Please read my weblog www.clivelord.wordpress.com
In 1973 I was involved in founding the UK Green Party, the second after the NZ Values Party based on ecological issues. It was a response to the 1972 MIT study Limits to Growth. But we have failed.
Greta Thunberg was terrified by the MIT’s forecast of the consequences of unfettered economic growth, but she was baffled by how little impact Limits had made on others. As she said to the Extinction rebellion (XR) launch in Parliament Square, London on 31st October 2018:
“ If burning fossil fuels threatens our very existence, why is no one talking about it?”
She explains her insight as due to Asperger’s syndrome. Asperger’s was unknown when I was her age, but I identify with both her reaction, and to her puzzlement as to why so few others seemed to share our concern – for so long.
The main reason is the Tragedy of the Commons: no one individual, be that a person, a transnational corporation, or a whole nation. can afford to be the first to drop out of the economic rat race. This is why China has recently begun back tracking on signs of ecological awareness. Greta is accused of being a focus for the west ‘ganging up’ on China,. With a growth-based mind set I can see why, but from our perspective it is grossly unfair. All we want is co-operation to save the ecosphere.
But Greta does not address the dynamics of the Tragedy, which I explain more fully in a weblog ‘Page’. The unconditional basic income (UBI) is a component in what could have been an orderly transition world-wide from growth to a sustainable economy. Only when individuals feel secure can they contemplate what will be a planned recession. I describe the UBI as a catalyst, or a lubricant without which the more obvious changes cannot happen. I suggest to the better off, who are more likely to worry about ecological threats, that although the UBI will cost them money, they should think of it as an insurance premium.
But normal minds seem not to grasp the logic of this necessary mind set change. As Greta also said at the XR launch on 31st October 2018:
“I think in many ways we autistic are the normal ones. The rest keep saying climate change is an existential threat, but just carry on as before”
Even Caroline Lucas misses the full significance of the UBI. She has a normal mind. She values it as a social justice measure, but not its potential to unite former ‘haves/have nots’ enemies if they now agree on downsizing to meet ecological threats.
Sound proposals are being made – locally. But the damage to the ecosphere is global. These puny efforts will be neither here nor there as long as China, Brazil or the USA . or any of the major transnationals think they can go on making a profit, or risk losing market share due to ecologically sound policies until everyone else does the same. The necessary changes will not happen soon enough. The recession will come as a ghastly accident, regardless of Greta’s stark warnings.
What am I asking of you?
Please recommend that Greta should read my blog. Being unknown, I cannot reach her unaided. if you do not understand (due to your normal mind?) is clarification through dialogue at least possible?
The above was posted airmail on 10th January. I have as yet received no acknowledgement. firstname.lastname@example.org was returned ‘not found’.