradesmen: especially plumbers, carpenters and electricians. Also laborers, inspectors, farmers, technicians, repairmen, and more.
Enterprises with negative ecological value will have to be shifted to other avenues. We, obviously, don’t want people going crazy with fear of lifestyle changes or depressed at the loss of their aspirations. This is really just shifting priorities in a capitalist system. Our priorities are clean water, air, and sustainability. Greed is no longer a useful value. Those who enjoy wealth need to feel motivated to share it, and certainly, no one should feel robbed of the essence they worked for. Remember, keep your mind open; we are all in this together.
This is all about trying to secure a sustainable future for the entire human race. The USA will just be part of the solution. We have to do the best we can for our country and all the inhabitants of Earth.