Henning Jansen

software developer | engineer

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Earth Overshoot Day
Aug 2, 2017
3 minutes read

Today is a sad reminder of global state of the union. According to

www.overshootday.org

We will have used more from nature than our planet can renew in the whole year.

I plead guilty.

For whatever it’s worth, recycling batteries, driving an electric car, paying CO taxes or refurbishing your house using organic bamboo doesn’t add up to the fact that we contribute to a culture of hyper-consumption. A cycle of wanting more, because someone else somewhere else got ‘more’. A culture we carry over and reinforce on coming generations to preserve our comfortable way of life.

The severe situation we’re in is patched up with poor, guilt-driven excuses and fake measures of our pristine concern for Mother Earths wellbeing. We’re sad excuse makers. These excuses, strategies for reducing cognitive dissonance, are really just lies we tell to ourselves, and this is the most pathetic part of it. Donating 50U$D to WWF sure made me enjoy my heoric & noble self.

Will a brown-energy BitCoin generate the same pretend-to-have value as a green-energy mined one?

Economic growth greed and sustainability doesn’t seem to go hand-in-hand. Economic growth could be sustainable, a problem for future generation to solve. But for now:

Why the current growth model isn’t sustainable:

There used to be concensus about the three controlling parameters of Growth (“Capitalism-101”), which is resources in form of:

  • Labour - people wanting more, willing to work hard to get it
  • Technology - people wanting more, innovating willingly to get it
  • Capital - people with money, wanting more money, willingly putting what they have at risk..

A simple equation that proved efficient over the past 170 years. There are now an understanding of the fourth part of this equation, a fourth parameter to the Growth equation:

Energy

The parameter was allways there, but we didn’t see it until the cyclomatic phase of capitalism revealed it sometime quite recently, 20-30 years ago. (debate med @reddit nickname ‘henningzen’)

The World Bank will soon announce a halt to funding Brown Energy initiatives. Environmental groups globally applaude this intitiative. The World Bank will most likely also make an exception to their policy:

this will not affect third-world countries where lack of energy is a severe blocker for increased quality of life!

An exception which will fuel incentives of greed in corrupt corporates and governments to keep third-world countries destabilized. Which in the end will fuel the illusion of growth and obfuscate the sad fact that the electic car, the organic bamboo interior and the 2 cents of CO taxes has a ridiculously seducing effect on our perception of hard facts.

As of tomorrow we are depleating resources for the rest of the year. A measurement of symbolic value, given a somewhat meaningless Year to Date index. However an important symbolic indicator.

The 2018 date for Earth Overshoot Day is pending. Beam me up, Scotty!


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