A Guide for 21st C Government
The goal of broad sustainability, both ecological and social, is not just a desirable goal, it is in the end, the only option available.
We are convinced that the transition to sustainability is both more accessible and less difficult than we imagine. What convinces us of this is that the flaws in the current model of industrial capitalism are so basic and fundamental that once revealed, they provide a readily adoptable alternative. That alternative is simple to understand, easy to implement, affordable and self-propagating, because it acts at the most basic and fundamental level of our societies and economies.Our industrial capitalist economic model has demonstrated its inability to deliver sustainability, and now we are faced with the necessity of transitioning to more sustainable model, either voluntarily or by default. The endeavour to develop that new, sustainable model is at the heart of the project for the Standards of LIFE; and in this paper we analyze the failings of the current economic model and propose a new model that provides a concrete and practical path to a future of sustainable prosperity.
The basic truth at the root of our alternative is one that we all already know: not everything has a monetary value. This truth is not overtly recognized in the industrial capitalist model, and the failure to incorporate this basic fact of life leads to a cascade of failings that disrupt our economies, our societies and our relationship with Nature.
Incorporating the truth of distinct social and monetary values into our policy framework enables a broad enlightenment of the road to sustainable prosperity. As we show in this paper, the formal recognition of social value as distinct from monetary value cascades through our economic and social structures, liberating the development of security and freedom, while maintaining the opportunity for prosperity.
Simple changes to the structure of our social security programs are at the heart of this sustainable model, which delivers the same rewards that human societies are striving to achieve today. The goals of a sustainable society are no different than the goals of any society today: to increase the security, prosperity and freedom of the people that make up that society. That we have been attempting to deliver on those goals by focussing exclusively on developing a material, industrial economy is the fundamental flaw in our approach. The goals that we seek are largely social in nature and when we take responsibility for meeting social needs with social resources, we liberate the material economy to operate within its natural boundaries.
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The Transition Challenge
The challenge we face now is how to transition to a sustainable state, in time and without massive disruption. A state of material sustainability is not a mystery, we already know how to achieve zero carbon by 2030 , we just need to find a way to get there from here. The biggest challenges we face for the transition are the motivation to engage in it, and finding the investment to do it.
There are well recognized foundations for any plan to achieve a sustainable state:
- We have to move to a steady state economy , meaning a steady resource state, not necessarily zero growth.
- We need to transition to an energy infrastructure from renewable sources, and that will require investments of $2,000,000 a minute for the next 20 years .
These are very significant challenges, mostly because they appear to threaten our ability to secure our standard of living. When we think of a “steady state” we tend to think of a reduction in our access to “stuff”, and stuff is what we use to define so much of who we are and what we have accomplished. And we already know that our governments are bankrupt, that we are personally in debt and that we don’t have enough money to do what we already want to do; and so how we’re going to find another trillion dollars a year for infrastructure investment looks like an absolute mystery to us.
But there are answers that address these challenges head on.
The key to finding the motivation is in the problem we are trying to correct. What are we trying to achieve today when we consume material stuff? We want to increase our security, our freedom and our fun. If we can find a better way to achieve the same results with a steady state society, that will unlock the door to our motivation.
Our current economic model is already broken, and doesn’t work in a demographically balanced world because the social “costs” outweigh any reasonable tax on wealth. So we need to fix our economics anyway, and if we can do that with a economic model that lowers the investment hurdle, then we can afford to transform our energy infrastructure. We demonstrate that a sustainable economic model can deliver broad prosperity, continue to foster innovation, maintain efficient resource allocation, lower monetary costs and provide better social security.
This paper explores the flaws in the industrial economic model, lays out the construct of a sustainable economy and describes the changes that will motivate us to transition to a sustainable state.
What’s an economy for?
A society is not sustainable if it is only in balance with the Nature that hosts it. A society can only be truly sustainable if it also meets the needs and aspirations of the people who inhabit it, and who will have to work to preserve and protect its fabric and provide for its future. A sustainable society must nurture an economy that enables the development of prosperity , if it is to fit the nature of its citizens as well as the Nature of its environment.
An economy is the collection of activity involving the exchange of value between different people or groups. An economic model is the sum of the mechanisms that enable that trade in goods and services, the purpose of which is to meet the needs of the people as satisfactorily as possible using available resources in conjunction with the talents, skills and efforts of the population.
A sustainable economy must operate within a model that provides all of the following:
- mechanisms to allow needs to be satisfied as accurately and efficiently as possible
- mechanisms that allow people to receive reward for their talents, skills and efforts; limited only by the demand for those talents, skills and efforts
- mechanisms that ensure that the truest cost it is possible to calculate are integrated into all materials, energies and other resource inputs, as well as the cost of mitigating the waste that results from the consumption of the outputs
- a supporting role for the freedom, democracy and rule of law that provide the framework for the economy
In all of these areas the industrial economy of today is failing, and it is failing because we are using v1.0 of a capital economy model. The dawn of the capital model, with fiat currencies and fractional banking, so blinded us with its ability to recognize value and represent it as wealth, that we fell into the trap of believing that it was the model for all economic activity. In fact the capital model only works for activity that creates wealth, which means surplus value left over after the transaction, that is then represented as “capital”. The capital model does not work for activity that generates value that is consumed on the spot. The industrial capital model erroneously assumes that all activity can be represented by capital, when in fact only the remaining value can be properly recognized as capital. In this paper we refer to this erroneous view of life as TEA, for “Total Economic Awareness”.
An economy is a function of the society that hosts it, it is continuously dependent on its host society for the rules, mechanisms and frameworks that support and enable it. Societies benefit from the successful operation of their economies, but it is important to remember which is cart and which is horse. Societies can exist without economies, but economies cannot exist without societies.
Not everything in a society can or should be valued in currency, and that truth is the key to the sustainable economy.
The Sustainable Economy
Sustainability is not, and never has been, confined to the achievement of environmental balance. Sustainability is a broad objective encompassing the total society including its economy, and until the solutions and processes that we propose lead to the full achievement of sustainability for the whole society, the environmental component will remain a tangible but unreachable goal.
We have concluded that broad sustainability requires that we restructure the way that we provide for our social security. By replacing social security cash payments with in-kind services, the hygiene portion of activity is removed from the wealth economy. This isolation of wealth activity from hygiene activity invigorates and strengthens commercial enterprise, at the same time as it brings broad sustainability to our societies.
The conversion of social security from a monetary benefit into a “universal service” transforms our social and economic landscape with a stroke. The result is a Hygiene Economy that is concerned with the provision of the basic services that support the citizens’ basic needs without the exchange of monetary payment, and a Wealth Economy that is exclusively concerned with the commercial trade of goods and services. The Hygiene Economy is liberated to focus on the sustainable delivery of real social security, and the Wealth Economy takes its place as a client of the greater society, not its master. The roles are reversed compared to an industrial economy, and a steady state economy becomes possible because the Hygiene Economy defines the basic infrastructure of the society.
An isolated Wealth Economy is dramatically healthier than the current industrial model, which is contorted by its attempts to meet commercial and social needs simultaneously. In a sustainable economy no one is “too big to fail”, wealth destruction can be recognized without endangering social security, and the commercial imperative to manipulate the political process is diminished.
In 60 Words
The model for a sustainable economy is a capitalist system with competitive markets, and a separate social security system that absorbs the hygiene portion of total labour costs.
The transition to this sustainable economic model is achieved by providing basic social security services at no charge to everyone universally, financed by income taxes which are only used to provide those services.
The sustainable economic model that we propose is an evolution of the capitalist model, beyond industrial capitalism, in which commercial and social activities are auto-naturally isolated. In the commercial realm, known as the Wealth Economy, all transactions are made with currency; whereas in the social realm, known as the Hygiene Economy, none of the transactions involve currency.
The separation between Wealth and Hygiene economic activity is not dictated by legislation, but instead by providing all citizens with the basic necessities for life, free of charge at the point of need. (What constitutes those basic necessities varies by society, depending on the needs and capacity of the society, but at a minimum they are sufficient to sustain life and limb, and are provided without condition and at no monetary cost.) Through the establishment of these “universal services” as a lifelong right of every citizen, the society effectively removes the cost of social provisioning from the portion of the economy that is concerned with the creation of wealth. In practical terms this removes the need for a minimum wage and for financial social security accounting.
To be sure, there remain costs in the delivery of the universal services that require resources provided by the Wealth Economy, but these can more easily be afforded from a reasonable tax on the Wealth Economy, because the taxes do not have to bear the portion of labour cost that is absorbed by the Hygiene Economy. The universal services are substantially self-funding through the in-kind exchange of labour in return for the mutual provision of security.
By separating the activity of the Hygiene Economy from the Wealth Economy, the capital economy is empowered to manage its money supply properly in line with real wealth creation and destruction, and to maintain capital credibility because wealth is not used as a store for social security. Numerous other benefits accrue to the Wealth Economy as a result of its isolation, such as: reduced cost, increased flexibility, and the ability to recognize much smaller units of wealth creation than is feasible in an industrial economy.
Society’s assumption of its responsibility for its own social security has the dual benefits of freeing commercial enterprise from an unnatural responsibility for social security, and promoting the ascendency of democratic power as the cradle within which the commercial economy rests. This results in the ability of the democracy to ensure that true cost is incorporated into all activities, enabling the rational use of limited resources such as those provided by Nature.
The basic infrastructure of the society becomes primarily the domain of the Hygiene Economy because housing, transport and energy standards are set by the universal service provisioning. And because the Hygiene Economy is a democratically controlled realm, in which maximum efficiency and minimum long term cost are ascendant, it is empowered to pursue the most sustainable options available. Public housing, mass transport and basic utility infrastructure all benefit from the resulting lower investment costs, longer term planning and greater public interest. Private service provision is not precluded, but because it has to compete with Hygiene services that leverage in-kind compensation, a foundation of sustainable services is established that makes private initiatives compete to enhance the basic services, not replace them.
The Advantages of Isolation
Once universal services are in place there are advantages that accrue to both the social/hygiene economy and the commercial/wealth economy.
- Commercial agility due to workforce flexibility
- Because businesses can hire and fire without being responsible for the social fabric of their community they are freed to make commercial decisions according to the needs of their businesses and the demands of their markets.
- Labour is available in much more granular and flexible units
- Employees are not dependent on a specific employer for pensions, healthcare or other basic necessities so they can move between employers, re-train or re-skill and adopt flexible work schedules more easily
- Workers are freed to offer their effort, skills and talents at whatever rate and in whatever manner they can successfully do so
- Reduced labour cost
- Businesses need not provide pensions, healthcare and other benefits if the labour they seek to attract is available without those benefits
- The nominal cost of labour is reduced by the equivalent that represents the cost of the universal services by effectively socializing the portion of the labour cost that the universal services cover.
- Typically this reduction will be equivalent to about half the legislated minimum wage in an industrial economy.
- The formula that determines the net amount of cash cost in the economy as a whole that is replaced with in-kind cost is:
- Reduction in market labour rate – Cost of delivering the universal services
- The reduction in labour costs also affects the cost of universal service provision, the majority of which requires only basic labour
- If average wages in an industrial economy are twice the minimum wage, and the basic labour percentage of universal services is 50%, then average nominal labour costs are reduced by 25% in the hygiene economy, and by 12.5% in the wealth economy.
- Increased flexibility in the labour market will also contribute significantly to greater labour efficiency and reduce costs in that way too.
- Increased innovation & creativity
- The flexibility of labour allows passionate innovators to pursue their ideas and creative impulses without requiring immediate commercial return.
- More high labour content services
- Increased availability and lowered cost of labour, caused by the removal of minimum wage restrictions, makes high labour content services such as repairing and caring more viable.
- Increased need satisfaction (market efficacy)
- The freer availability of labour in micro increments increases the possibility that micro needs can be viably satisfied.
- Reduced infrastructure cost
- The reduction in labour costs, along with a more flexible labour force, reduces the overall price for infrastructure.
- The net result is the in-kind contribution of basic labour replaces a portion of the monetary investment that would otherwise have to be raised as a tax on the wealth sector in an industrial economy.
- Stronger social fabric
- Because there is increased personal security in the society there will be greater cohesion and this will increase resilience in the face of disasters, natural and otherwise.
- The cost of basic policing is reduced allowing for higher staffing levels and deeper social integration.
- Greater self sufficiency
- The localization needed to provide universal services will strengthen local communities and increase local capacity in each service included in the universal service.
- Higher service content
- Increased availability of labour caused by the removal of minimum wage restrictions allows fuller utilization of all labour resources and makes high labour content services such as repairing and caring more available.
- Greater efficiency and sustainability
- Universal service provision emphasizes lowest longterm cost solutions with the broadest application, encouraging efficient housing and transport.
- High labour content services such as repairing become more viable, increasing lifetimes for products and reducing the waste flow.
- Richer cultural life
- The increased flexibility of labour allows passionate creators to pursue their ideas and creative impulses without requiring immediate commercial return.
Freer and more flexible labour market allows for more time to be more easily allocated to social and communal activities.
- The increased flexibility of labour allows passionate creators to pursue their ideas and creative impulses without requiring immediate commercial return.
Transitioning to Sustainability
Evidently the threatening consequences of the failing industrial capitalist economic model are not sufficient, in and of themselves, to motivate the change to a more sustainable model. There has to be a concrete option available; one that preserves as many of the benefits of the current system as possible, while meeting the most important needs of people more effectively than the current model.
We will transition to a different model for our economies and our societies when that alternative offers us better options in all of these areas:
- Provides better social security.
- Enables prosperity and reward for effort, skill and talent; in conformance with the nature of humanity.
- Enhances the typical life experience, with greater freedom and more opportunity for fun and joy.
Every advance builds on what is already in existence, and we must recognize the value that the concept of modern capitalism has brought to our world, and integrate it into our future. To flail against the ineptitudes and weaknesses that we perceive in the operation of industrial capitalism as a justification for jettisoning it lock, stock and barrel, is to entertain a delusion as vast as TEA.
A sustainable economic model will retain the benefits of the capitalist model and correct the deficiencies of the industrial model. Elements we should seek to retain include:
- The ability to recognize value independent of material representation (fiat currency).
- Competitive markets to assist with efficient resource allocation.
- The stimulation of innovation and effort derived from risk and reward.
- To those elements we must add:
- True cost allocation.
- Greater flexibility for labour and commerce.
- Real social security and a higher standard of life.
Creating the environment that encourages a voluntary transition to the sustainable economic model proposed requires that we:
- Establish real social security through the provision of universal services
- Enhance freedom by deregulating personal space
- Enhance democracy by placing the seat of power at the lowest level of our democratic structures.
See here for the practical implementation plans for each of these requirements.
One Decision, One Action, One Result
Through the election of a government whose primary agenda is the implementation of universal services we can initiate all the changes necessary to move our society fully onto the road to sustainability. Universal services requires strong local democracy, provides the social security that allows people to decouple the industrial economy from their standard of life, and empowers the implementation of massive public infrastructure. The simple, single commitment to implement free, universal access to the basic services of life brings with it the conditions for a fully sustainable society as a consequence of its implementation.
This genie will not go back into the bottle. The first society that demonstrates the facility with which universal services can effectively replace cash benefits, and provide better services, greater security, at a lower cost, will light a fuse for global demand for a better life and a sustainable society that will not be extinguishable. The net result of free access to basic services is inevitably a more resilient society that is better equipped to focus on the changes we will have to make and to summon the resolve to make the necessary investments for sustainability.
The Choice is Ours
If we are willing to accept a promise of service instead of a promise of cash as the basis of our social security, we can make the transition to a sustainable society.
The transition to a sustainable economy does not require direct action on the commercial sector, nor does it rely on the support or voluntary participation of industrial enterprise. Instead it is achieved through direct action in the social realm by changing the way we provision social security from cash-in-hand to service-in-kind.
The benefits of the transition accrue to the commercial sector just as much as they do to the society as a whole, and this balance of benefits makes the transition to sustainability a realistically achievable goal within the timeframe available.
The Sustainability Stack
To understand what constitutes a sustainable society we started at the end result and worked back through each element’s dependencies to find the root factors that create a sustainable state. We have developed the “Sustainability Stack” as a means to visualize and demonstrate the linkages between the components that make up a sustainable system. Each layer in the stack represents part of the solution and is dependent for its success on the layer below, and enables the layer above it.
Starting at the top, here are the layers of the Sustainability Stack:
It is widely recognized that an ever expanding human population places an unbearable burden on the resources of the planet at some point. We have not reached that point yet, but without a leveling off of population growth, the effort to achieve sustainable balance will remain illusive.
The most effective long term condition in which human population self-regulates is a level of prosperity and security at which procreation does not fulfill the desire for old age security. To wit, mature human societies that provide social security and modern healthcare have stable or declining populations.
The population challenge is best addressed by increasing prosperity and security.
Prosperity, in the sense of overall satisfaction, is achieved by enabling the maximum contribution from each member of society to the extent and in the manner that they feel most able to contribute. The conditions for this include a functioning economy that allows for innovational and wealth, as well as the freedom to pursue personal goals and develop skills.
In addition to a functional economic model, the long term prosperity of any society is also dependent on the mitigation of significant risks, and the most common risk that has led to the fall of civilizations over the history of humanity is the risk posed by environmental change .
To ensure long term prosperity, we must develop environmentally sustainable lifestyles and economies.
The most significant change we must make to come into balance with our natural environment is to stop adding anthropogenic green house gases to the Earth’s atmosphere. This requires that we double efficiency and double renewable energy production within 20 years.
To achieve environmental balance in our lifestyles and economies we will have to restructure our economies to operate in a “steady state”, in which material outputs and inputs are balanced.
A steady state economy will require us to find alternative satisfactions for our desires than the continuous accumulation of material goods. Those alternatives are freedom, joy, fun and personal fulfillment.
Fun, Freedom & Joy
Fun denotes a satisfaction with the moment, a relaxed ability to enjoy the company of friends and engagement in an activity of choice. The combination of circumstances that create the opportunity for fun are what we are seeking and that we are highly motivated to achieve.
The greatest intrusions on anyone’s ability to have fun are the concerns and worries they may have regarding their security, or the security of those they love. The insecurities of our modern lives mean that most people today have little or no opportunity for fun, yet it is a desire that remains universal. This space is the most potent possibility for providing the motivation to transition to a sustainable world, where fun, freedom and joy are more accessible.
The most important precursor to fun is personal security from the elements, from hunger, from disease and from subjugation: personal safety.
Security is a personal sense of safety in which we are freed from the worries that our most basic needs will not be met. If we are assured of always having access to at least the bare minimum of shelter, sustenance and healthcare, we have physical security; and when we have the means to make the most of our potential to contribute through access to transport, education and information, we have security in our prospects.
This kind of personal security enables us to lift our sights from the elemental instincts for survival to the aspirations for greater good, and this elevated aspiration is a vital foundation for building a sustainable society.
Personal security is also dependent on the physical security provided by peace, highlighting the political foundation on which sustainability must be built.
Peace allows us to develop the basis of civilization, to foster arts, engage in trade and develop the institutions that serve our greater good.
Without peace we are doomed to divert our attention and our resources into the waste that is conflict and never raise our sights from the lowest ground.
The door to peace is the development of communal decision making and conflict resolution as replacements for violence and intolerance. And the key to that door is the people’s ultimate, communal sovereignty over the selection of their decision making representatives.
At the base of the Sustainability Stack is democracy, because it is the enabler of peace and from there all else grows and is made possible. The more perfect the democratic practice, the stronger the foundation for peace and the better the quality of the decisions made. Those that have access to democracy today must use their privilege to start making changes in their society.
The Role of Economics in the Sustainability Stack
When we look at the Sustainability Stack we can see that it is based on political foundations, and that it results in social changes, but the intermediate layers are to do with our economies. While we will not reach a sustainable state without the reform of our democracies, we cannot reach a sustainable state without reorganizing our economies, because it is our activities with material resources and energy that are destabilizing our physical environment.
Once we have summoned the political will to start down a path to sustainability, much of the work and many of the changes will be in the area of economic activity. We must have a coherent and valid strategy for our economic activity both to galvanize and to capitalize on the necessary political changes.
Maslow described the cumulative nature of human aspiration, and that model shows us that we must attend to the hygiene factors of survival and safety, before we will reach higher for the common good. A realistic economic plan that provides for the basic necessities of life as well as enabling the natural commercial impulses of humanity to flourish is the base on which we can build a truly sustainable society.
The Prosperity Pebble Path
In developing our model for sustainability we concluded that economic prosperity fulfills two very important functions:
The overall prosperity and security of a society is the only proven, peaceful path to a stable, sustainable population.
The human desire for relative advancement is undeniably present, and manifests positively in commercial competition and innovation.
Having established that the inclusion of economic prosperity is necessary to a sustainable model, we determined that functional capitalism is the most effective mechanism for enabling a wealth economy. At the same time, our analysis of the failures of industrial capitalism led to the observation of very specific weaknesses that industrial capitalism’s TEA injects into a functional capital model. The combination of these conclusions and observations reveals an understanding of the relationship between a sustainable economic model and the provision of universal services.
Functional capitalism works by allowing the board, instant recognition of value because it uses a fiat currency. But a fiat currency requires prudent management of the money supply, which, in turn, requires that both the creation and the destruction of value are recognized.
The industrial capitalist economic model shows us that value destruction will only be properly recognized if the institutions charged with making those recognitions are free from political interference. And the best way to keep those institutions politically independent is for the society to dislocate social stability and security from the recognition of wealth creation and destruction. To do that, the society must provide basic life services to all its members irrespective of their wealth.
This connection between the development and health of the commercial/wealth economy and the importance of isolating it from the social security of the society is an important recognition that forms the basis of incorporating explicit and purposeful distinctions between the Wealth and Hygiene economies. This logical path of stepping stones from prosperity to sustainability, explains of the linkage between prosperity, capitalism and universal services.
So while there are many moral reasons to consider the provision of universal services, our model demonstrates that the delivery of universal services is actually a vital foundation for a functional capitalist economy. It has been generally recognized in economic theory that a functional social security system benefits a capitalist economy by supporting demand during recessions, helping to develop a skilled middle class and controlling costs, but this may be the first time that a direct linkage between the integrity of monetary policy and social service provision has been established.
Reducing the Cost of Labour
In order to fulfill their role in a sustainable economy the universal services provided must meet the following criteria:
The services must provide sufficient support that a recipient can sustain a basic life, without threat of illness or death from lack of shelter or sustenance.
- The services must be available on demand.
- The services must be reasonably accessible.
- The services must be provided without condition.
- The services must be available without payment.
These conditions allow the provision of the services to remove the hygiene cost of labour from the wealth economy, because the services that that portion of labour cost would have purchased in an industrial capitalist system are now available free of charge.
Foundation for a Sustainable Society
In order to provide the full benefit of a foundation for a sustainable society the same unconditional, free access should be provided to five additional universal services:
- Legal Services
The extent, quality and quantity of these services that any given society can afford to provide will vary considerably across the world, but to the extent that they can be afforded they provide valuable enhancements to the benefits accrued by both the society at large and the commercial sector. The higher the service level the more they reduce commercial labour costs, and therefore the lower the cost of infrastructure projects and the lower the taxes on the wealth economy to finance those projects.
A full and detailed exploration of the content and practical delivery of universal services can be found at here along with a cogent analysis of the benefits of a tax regime linked directly to the cost of universal service provisioning.
Legitimate Infrastructure for a Free Environment
At the base of the Sustainability Stack is Democracy, a fundamentally non-economic principle. The understanding that the basis for a sustainable economy is a structure for sustainable society, and that a sustainable society is in turn dependent on an infrastructure for democracy and freedom, is a key finding of our research. While this expands what may have started as an environmental objective into a whole society project that must reach to the deepest foundations on which our civilization rests, it also clears away the confusion and despondency apparent in much of the discussion regarding our options for attaining sustainability.
It is clear to us that the environmental agenda is dependent on progress on the justice agenda. The focus of all those concerned with the environment must be turned to the promotion of the social justice agenda if we are to make progress at all. Those of us living in democratic societies must take it upon ourselves to use our democracy to make the changes to the organization and priorities of our governments through the ballot box. The provision of universal services is a politically powerful initiative because it can dramatically improve the lives of millions of voters who are not thinking about the environment today because they are so concerned with protecting their basic security.
We must also be prepared to improve the quality of the democracy that our political systems provide. The delivery of universal services, moving to a steady state economy and actually getting to sustainability will require everyone to work together and will need to allow contributions from everyone. Most of our democratic systems will require upgrades to deliver on these requirements.
- ^ UN IPCC Report, 2011. Zero Carbon Britain project report, 2010
- ^ A steady state economy requires adherence to four basic rules or system principles: (1) Maintain the health of ecosystems and the life-support services they provide. (2) Extract renewable resources like fish and timber at a rate no faster than they can be regenerated. (3) Consume non-renewable resources like fossil fuels and minerals at a rate no faster than they can be replaced by the discovery of renewable substitutes. (4) Deposit wastes in the environment at a rate no faster than they can be safely assimilated.
- ^ UN IPCC Report, 2011 proposes $12.7Tn by 2030. Approximately two-thirds of what we currently spend on armaments and war.
- ^ Prosperity is a state of flourishing, thriving, success, or good fortune. Prosperity often encompasses wealth but also includes other factors which are independent of wealth to varying degrees, such as happiness and health. – wikipedia definition
- ^ Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed, 2005 ~ Jared Diamond
- ^ Abraham H. Maslow, A Theory of Human Motivation, Psychological Review 50(4) (1943).
- ^ None of the current options work – Monbiot, May 2011, http://www.monbiot.com/2011/05/02/the-lost-world/
- ^ Scientists agree warming will exceed 2C – Guardian UK, April 2009; Climate on the brink – Guardian UK, May 2011.