Economies come and go. Socialist, capitalist, subsistence, free-market, you name it, they’ve come and gone, waxing and waning as human circumstance changes over time. Economics is a human invention, a social institution (hardly a science) subject to the whims of human folly.
There is, however, and will ever be, only one finite Earth, only one home for life as we know it. At the hands of the present human economy, the Earth is changing into something different than that which sustained the evolution of all plants and animals now living on this planet.
Each day, while the new President of the united States huddles with economic advisers, while political and economic pundits wax eloquent about pending economic decisions, human beings drive millions of miles in automobiles spewing vaporous carbon compounds, human industry pours tons of carbon into the atmosphere from smokestacks throughout the world, human agriculture washes topsoil and fertilizer downstream into spreading dead zones in the world’s ocean. The new President promises economic growth ahead, more jobs, more production, more consumption, more waste, more destruction.
Meanwhile, there is still only one finite Earth.
“We abuse land because we regard it as a commodity belonging to us. When we see land as a community to which we belong, we may begin to use it with love and respect.” Aldo Leopold
Our response to the challenges of the present “global” economy ultimately lie in the care of the Earth as life’s only home. When we approach the Earth as a critical member of life’s community, our economic decisions will lead to a human economy in harmony with all life and the Earth that sustains us all.
We don’t have much time to find our way. Carbon continues to accumulate in the atmosphere we all breathe. Climate continues to change even as the economists ponder their fate. Mother Nature bats last and ultimately.