My readership crashed yesterday. I have spent some effort trying to build the numbers, so the crash was — well, nobody likes a crash.
So I’m glad that almost everyone likes Thomas Friedman, because he is facing facts in his opinion piece today: “Our current financial crisis is the product of the Market and Mother Nature hitting the wall at once.” !! Sound of applause from a person whose expertise is biology. Mr. Friedman’s expertise is in politics and the economy. I say that nearly covers the field, and I hope Mr. Obama is paying attention.
Too bad then, toward the end of his op-ed Mr. Friedman went all mealy-mouthed and proposed human cures for what is basically a confrontation with the limited resources of the earth. We can not cure a problem that is caused by growth — by generating more growth, because neither the people nor the DOW can exist on thin air, “breathaterians” notwithstanding.
The NYTimes (Burns & Thomas) also claims that “Anglo-American Capitalism is on trial.” And it’s about time too. The bottom line is that Anglo-American Capitalism is not biologically or physically sustainable, and it’s time we took a look to the future. Like all Ponzi schemes, our economy is based upon unlimited growth, which sounds real dandy in human terms, but the real fact is that unlimited growth is impossible on a limited earth ecosystem, and we have “hit the wall” to use Friedman’s term. We will not cure global warming nor will we long-term cure the Dow by continuing to pursue our growth ethic, no matter how hard we try to limit consumption. Limiting consumption is a good and necessary thing, but it is a bandaid, not a cure.
The bottom line fact is there are NOT two causes of our nature problem and our DOW problem — there is one cause, and that is Overpopulation.
Mr. Friedman is too chicken to say it.
Are you too chicken to hear it?
Why, I wonder, did my modest cadre of readers desert me on the last column that I wrote? I can only speculate that the word God in the title had something to do with it. Or was it because I mentioned the war? Mr. Friedman also left that one out — and starvation. None of these NEED to exist. Many people at this point will say: “They have always existed.” Yes and they have always been problems related to not enough resources — and then we went out and found another continent. There aren’t any more continents now, and once again there is not enough STUFF for all the people.
The primary goal of this blog is to face reality on her own terms, and the point of my piece about “God” (it’s just below the story here) was the reality that we humans are not the biggest fish in the pond. Whatever name we use for the big one makes no difference to reality. The point is, it’s bigger than us, and we will not fix our problems until we learn to play by the real rules.
Economists and biologists and politicians do not make the real rules; we only study them. The real rule is that infinite growth is impossible in a finite space. Human kind has the potential for infinite growth — the earth ecosystem does not. The earth ecosystem IS the pond; it will win.