Increased Debt and decreased GDP – Is that some new “smart” economic logic…?

Isn't it supposed to be

A system with fatigue…?

Having looked at some of the OECD-statistics, trying to understand a little more about current economic development within the OECD-countries – I don’t get it…

When I combine data from Governmental debt, Debt held by citizens and non-citizens, Population and GDP – up until 2007/2008 changes in debt-levels where rather closely related to changes in GDP, but from 2008 the GDP has shown no or very little change (even a decline) while at the same time debt-levels have continued to increase at a high pace…

The same phenomena came up when looking at figures from “Statistics Sweden” – according to their figures, total liabilities in Sweden increased from 429% of GDP in 2007 to 490% in 2012 – while at the same time GDP per capita showed no increase at all.

What are we borrowing for…?

Under normal circumstances lenders and investors always refer to ROI – isn’t that valid anymore, or is it only me not being an economist, interpreting the data in the wrong way… Continue reading

Fiat-Currency and Climate Change are competing to the cliff – The “winner” takes it all…

This path

It is amazing how people always return to “single issue” thinking, whenever things become complex – we try to see/solve things “one at a time”, without any or little interconnection.

Last couple of weeks there has been some debate on the issue of “Climate Change” in conjunction with the release of the latest IPCC-report. (See previous article)

Denialists have been advocating that there are too many “uncertainties” etc. not seldom breaking down the issue into small pieces that they argue can be “suspicious”…
– Am I missing something or “Where is the big picture here?” – are they suggesting that we shouldn’t worry, that our overexploitation of Planet and People should continue…
Are they totally oblivious to all other signs of fatigue in our society – or are they maybe “gaining” from it…

Last week I saw two documentary-films with focus on our global economic system – I am not an economist, but – isn’t that a “rogue” system with fatigue… Continue reading

While arguing about diagnose and treatment – the “patient” died…

DiagnoseClimate Diagnose…

Last week the IPCC published its latest report on our climate.

The scientist community is now even more certain that the planet is warming and that CO2-emission from human activity is the main cause.

And although these facts are not new, only more emphasised, the majority of governments, corporations and people are still not seriously addressing the issue.
Instead the focus is as always, on money, profits and continued consumption and growth…

If someone told you that the risk of a serious incident or crash when flying has increased and is now at an “alarming” level of 1.8% – Would you still travel by plane?

A 1.8% risk when flying would be equal to more than 1,500 serious accidents every day, with roughly 125-150,000 casualties every day, compared with today’s approximately 30 accidents per year – Would you still travel by plane…?

According to the latest IPCC report it is a 1.8% risk that the global warming becomes 6 °C or more – a scenario that, with very little doubt, would lead to a totally different world where humanity, no longer can exist. – Would you consider this risk negligible? Continue reading

Don’t tell me about Sustainability – Show me!

Cheating is a choice

Storytelling is one thing – telling fairy-tales is another…

Humanity is currently facing the, without doubt, toughest challenge ever, stakes are extremely high. Telling fairy-tales and cheating on our next generations at such a serious moment is not what you expect…

During the last couple of weeks reports from Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) and United Nations Global Compact have shown that there is difference between Saying and Doing – an Enormous difference!

As Jo Confino states in one of his latest articles (a must read) in the Guardian;
“…major corporations, for all their fine words on sustainability being integrated into the heart of their operations, are doing too little, too late with potential disastrous consequences…” Continue reading

NIMBY – the ”convenient” approach to Sustainability…

China Carbon Footprint-Chris Madden 2

Not in my back yard (NIMBY) is an approach used by many – the further the distance the less interesting, or “intimidating” something is… and some things, people apparently don’t want to see in their backyard…

When there is a storm or a flooding in Bangladesh, there is a small note on page 3 in the newspaper, when there is a storm hitting the east coast of the US or a flooding in the centre of Europe – it reaches the headlines and a number of exclusive centre-pages…

I suppose NIMBY is a human psychological “defence-mechanism”, a wish to increase the “distance” between oneself and “an issue” – or is it a part of the “blame-game” where you try to transfer blame on someone else… Continue reading

Why is Flying out of the Sustainability discussion…

Paint it green

We live in a Global society where people and products continuously criss-cross the planet, but we seem to constantly exclude, or at least forget to mention, one of the means for this transportation in the sustainability discussion.

> 1,700 Airlines in the world (ATAG)
> 23,000 Airplanes (ATAG)
> 3,750 Airports (ATAG)
> 3,000,000,000 passengers (ATAG)
> 52 % of all international travel was “pleasure-oriented” (2012, UNWTO)
> 538,200,000 International Airplane-rides (2012, UNWTO)
> 5 % increase in air-traffic from 2011 to 2012 (IATA)
> 2 % of global CO2 emissions (689 million ton, IATA)
> 3-4 % of global CO2 emissions (amended for GHG-emissions on high altitudes, IATA)

…and we are not “really” including it in the discussion…

Is it because Globalization is yet another thing we should “not” talk to much about when we discuss Sustainability, since it is one of the current drivers in our economy or is there some other reason…
Maybe it is just because we think that flying is “fantastic” and that it enables us to see all these fantastic places – well, If we are not more careful, there will be no places to see… Continue reading

The planetary ‘piggybank’ is broken… So what?

What Planet

On August 20th, “World Overshoot Day” passed by, relatively unnoticed – some editorials here and there, some “honorable mentions” on the TV-news – but mostly regarded and treated as a curiosity… and now it is yesterday’s news, quickly forgotten…

Dear diary:
Yesterday some chum on TV said something about Overshoot, but I’m skeptic – I think he lied. – I mean, The planet is still here, right…
Today it’s “business-as-usual” again – This morning I have been advocating for increased growth and more consumerism with my government buddies for a while, then writing a check so that the regime in Sudan can buy weapons for their genocide, signing new contracts to allow oil-companies to exploit in the pristine parts of the Yasuni National Park in the Amazon, also found some time to burn down some Continue reading

Transparency reveals Honesty – Any problem with that …?

Transparency-Honesty

Isn’t Transparency very closely related to Honesty – or is it that Transparency goes a little bit further allowing others to actually see that you are Honest…

Is the call for Transparency maybe a result of too much dishonesty…

Regardless – If you are Honest, I believe there is no real problem with Transparency at all.
Instead, Transparency might be the very thing, helping us to transform into a Sustainable society.

  • Transparency promotes evolution and prosperity
  • Transparency promotes equality and fairness!
  • Transparency promotes quality and good solutions

I could probably line up quite a few more positive effects from Transparency, but let’s start with these. Continue reading

What if there is no Box…

Silothinking

Have you also heard the cliché one time to many…?

I suppose it is some kind of human urge – to box things in or to put them in silos.
Maybe it is some kind of unconsciously hidden “Taylorism” deep inside of us just urging to put everything in a framework or maybe it is our ancestral way to deal with complexity…

… I don’t know for sure, but we are really keen at it – aren’t we…

…and it is not only about work, we box everything in – it sort of makes things easier to grasp, to “make sweeping statements” about and to set “rules” applicable on everything or everybody in a specific box or silo. One very interesting thing about this “boxing in” though, is that almost as soon as a box or silo is defined, comes a wish to “Think outside of it”…

“… I don’t think limits.”

– Usain Bolt

Boxes and Silos are terrific solutions to avoid “outside interference” – I think it was one reason they were invented in the first place – to keep things in order inside and to protect from outside… Continue reading

An economy without Debt and Banks – is that reality or fiction…

Gordon Gekko

Just the other day I watched a Swedish documentary* about the European financial crisis and the recent real-estate bubble in Spain. In the documentary, largely based on scientific research by the Dutch economist Dirk Bezemer and Australian economist Steve Keen, I heard something that really left me speechless… I hope it is not true…

“For more than 30 years economists have not included Debt and Banks in the macro-economic models used for our society…”

One of the most influential Economist within the current neo-classical economic theories, Nobel prize winner Robert Lucas, stated in the documentary that “a debt is always matched by a credit, and can therefore be excluded from the model” and made it seem as simple as when you take out two equal variables from any mathematical equation if they appear on both side of the “equal to” sign…

I am neither a mathematician nor an economist but to me this seems extremely simplified and almost a little “ridiculous” – on the other hand, maybe it could explain how we ended up in the precarious economic situations we are facing, again and again… Continue reading