Connecting the Dots ~ Fred Allebach

Fred Allebach Fred Allebach is a member of the City of Sonoma’s Community Services and Environmental Commission, and an Advisory Committee member of the Sonoma Valley Groundwater Sustainability Agency. Fred is maintenance chair of the Sonoma Overlook Trail Stewards and an active member of the Sonoma Valley Housing Group and Transition Sonoma Valley. As well, Fred has a KSVY radio show on Sunday nights at 8:PM, participates in the Sonoma Valley Action Coalition for immigration issues, and with the Sonoma Climate Coalition.


Slowing growth is needed, one way or the other

Posted on June 20, 2018 by Fred Allebach

The post WW1 and WW2 liberal world order is supposed to have had a lot of upsides, but in reality, it has ended up to be an unjust rip-off where good ideals were overrun by greed and insider fixing of the system.

A recent NYT quote: Trump’s trade and tariff policies “could slow economic growth…” The presumption is that economic growth is good by all accounts, and anything should be done to keep it up.

Americans consume a grossly large percentage of world resources and energy for a very small percentage of world population.

First and Second world countries are swinging to an anti-immigrant stance because their own locals have been ripped off by their own 1%’s to a point where they are getting poorer. The system is cracking; the gravy train is finished. Locals, in a great PR sleight of hand, blame immigrants for all their problems.

The endless frontier has run out of space and resources.

Immigrants and migrants from Third World countries have been ripped off even worse by their own 1% class. They migrate for the latter reason, and because of world level 1% rip offs, and because of climate change caused by First World consumerism. These migrants look to find a living situation that covers the food, housing and security aspects of Maslows’ Hierarchy of Needs.

The world economy is currently fueled and run by people desiring and consuming mostly unnecessary products. Aside from appliances like a refrigerator and washing machine, most necessary goods have already been made, including stoves of all kinds, and can be found at Thrift Stores. The resources and energy to make and transport these products is destroying the world’s climate and biodiversity.

The reality is: 8 billion people can’t all have dogs, computers, coffee makers, cars, garage door openers, etc.; not enough energy and resources for it.

Trump has a foreign policy of supporting dictators and alienating traditional allies. Human rights and ethics are absent from the Trump method (I wouldn’t call it a “doctrine.”) This glorifies an every-dog-for-himself, transactional mentality. Have nots are going to be ground under the boot heel of the haves even more in a Trump, populist world, which will lead to war and terrorism through the fostering of serious resentments, as we have seen with Al Quade and ISIS. The current treatment of Third World populations, and of erstwhile allies, plus leaving Russia and China free to carve out new spheres, can only incubate the next wave of war and terrorism.

Just wait until someone like the Palestinians, or immigrants with their kids taken away get a nuclear weapon, nothing to lose…

A few observations: slowing economic growth is good and necessary for the planet’s health. Trump is a clownish agent whose actions are unintentionally producing the needed result. Tearing down the current world order seems bad, but war and strife among people will have a positive effect by reducing population and its concomitant gratuitous consumption of energy and resources.

If planning ahead was our collective mode, rather than relying on unintended consequences of protectionism and populism, resource and energy could be devoted to providing the basics for all, and to reach zero and negative population growth, that would solve our serious energy, resource, and loss of biodiversity problems. A growing economy is the source of these problems, not the cure. We have a distribution and equity problem, not a problem of needing to grow, as all of nature shows us (through population biology and the Second Law of Thermodynamics) that unending growth and energy use is a death prescription.

Trump is a lying, narcissistic jerk of unimaginable proportions. He can’t articulate his assumptions or why he’s doing what he’s doing; it’s all by “feel”, a feel any can see is based on primitive racism and an us against them mentality.  Nevertheless, knocking down the power of First World consumers is critical to saving our planet, and First World consumers have zero incentive to stop or slow down as long as the gravy train keeps operating at full steam. As long as even low-level First World consumption amounts to living like a King compared to Third World daily realities, and TV and computers show all how great it all is, migrants will be wanting to come, to rise up Maslow’s hierarchy.

So when Trump and Fox news blows up the US and the world by turning us all against each other, and blaming everything on immigrants, the exact opposite of “making America great again” will happen, but this is what was needed anyway, to take the US consumer juggernaut down a few notches, to take the aspiration of word consumerism down and return us humans to a drastically reduced level of collective environmental impact.

Yes, the distribution of world resources is unfair, but so far, just about all country’s leaderships have shown they are more interested in kleptocracy than justice. People are are going to have to solve these problems where they are, and take on their local 1%s, so as to share the money to get the necessities, and to downsize consumption, reduce impacts and equitably share resources while we at the same time seek to reduce population drastically with zero to negative population growth.

Planning ahead to manage our collective effects is not humanity’s strong suit. Tragedy of the commons. Every dog for himself is our default setting. Those with all the marbles have no incentive to share. Sonoma is a great example. As the Post WW1 and WW2 liberal order world falls apart, at least we can know that large issues of over-consumption are being addressed unintentionally.



One thought on “Slowing growth is needed, one way or the other

  1. During the Russian Revolution and resulting civil war, the 1% oppressors were exterminated. At some point, the oppressed 99%, may conclude, there has been enough appeal to reason and justice. The time for discussion has ended.

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