Capitalism Will End, Celebrate What Comes Next

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The damage that wealthy bankers did to the economy back in 2007/08 is still with us, and that has led to a whole generation questioning the validity of modern hyper-capitalism. That same germination witness ongoing environmental destruction and the erosion of labour rights (amongst a litany of other ills) all for the goal of getting more profit. The rejection of the prevailing thought has caused a few people to be scared of the change to come.

Don’t be afraid of the future, embrace it. Be part of what you want to see come true by examining what’s to come through exploration of what already is.

Fortunately, there is already a wealth of language and ideas out there that stretch well beyond these dusty old binaries. They are driven by a hugely diverse community of thinkers, innovators, and practitioners. There are organizations like the P2P (Peer to Peer) Foundation, Evonomics, The Next System Project, and the Institute for New Economic Thinking reimagining the global economy. The proposed models are even more varied: from complexity, to post-growth, de-growth, land-based, regenerative, circular, and even the deliciously named donut economics.

Then, there are the many communities of practice, from the Zapatistas in Mexico to the barter economies of Detroit, from the global Transition Network, to Bhutan, with its Gross National Happiness index. There are even serious economists and writers, from Jeremy Rifkin to David Fleming to Paul Mason, making a spirited case that the evolution beyond capitalism is well underway and unstoppable, thanks to already active ecological feedback loops and/or the arrival of the near zero-marginal cost products and services.This list barely scratches the surface.

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How One Hawaiian Mayor is Making His Town Better

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Hawaii is a beautiful part of the world and like most gorgeous parts pf this planet it’s feeling the pressures of climate change. Despite the American government’s blatant rejection of science and sense in environmental policy one Hawaiian mayor, Bernard Carvalho, is bringing his community into the 21st century. Indeed, when the American government pulled out of the Paris Climate Accord the mayors of Hawaii along with the governor committed to following the accord in their state. Over at Grist they look at what Carvalho is doing in his community, hopefully other mayors will follow his lead.

At the start of his first full term in 2010, Carvalho opened his inaugural address with a vision of a better, more livable Kauai, which he branded as Holo Holo 2020. It laid out the top priorities for the community, from economic resilience to environmental sustainability, and identified 38 projects to carry out. That included installing crosswalks, photovoltaic panels, transit infrastructure, and EV charging stations.

“A lot of this came from my going out into the community. I like to go visit people,” he says. “From these meetings came these 38 projects.”

Many are well underway, and several have been completed, including an upgrade to existing bus service and the extension of a pedestrian path that now stretches along the seashore between the towns of Kealia and Wailua. (You can see the complete list of projects here.) “All of it is tied into this bigger vision of honoring the land and the water and the environment,” Carvalho says.

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Tough Lobbying Rules in Ireland Work Well

Ten years ago when a bunch of bankers greatly damaged the economy the country of Ireland suffered quite a bit. The people of Ireland made the connection between influence on politicians from large corporations on poor public policy – thus they changed the rules on how the private sector can influence the public sector. The rues now put in place are appearing to rebuild trust in politicians, and the other countries are now looking at following Ireland’s lead.

The Irish reforms are simple. Any individual, company or NGO that seeks to directly or indirectly influence officials on a policy issue must list themselves on a public register and disclose any lobbying activity. The rules cover any meeting with high-level public officials, as well as letters, emails or tweets intended to influence policy.

For those in the business, the impact of the register and its requirements are primarily about the way the industry is perceived — and, broadly, they’re happy about it.

“I’ve not heard anybody suggest the Lobbying Act has impacted in any way the willingness or the ability to influence [policymakers],” said Conall McDevitt, CEO of Hume Brophy, one of Ireland’s largest lobbying firms. “It’s always better in our industry to have transparency, we’re all the stronger for it.”

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Saving the Ozone Layer Helped More Than We Thought


It turns out when nations of the world get together to try and save the environment they can be really good at it. The Montreal Protocol was signed in 1987 to save the ozone layer, and it did. Indeed, a new report says that it not only saved the ozone layer the protocol also cut greenhouse gas emissions. This meant that nations that signed the protocol had a spin-off benefit of reducing their nation’s carbon footprint.

Great things can happen if the politicians of our world work together.

Under the Montreal Protocol—which was enforced by the EPA’s Clean Air Act—the US saw a a near-complete phaseout of CFCs beginning in 1996, and a 95 percent decline in HCFCs since 1998. Pulling data from the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration’s atmospheric monitoring network, Lei Hu from the University of Colorado Boulder and her colleagues demonstrated that from 2008 to 2014, the elimination of these substances had the equivalent climate impact of reducing CO2 emissions by 170 million tons per year. Projecting forward, the researchers found that the continued implementation of the Montreal Protocol and its amendments could shave some 500 million tons of CO2 off our carbon footprint annually by 2025, compared with 2005 emissions levels.

 For context, 500 million tons of CO2 is roughly a quarter of what we need to cut to meet our Paris Climate Agreement target, of reducing emissions 26 to 28 percent by 2025. It’s also close to the annual US emissions from the entire agriculture sector.

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Alberta’s Carbon Tax Brings Cash to Great Programs

The Canadian province of Alberta is best known for the tar sands and the damage extraction of the bitumen has done to the planet. The province is now aware that their extraction economy won’t last forever because it isn’t renewable, so they have started to implement policies to make their province more efficient. One recent thing they did was implementing a carbon tax. Over at desmog blog they compiled a list of ten reasons Albertans like the new carbon tax and how it benefits them.

4) Household Rebates — $1.5 Billion

A popular critique of carbon pricing is that it unfairly punishes lower income people, costing poor people a higher percentage of their income and leaving even fewer options to, say, buy a newer and more fuel-efficient car or furnace.

Thankfully, Alberta has integrated well-designed rebates into the design of the carbon levy, channelling $410 million in 2017-18 to household rebates.

Two-thirds of Albertan households have already received partial or full rebates, depending on their income levels. Consumers who pollute less than average actually make money from the rebates.

Over three years, the household rebates will amount to $1.5 billion.

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Thanks to Delaney!