The recent article on Regenerative Economics got a lot of reads (for this blog at least). It raised a lot of interesting questions, some of which I will address below. First, I need to re-iterate a few things. The first is the big take-away I was aiming for:
for the capability of a nation to provide basic needs to everyone, a measure of the state of real capital and the performance of the aggregate of the organisations employing that capital are essential for informing policy.
not all economy can come under this measurement. Definitely not the art market.
the essence of the regenerative economy is to put in place measures, track and respond to the state of the Real Capital that is employed to provide the security of the basics.
the focus must always be on stewarding and regenerating the capital needed to provide basic services.
The Baltic-one of the most polluted waters on Earth is in fact a treasure trove of easy-to -retrieve minerals, metals and composting material. If you remove the sediment that contains the legacy of hundreds of years of latrine and chemical farming you restore the waters and get pristine raw materials.
The restauration of the Baltic would be a gigantic win for the circular economy. It might require a shift. Either we pay little for our food and sewage and a lot (via taxes) for restoration or we pay more for food and sewage and much less to restore our nature.
Let’s take a look back to the year where circular economy took centre stage; involving our consulting service and seeing the launch of the Academy of Investors in Peace and their online circular economy courses.
We are in a time of transition. The world no longer seems to present vast frontiers of new forests to fell, mineral wealth under our feet to extract, or of new soils to plough. Instead the Earth has become more like a garden which we realise we need to steward carefully to keep it productive.
We also see another transition, from societies where everyone more or less had the basics to massive inequalities where for instance in the UK, one in 200 is homeless.
At least from a European perspective, where the state is seen as the protector of people and resources, and firms are partners in providing what people need, we can see this a massive market failure.
This week, the Investors in Peace Academy published two new titles under the category of Peace with the Earth. Each E-book is free to download (you will need to register for updates but you can opt out at any time.)
My recent article on how come capitalism is an extractive practice, and the later explainer of how it degrades real capital got, for me at least, a lot of interest. Very few, however, asked what could be done about it. Once you know the problem you are a long way to solving it. There are several ways to turn the extractive nature of capitalism around, and they are surprisingly simple. Read on!
Reposted from the site for teachers maths4sustainability. This particular problem might be of interest to regular readers – it presents the idea of energy slaves which is one of the biggest challenges facing circular economy.
Simply put, the circular economy is one where biological materials are harvested and returned in a way that preserves, indeed regenerates, eco systems. Materials taken from below the earth, like minerals, stay in circulation. However, the notion could contain more. With eco systems preserved and with a high availability of minerals peoples’ basic needs could be met and a new era ushered in where there is enough for everyone. The circular economy – if introduced right – could help bring peace.
Consider the following:
From a starting point where we recognise people need peace, the circular economy can be set up to provide a basis for a world with a culture of peace.
By making resources abundant and available to all, the ability to make a decent living within natural limits comes into everyone’s grasp.
A culture of peace is even a culture of peace with each other. By eliminating the need to struggle all day every day just to meet basic needs gives people more time for personal growth, to find peace with themselves.
Much of the conflicts in society are eliminated when peoples’ basic needs are met.
Nothing stops a bullet like a job.
Father Greg Boyle
By harvesting biological material responsibly, and keeping minerals in circulation the circular economy reduces the burden on the Earth and indeed lays the ground for the ability for future generations to be able to fulfil their needs.
The Circular Economy provides the opportunity for everyone who needs a job to have one. Once gone, the fossil energy we use to extract, move and dispose of stuff will need to be replaced by the work of many hands.
The Circular economy is one which provides basic security in harmony with the Earth. Security of the basics – including the opportunity to find meaningful work – is a good start towards peace.
The Circular Economy provides the opportunity for everyone who needs a job to have one. It ensures that resources are abundant for needs and eliminates the need for people to struggle against each other to make ends meet. People get time and space to find peace in themselves, and live in a way that is in peace with the Earth, eliminating one of the major causes of conflicts between people.
From the introductory booklet available from the Academy of Invest in Peace