Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Our Global Ecological Ponzi Scheme

Physicist Joe Romm, of, argues that, when it comes to the earth's climate and future generations, we're all Bernie Madoffs:

In our case, investors (i.e. current generations) are paying themselves (i.e. you and me) by taking the nonrenewable resources and livable climate from future generations. To perpetuate the high returns the rich countries in particular have been achieving in recent decades, we have been taking an ever greater fraction of nonrenewable energy resources (especially hydrocarbons) and natural capital (fresh water, arable land, forests, fisheries), and, the most important nonrenewable natural capital of all — a livable climate.

We aren’t all Madoffs in the sense of people who have knowingly created a fraudulent Ponzi scheme for humanity. But given all of the warnings from scientists and international governments over the past quarter-century (most recently two years ago with “Absolute MUST Read IPCC Report: Debate over, further delay fatal, action not costly“) — it has gotten harder and harder for any of us to pretend that we are innocent victims, that we aren’t just hoping we can maintain our own personal wealth and well-being for a few more decades before the day of reckoning.

Read more here:

(photo - Charles Ponzi, father of all pyramid schemes)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

We're not only taking natural capital from future generations of humans, but from those of all species on the planet. Predictions are that by 2010 the population of the earth will reach 7 billion, and there seems to be no end in sight to our ever increasing consumption. Seems to me like a recipe for our own extinction since we are at the top of the food chain.