We know that the current global economy is suicidal because every day it eats a little further into the natural systems that sustain civilization. Today is Earth Overshoot Day, this means that today we have consumed all of the resources that the planet can afford to give us in this 12 month period. For the rest of the year we are eating into her reserves.
To be sustainable society must live off the interest of natural capital not the capital itself. Being unsustainable means that the biosphere is dying and yet still, governments the world over are determined to stimulate new economic ‘growth’ at all costs. This is mass insanity. Trying to stimulate growth on a dying planet will only speed up our own demise.
A specific example of this economy’s insanity goes like this: as the economy crashes (because increased growth is no longer possible) traders, financiers and other merchants of doom want to invest in something they can rely on, something nice like gold. Increased demand for gold pushes the price up. This increase in price, in turn, drives increased mining.
Today, the majority of all the gold that has been extracted from the earth sits in ordered ranks in bank vaults. This gold adds absolutely no value to any body’s life. It serves a totally abstract function.
Of course, the mining and the processing of the gold has huge impacts on the natural world. The current gold rush caused by this economic crash has led to a ‘chaotic jungle gold rush‘ chewing up more of the Amazon that we all need in order to breath. This shows absolutely clearly the flaws of the current economic model. The Amazon, despite being understood to be the ‘Lungs of the World’ is assigned a low economic value and therefore the logic of the market is to obliterate it and convert it into more cold bars of bullion sitting in bank vaults. This economy is fundamentally stupid.