29 Jan 2008
Capitalism or beyond?
wrote: http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/climate-change/big-business-says-addressing-climate-change-rates-very-low-on-agenda-774648.html So much for the Jonathan Porritt line that it will be sustainablecapitalism, led by big business, which will save the planet in the end. Expecting capitalism to save the planet is like asking a pig to fly. First sign of a profit cut and it's back to basics!
Incidentally found some interesting essays on green economics, I disagree with the 'neither left nor right' assumptions but good food for thought and since when do I only flag up essays I agree with ...critical thought is needed in this critical point in history!
Abolishing Private Ownership.
Before I get jumped on by the Libertarians for being a socialist or communist,writes Robert Feinman, I need to explain I don't mean eliminating the concept of private property. I mean eliminating the concept of ownership and replacing it with "usage rights".
No one ever really owns anything permanently, they just possess it for a period of time. At the end of the period they dispose of it. It wears out and is discarded, or is sold, or eventually the owner dies and the item is passed on to others. So we don't "own" things we just use them for awhile.
What I'm proposing is formalizing this concept. Whenever a non-consumable item is purchased there is a usage fee included in the price. When the useful life of the product is over it is returned to a designated facility and the fee is returned to the buyer. The facility does not have to be the original store or manufacturer, but can be a proxy set up for this purpose. We already see some small scale attempts at this model. Batteries and inkjet and toner cartridges are now recycled and, in some cases, a premium is paid for their return. But this only works if the item has commercial recycling value. Bottle recycling is used in many areas to reduce litter, but the deposit is only nominal and the effort mostly depends upon people's good will.