Economic Foundations and Environmental Progress
Matthew A. Barker
The current economic value system is in direct conflict with the progress of the environmental movement. The scientific community and most of the public are aware of the problems we have today. This is not a barrier, nor is finding solutions through technology or lifestyle changes which have been addressed by many creative and intelligent people. The problem we face is NOT a lack of solutions but a means to implement them. Once we realize this, we can address the main factor as to why we cannot implement suggested solutions: that the green movement is bad for the economy.
Here is why: Making decisions with an arbitrary value system (money) corrupts the problem-solving method. When analysing the merit of a decision that impacts the real world, you need real value system (energy and natural resources) to quantify these decisions. Money is circulated by jobs and consumption. The more efficient and technologically advanced the culture, the fewer people they need working. The economy rewards technological stagnation in labour-saving devices and designed obsolescence. The economy suffers when we are healthier, greener, and consume less. The solution is a movement away from job dependant monetary circulation to a guaranteed livable income.