Towards a New Economy (I)
Written by Alfonso Elizondo
Most observers of human society are unaware of current biophysical realities: the same force that led us to capitalism is now leading us to post-capitalism, given that the era of abundant cheap energy is over.
We are living in a new unprecedented and unpredictable space where there is no way to find answers. Now, slow economic growth drags on, banks have turned to negative interest rates and to buying large amounts of public debt so that the economies of the countries will continue to function. No one knows what will happen and governments and bankers no longer have options.
No economic models have been developed that can be applied worldwide, according to the Finns in the UN report. Capital markets are not able to facilitate the necessary changes and governments will have to do so in order for human society to survive.
According to Paavo Juvernsivu, what we should do is accept that at the moment it is no longer possible to maintain current levels of economic growth because in the next few decades, current, or even higher levels of energy demand need to be supplied with low carbon solutions, which is impossible. So a great effort is required to reduce total energy use.
The key areas to achieve this would be transportation, food and construction, while urban planning has to promote travel on foot and by bicycle, and move towards better public transportation and electrification.
Homes and workplaces should be more connected and closer to each other. International freight transportation and aviation can no longer grow as they do now.
Addendum: In the second part of this article, other aspects of the new human society of the immediate future will be discussed.