A New Year Appeal

In 1973 Limits to Growth discussed the global threat of unfettered economic growth. How can economic activity be kept within what the ecosphere can deal with?.

Technological innovations were assumed able to maintain growth indefinitely, They still are, despite the damaging climatic events warning that we are already beyond sustainable limits. Because the social security system takes growth for granted, whenever it fails, there is widespread hardship. So it was obvious to me that some means must be found to stop a cessation of growth being frightening to people with not much to start with.

I invented the universal basic income (UBI), unaware that it had already been invented more than once, for different reasons, one of which was diametrically the opposite of reducing economic activity. The UBI removes the poverty trap created by means testing. Fine, but this problem was ignored as long as it could be assumed that growth would resume. But very few seem to see any connection between the UBI and the danger of growth to the ecosphere. So although I have not changed my views, I retreat to trying to get mainstream recognition of the need for personal economic security, so that the economy can contract. I hope there is a better answer than the UBI: Unless firmly associated with the need to curb emissions and pollution generally, so that eco-taxes such as Land Value Tax can be introduced, the UBI would (as per one of the other reasons for it) boost, not reduce economic growth. So I am concentrating on the need to guarantee security.

Almost everyone with whom I try to discuss this issue tells me I am mistaken. Some recommend Joanna Macy’s approach. Others tell me I have to say something which resonates with their concerns.

My stance is that the house is on fire; that the entire ecosphere is in danger of collapse. I am only in conversation with such people because they too are worried about climate collapse. So their rejection of something I have been advocating for nearly 50 years distresses me. The general gist is ‘”It makes no sense to me”. Most simply stop corresponding.

So this is why I am appealing for help.

It is not completely true that no one else sees any link between providing individual security and saving the planet. I have at least two definite supporters, though one of them is my partner. She would say that, wouldn’t she? I have at least four others Jane, Jim, Andy and Robin, who say they can see the logic. If there are ae others among my blog readers, please say so now.

There are two Professors who have stopped corresponding. My hope is that if those who agree with my view that security for individuals I essential to saving the ecosphere, will write to these two academics. I have sent them a draft of this weblog post. If they do not allow me to give their email addresses, I must respect that, IF they decline, I shall simply state that I have asked for their help in saving the ecosphere and state the number of supporters I have.

I am assuming that as professors, there is a slightly better chance of their emails being read by the people with a media presence to whom I have already written without reply, such as Kate Raworth, Dr. Alice Roberts, George Monbiot, David Attenborough and anyone else they consider appropriate. Anything more will depend on how far these steps get. The aim is simply to get this idea into the mainstream whilst there is still time.

2 responses to “A New Year Appeal

  1. Clive the momentum for UBI is definitely growing . I see more and more mentions linked to achieving success with national lockdown which may or not be imminent .So we need to keep shouting and sharing . The more people know about it the higher the chance that they will start demanding it .The plight of those self employed left with no income at all is an opportunity .As always communication is the nut to crack first .

  2. Thank you Jane. My current ‘strategy’ is to get big hitters such as K. Raworth, G Monbiot, Dr A Roberts and Sir R Attenborough to see the ubi as helping to slow climate change because individuals can feel secure ieven if he economy contracts. So they can think ‘Buddhist’ – rreducing thier personal consumerism.
    This, on a large enough scale, will reduce consumerism, aka a recesson. Shock horrosperate, but desperate to save the ecosphere.ed i.
    it willbe uselsee unless I can say I have ohers who agfree with me. I need nubers rathr than names agt this stage. Can you make it 7? I am desperate to save gthe ecosphere.

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