I’ve been looking again at this paper that I produced in pamphlet form in 2009; that’s 5 years ago. A lot has changed since then, so it is really heartening that this amalgam of ideas and proposals, with roots in ecological economics, permaculture, Marxism and post-Keynesianism (!) still holds up really well. It caused some interest back then, and I imagine some incomprehension. Now, in the midst of recession/austerity/bubblecovery, and moreobvious than ever climate crisis its analysis and suggestions will perhaps have greater resonance. Yes, some things I got wrong (Jean Pain biogas production, for example) but in the main, much of what I said is now being said by more people. As a pamphlet it sells quite well still. That isn’t meant to sound smug – the emotion is more truly that of despair that the dominant model of credit-fuelled-growth-to-compete-in-a-global-race-to-oblivion is still …dominant. But if you didn’t see it the first time around, here it is again. Download the PDF file here.
Why was I looking at it again? Because, with others from Steady State Manchester, I am working on a new intervention, The Viable Economy, that promotes an economic model and policy prescriptions that align economic, social and of course ecological viability. Our present economy fails on all three counts and omitting any one part of this triangle is a recipe for disaster. So I was making some notes on the section that will deal with stewardship as a core value and practice, to see whether there were any things in the earlier paper that could be used a examples of ways the economy both impacts on the ecosystem, and can be a benign, restorative influence. There is a bit e.g. the proposal of funding public works to safeguard and restore upland blanket bogs as significant carbon sinks, but more work needs to be done to articulate the positive win-wins of ecological, social and economic synergy.
What do you think?