Saturday, October 1, 2016

Really really gross domestic product is produced in a 410 ppm CO2 world

How accurate can calculations of government revenue and expenditure be when, possibly, a full fifth of the value of human production may now be needed to counter (only the human) costs of our current global climate catastrophe?  We're standing in the 'tomorrow' that we robbed yesterday.  Are you ready for this?

“The test of a progressive policy is not private but public, not just rising income and consumption for individuals, but widening the opportunities and what Amartya Sen calls the 'capabilities' of all through collective action. But that means, it must mean, public non-profit initiative, even if only in redistributing private accumulation. Public decisions aimed at collective social improvement from which all human lives should gain. That is the basis of progressive policy—not maximising economic growth and personal incomes. Nowhere will this be more important than in tackling the greatest problem facing us this century, the environmental crisis. Whatever ideological logo we choose for it, it will mean a major shift away from the free market and towards public action, a bigger shift than the British government has yet envisaged. And, given the acuteness of the economic crisis, probably a fairly rapid shift. Time is not on our side.”
Eric Hobsbawm

4 comments: said...

And it will get worse, unfortunately, probably for a long time.

Jerry Brown said...

I don't really understand when you say one fifth of the value of human production may be needed to counter the costs of climate catastrophe. Is that like saying one of every five people has to stop doing whatever they are currently doing and change over to doing work on some kind of climate mitigation type job? So we end up with 20% less teachers and auto mechanics and carpenters and day care workers and mothers and so on?

Myrtle Blackwood said...

Thanks for your question, Jerry Brown.

Barry Jones, in his 1980s book entitled 'Sleepers Wake' pointed out that the vast majority of services and production in our economies are not in fact 'measured'. And this is one (of many) reasons why the exact repercussions from the current climate catastrophe will never be fully understood nor quantified.

I would say that it is very likely that millions of people will be diverted from their normal occupations (recorded and unrecorded) in order to *climate mitigate *climate adapt *climate survive.

In my personal experience my time and money has been diverted from my preferred activities now for 7 years, much of it due to the need to climate adapt and mitigate. For instance, there's been a need to clear the type of highly flammable biomass from around our house and move it further away. The dam has needed to be dug deeper due to drying out in the last El Nino. Heat shields erected around living areas etc. Many dollars have been spent on LED lights, a sprinkler system on our roof, equipment to build a fire bunker, food plants, a solar hot water system, insulation etc, etc.

Myrtle Blackwood said...

I'm reading Mary Maxwell's book on Cancer. (Thanks be, that I don't have this disease). There are some very interesting and related quotes on our climate predicament:

* "There are three things that build and maintain civilization throughout time: pure air, pure water, and pure food. And as an eternal truth I say unto you, that there are three things that bring the end of civilization, even the mightiest that have ever been and shall ever be, from the begin- ningless beginning to the endless end of all time: impure air, impure water, and impure food." -- Zenda Avesta, circa 3000 BC

* "Medicine is not only a science; it is also an art. It does not consist of compounding pills and plasters; it deals with the very processes of life, which must be understood before they may be guided."
- Paracelsus

By the bye Mary writes: ""Approximate number of cancer deaths per day in US in 2010: one thousand six hundred. More than one every minute.
According to a June 2, 2012 article in Lancet Oncology, cancer cases, worldwide, may increase 75% by 2030.
Her book can be downloaded here: