Los Cabos and Rio
Tuesday, June 19, 2012
Barack Obama, Angela Merkel and David Cameron are attending the G20 meeting in Los Cabos, Mexico and have decided for different reasons not to attend the Rio 2012 Earth Summit which directly follows their G20 meeting. It is a mistake for the politicians (leaders?) of these three important countries not to attend the Rio summit where very basic issues are being raised about the global economy and global governance in this world where the global economy has put millions of people out of a meaningful job and where national governments are rationally pursuing their limited goals without sufficient political will to improve, let alone overhaul, the global systems which enrich the few, impoverish the many and imperil the planet.
Their forthcoming statement will highlight their wisdom of sustainable growth over austerity without realizing that growthism, even accompanied with the adjective sustainable, is an unrealistic economic pursuit. It does not include the recognition of the natural limits that humanity is up against in these carbon-constrained times of peak oil, peak water, peak food, etc. The unsustainability of growthism is very clearly described in Richard Heinberg’s recently updated book The End of Growth
As suggested by Herman Daly for many years or even decades the term growth is to be abandoned for development. Thus it would be most appropriate to speak of and write about sustainability prosperity which is the purpose of economic activity anyway. Not doing this means one is engaged in goal displacement.
What is needed and being pursued in Rio but not in Los Cabos is a new vision that is able to integrate the social, economic and environmental dimensions of this sustainable prosperity for people and planet. One of the very few proposals for integrated global governance that is not yet widely recognized is the International Institute for Monetary Transformation’s proposal called The Tierra Solution where the climate crisis is conceptually, institutionally and strategically resolved by working towards a carbon-based international monetary system. Details are available on this website with a book length treatment in the recently published The Tierra Solution: Resolving the Climate Crisis through Monetary Transformation.