Archives de Tag: limits to consumption

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…