Gary Reber
NationofChange / Op-Ed
Published: Tuesday 16 July 2013
As this evolution occurs there will be a wider and deeper understanding of the economics of environmental issues.

Achieving the Green Economy

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Given the worsening condition of the environment on planet Earth, the political and economic obstacles facing the regulation of greenhouse gases in the United States are overwhelming. Under such non-leadership conditions, only the most tepid reforms are politically feasible. Yet, Americans simply are not irritated enough to realize that the climate of our planet is in mortal danger, which places our humankind future at risk of absolute failure.

The technology for mass conversion to renewable energy exists, and systemic change now would avoid the worst extremes of global warming. While increasingly more Americans are becoming aware and choosing to adopt reusable and sustainable practices, these efforts are far from enough to reverse course. Massive reductions in carbon dioxide emissions through fundamental changes in energy production are essential.

The reality and thus political and economic challenge is that changing the status quo would decrease profits of powerful corporations with vested interests in current technologies that threaten environmental renewability and sustainable viability, and politicians continue to serve their interests above all others, regardless of the laws of physics.

Capital Homesteading1, which is based on binary economics2, offers a way out of the quandary, which pits concern for the environment against immediate needs, desires, convenience, and the profit interests of powerful corporations. Through Capital Homesteading we can achieve green growth in which Americans would be better able to afford more food, clothing, shelter, health care, transportation, education, communication, and provide the necessary demand for green technologies and production processes that produce green products. As Capital Homesteading takes hold, Americans would not only become stronger consumers and "customers with money" but also gain stronger property interests in the environment and be better able to afford the greener choice.

As we build general affluence for EVERY American, only then can we successfully alter the choices people must make between choosing alternative, more costly greener choices that do not threaten the environment and their very livelihood. This challenge is particularly a challenge for the property-less struggling middle class and the poor who must deal daily with livelihood issues, due to the precarious situation and loss of employment and the devaluing of the worth of labor as a result of tectonic shifts in the technologies of production resulting in less need for human worker input. Thus, realistically most people cannot be expected to sacrifice what little wealth and income they have to support more costly greener choices.

To see the change that so many Americans would like to see with respect to the support for greener choices will require that American lifestyles and tastes adopt more costly processes, products, and activities that are the greener substitute.

But the reality is that none of these changes can be practically achieved unless enough people can afford them. The policy proposals that comprise the proposed Capital Homestead Act will enable all Americans, increasingly as years advance, to become better able to discover, choose, accept, and most critically afford the greener alternatives.

While the technology and technical processes exist that enable greener alternatives, they are more expensive and most consumers cannot afford them, which means that producers are limited and otherwise cannot afford to make them. But under the policies proposed as Capital Homesteading the resulting accelerating economic growth will result in more "customers with money" due to their increasing ownership holdings in FUTURE wealth-creating, income-generating productive capital assets3 and thus become wealthier customers, better able to afford greener products and alternative production processes.

As a result, the political willpower to resist the economic pressures to destroy the environment will substantially strengthen and the United States will be better positioned to resist and halt processes that threaten the country's resource and environmental renewability and sustainable viability. Americans must realize that in order to achieve effective green consciousness, the extent of achieving such will always be limited by what we can afford. By pursuing a policy of widespread individual ownership of FUTURE productive capital investment we will be able to support opportunities for building a new market-based economy that supports general affluence for EVERY citizen and voluntarily achieves lifestyle green coexistence with the environment and its support for other life on earth.

As this evolution occurs there will be a wider and deeper understanding of the economics of environmental issues, a stronger market for greener alternatives, and broadened private property interests in the environment and the necessary productive capital assets to produce green products. This will result in transformative conditions that support the discovery and promotion of greener ways of life.



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ABOUT Gary Reber

Gary Reber is a leading advocate for economic justice. He is the founder and Executive Director of For Economic Justice (www.foreconomicjustice.org), and an advocate and author for economic justice through broadened ownership of wealth-creating, income-producing physical productive capital. Mr. Reber is a member of the Center for Economic and Social Justice (CESJ) and the Coalition for Capital Homesteading. Mr. Reber founded with binary economist Louis Kelso, Agenda 2000 Incorporated in 1967 to advocate policies and programs to broaden productive capital ownership in urban development projects. Mr. Reber studied economic development planning at the University of Cincinnati, University of California, Berkeley, with doctorate studies at the University of Stockholm and Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden, and taught binary economics under John Dyckman, Chairman of the City and Regional Planning Graduate School at the University of California, Berkeley. In addition to other publications, Mr. Reber, for the past 21 years, also has published Widescreen Review, an enthusiast home theatre magazine and Webzine (www.widescreenreview.com) as well as Ultimate Home Design, a “green” sustainable movement magazine, now on the Web (www.ultimatehomedesign.com), and is a producer of high-definition concert video specials. Mr. Reber testified March 7, 8, 9, 1973 as President of the Institute for the Pursuit of Economic Justice at Berkeley before The Committee On Ways And Means House Of Representatives––Ninety-Third Congress––On The Subject Of General Tax Reform and is the author of numerous articles published by The Huffington Post, Nation of Change and Op-Ed News, as well as nearly 2,000 major posts on the foreconomicjustice.org blog site.

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1 comments on "Achieving the Green Economy"

greggerritt

July 16, 2013 5:46pm

In a world of ecological collapse we actually have to use less stuff. Reducing inequality in the economy makes that possible and changes discussion about where the economy is going. We can not accommodate corporate greed without destroying the planet and we should not try.

Come to my October 12 conference in Pawtucket RI on Ecological Healing, Economic Justice: Creating Prosperity for the 99% in Rhode Island.

check out ProsperityForRI.com