Saturday, April 28, 2007

A MUST read Article on global warming, economics and sustainability

Avoiding Self-Organized Extinction: Toward a Co-Evolutionary Economics of Sustainability

The critical problems that scientists warned about decades ago are now upon us. There is a near universal consensus that global warming is human-caused and that its effects are now accelerating. Biodiversity loss and ecosystem disruption is now well-documented. The global connections between social disruption, resource use and environmental degradation are now all too familiar. This information is all the more disturbing in view of the well-documented collapse of scores of past civilizations whose cultural patterns of behaviour have been described as 'self-organized' extinction. Policies to deal with the issues of sustainability have been hampered by a one- dimensional economic theory that has until recently dominated pubic discourse. Using the concept of 'generalized Darwinism', this paper focuses on the contributions a revitalized science of economics can bring to the sustainability debate. It ends with a cautiously pessimistic assessment of the prospects for sustainability.

This article written by John Gowdy and published by RED ORBIT gives the reader truly something to think about. It is a long article, but after reading it the reader has a much better sense of what is required of us as a society to start a genuine path towards sustainability. It highlights the pitfalls that current economic theories represents and asks the reader to truly have an open mind and see what is needed in order to tread a new sustainable and economically viable path.

Photo Credit: Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Department of Economics

True crises are those difficulties that cannot be resolved within the framework of the system, but instead can be overcome only by going outside of and beyond the historical system of which the difficulties are a part.'
- Immanuel Wallerstein, World Systems Analysis

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