The big contradiction in our Climate values.

response to Carbon Equity newsletter 1/20/09


Your list of current climate change media sources is amazing, thanks, but troubling too, showing our deep confusion.

It’s amazing what an outpouring of warnings and commitments to act on solutions there is… The trouble is that all the warnings are responding to impacts caused by the profit making solutions of the past, and the present solutions are all intended to work by stimulating multiplying profit too. For a very simple reason that is bound to have the same sort of multiplying impacts. Multiplying money is not “inherently” bad, just inherently bad when the earth is already suffering from our multiplying impacts.

What’s entirely missing from the discussion is the realization that multiplying money is for multiplying “everything people could want” and so will inherently always have multiplying physical impacts. Money is a direct measure of, and our main facilitator for, doing just that. You multiply it and you inevitably multiply the consumption of diminishing resources rather than stabilize them. Why the old rules for prosperity now have the opposite effect they did before is complicated, but not a sole seems to be allowed to speak or write about it in the well read journals, exposing a very basic contradiction in our values.

An end to multiplying impacts is then an end to multiplying money, and so opens up a whole other set of issues that will need to be discussed. Ending endless growth (of money & impacts) would mean not having the source of profits intended to pay for climate mediation, for example. That’s disasterous. These are whole system issues, and no one but a handful of free thinkers (that no one wants to hear from) seems to be interested in bringing them up.

Best, Phil Henshaw


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