[Ok-sus] Building A Sustainable and Desirable Economy-in-Society-in-Nature Re: The Demand for Accountability

Julie Gahn juliegahn at yahoo.com
Sun Apr 22 14:31:16 CDT 2012

To continue this conversation, the UN just released a new report.  "Building A 
Sustainable and Desirable Economy-in-Society-in-Nature"

Herman Daley, Joshua Farley & Robert Costanza are among the authors:

You can download the Report here:



From: Chuck Gross <cxg300 at sbcglobal.net>
To: ok-sus at lists.oksustainability.org
Sent: Thu, March 22, 2012 4:25:07 PM
Subject: [Ok-sus] The Coldest Equation to add to Re: The Demand for 

I may have posted this link about four years ago, but it is what this chain of 
posts is basically about.  The linked page is on The Cost of Energy blog, run by 
a Lou Grinzo :  

 humanity’s environmental impact = population * the average person’s impact 
Let me take a second to deconstruct this brutally simple equation and it’s 
inescapable implications:
 First, if either our population or our impact per person rises (which they both 
are), and the other remains constant, then our total impact also rises. There is 
no flexibility here, no loophole or exception possible.
 Second, if we can reduce either the average human being’s impact on the world 
or our population, and the other factor continues to rise, then we’re only 
buying ourselves time before we exceed the carrying capacity of the planet.
The nexus of all of this comes down not only to sustainability - or what I will 
call here CURRENT sustainability.  My own primary concern has to do with the 
ethics of using all of what we have in the next generation or two or maybe 
three - likely beyond my own lifetime, in any case - and leaving the heirs to 
our planet to struggle with a greater population and fewer resources.  

There are some ways to buy time - like aquaponics, for instance.  We can 
grow high quality food with minimal water impacts, using less space, and do it 
closer to markets, using less fuel to transport the production - and in a 
fraction of the space required for a traditional farm.  But, there are only so 
many ways to deal with finite resources.  Ingenuity will go only so far.  Then 
the Exponential Equation kicks in - divide 72 by the rate of growth - the rate 
of growth for anything - and the result is the number of periods until whatever 
you are measuring the rate of growth for doubles.  At 6% annual interest, a sum 
of money will double in 12 years, or 3% annual population growth doubles the 
world's population in 24 years, etc.  I doubt that we can improve the efficiency 
of our system of living at a level of cutting our consumption of finite 
resources by 1/2 in 24 years,  so we are looking at shortages, relative to 
current standards of living.  
That is where the last few posts really tie back into Harlan's original post.  
Whether you call it ethics or conscience or just a reasonable approach to our 
future, honesty and accountability are important, especially on the part of 
anyone who is in a position of responsibility - like Senator Inhofe.  
While I was in the process of writing this post, I received Bob Waldrop's post, 
suggesting a press conference.  A wonderful idea.  In fact, Bob is such a good 
speaker, I suggest he present the compilation at that press conference.  

Chuck Gross
“Those concerns of a national character–such as air and water pollution that do 
not respect state boundaries, or the national transportation system, or efforts 
to safeguard your civil liberties–must, of course, be handled on the national 
Address to Conservative Political Action Conference, Washington, DC, February 6, 
(The above quote is attributed by ConservAmerica to Ronald Reagan)  

--- On Thu, 3/22/12, Paul Muegge <paulmueggecoline at aol.com> wrote:

>From: Paul Muegge <paulmueggecoline at aol.com>
>Subject: Re: [Ok-sus] The Demand for Accountability
>To: smithkc at riskiii.com, ok-sus at lists.oksustainability.org
>Date: Thursday, March 22, 2012, 11:32 AM
>"Eco-Economy"  by Lester E. Brown is a good read also.  John Ikerd is a great 
>source for future economic thought. I have been asking that the OSU Ag. 
>Economics Dept. get Dr. Ikerd to guest lecture on the OSU campus.  This request 
>has been blocked repeatedly. Senator Paul Muegge
>Paul Muegge
>paulmueggecoline at aol.com
>-----Original Message-----
>From: Kelley C Smith <smithkc at riskiii.com>
>To: ok-sus <ok-sus at lists.oksustainability.org>
>Sent: Thu, Mar22, 2012 10:32 am
>Subject: Re: [Ok-sus] The Demand for Accountability
>I'm going to do my best to find time to read this. I've long been a fan of 
>Herman Daly (now retired or close to it) and I think you are so right about a 
>discussion on an updated view of economics!
>Of course, people find this sort of thing really scary..... much of Senator 
>Inhofe's "success" derives from fear.
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