Citizen Action Monitor

What’s good for the environment is likely to be bad for the economy – Nate Hagens (34)

Conversely, what’s good for the economy is likely to be bad for the environment.

No 2317 Posted by fw, June 26, 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. 

“This century, we are going to perpetually make decisions (or not make decisions, just act) on a spectrum between what’s best for economic growth, and what’s best for planetary ecosystems and our long-term wellbeing.  It’s probably good to realize (and care about) this upfront.”Resilience.org

In the previous post, Pt. 33, continuum 32, Dr. Hagens took aim at the futile Left versus Right, Republican versus Democrat vitriolic arguments, fighting over matters on which they disagree. What we need, implored Hagens, is “… to come together as a culture and fight for what is really important to us … the things that we really care about.

Speaking of matters that divide Americans, in this post, Pt. 34, continuum 33, Hagens, in a brief comment, observes the environment versus the economy rupture. The ongoing battle between environmentalists and proponents of economic growth will continue throughout this century.

In my view, there would appear to be little wiggle room for a win-win outcome in this battle.

Below is the embedded video of Hagens’ 60-minute address, followed by an 18-minute Q&A session. My transcript of Pt. 34, continuum 33, runs from 45:12 to 45:57.

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 45:12 to 45:57)

[OUR CULTURE] –

45:12[Continuum 33: Economy vs Environment] — Economy versus Environment. [Pointing to graph] So, we’re alive during this time, this carbon pulse. This is a 20,000-year view. We’re somewhere between those two red stars. Those of you in the room who are environmentalists, if you think of 10 things that would be good for the environment, I could predict that most of them would be bad for the economy. And most of the things that are good for the economy will probably be bad for the environment. This is a battle that we have to first, become aware of, and second, to care about in order to engage in it. This [battle] is going to be ongoing through this century.

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[Resilience.org Supplement] — Economy vs Environment – If you could create a list of the 10 best ways to improve the environment, (e.g. carbon tax, protecting international fishing zones, driving curfews etc.) it would be likely all 10 would be bad for economic growth. Similarly, a list of 10 best ways to grow the economy (e.g. baby subsidy, tax rebate) would all likely make either the micro or macro environmental situation worse. This century, we are going to perpetually make decisions (or not make decisions, just act) on a spectrum between what’s best for economic growth, and what’s best for planetary ecosystems and our long-term wellbeing.  It’s probably good to realize (and care about) this upfront.

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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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