Planetary Ponzi Scheme

A Ponzi schemes is defined as

a form of fraud in which belief in the success of a non-existent enterprise is fostered by the payment of quick returns to the first investors from money invested by later investors.

Current extraction of earth resources uses according to Ecological Footprint research uses up a full year’s supply by the 1st of August this year – so-called “Earth Overshoot Day”. This article shows how since the 1970s humans have consumed more earth’s resources than can be renewed, in other words each year demand has overshot supply. Thus at present humans consume resources at a rate that would require 1,7 planets to sustain – hence robbing coming generations of the planetary support for the lifestyles we no enjoy.

Resource use is not, of course, a non-existent enterprise as is a Ponzi scheme in the financial world, but resource use that assumes future supply of resources that will satisfy future demand is an unfufillable promise as demand is infinite and supply finite and diminishing rapidly.

Here George Monbiot reviews what he calls  “the most profound and far-reaching book I have ever read” The Patterning Instinct in which Jeremy Lent throws light on why our current Ponzi predicament has come about.

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