Climate Change Follow-Up: Wake Up!

I know I promised my next post would be back on the topic of the Steady State Economy, but I have another word on climate change first. Seriously, this is important stuff – survival of life on Earth sort of stuff. Creating a sustainable economy is crucial to stopping runaway climate destabilization. They go hand-in-hand, as you will see in Leo‘s last point about growth in this video…

I’ll be short and sweet: WATCH THIS VIDEO. Please also support the Age of Stupid by watching the film (when it debuts in the US) and above all being Not Stupid. It is high time we Wake Up and Freak Out:

Wake Up, Freak Out – then Get a Grip from Leo Murray on Vimeo.

One Trillion Dollars: A Tenth of the Bailout

I wanted to pass this video along, to give us all a little perspective on the historical amount of money our government is pumping into a failed system. We keep propping up reckless banks and corporations too large to exist, but do we ever take a second to think about how much money that really amounts to? That’s not today’s taxpayer money, either – that’s debt for our great-grandchildren to pay off, which is morally repugnant to say the least.

My thanks to Jeremy for showing me this video, as well as Phil and the people at Mint.

Happy Planet Index 2.0

A Happy Planet Makes For Happy People
A Happy Planet Makes For Happy People

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.

That is why there are other scales in existence now. The New Economics Foundation puts together the Happy Planet Index and just recently they released a updated report: the Happy Planet Index 2.0. In this comprehensive report 143 countries (99% of the world’s population) were examined for three separate indicators: ecological footprint, life-satisfaction and life expectancy.

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Unite For Human Rights

Human Rights For All
Human Rights For All

Inalienable rights are written into our Declaration of Independence and are the foundation for our Constitution. The right to free speech, the right to practice a religion, the right to be a free, voting citizen – all pillars of our modern democratic society.

The truth of the matter is we might verbally support these rights, but we often overlook them in our actions. We support countries with unequal rights for men and women, laws against race and religion, and other policies that support inequality. When we purchase an item made in China we are by our actions supportingĀ censorship and suppression of the press. When we pump gas into our car that was created with oil from theocracies we are supporting countries denying religious freedom.

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.

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Federal Reserve Transparency

The Fed is the Problem
The Fed is the Problem

The U.S. Federal Reserve is our nation’s bank, created at the beginning of the last century (big thanks to President Wilson) to centralize our banking system and stabilize our currency. It is quasi-public, having both private corporations and public agencies with controlling interest.

“The Fed,” as they call it on the street, controls our money, interest rates, “supervises” banking institutions, and has other means to inflict chaos into our economy. Despite being a blend of private and public the Fed keeps its business behind locked doors. It is hard for a government by the people, for the people to have a functioning banking system if they have no control or oversight of it. We should do something about it!

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Information Deformation

The US has Twice as many shopping centers as high schools

A blog that I frequent, Make Wealth History, posted this video and I feel that I must post it as well. We live in a society full of information that produces little knowledge. Why? Because we are inundated with advertisement, spin, and false information.

Media is yet a another part of our society that should be independent and not influenced by a need for profit. However we allow a few giant, greedy companies to tell us the “truth.” What we are told is only what will sell, not necessarily the whole story or the truth. There are good sources of information out there, go look for them! Watch this and think about it…

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New Parenthood Without Consumerism

babypile
Babies have simple needs

Any day now I will be changed in one of the most dramatic ways a person can be; changed by the birth of my first child. While we were at our midwife’s clinic yesterday I found myself flipping through a copy of Pregnancy magazine.

While it is fair to say this periodical is not in my typical reading repertoire, I did see an article that caught my steady-state-oriented mind, “How many activity mats does a baby really need?” by Pamela Paul. In a magazine with pages of ads and articles mostly written about what to buy, it was relieving to see an attempt to tell you not to buy.

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Accountability in Media?

Jon Cramer on Daily Show
Jon Cramer on Daily Show

The financial crisis is largely attributed to the collapse of the housing market and reckless leveraging of bad securities. Recently Jon Stewart began a campaign on The Daily Show to expose the effects of our corporate-owned media’s influence on this crisis, namely CNN (no link to them for a reason).

Our media should be a protected, locally-sourced, community-driven industry. It should not be corporate owned, money-driven. Radio and TV were once a community service, now they are a community annoyance.

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