Thursday, January 15, 2015

A Green Utopia ?

Yes, there is a real danger of over emphasising the brilliance of a Green future - but it really has a chance - if - simply put - we redesign the entire system.

Doing so will result in most people doing nothing particularly differently, but the effects on the environment would be utterly different.

Waste would be reduced to the point where demand for raw materials would fall and with it pollution and the demand for power. Money, which properly used would equate with resources, would be properly distributed and accessible for those who best need it.

Best of all from my point of view, is the arrival of the long promised 'leisure shock'. We shall all have to ask ourselves what we actually want from life - because we shall all have to time to attempt to achieve something rather than always working just to live.  The Basic Income would keep everyone alive and well, and the odd bit of actually paid would would do nicely for pin money.

OK, that could take some time to make work smoothly, but is it a Utopia ? No, it will have many problems, but nothing like as many as not doing anything, or worse, voting for business as usual - from any of the other parties.

The alternatives to attempting something other via the Green route are many, and all of them are bad. For a short example :-

We can expect continued and increased international friction between the 'haves' and the 'have-nots' - the 'West' being the 'have-nots' and the 'East' being the 'haves' - from whom we continually take having now almost totally used up what we had.

The 'haves' in our own society, the 1% who have a disproportionate percentage of everything, will continue to take more and more from the 'have-not' 99% who actually attempt to make stuff - and I'm 99% certain they won't take it quietly.

Even if we can keep our own civilisation together socially, there is simply ( note the word ) not enough stuff left for any sort of 'business as usual' to be physically or mathematically  possible - and - what's more - industry knows this. Industrialists are not stupid - they can count perfectly well so they have known the natural limits for decades - probably tipped off because they heard what we were telling them. They invented the austerity crisis to maintain their income as stuff for the rest of us ran out, and it is working for them at least - but, it, like everything else that is unsustainable - can't last.

Note, as a Green, I have hardly mentioned the environment, but, I will now. 2014 has just been marked down as the hottest in recorded human history. Sea level rise, the tip-over point of carbon release from permafrost and deep sea ice to name but a few could do damage that our very civilisation may not be able to outlive. So, even the rich would not have a pleasant time of it no matter how many robots may do the jobs the 99% used to have.

Not a pretty sight now is it? Doing anything other than falling deeper in to these traps does indeed look like a Utopian dream - but only if you are already living in hell.

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