I too wish to express gratitude for returning to this subject, which is a
favorite of mine.
Another good website on these issues is that of the 'Northwest Environment
For some great guidelines defining sustainability, check out 'The Natural
Steps' webgage, at http://www.naturalstep.org/
>I don't believe that the driving force behind the growthiness of our economy
>is a "prevailing definition" or a "false notion". Most people would agree
>that genuine progress is NOT synonymous with economic growth. Yet, the net
>effect of actual behavior contradicts this.
>I believe that the reduction of "progress" to econometrics is one
>manifestation of the all-too-human (and semi-conscious) urge for self
>aggrandizement and keeping score. It comes from the "flesh" in the
>Christian model, or our chimpanzee-derived social heritage in the biological
I believe that most people are brain dead and don't have a clue what't going
on, because they haven't heard a thing about it between 'Packer' games and
the Clinton scandle. They are a mass of protoplasm being molded into
cheeseheads with a mission of consumption, by a media dedicated to nothing
more noble than profit.
>> We believe that, as it stands today, our society faces a troubling
>> future. By using traditional financial measures as our primary
>> compass, we steer society on a course that all too frequently
>> points us away from progress.
>The unspoken assumption at the site (and of the academic left in general) is
>that human nature is good, and is only fettered by aberrant cultural memes.
>In this case, the meme is seen as "financial measures." I disagree, and see
>financial measures as a manifestation of human nature.
>And that brings us back to taxation. Coercion (not just enlightenment) is
>needed to encourage environmentally responsible behavior. Taxation is a
>less intrusive and painful form of coercion than, say, reeducation camps or
Coersion is nice. The trouble with being nice is you get stomped on by the
undying mega oligarchies, know as corporations. Holding accountable, is a
more direct means of assessing costs of irresponsible behavior. IMO costs
need to be assessed for all the 'externalilities' of those benefitting from
our socialistic/capitalistic society. We will not be a true capitalistic
society until the leeches are held accountable for the responsibilities that
are inhierent in a true capitalistic society. Until then we practice
socialism...for the rich anyway. Consumption based taxation couldn't hurt
>What about "progress"? What do they mean by the word? Doesn't the word
>"progress" imply the existence of some guiding ethical hand in history?
>Evolution toward a quasi-christian millenial kingdom? A final cause? IMO,
>the ideology of progressivism should be examined critically (See Christopher
>Lasch. 1991. "The True and only Heaven: Progress and its Critics").
IMO we need to critically examine the ideals of a free market society. Along
with all the rights of capitalism, so freely claimed by so many, come
responsibilites equally important. Responsibilities like cleaning up after
yourself, not impinging on the rights of others, and treating the natural
capital of the land as an asset to be counted on ledger are a few that come
to mind. Until that is done, capitalism is built on a lie.
>could be that the cultural meme is progressivism, and that its otherwise
>worthy goals are distorted and twisted into the banality of purely economic
>growth, by undesirable aspects of human nature.
Dale, the banality of 'purely economic growth' you refer to is to be
exspected by a meme based in our current economic rules. Something called
fudiciary trust mandates that all else become secondary to profit. I think
this is Ferengi, Rule of Aquisition, number 17. These rules have no doubt
been adopted by all multi-national corporations.
>The power of progressive ideology lies in our tendency to place hope in the
>future. We need to temper that with practical short-term measures to
>protect the environment now, like taxation.
Ya hey, you betcha! So how is that done for agricultue? This is an astute
group of readers. What ideas are out there that incentivises sustainability
in agriculture, and penalizes the greedy, exploitive ba$*&%@s?
I remember the idea of awarding carbon credits for building carbon reserves
in the soil. That is one good example of rewarding a stewardship-like idea.
This is likly to have a chance of implimentation as global mandates begin to
Taxation of water-use in areas that irrigate would be another.
Simply removing some of the subsidies pointed out in the recent Time
Magazine articles would be an immense help.
I would like to create a list of these incentives to reward good
stewardship, and another list of ideas to punish exploitation. If anyone can
think of other means to do this, please post them on the listserve.
Please forgive my anger...this subject makes my blood boil.
Prairie Dock Farm
To Unsubscribe: Email email@example.com with the command
To Subscribe to Digest: Email firstname.lastname@example.org with the command
All messages to sanet-mg are archived at: