TED talk -Tim Jackson’s economic reality check

The last few weeks, I was so busy “keeping out the giraffes” that I was not able to add anything to this blog.

Today I am back with a very good TED talk feat. Tim Jackson‘s economic reality check. The moderator is right, economists are not expected to be inspiring, but Tim Jackson in fact is. So, please take your time, watch and enjoy.

In the video Tim Jackson states that the only thing which was able to slow down the rise of greenhouse gas emissions in the past years was recession.
This means that we are actually facing the dilemma of growth: Either crashing the economic system or crashing the planet.

Our economic system is based on the human need for novelty which includes material stuff as well as ideas and the “desire for a life without shame”. (Adam Smith)

“This is the story about us, being persuaded to spend money we don’t have on things we don’t need in order to create impressions which won’t last on people we don’t care about.” (Tim Jackson)

By contrast, Mary Douglas‘ sees the objective of the consumer in “help[ing] to create the social world and find[ing] a credible place in it.”

Tim Jackson concludes that in order to overcome the current crisis and to tackle climate change we need to build social institutions which help us unfold all dimensions of the human psyche: egoistic vs. altruistic, novelty seeking vs. traditional/ conservative needs.

“Prosperity consists in our ability to flourish as human beings – within the ecological limits of a finite planet.” (Tim Jackson)