Can Stress R us avoid a ghastly future?

My MAHB post has sparked a few responses, one of which starts from the same hypothesis that growth has become a, indeed the problem, with possible details as to how this insanity is happening.

You will find Stress R us on the MAHB (Library) website. (Include ‘Library’ or ‘Environment’ or you might get Malaysia Airlines.) Author: Greeley Miklashek, year of Publication: 2014. (Warning, I find the MAHB website difficult to navigate).

But ‘Stress’ suffers from one fatal weakness: it does not address the Tragedy of the Commons, the principle that the solution must be globally unanimous. If anyone, nation or individual, just carries on as before, in the short term they gain an advantage. Individual action cold only work if everybody did it. But if any one (nation or individual) unilaterally does what is necessary they will be at a disadvantage when the over-consumption crisis occurs.

‘Stress’ does offer many suggestions, and they are already followed by a minoriy: not flying, not eating meat, above all hiraving fewer children than their parents, but they will be ineffectual until everybodyobserves these new imperatives.

IF the CO2 is to stop rising, the corals to stop beaching, wildfires and pandemic not to become routinely worse. and food supplies not to be endangered, then profits from selling oil, coal, cars or meat products must stop. Now. Oh, by the way none of this will work if women still have more than two children on average.

My answer is for world leaders to offer a combination of (high) taxes based on the ecological footprint of current activities, closely tied to an unconditional, universal income (UBI). As one respondent has noticed, this second idea is dangerous. It must be associated with taxes inhibitting  the activities which are destroying the ecosphere If it is not, the natural consequence of a UBI will be to encourage economic activity. Fine, if tied to eco-taxes, which need not have been draconian if started sooner, but that is spilt milk.

I watched the recent BBC programme about Greta Thunberg’s efforts. Attitudes are changing, but not fast enough among those still making profits. But seeing a picture of Greta and David Attenborough in the Radio times. I wanted to scream “UBI” at them.  They have still not heard of my proposal, and I do need to know that they have considered it. If it is faulty, they can say how, or summon experts. If they have a better answer, why have they not yet launched it?

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