Month 7, Day 4: Independence From What?

The Boston Herald ran an AP story noting that there was no increase in CO2 emissions in 2009, due to the worldwide economic slowdown. Well, that certainly links the good news and the bad news in an arresting way.

If increased greenhouse gas pollution is correlated with economic growth, there are two ways to interpret the news that worldwide recession has held atmospheric CO2 emissions steady for the first time since 1992. Either global warming is a welcome indicator of financial well-being, or our growth-fixated economy is literally killing the planet. Growth has its place. Rapid doubling of weight is healthy — if you’re a baby. For an adult? Not so much. With over six billion people living on a finite world, we need a new way of economic thinking that doesn’t require constant expansion to survive. “Growth for the sake of growth” brought us the disaster in the Gulf of Mexico; gutted our national economy to line the pockets of wealthy speculators; increased global warming emissions without thought to the consequences. It’s an economic idea that is actually destroying the place we live! For all our sakes, we’d better find another way.

Warren Senders

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