Citizen Action Monitor

In our quest for ‘treasure’, our capitalist economy has plundered Earth’s ‘riches’ – Nate Hagens (19)

Only when converted into ‘treasure’ are ‘riches’ said to have ‘value’, and governments plan to continue the plunder.

No 2302 Posted by fw, June 15, 2018

To access links to all other posts in this series, click on the Tab titled “Where Are We Going? by Dr. Nate Hagens” in the top left margin. 

“In the last century or so we have conflated treasure — which is economic output and money, and digital wealth — with riches — which is the 10 million species we share this planet with, productive, healthy, rich ecosystems and soil…”Nate Hagens

In yesterday’s post, Pt 18, continuum 17, the first in The Environment category, Dr. Hagens pointed out that our current market system puts no price on harmful, external, social-economic impacts.

In today’s piece, he carries forward the theme of the devastating environmental harm wrought by our growth-driven capitalist economic system.

Below is the embedded video of Hagens’ 60-minute address, followed by an 18-minute Q&A session. My transcript of Pt. 19, continuum 18, runs from 29:47 to 30:26.

Alternatively, a video of Hagens’ talk, along with a “loosely related” essay on the talk, are available by clicking on the following linked title. This version, published by Resilience.org, also includes excellent readers’ comments, including responses by Hagens.

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Where are we going? by Nate Hagens, Resilience.org, May 8, 2018

TRANSCRIPT (from 29:47 to 30:26)

[THE ENVIRONMENT]

29:47 — [Continuum 18: Treasure vs Riches] – Treasure versus Riches. In the last century or so we have conflated treasure — which is economic output and money, and digital wealth — with riches — which is the 10 million species we share this planet with, productive, healthy, rich ecosystems and soil — which only get transferred into value in our system once they are processed or harvested. Until then they have zero value. That’s not what a sapient [wise] species would do.

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[Resilience.org Supplement] Treasure vs Riches – The vast ecological riches of our natural world: mineral deposits, millions of species, vibrant ecosystems, lush rainforests, etc. are only counted as having value to human economies once they are converted. In our quest for treasure, we have plundered our riches, and the default plan is to continue to.

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About Dr. Nathan John Hagens – Hagens, 51, worked on Wall Street at Lehman Brothers and Salomon Brothers for 10 years before closing his own hedge fund in 2003 to develop a systems synthesis approach to the human predicament. At present, Dr. Hagens is a professor at the University of Minnesota where he teaches a systems synthesis Honors seminar called Reality 101, A Survey of Human Predicament. The readings and lectures cover literature in systems ecology, energy and natural resources, thermodynamics, history, anthropology, human behavior, neuroscience, environmental science, sociology, economics, globalization/trade, and finance/debt with an overarching goal to give students a general understanding of how our human ecosystem functions as a whole.

Visit Nate Hagens’ personal website at The Monkey Trap.

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