by silke on August 26, 2014
This little video about overcoming the resistance to change is seeing humans pretty much as homo economicus, i.e. as rational decision makers, always weighing up pros and cons, the mermaids and the alligators. But despite it shortcomings, it is definitively worth watching.
And more or less the same in red, yellow and blue.
by silke on August 25, 2014
Yes! From now on, I am apocaloptimist! How about you?
by silke on August 15, 2014
The short animation film “WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT CONSUMPTION” by carbonomissions.org.uk shows why the reported carbon emissions are not telling the truth and why consuming more and more fails to make us happier.
by silke on July 25, 2014
This sweet little spot (well yes, it’s advertisement) is definitively worth watching (and the music is worth listening to) because it contrasts industrial vs. organic farming.
And there is a happy end! 🙂
by silke on June 21, 2014
When spending a lot of time thinking about consumerism and its ecological and social consequences, one cannot help to also mull over possible ways out of this dilemma. On the one hand, we often hear that we need to be positive about a problem in order to stimulate behaviour changes. On the other hand, I personally feel taken for a fool if someone only attempts to cast a positive light on or offer overly simplistic solutions to dangerous global threats such as climate change. But when being confronted with the bitter truth about global warming or resource depletion etc., I strongly feel the desire for possible solutions, for something I personally can do.
One of these situations was the evening of June 26, 2014, just after I’ve listened to a talk by Prof. Birgit Mahnkopf at Urania in Berlin, which was announced under the title “Peak everything! – Peak capitalism? What are the consequences of the socio-ecological crisis on the dynamic of capitalism?” (my own translation). I will now try to summarize what struck me most, well knowing that my meagre notes won’t allow me to capture everything. So the following is probably not a very good account of what Prof. Mahnkopf really said but more about what I made out of it.
Capitalism is based on profit and growth. Without making profit, without growing, the economy gets into trouble. The built-in striving for economic gains leads to immoderateness and excess – and hence to the exploitation of human and natural resources. Having said that, capitalism treats nature as external input and output factors (i.e. the world famous externalities).
In a nutshell, economic growth depends on cheap natural resources and ecological sinks as well as cheap human capital. Economic growth always brings about increasing resource depletion and pollution. In its search for cheap input and output factors, capitalism has spread across the whole globe – and now it is reaching the planetary boundaries (Rockstrom 2009). A lot of things are peaking within the next 20-30 years: we are facing peak oil, peak minerals (e.g. rare earth metals), peak arable land, peak drinkable water,… and climate change.
But what does that mean for capitalism itself?
by silke on May 21, 2014
Oh no. 🙁