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Archive for the ‘biocapacity’ Category

Fight For Food!

Posted by msrb on July 2, 2008

Could When Will Food Riots Break Out Across the U.S.?

Accelerated land degradation threatens food security of a quarter of the world’s population: FAO

Main entry: Land degradation threatens 1.5 billion people

An Egyptian rice farmer shows his drought damaged rice crop and cracks in the rice terrace soil caused by more than 30 days of no rain in a village near Balqis, northeast of Cairo June 14, 2008. REUTERS/Nasser Nuri. Image may be subject to copyright. See MSRB Fair Use Notice!

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Image of the Day: Blind scientists examining the elephant

Posted by msrb on July 1, 2008

The Exponential Growth Economy’s White Elephant!

“Blind monks examining an elephant” by Itcho Hanabusa (1652–1724). Each blind monk can only “see” the part of the elephant he has examined.

Blind “Experts”

Blind Expert #1. It’s the oil addiction!

Blind Expert #2. Nay, nay; it’s the coal-fired power plants.

Blind Expert #3. Nay, nay; the SUVs.

Blind Expert #4. Nay, nay! It must be the sprawling suburbia.

Blind Expert #5. Nay, nay! It’s …

Blind Expert #6. We NEED more trees to protect the economy.

Blind experts Nos. 1 – 8 urged the next U.S. president to “protect the country” not by way of changing the predatory exponential growth economy, but instead by means of “funding for research and forecasting” to dodge the climate change.

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We Need Food!

Posted by msrb on June 2, 2008

Food Riots Break Out in Bangladesh Again

Thousands of Bangladeshi garment workers protesting over low wages and soaring food prices clashed with the police on Sunday during fresh protests over low wages and soaring food prices.

“They smashed dozens of vehicles, attacked nearby factories and pelted stones and bricks at our officers. Police fired shotguns to disperse the unruly workers,” police chief said.

Four protestors, including two with bullet wounds, were admitted to Chittagong Medical College Hospital A nurse said.

Bangladesh’s garment industry employls about 2.5 million workers, or 40 percent of the industrial workforce, and accounts for about 80 percent of the country’s export earnings. The average garment worker earn a basic minimum wage of about 25 dollars a month.

Bangladeshi households spend nearly 70 percent of their income on food. Prices for rice, the country’s staple food have doubled in the past 12 months mainly because of floods last summer and a major cyclone that caused severe damage to the crops in November.

Unions have demanded a major increase in salaries, saying the existing basic payment fixed in late 2006 has become redundant due to rocketing prices of food and other commodities over the past year.

In April, at least 20,000 protesting garment workers clashed with police and 50 were injured.

Bangladeshi demonstrators protesting against rising food and fuel prices on the outskirts of Dhaka in April, 2008. Police clashed with thousands of garment workers in southwest Bangladesh Sunday during fresh protests over low wages and soaring food prices. (Image may be subject to copyright. see MSRB Fair Use Notice.

Food Riot in Kenya

About a thousand Kenyan demonstrators protesting against rising food prices were assaulted by the riot police who fired teargas to disperse them on Saturday.

Widespread food shortages have led to skyrocketing food prices amid political corruption. Annual inflation rose by an average 24.2 percent in April and May.

“The government must subsidize the cost of food, it is not fair for the poor to be suffering with high food prices yet the government has not increased salaries,” said one of the organizers.

Disputed presidential election has also triggered violent clashes across Kenya killing 1,600 people and displacing about one half of a million people since December 2007.

Food and fuel riots, protests and strikes have erupted this year throughout the “third world” countries in Africa Asia and the Americas including Bangladesh, Bolivia, Cameroon, Egypt, El Salvador, Haiti, India, Indonesia, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Malaysia, Mauritania, Mozambique, Pakistan, Philippines Senegal, Singapore, Somalia, Uzbekistan, Vietnam, and Yemen (other countries may have been omitted inadvertently).

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“Whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved . . .”

Posted by msrb on April 30, 2008

Who is thinking, if we all think alike?

By S.H. Saloor, Founder, Creating A Sustainable Future
April 21, 2008

In The Death of Homo Sapiens Sapiens (Part 1) I quoted E. F. Schumacher who, in Small is Beautiful, described what he called the six leading ideas, a toolbox of ideas stemming from the nineteenth century by which the civilization interprets the world:

– Systemic application of the theory of evolution;
– Natural selection, which insures the survival of the fittest through competition;
– Suppression of spirituality, religion, philosophy, art and culture in favor of economic gains;
– Relativism, which denies all absolutes and negates the idea of truth in pragmatism;
– Positivism, which states that the only authentic knowledge is scientific knowledge and such knowledge can only come through empirical sciences (i.e., positive affirmation of scientific theories via exact scientific observations);
– Freud’s theory of unconscious mind, unconscious desire and repression.

Freud said, “Against the dreaded external world one can only defend oneself by some kind of turning away from it, if one intends to solve the task by oneself. There is, indeed, another and a better path: that of becoming a member of human community, and, with the help of a technique guided by science, going over to attack against nature and subjecting her to human will. [And if the technique guided by science fail to reverse the ‘marsification’ of Earth that it started in the first place, you can always hide behind more abstractions!]”

Freud’s theory of unconscious mind, unconscious desire and repression forms the backdrop for a powerful myth that, coupled with a discourse based on [fatal] traditions [narrative enforced through social proof] and religious dogma [pluralistic ignorance], are driving human race toward extinction.

Social Proof and our response to the Collapsing world

How could we be ignoring the signs of the looming environmental catastrophes, and what has that got to do with social proof? Robert Cialdini, the famed psychologist, says: “Experiments have found that the use of canned merriment causes an audience to laugh longer and more often humorous material is presented and to rate the material as a funnier. In addition, some evidence indicates that canned laughter is most effective for poor jokes.”

But why is canned laughter so effective, especially when we know it to be “mechanically fabricated” and so blatantly false? To understand this, Cialdini says, we first need to understand the nature of the principle of social proof, a potent weapon of influence. “It states that one means we use to determine what is correct is to find out what other people think is correct. The principle applies especially to the way we decide what constitutes correct behavior.”

On those conditions under which social proof operates optimally, Cialdini adds, “when we are unsure of ourselves, when the situation is unclear or ambiguous, when uncertainty reigns, we are most likely to look to and accept the actions of others as correct.”

Pluralistic Ignorance

The main danger of acting under social proof is “the reaction of other people to resolve uncertainty,” Cialdini says, because the others “examining the social evidence, too. Especially in ambiguous situation, the tendency for everyone to be looking to see what everyone else is doing can lead to a fascinating phenomenon called ‘pluralistic ignorance.’ A thorough understanding of the pluralistic ignorance phenomenon helps immeasurably to explain a regular occurrence in our country that has been termed both a riddle and a national disgrace: the failure of entire groups of bystanders to aid victims in agonizing need of help.”

Cialdini cites the classic example of “bystander inaction” that has been the subject of much debate in political, scientific and journalistic circles. The case is about the murder of Catherine Genovese in Queens, New York City. The murderer, the NYC police revealed inadvertently, had stalked and attacked his victim for thirty five minutes in three separate attacks before finally stabbing her to death. At least thirty-eight of the victim’s neighbors witnessed parts of the attack “from the safety of their apartment windows without so much as lifting a finger to call the police.” Why?

[Note: The accuracy of some details of the The New York Times report of Catherine Genovese’s murder written by Martin Gansberg has since been challenged, but extensive research into other similar cases, as well as an impressive program of research performed by two New York based psychology professors, John Darley and Bibb Latané, their colleagues and students, has produced unambiguous results that verify the characteristics of “bystander inaction” as described by Cialdini.]

Why did so many “good folks” fail to call the police even anonymously?

Did those folks hated the victim and wanted to see her dead? Were they all cold-hearted bastards who were hardened by the sheer volumes of violent crime in NYC? Were they afraid of the murderer? Was it the “depersonalization” associated with urban life?

Cialdini knows why: “The psychologists speculated that, for at least two reasons, a bystander to an emergency would be unlikely to help when there are a number of other bystanders present. The first reason is fairly straightforward. With several potential helpers around, the personal responsibility of the each individual is reduced: ‘Perhaps someone else will give or call for aid, perhaps someone else already has.’ So with everyone thinking that someone else will help or has helped, no one does.”

“The second reason is the more psychologically intriguing one; it is founded on the principle of social proof and involves the pluralistic ignorance affect. Very often an emergency is not obviously an emergency. Is the man lying in the alley a heart-attack victim or a drunk sleeping one off? Are the sharp sounds from the street gunshots or truck backfires? Is the commotion next door an assault requiring the police or an specially loud marital spat where intervention would be inappropriate and unwelcome? What is going on? In times of such uncertainty, the natural tendency is to look around at the actions of others for clues. We can learn, from the way the other witnesses are reacting, whether the event is or is not an emergency.”

What are we doing as the global catastrophe unfolds?

The Last Judgement – Fresco in the Sistine Chapel by Michelangelo.

Each day, we are faced with the facts about collapsing ecosystems, droughts, floods, declining fisheries, wild food, fiber, timber and wood fuel resources, deteriorating supplies of freshwater, eroding croplands, deteriorating air quality and climate regulation systems, failing mechanisms for disease and pest control, loss of pollinators, loss of natural hazards regulation, mounting toxic pollution in the environment . . . each case being tantamount to a premeditated murder. Every time we watch the news on the TV (or computer screen) from the comfort of our livingroom couches we witness yet another ecological disaster in the making. More species are becoming extinct, sea-levels are rising, ice is melting faster, extreme climatic events claiming more victims each day . . . every disaster a separate instance of “attack” on “Catherine Genovese,” over and over again, as we look on until she is finally murdered right in front of our eyes without our so much as lifting a finger to dial the “police.”

Cialdini says: “What is easy to forget, though, is that everybody else observing the event is likely to be looking for social evidence, too. And because we all prefer to appear poised and unflustered among others, were likely to search for that evidence placidly, with brief, camouflaged glances and those around us. Therefore everyone is likely to see everyone else looking unruffled and failing to act. As a result, and by the principle of social proof, the event will be wrongly interpreted as nonemergency. This, according to Latané and Darley, is the state of pluralistic ignorance ‘in which each person decides that since nobody is concerned, nothing is wrong. Meanwhile, the danger may be mounting to the point where a single individual, uninfluenced by the seeming calm of others, would react.”

Where does the religious dogma come in?

The problem becomes compounded when some people, prejudiced by the same powerful methods of influence of social proof, believe everything is meant this way and that “the beginning of the time of salvation would be marked by an important and undeniable event, usually the cataclysmic end of the world.”

Among the examples cited are: The Montanists of Turkey (second century CE); the Anabaptist in Holland (16th century); The Sabbataists of Izmir (17th century) and the Millerites of the US (19th century).

Posters like this were placed in public locations around the New England area in 1992. (Image maybe subject to copyright). See MSRB Fair Use Notice.

There we have it. The “almighty” took the good part of 4.54 billion years to create and perfect the Earth (not counting the preparatory time of 9 or so billion years that he previously spent to “create” the universe) so that it could be destroyed by a cataclysmic event, at least according to Christian eschatology (study of the religious beliefs concerning final events, or End Times).

With the heaven and angels (“they were created before God created the Earth”) awaiting our arrival, do we need to decontaminate, restore and preserve this garbage-dump of a planet and keep it fit for life? Why must we bother, if our peers, the pluralistic ignorant inactive bystanders, who surely must know better because there are so many of them, invite us to have faith and join the believers instead?

For those who “believe,” “whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved . . . ” latecomers may dial “R” for Rapture!


– Cialdini, R.B. (1993). Influence: The psychology of persuasion, New York: Quill William Morrow

– Saloor, H.(2007, February). The Death of Homo Sapiens Sapiens (Part 1). Killed by Homo Economicus. Retrieved April 21, 2008, from [website no longer maintained.]

– Saloor, H.(2007, February). The Death of Homo Sapiens Sapiens (Part 5). Who Really Benefits from Cheap Oil. Retrieved April 21, 2008, from [website no longer maintained.]

– Saloor, H.(2007, February). Cosmic Scale Evil: Money Fetishism and the Looming Omnicide. Retrieved April 21, 2008, from

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Is a Future Possible?

Posted by edro on November 20, 2007

The Death of Homo Sapiens Sapiens (Part 3)

Reality Check: Is a Future Possible?

The culture of exponential growth is destroying the biosphere. [The biosphere is the part of our planet’s shell within which life occurs and includes air, land, water and surface rocks. It consists of ecological systems, or ecosystems, which are the life support organisms that integrate all living beings, without whose continued service humans and other life forms could not survive. The biosphere evolved, it is widely believed, about 3.5 billion years ago.]

What is Ecological Footprint?

Nature provides us with food, fuel, forest products… and various systems to absorb our waste, especially carbon dioxide. The ecological footprint (EF) is a measure of our impact on Earth. EF is the amount of land and water area that we use to extract resources to support our lifestyles and to absorb our waste using prevailing technology.

Humans EF grew by about 160 percent from 1961 to 2001, whereas the population only doubled over the same period, crossing the threshold of sustainability in the 1980s [or the 1970s if we set aside 12 percent of the bioproductive land to care for other species, following suggestions in the Brundtland Report.] The global EF was 13.5 billion global hectares (GH) in 2001, or 2.3 GH per person [GH is a measure of land or sea area with biological productivity equal to the global average.] Earth’s total biocapacity, based on its biologically productive area, however, was only 11 billion GH, which provided an average of only 1.8 GH per person. Humans EF exceeded global biocapacity by 0.5 GH per person, or by 22 percent [In fact, the deficit for 2001 rose to 38 percent, when reserving at least 12 percent of the available bioproductive area for other species.]

According to the projections, the world population has now reached 6.67 billion [February 2007]. The projected global EF for 2007 is 15.34 billion GH, whereas the available global capacity is about 9.8 GH, with only 1.46 GH available per person, resulting in a deficit of 0.8 GH per person. It means in 2007 humans consume 57 percent more than the nature could provide continuously.

The overshoot of global biocapacity means spending natural capital faster than nature can regenerate it, which is reducing the ecological carrying capacity permanently: Ecological crash becomes unavoidable.

According to the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MA), a comprehensive UN report backed by 1,360 leading scientists from 95 countries released in March 2005, at least 15 of the planet’s 24 ecosystems were on the verge of collapse including fresh water, fisheries, air and water purification systems, and the systems that regulate climate, natural hazards, and pests. It takes only a fractional increase in our ecological footprint to destroy the remaining ecosystems—a scenario which is unfolding before our eyes.


1. The above calculations do not include the reduction (erosion) in the Earth’s biological productivity. The EF calculations also exclude activities that fall outside the boundaries of sustainability, but accelerate the collapse of ecosystems including release to the biosphere of radioactive materials, CFCs, crude oil spills, chemicals and biohazards, heavy metals, persistent organic and inorganic toxins and other industrial/municipal/agricultural wastes.

2. MSRB has created a new index called Index of Human Impact on Nature (HIoN) that calculates the full human impact on the Earth’s ecosystems including consumption, deterioration to Earth’s biological productivity and the rate of collapse of the ecosystems. As of March 2007, the HIoN index stands at a terminally high level of 171.40. That is, the full human impact on his living environment for the 12-month period ending March 2007 was 71.4 percent higher than the planet in its current state can cope with.]

Damage to Environment

The damage humans have inflicted on the environment is irreversible. The greenhouse effect is here to stay. The earth is heating progressively resulting in the onset of many catastrophic climate events (and onset of new and old mosquito-borne and airborne infectious diseases exacerbated by global heating and dust storms from desertification). The mounting climate problems are just beginning to surface, however, there is a 30-year delay between the cause and effect: the exponentially growing human activities that release greenhouse gases (including carbon dioxide, CO2; methane, CH4; chloroflourocarbons or CFC’s…) into the atmosphere and the warming of ocean waters.

Water, Land and Food

Planet’s supply of fresh water is simply running out. The water quality continues to deteriorate globally from pollution, rising temperatures and overconsumption. Globally, at least one person in five has no access to safe water, according to the UN. The exponential growth culture is irreversibly depleting also our natural food reserves resulting in collapsing fisheries, disappearing species…

The world’s arable land and top soil are shrinking. The pressure to produce more food is degrading the soil productivity resulting in desertification. About 6 million hectares of arable land are lost each year, blown away by the wind. The problems are further compounded by the eroding soils, mudslides… as well as contamination of the food chain by fertilizers, herbicides, pesticides, synthetic chemicals, disease, harmful radiation, antibiotics…

More and more of the tropical rainforests are cleared, usually by fire, to provide land for grazing and cultivation resulting in the loss of innumerable plants and animal species. We are loosing more than 10 million hectares of forest and possibly as many as 27,000 species that inhabit them, each year.

Toxic Pollutants

In addition to greenhouse gases, industrial activities release more than 15 billion pounds (about 7 million metric tons) of toxic pollutants into the environment each year. The deadly cocktails of pollutants include several thousand toxic substances, but only 667 are reported. [Toxic pollutants like perchlorate—rocket fuel— found in every breast milk sample taken from 18 states by the Texas Tech University researchers in 2005 are not on the list.] Our bodies contain about 500 measurable chemicals that should not be there.

We convert 57 trillion pounds (26 billion metric tons) of raw materials to garbage, which are rapidly engulfing our living space like giant quicksands.

Exponentially increasing inventories of municipal waste, industrial pollution, farm waste, pesticide and fertilizer runoffs, pollution from industrial accidents, automobile pollution, and toxic and radionuclide waste released to the environment have poisoned our air, water and soil, resulting in more acid rain and more dead zones in coastal waters.

Ozone Depletion

Atmospheric ozone shield, which protects life against harmful radiations, is depleting. Without ozone, life on Earth is not possible. Ozone depletion allows higher levels of UV radiation (UVA and UVB) reaching Earth’s surface and poses the biggest threat to life and the ecosystems. Increased UV radiation impairs human immune system, causing genetic mutations and increasing the risk of various diseases and incidents of skin cancer. Increased UV radiation retards crop growth by altering the physiological and developmental processes of plants and contributes to eco-feedbacks that increase the buildup of greenhouse gases, and reduces ozone. During the Antarctic ozone depletion season, the amount of UV radiation reaching Antarctica increases by at least 50 percent seriously affecting animals (including humanoids) and plants in New Zealand and Australia. In addition to Antarctica, ozone depletion now affects North America, especially Canada, as well as Europe, Russia and most of South America.

Exposure to UV reduces the survival rates of phytoplankton that form the basis of aquatic food chains. According to estimates, ozone depletion of about 16 percent could result in a disastrous loss of about 7 million tons of fish per year – almost 10 percent of the current annual global catch.

American Chemist G. Tyler Miller, Jr. wrote (1971): “Three hundred trout are needed to support one man for a year. The trout, in turn, must consume 90,000 frogs, that must consume 27 million grasshoppers that live off of 1,000 tons of grass.”

Warning: Do Not Eat More Than Zero Fishmeal in Your Lifetime!

Those, of course, were last of the golden days when you could eat more than one fishmeal a month and hold on to your sanity, unaffected by mercurialism (mercury poisoning), to talk about it the next day. Today, the Environmental Defense Network’s recommended intake of the Spotted-Seatrout is zero (meals per lifetime) due to the very high levels of PCBs and mercury contamination.

While the life habitat, natural food supplies and nonrenewable resources on Earth continue to shrink or disappear entirely, the world population keeps on growing at a phenomenal rate of about 100 million people each year.

Carbon Emissions

In 2006, we pumped to the atmosphere more than 16,000,000,000,000 pounds of carbon [7.4 billion metric tons—about 30 times the combined weight of the entire world population—corresponding to 27.2 billion tons of CO2 equivalent greenhouse gases, CO2e.] In the past 30 years, the burning of fossil fuels and cement production emitted nearly one and a half times as much carbon (180 billion tons) to the atmosphere than the preceding 224 years (1751 – 1975). The gang rape of the environment must stop!

Human and Financial Costs

Natural and human-made catastrophes claimed about 97,000 lives worldwide and resulted in financial losses of more than US dollars 230 billion in 2005, according to the re-insurers, Swiss Re. Their figures for 2004 were 300,000 lives lost and a financial loss of USD123 billion.

The commitment to the exponential growth culture that encourages unsustainable lifestyles pumped with adrenalin, hyperconsumerism and overconsumption is tearing apart the fabric of life on Earth. This psychosis must cease!


Mother Nature made, depending on whose figures we believe, total deposits of 1.8 – 2.2 trillion barrels of [conventional] oil. Since the discovery of oil as a popular fuel, humans have consumed about one-half of the deposits (~ 950 billion barrels). In 2006, about 31 billion barrels of oil were pumped out of the ground.

It seems deceptively simple to calculate the remaining years before the oil runs out. Divide the deposits left in the ground by the total oil supplied in 2006 to arrive at 29, the number of years left before the supplies run out. In reality, however, the calculations are somewhat more complex because various dynamics kick in.

1. World oil demand is exponentially increasing (more people, more oil to make food, more consumer goods, more possessions, more cars, more roads, more car journeys, more flights…). The annual growth rate for oil consumption currently stands at 2% (cf., 1.4% in 2001, and 1.8% in 2006). A forecast by International Energy Agency suggests a rise of 47% by 2030. The forecast seems peculiar, however, because at their suggested rate of increase the known oil reserves would have effectively run out before 2030.

2. In the early days, large oil fields returned more than 100 barrels of oil for each barrel invested in the discovery, extraction, transportation and refining. This high ratio of the Energy Returned on Energy Invested (EROEI) is no longer achievable. Currently, the average EROEI is much less than 10:1 (MSRB estimate for the average EROEI is about 4.5:1). As the EROEI of a resource approaches 1:1 (this happens long before the resource is physically exhausted), the net energy gain approaches zero, in which case production is no longer viable as a net energy source.

United States has 2 percent of the known global reserves but uses 25 percent of the world’s oil supplies importing about two-thirds of its entire consumption. This unworkable balance is unsustainable as a long-term formula and poses a serious threat to the world security and therefore to the welfare of the Americans as well as other nations.

The old well-established relationships between, on the one side, the US and EU and, on the other side, the minor tyrants that rule the oil-pumping countries are becoming increasingly untenable and pose a risk to the world security. Time is finally up for the depraved ‘Royals,’ ruling families and otherwise puppet regimes whose only purpose is to safeguard the interest of the cabal (that rules the US, EU…). Between them, the ruling classes in Saudi Arabia, the UAE and other Arab States of Persian Gulf act as guard dogs to some 50 percent of world’s (known) oil reserves on behalf of a small minority of world population, while the combined populations of China and India has risen past the 2.5 billion mark.

For a Fistful of Dollars: Monetary Exchange Value; Not Wealth

Nothing preoccupies the human race more than creating wealth. The general understanding of wealth is the transforming of natural resources to usable goods through work. In the economic sense, wealth increases when labor assumes specialized roles and employs capital (energy and machinery). Theoretically, the wealth increases as labor, capital or both are increased.

In reality, however, there are physical limits to how much wealth can be created or how far the economic growth can expand. The economic system is a subset of the ecological system and the ecology, Earth, is not growing. Any forced extension beyond the natural limits imposed by the biosphere would destroy the ecology, as previously noted.

‘Experts’ tell us, however, without exponential growth (growth with a fixed doubling time) the poor would always remain impoverished and the rich couldn’t make anymore money, that we cannot even begin to set aside enough money to meet our future needs and that the economy cannot provide full employment. They say, unless we continue with the economic growth and create wealth exponentially our welfare would be in grave peril.

What the exponential growth creates, however, is monetary exchange value, not wealth. As discussed earlier, preludes to the mounting ecological deficits and environmental casualties are already lain victim to the exponential growth culture.

Human Welfare

Human welfare is not limited to economic welfare alone. It includes a host of other welfare, which are noneconomic in nature and with nonmonetizable values.

Total Human Welfare = Economic Welfare + Noneconomic Welfare

The above equation remains valid only when the sum total of all welfare is positive, i.e., no conflict of interest can arise between the economic welfare and the noneconomic welfare. Having exceeded Earth’s ecological carrying capacity en route to maximizing economic welfare, however, we have inflicted serious damage to the environment, which provides most of our noneconomic welfare. Consequently, the assault on nature has invalidated the equation. Any activity that raises the economic welfare affects the environment reducing the noneconomic welfare. In other words, our perceived economic welfare is now working against our noneconomic welfare. Any rise in economic activity precipitates our total welfare into negative territory.

There are two means of reversing this critical trend. First, by drastically reducing economic activities (to near zero), we would reduce the harm to the environment and, in turn, help the recovery of the noneconomic welfare thus hoisting our total welfare from the negative into the positive territory. Second, by switching to an entirely different system of economy that neither plunders Earth’s natural resources nor destroys the ecosystems in favor of increasing the monetary exchange value-to the detriment of all life forms including human beings, but to the perceived benefit of a small cabal of moneychangers.

[Note: Shareholders of the top 10 banks in the world held combined assets of about 16 trillion dollars in 2006.]

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