The economic model the World staggers under came about as the result the meeting of Allied powers at Bretton Woods in 1944. The scheme proposed by British Maynard Keynes would have made the world economy owned by everyone, but the adopted plan, the White plan gave the world economy to American Multi-nationals.
The result was a world economy controlled and for the benefit of a few very rich interests.
Inbuilt in this system is that there has to be continuous expansion to pay for yesterdays’ greed.
That is the major problem we have when trying to get climate change under control. While we have to reduce carbon to ensure the future of the human race economies must keep expanding to avoid collapse. We must keep expanding, thus producing ever-increasing pressures on our ability to bring climate change under control.
There is never going to be lasting solutions to the problem of climate change unless one of two things must happen. First we would have to be a complete change in the technology we use to produce. The second position is to dump the economic system that dictates continuous growth as the only option. The solution would probably be a combination of both.
The current economic system has also caused untold misery for many so the dumping of the current system is desirable for many other reasons in addition to climate change.
Economics are not governed by fixed universal rules. They are designed according to particular political agendas’. Changing economic systems is no harder than a footballer deciding to change codes.
What is needed is a stable economic system where any expansions come about by population growth or by innovation that does not increase resource consumption.
We can have increased standards of living by being smarter about how we use our resources without increasing resource consumption. The enormous quantities of waste we produce is testament to how much room there is to increase living standards without increase resource consumption. Every bit of waste was produced using carbon at some point.
If the changing of economic prerogatives happens along with, and as part of, changing technologies then the human race could overcome the problem of climate change. Hopefully the adoption a new economic model would also benefit the multitudes of people around the world who are excluded from the ‘benefits’ of the current system.
Is it going to happen? I won’t be holding my breath. All that can be done is to continue a rearguard action against the unbridled greed of forces that have the agenda of pushing Tony Abbotts’ Tea Party and other extreme fundamentalist right organizations and hope that at some time in the future there can be the conditions when real economic reform can happen.