Archives de Catégorie: Economie

L’obsolescence programmée encore et toujours

A lire cette interview fort intéressante avec Serge Latouche sur l’obsolescence programmée, publiée sur le site le l’institut Momentum.

De l’obsolescence programmée

Au coeur de notre système économique et surtout du système de production industrielle: l’obsolescence programmée, c’est-à-dire la fin de vie plannifiée de ce que nous consommons: le reportage d’Arte , à voir absolument, met à jour de manière claire une des causes majeures non seulement de la crise environmentale actuelle mais aussi de la pauvreté matérielle…

China, ‘rare earths’ and the global fight for resources

Chinas has recently set an unofficial embargo on the export of the so-called ‘rare earths’ which enter into the composition of plenty of our daily life products such as mobile phones, cars, medical devices etc… Since 95% of the current worldwide production of this precious metals is located in China, this country is in an extremetly powerful position, at least in the near time as it takes time to find and open or re-open mines…and it takes even longer to deploy the best policy in terms of sustainability which is cutting the use of those materials and where absolutely necessary to engage into a full recycling… 

Japanese companies and Japan were the first to be in trouble but German companies started to complain as well with some of them facing shortages…Japan is already looking to exploit those materials in other countries meaning further damage to the environment

Unfortunately the ‘resource efficiency’ agenda is far from moving into concrete developments at a global level. While the EU has set ‘resource efficiency’ as one of its flagship initiative in its ‘Europe 2020’ strategy, there are no elements on how resource efficiency will be praticaly boosted…

Oil spill and limits to consumption?

From theory to practice…it seems there is some thinking around to impose limits to consumption in order to face the crucial issue of natural resource depletion. Probably a nice idea and one which will inevitably become reality: either it is decided pro-actively by policy-makers or nature will impose it on us in a much more painful manner. The truth lies probably somewhere in between but I would say rather towards the second solution as politicians are usually conservative, wary of taking risks, years behind the acceptance for change by the population and very short-sighted…so much of the limits to consumption will come on us without big prepardness…we’ll see then…It’s actually like for the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico (read here an interesting analysis): the probability that this desastre could happen was low, it seems, so why bother and pay for the costs of avoiding or being ready for such a disaster? From the individual perspective of the leading people in this outcome (big bosses of BP and other involved companies, some high-level politicians in the US) this desastre will only weak consequences in their lives: maybe some will lose their jobs, be fired, not be re-elected or even have to go to court but this is insignificant compared to the massive profits they made personnally  in the last decades by taking such dangerous decisions. All those people will most probably continue to sleep well with thei big bank accounts while the taxes of the workers will pay to clean up the mess…This is the basic of economics: profits are privatised and costs passed on to the society…. and then some times later you get a revolution or a war…

Economic growth no longer possible

A new research by the NEF (New Economics Foundation) underlines that endless economic growth is just impossible when considering the threat of climate change and other environmental limits. As the World Economic Forum in Davos just started this certainly deserves great attention and dissemination…

Club of Rome: Amsterdam declaration

At the occasion of its global assembly 2009 in Amsterdam, the ‘Club of Rome’ issued the ‘Amsterdam declaration’.

It insits on the need for our societies to urgently address our tax system:  » New incentive structures are needed to motivate businesses and consumers to move towards sustainable development: a radical greening of tax systems is a first step »

Regarding resource efficiency it is also underlined:

« Targets for resource efficiency must be introduced, supported by tax reform, which should increase taxes on the use of resources and lower taxes on labour. » 


Ms. Ostrom’s Nobel prize in economics

Elinor Ostrom is the first woman to be awarded the Nobel Prize in economics. At last the Nobel committee enters ‘modernity’ but it was more the economic crisis which probably brought this openess to other ways of thinking…An article in the Guardian gives some more detail on her work as well as the statement of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences which says that Ostrom’s award is « for her analysis of economic governance, » and that her‘research brought this topic from the fringe to the forefront of scientific attention’, « by showing how common resources—forests, fisheries, oil fields or grazing lands, can be managed successfully by the people who use them, rather than by governments or private companies« .

It’s a pity that her work is only recognized now but even with this prestigious award it might take some time until her theory gets mainstream and helps breaking the neo-liberal dictatorship.