There is an economic inertia that delays implementing new solutions. Sometimes it appears overwhelming and impossible (for the moment anyway) to overcome. Nevertheless there are solutions out there and more are arriving everyday. Not enough telephone wires or even an electrical grid infrastructure severely hampered Africa’s economic growth. Cell phones and solar leapfrogged over the lack of infrastructure and now Africa’s economy is rapidly overcoming a once unfixable problem. Solving problems can be done but…
Can ‘we’? Will ‘they’? or is it … Who can? Who will?
Humanity’s rapidly advancing technological civilization has immense potential to solve our problems but our global economy is still old fashioned in that it is exploitive and extractive. Ah! Therein lies the rub. In effect we still have a ‘slash and burn’ economic system. Chop it down, scoop it up, grab as much as possible and dump the waste behind us as we look for more. That has been a profitable way of doing things for humanity since there was a humanity in the beginning. It has worked for millions of years because the Earth was bountiful and rich and whatever we did, nature restored itself. Forests regrew, fish populations returned and so forth.
But now there are 7.5 billion human beings and most use a lot of stuff - produce a lot of stuff - require - want - expect - deserve … a helluva lot more stuff everyday than our unplanned growth and ever expanding numbers can handle.
We also try to do new things in the same old way as we’ve always done things. We have a tendency to try and make even new solutions ‘fit’ in with old problems which frequently perpetuates and prolongs the very problem needing to be solved. Contributing to this economic inertia (reluctance to implement change on the ground) are vested interests that impede/delay/forestall/suppress the introduction of tomorrow’s solutions when large profits can be made by keeping things the way they are right now.
The problem is that the old way of doing things carries only an indirect penalty. There should be a carbon tax if ‘we’ want to reduce carbon in the atmosphere. Rising global temperatures just mean more air conditioning to the wealthy (To a village without electricity or even running water your apartment’s two air conditioners (living room and bedroom) is fabulously wealthy.).
Solutions are out there - look at how China is spending huge sums on solar and wind which is like having a savings account that accrues interest. In future decades implementing this ‘solution’ now will create or rather permit greater profits to be made in the future. Whereas later when others are FORCED by detiorating conditions to spend greater and greater amounts to implement solutions on a more drastic and intrusive scale out of necessity, how much solar will China have in thirty years? A whole lot is how much.
You get the sense that greed is not competency but mere opportunism. Sure the thief can steal food from someone’s garden but when he can’t steal anymore he will starve because it takes to long for a garden to grow and he has waited … and waited… and waited.
We are thieves one and all… but now there are so many of us… it is seriously starting to get scary… and yet the biggest thieves… bribe politicians to delay implementing …
…ways to save ourselves.
edit for spelling