Thursday, 23 May 2013

Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber wants to"fundamentally rethink" the economy because of global warming

People who live in this Jakarta slum will have to stay put, because "unlimited economic growth on a finite planet is beginning to bump up against the physical limits of our planet” 
(image wikipedia)

Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber has jumped on the doomsday bandwagon and wants to "fundamentally rethink" the economy: 

Governor Kitzhaber said one of the problems we face is “the assumption that consumption can go on forever and at an increasing rate.”

“Global climate change, the decimation of our rainforest, the collapse of fisheries – a whole host of things suggest that unlimited economic growth on a finite planet is beginning to bump up against the physical limits of our planet,” said the governor. “More people are impoverished, their kids are hungry, fewer and fewer people are being lifted up by that economy.”
Here is a suggestion to the Governor: Why don't you go to the poorest regions of Africa and other continents and tell the people there, that they cannot have any economic growth or increased consumption, because "unlimited economic growth on a finite planet" bumps up "against the physical limits of our planet". Your message might not go down as well there as in the leafy suburbs of Portland or Salem.
Governor Kitzhaber also has a rather peculiar way of describing what is considered to be "great for the economy":
Another problem is that “we measure the wrong things,” said Kitzhaber.
The Gross National Product measures all the economic activity of the country and anything that produces a profit counts as a plus. The Deepwater Horizon oil spill was “great for the economy,” he said, “carnage on the highways, crime, the prison system, the war in Afghanistan – all count as positive in our current way of measuring,” the governor explained. 
Really, oil spill, war and "carnage on the highways" considered "great for the economy"? 
And, of course, the Governor believes we need to put a price on carbon "so carbon dioxide emissions can be limited":
“Most people know in their hearts that we will sooner or later be putting a price on carbon. It’s happened in California, it’s happened in British Columbia with the carbon tax, which is a much simpler more direct way,” he said. “The point is, we’re going to get there. We need to be much more explicit about having this conversation. It’s beginning to surface in this state, I’m sure it will surface in Washington under Governor [Jay] Inslee’s jurisdiction. If the West Coast were to move in that direction together, it’s the sixth largest economy in the world.”
Fundamentally rethinking the economy is the long-term solution,” he said.
Read the entire article here

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