I am writing this post in a somewhat balmy, 80-plus degrees in my house (at 10:30pm). In Seattle air conditioning in homes is nearly as unheard of as the robin is in the Inuit’s land. Of course, now that the robin is in the arctic the Inuit have to come up with a word for it. Why has the last ten days been the hottest streak of temperatures in Seattle history? Why is the robin suddenly so far north? Why was last night the first night in recorded history that it stayed above 70 degrees in Seattle?
Simply put the Earth is warming. Rather, the climate is changing. In some places it is cooling, but most of us are experiencing the beginnings of climate destabilization. Why? Because we have insisted on releasing vast amounts of greenhouse gases into our atmosphere, altering the interaction of our planet and the sun’s energy.
In this very well written, collaborative issue everything is tackled: from natural capital to your place in the revolution. Written in part as a guide to creating a movement, as well as a call to economic students everywhere, this is by far one of the best attention-getting new-economic publications I have seen so far. (Also, economic students can receive a free issue here)
Instead of drab, theoretical and college-level pamphlets or briefs this latest issue of Adbusters is that will smack you in the face. Hopefully we can use it to wake some of those neoclassical thinkers up. I particularly enjoy the simple, straight-forward means by which they show in the first section why growth is hurting us and our planet.
The Gross Domestic Product is a tally of all the goods and services made in the country. It does not take into account the well-being of citizens, the success or failure of our government, or the quality of anything really – it is purely a tally of numbers. Somehow this number has been accepted as measure of the quality of our society.
The economy is a tool which we use to facilitate our happiness, well being, and develop our society. However, our metric for determining our success in this arena takes none of these things into account. GDP is a poor measurement of our well-being, our happiness, or our development – it’s just a number.
If we wish to talk the talk of human rights and equality, we must also walk the walk. Today, bloggers around the world are uniting to bring focus to human rights. In the US we are a privileged few who have most (not all) rights granted to us. We are the largest, most powerful, privileged few and because of this we must provide the example for others in our actions – they do speak louder than our words.
You leave them everywhere you walk, but recently the term “footprint” has being used to describe your impact upon the planet in broader terms than the impression of your feet. The most common one tossed around these days is our Carbon Footprint (see global climate change). A more recently developed spin on the footprint term is the Water Footprint: how much water you consume through your actions (directly and indirectly).
Of course you use water in your day-to-day life: you take a shower, drink water, water your lawn, et cetera. There is another way we use water: through the consumption of goods. The food we eat takes water to grow (a lot more than you might think). The clothes we wear come from crops that require water. Even the cars we drive require water-intensive processes to create them. Everything we do creates a ripple through the world and we can often take massive amounts of the most basic resource needed for survival on Earth: fresh water.