Redefining Our Economy and Wealth

    For a long time now, I have been in agreement with the idea that Global Warming is by far Humanity's greatest problem and challenge of the 21st century. In truth, however, it is not. Global Warming is the greatest problem caused by the mother of the vast majority of our problems: Growth Capitalism. Indeed, we will not solve global warming without first solving its mother.
    In a growth capitalist society, we must define economy as the way in which a society distributes limited goods and services to satisfy limitless wants and needs. Our society must teach us and train us to believe that we have limitless wants and needs in order for growth capitalism to work: the great idea that "You can never have too much money". In fact, we do not, naturally, have limitless material wants and needs. For example, I have fairly elite tastes. I want to eat delicious, high quality, healthy foods. I want a super fast computer. I want a brand new Prius, fully loaded. But I don't want to eat too much, I don't want more than one PC or more than one car. I want a beautiful, well built, environmentally friendly home, but not a mansion. People who think they want 5 Ferraris, a mansion and 3 vacation homes, etc. have, essentially, been brainwashed. It is happiness and health that they want and they have been taught that these things equal happiness and health but, in fact, we know for certain they do not. I will admit that it is, perhaps, impossible to satisfy everyone's limited wants and needs but I know that they are still limited and that we are wealthy enough to completely satisfy many people's and most of others.
    We measure the health and wealth of our economy in growth capitalism by Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and GDP per capita. This is supposedly a measurement of the monetary value of all the goods and services produced in a given country. The problems with this measurement are many. When we produce products that do not improve our health and happiness and are even detrimental to them, we still increase the GDP. When I purchase more food than I need and let it rot in my refrigerator before I throw it out, I increase the GDP. When people are more unhealthy and need more health care, we increase the GDP. When we go to war, we increase the GDP. And, perhaps most importantly, when we work 40-70 hour weeks rather than 20 hour weeks, we increase the GDP. Therefore, this is a horrible measurement of the wealth of an economy.

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Mr Z goes to Earth with an important message

I am saddened by louisprandtl's diary on Prof. Randy Pausch.  I immediately thought of Prof. David Goodwin ~ another smart man in a similar predicament, and with a similar desire to play his cards well.

Dave, as it turns out, has also been busy.  He has been writing a novel, which I am promoting in this diary... because it is hilarious, creative, and because it promotes a very relevant message.

If any of you have connections in the publishing world, I would urge you to contact Prof Goodwin for his novel.  It is about Mr Z, who has setup Earth as a reality TV show to fund his work, and who is concerned that Earthlings are going to destroy the Earth and thus deprive him of his funding stream!

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Plug In America's Letter to Governor Schwarzenegger

March 17, 2008

Dear Gov. Schwarzenegger,

President George Bush called on Americans this month to "get off oil" and start to drive electric vehicles. With gas nearing $4 a gallon, global warming threatening disaster, and our national security at risk, the president got it right.

Unfortunately, powerful California regulators are perilously close to killing the electric car all over again.

On March 27, the California Air Resources Board will revise their history-making program that put more than 5,000 highway-capable Zero Emission Vehicles (ZEVs) on the road and reduced our output of carbon dioxide--the main global warming gas--by one million metric tons.

But new revisions by the Board's staff will profoundly weaken the program again instead of propelling our country toward a pollution-free future. This proposal would require each automaker to produce only about 150 ZEVs per year through 2015.

That's less than what consumers are demanding...

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Electric Speeeeeeed!!!

One of the most pervasive views that I have worked hard against is that electric vehicles are small, slow, derivatives of golf carts. Golf carts may be slow, but electric vehicles never have been.

The Count Gaston de Chasseloup-Laubat of Paris, France on his electric vehicle the Jeantaud

I just want to set the record straight. The first speed record ever recorded for an automobile was done on December 18, 1898 in an electric vehicle.

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Green Teeth

You must have heard the expression put your money where your mouth is? Do you ever wonder what that means? Put your money where your mouth is? It means instead of preaching to people what they should do, live by example. Some people say it means that we pay for the changes we want. So, for all of us who like to sit around and talk about ecology, pollution and climate change how about we try to do something about it. Put our money where our mouths are.

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