Some great snippets from Money and Sustainability: The Missing Link, a report by Bernard Lietaer et al, selected for your delectation…

A fish will never create fire while immersed in water. We will never create sustainability while immersed in the present financial system. There is no tax, or interest rate, or disclosure requirement that can overcome the many ways the current money system blocks sustainability.

Viable complementary currency systems are not alone sufficient to halt our headlong drive towards disaster. But we have no chance of avoiding collapse without them.

This Report shows that the current money system is both a crucial part of the overall sustainability ‘problem’ and a vital part of any solution. It makes clear that awareness of this ‘Missing Link’ is an absolute imperative for economists, environmentalists and anyone else trying to address sustainability at a national, regional or global level. Aiming for sustainability without restructuring our money system is a naïve approach, doomed to failure.

The money system is bad for the money system itself. Unless we fundamentally restructure it, we cannot achieve monetary stability. Indeed, this Report also demonstrates that monetary stability itself is possible if, and only if, we apply systemic biomimicry – that is to say, if we complement the prevailing monetary monopoly with what we call a ‘monetary ecosystem’.

Environmentalists often try to address the ecological crisis by thinking up new monetary incentives, creating ‘green’ taxes or encouraging banks to finance sustainable investment. Economists, in turn, tend to believe the financial crisis can be ‘fixed’ and kept from recurring with better regulation and a strict, prolonged reduction in public spending. But, whether they are advocating greener taxes, leaner government budgets, greener euros or dollars or pounds, could both camps be barking up the wrong tree?

In order to face the challenges of the 21st century, we need to rethink and overhaul our entire monetary system.

Rather than defining environmental and social issues as ‘externalities’, our approach sees economic activities as a subset of the social realm, which, in turn, is a subset of the biosphere. This view provides the basis for the emergence of a new set of pragmatic tools, flexible enough to address many of our economic, social and environmental challenges.

 

I highly recommend the report in its entirety

Other Stuff: Polly Higgins

In a recent blog post, I mentioned the stellar work being done by Polly Higgins and her campaign against ecocide (to criminalise the deliberate destruction of the natural environment). So it was with great shock that I learned that Polly has recently been diagnosed with terminal cancer, and given just 6 weeks to live. Her global community of friends is giving her all the love and support that we can. Even if you don’t know Polly, please show your support for her and her mission by signing up to be an Earth Protector, and invite your friends and family to do likewise. The invitation to sign up is on Polly’s Facebook page, and the Earth Protector signup is on her Mission Lifeforce page. Her team say:

“sign up as an Earth Protector at IAmAnEarthProtector.org – and get 20 of your mates to sign up too… Polly says she would love to *live* to see #OneMillionEarthProtectors … wouldn’t that be incredible?!”  

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