20091210

The Lid Opened a Little?

EUobserver / Racism at 'shocking' levels in EU, landmark report says: "Using language rarely found in the dry reports of EU agencies, the FRA described as 'shocking' the rampantly racist, anti-immigrant and Islamophobic experiences of minorities as they go about their daily lives."

Here is another one in Spiegel Online where Dennis Meadows, a US economist who wrote a book in 1972 that used modelling with that era of a computer to conclude that lifestyles had to be changed. He claims it is too late now and that we just have to hold on and see what happens. I recognize myself a little with this view on the matter. He says we don't have to save the Planet it will save itself. What we have to worry about is our civilization. Man survived the ice age. Africa now have to move to Siberia, instead of everyone moving to Africa.

Considering these two articles together it becomes evident that why it is so silent out there is because people are saying conflicting things. On one hand we have to globalize more so that the world population will start to decrease after 9bn. On the other hand people cry for blocking growth to save the climate. "Business as usual" is not good, they say. But Meadows says it is too late. If he is right there is no problem. The problem is perhaps that the climate fundamentalists claim that we can save the planet if we do this and this. Meadows says the only thing that would help is changing lifestyles.

Then the very unpleasant truth surfaces mercilessly. Should we go back to the caves and all live as they do in Afghanistan instead of trying to change their lives? The glory of our civilization was all a hoax. Or should we hope that the industrialized countries will come up with solutions also for the rest of the world. Meadows says that we should not have 18 pairs of shoes. What happens if it is not enough for people to have the three pair of shoes that he prescribes to save our civilization? Well, for the time being we would have to accept an outsideship and one main goal would be to eliminate it using science.

If science is the solution it is very bad that it is being discredited and politicized currently. It is bad that the schools in the Western world suffer from an apparent lack of motivation which is perhaps not so strange if doomsday prophets continue to sing their songs in the vein of the interview with Meadows. What remains important, however, is that for prosperity to rein it is necessary for individuals to work freely and searching for a solution to the world outsideship that is just going to be another hurdle on the track.

I must say that I come down more on the hopeful side of 'business as usual' than on the gloomier sustainable growth side because the whole system evolves from hope and the current situation. Eventually when we solved the population crisis by globalizing completely, which results in lower birth rates, sustainability must ensue.

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