Friday, December 16, 2011

Back to Basics: Taxes

Here's a great and relevant TEDx talk by Chuck Collins at Hampshire College - clearly timely in light of the Occupy Wall Street movement and the raging tax-cut debates in Congress - about his work to support the inheritance tax with Bill Gates (senior).

"We're nothing without each other" - an elegant way of noting that we are an inherently social species, and when the social fabric is systematically undermined, it's unsustainable.  We're all connected and no one acts in complete isolation.  Taxes have been demonized over the past 3 decades since Milton Friedman's free-market fundamentalism took hold of our economic thinking, and this video makes a compelling case for why that's bad for America and global society.

For more millionaires who agree with this point of view - see this interview about "Patriotic Millionaires"

Stay going.

Redefining The Good Life

Just in time for holiday shopping season... here's a great animated video diving into the interplay of consumerism, happiness, and meeting human needs.

Sustainability is about meeting human needs - in ways that don't undermine the capacity of others to do so, now or in the future.  Check out this old post about distinguishing between human needs and satisfiers of those needs.

Stay going.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Become the Next Sustainability Leader

Karl-Henrik Robert describes the greatest challenge to creating a sustainable society on the timescale needed: leadership.

Applications are now open for the next class in the Masters in Strategic Leadership towards Sustainability program - apply today.

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Sunday, December 04, 2011

Occupy Economics

Check out the video below from economists voicing their support for the Occupy Wall Street movement, and acknowledging some of the failures in the discipline to avoid the recent economic collapse.  See also the statement of support and list of about 250 economists that have added their names so far.

Occupy Economics from Softbox on Vimeo.

The OWS movement is an excellent example of what happens when the ways in which we go about meeting our needs is socially unsustainable.  In the language of the sustainability principles, our economic system has "systematically undermined the capacity of some people (many people) to meet their needs" - eventually there will be consequences.

The video only touches on the ecological risks our current economic system poses to the continuation of a healthy, thriving global society, but it is a big step towards opening up the dialogue to a much wider audience. I hope this will help bring the work of ecological economists to the conversation in a much more meaningful way, so the discipline of economics can help us avoid the "big collapse" of broad, irreversible ecosystem failure, which will make our current economic woes look like a field day.

Stay going.