True Wealth (II)

Taking another 12 days to finish the book by Schor, I revisited some of the important insights/thoughts.

1. Working more hours is likely to generate more spending. And if we continually compare against others on this curve, we are likely to have reduced overall satisfaction. Resultantly, there is an endless rat race embedded in such a vicious cycle.

2. Shorter hours may lead to higher overall employment since more workers are needed.

3. To arrive at an ecologically viable and long term growth economy, there has to appropriate legislation such as on carbon/fossil fuel usage/creation. This needs to occur at a global level since environmental impacts do not respect national boundaries (consider the haze issue in Southeast Asia among others). It may involve individual sacrifice. (I do not yet know consistently where I stand with regards to hamburgers and steaks – they taste goooood.)

4. There are people who select a low ecological footprint life out of choice, not fear. Further, it is not as difficult as it seems. Bringing around a safe/reusable waterbottle; shaving less; wearing clothes that do not need ironing; growing some plants for food; stop buying/watching television (philosopher Karl Popper might agree with that); buy durable phones.

I was enlightened by the book in another way. Technology alone would not overcome the problem. If solar energy became dirt cheap, it might still increase ecological burdens excessively. The key is to want less and therefore use less.

Do read further to expand your minds:

a. The Post Carbon Institute – http://www.postcarbon.org/

b. The New Economics Foundation (nef) and its Happy Planet Index – http://www.happyplanetindex.org/ & http://www.neweconomics.org/

c. The (United Nations) Human Development Index – http://hdr.undp.org/en/content/human-development-index-hdi

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