Could Amsterdam’s New Economic Theory Replace Capitalism?

An Alternative To Capitalism?

Could Amsterdam’s New Economic Theory Replace Capitalism? 


One evening in December, after a long day working from home, Jennifer Drouin, 30, headed out to buy groceries in central Amsterdam. Once inside, she noticed new price tags. The label by the zucchini said they cost a little more than normal: 6¢ extra per kilo for their carbon footprint, 5¢ for the toll the farming takes on the land, and 4¢ to fairly pay workers. “There are all these extra costs to our daily life that normally no one would pay for, or even be aware of,” she says

The so-called true-price initiative, operating in the store since late 2020, is one of dozens of schemes that Amsterdammers have introduced in recent months as they reassess the impact of the existing economic system. By some accounts, that system, capitalism, has its origins just a mile from the grocery store. In 1602, in a house on a narrow alley, a merchant began selling shares in the nascent Dutch East India Company. In doing so, he paved the way for the creation of the first stock exchange—and the capitalist global economy that has transformed life on earth. “Now I think we’re one of the first cities in a while to start questioning this system,” Drouin says. “Is it actually making us healthy and happy? What do we want? Is it really just economic growth?” Read More


The Great Pause Week 44: Auguries of Change

Orlov in his 2013 essay proceeded to write one of the most passionate and eloquent paragraphs of his long career:

Even when viewed from this rather bizarre perspective that treats our one and only living planet as a storehouse of commodities to be plundered, it turns out that most of our economic “wealth” is made possible by “ecosystem services” which are provided free of charge. 

These include water clean enough to drink, air clean enough to breathe, a temperature-controlled environment that is neither too cold nor too hot for human survival across much of the planet, forests that purify and humidify the air and moderate surface temperatures, ocean currents that moderate climate extremes making it possible to practice agriculture, oceans (formerly) full of fish, predators that keep pest populations from exploding and so on. 


If we were forced to provide these same services on a commercial basis, we’d be instantly bankrupt, and then, in short order, extinct. 


The big problem with us living on other planets is not that it’s physically impossiblethough it may beit’s that there is no way we could afford it. 


If we take natural wealth into account when looking at economic activity, it turns out that we consistently destroy much more wealth than we create: the economy is mostly a negative-sum game [and]… we don’t really understand how these “ecosystem services” are maintained, beyond realizing that it’s all very complicated and highly interconnected in surprising and unexpected ways.


https://bit.ly/3qo6xoE

What if the world was one country?

I have studied many people who have undergone profound personal transformation following intense psychological turmoil, such as bereavement or a diagnosis of cancer. I sometimes refer to these people as “shifters”, since they appear to shift up to a higher level of human development. They undergo a dramatic form of “post-traumatic growth”. 
Their lives become richer, more fulfilling and meaningful. They have a new sense of appreciation, a heightened awareness of their surroundings, a wider sense of perspective and more intimate and authentic relationships.  Read More

Campaign to save Bermuda seagrass beds gets under way

Efforts are under way to protect Bermuda’s native seagrass beds – and the species that rely on them to survive.

Walter Roban, the Minister of Home Affairs, said the ministry launched a restoration project last summer, installing large mesh cages over struggling seagrass areas around the island.
Mr Roban said: “Anyone swimming or boating around our Island last summer is likely to have noticed that many of our seagrass meadows have disappeared, for example at Admiralty Park and Somerset Long Bay.
“In a few places where the seagrass is short, it no longer provides refuge for juvenile fish, newly settled spiny lobsters and other small animals.
“This loss of seagrass will very likely upset the dynamics of our shallow water environment as well as negatively impact recreational and commercial fisheries

With Centuries-Old Techniques, This Farm Is Preparing for the Future

 With rudimentary tools and minimal labor, the Bec Hellouin farm in French Normandy is a vision of what farming could become — not an advanced, high-tech endeavor, but instead, one that draws on techniques used in the past to feed fast-growing cities before large-scale industrial farming existed.
Just four people — Charles, his wife Perrine and two employed gardeners — work the beds at Bec Hellouin. They work exclusively by hand, yet the farm produces yields that have stunned agricultural researchers. “Critics often say we want to go back to the Stone Age,” says Charles, “but this is about the future.” Indeed, Bec Hellouin seeks to answer one of the most pressing questions facing mankind: How can we feed the world without clearing more forests in an era of climate change?

2021 Will Be the Year of Guaranteed Income Experiments

At least 11 U.S. cities are piloting UBI programs to give some of their residents direct cash payments, no strings attached. 

Giving people direct, recurring cash payments, no questions asked, is a simple idea — and an old one. Different formulations of a guaranteed income have been promoted by civil rights leaders, conservative thinkers, labor experts, Silicon Valley types, U.S. presidential candidates and even the Pope. Now, it’s U.S. cities that are putting the concept in action.

Fueled by a growing group of city leaders, philanthropists and nonprofit organizations, 2021 will see an explosion of guaranteed income pilot programs in U.S. cities. At least 11 direct-cash experiments will be in effect this year, from Pittsburgh to Compton. Another 20 mayors have said they may launch such pilots in the future, with several cities taking initial legislative steps to implement them. Read More

Could Floating Cities Be a Haven as Coastlines Submerge?

Could Floating Cities Be a Haven as Coastlines Submerge? – Scientific American
 By century’s end, tens of millions of U.S. coastal property owners will face a decision embodied in the popular exhortation, “Move it or lose it.”
But there’s an option for people who can’t imagine a home without an ocean view. It’s called “seasteading,” and it could be a 21st-century antidote to the nation’s disappearing shorelines.
“Floating cities” could become climate havens for people whose lives and livelihoods are tethered to the sea or nearby coast, according to the San Francisco-based Seasteading Institute.  Read More

Researchers Pull Carbon Out of the Sky And Convert it to Instant Jet Fuel, Reshaping Aviation For Good

Researchers Pull Carbon Out of the Sky And Convert it to Instant Jet Fuel, Reshaping Aviation For Good
 A simple, yet world-altering method of sucking CO2 from the air into airplanes where it is converted directly to jet fuel is described in a new paper published in Nature.
With the importance of removing greenhouse gases from the atmosphere at the front and center of so many economic and policy decisions, the invention of an onboard system for carbon-neutral flight would represent a massive step towards addressing the climate crisis.
Some estimates puts the aviation industry’s primarily-CO2 footprint of global emissions at just under 1 billion metric tons, or around 2.4% of all human activities.
Converting atmospheric CO2 into useable hydrocarbon fuel is difficult, and as until recently, expensive both in terms of capital and electricity. Using a molecule that is fully oxidized and thermodynamically stable, there are few keys that can cheaply or efficiently ‘unlock it’ for reuse.
Some catalysts, compounds that can attract and force a change in molecules, can convert CO2 into hydrocarbon molecules of a desirable configuration for jet fuels, but their use is limited because they are expensive or require huge amounts of electricity. They’re also inconsistent with producing hydrocarbon chains with the number of atoms ideal for aviation fuels.

Julian Assange: Wikileaks founder extradition to US blocked by UK judge

Julian Assange: Wikileaks founder extradition to US blocked by UK judge

The fact that Wikileaks / Julian Assange published evidence of the US perpetrating war crimes in Irag, i.e. the shooting of civilians in Baghdad from a helicopter gunship , and their treatment of Chelsea Manning compels me to ask why the District Judge Vanessa Baraitser needed an excuse to refuse the US extradition request. 
Are no nation-states willing to uphold the international rule of law? Does the US have a get-out-of-jail card? 
Freedom of the press and the international Rule Of Law  is in everyones best interest. Having the United States acting as a rouge state is a worrying proposition. 

Capitalism is killing the world’s wildlife populations, not ‘humanity’

Capitalism is killing the world’s wildlife populations, not ‘humanity’

 The latest Living Planet report from the WWF makes for grim reading: a 60% decline in wild animal populations since 1970, collapsing ecosystems, and a distinct possibility that the human species will not be far behind. The report repeatedly stresses that humanity’s consumption is to blame for this mass extinction, and journalists have been quick to amplify the message. The Guardian headline reads “Humanity has wiped out 60% of animal populations”, while the BBC runs with “Mass wildlife loss caused by human consumption”. No wonder: in the 148-page report, the word “humanity” appears 14 times, and “consumption” an impressive 54 times.
There is one word, however, that fails to make a single appearance: capitalism. It might seem, when 83% of the world’s freshwater ecosystems are collapsing (another horrifying statistic from the report), that this is no time to quibble over semantics. And yet, as the ecologist Robin Wall Kimmerer has written, “finding the words is another step in learning to see”.