By Guy Dauncey September 13, 2019
Guy Dauncey is founder of the BC Sustainable Energy Association, co-founder of the Victoria Car Share Cooperative, and the author or co-author of ten books, including The Climate Challenge: 101 Solutions to Global Warming and Journey to the Future: A Better World Is Possible. He is currently completing The Economics of Kindness: A Ten-Year Transition to a Green Cooperative Economy. He lives in Yellow Point, on Vancouver Island, Canada. His website is www.thepracticalutopian.ca.
I premise my analysis on five statements:
- The climate emergency is real.
- The ecological emergency is real.
- The inequality, household debt and affordable housing crises are real.
- A new global financial crisis is lurking, caused by excessive corporate and private debt and banking deregulation.
- We need a rapid ten-year mobilization to achieve a transition to a new green economy, supported by a Green New Deal (GND).
What is a Green New Deal? The idea comes from President Roosevelt’s New Deal in the 1930s, which used a Keynesian economic approach with active government intervention to regulate the banks, manage the economy and invest heavily in job creation to overcome systemic economic failure and end the Great Depression. The New Deal firmly rejected the idea that the market, if left to itself, would solve the problem. That same idea today, based on faulty neoclassical economic theory, is an indirect cause of the dramatic rise of the climate and ecological emergencies as well as the 2008 financial crisis and the crises of inequality, debt and unaffordable housing.
Click here: Six Green New Deals to download this paper as a PDF.
Continue reading Six Green New Deals: How Do They Compare?
By Guy Dauncey
There are massive forest fires in Siberia. Greenland’s melting is accelerating. Record heatwaves are roasting Europe. The world’s insects are dying off. The scary news keeps accumulating.
We are living on the edge of an emergency that is just getting started, and climate is only the half of it. There’s also an ecological emergency. How are we to respond? It’s easy to slip into complacency, or to be overcome by fear, followed by a sense of impotence. You know the crises are real, but the children are coming to visit, there’s a holiday to plan, and don’t get me started on the problems we’re having at work.
The first step to end complacency and neutralize fear is to put the crisis on your weekly to-do list:
- Weed the garden
- Visit your friend in hospital
- Sign the kids up for karate/soccer/piano/dancing lessons
- Do something to tackle the climate and ecological crises
Continue reading The Climate and Ecological Emergencies – What Can We Do?
by Guy Dauncey
First published in The Mint – Fresh Thinking in Economics, June 2019
How can we turn around the world’s financial institutions so that their creation of money serves to construct a new ecological civilization, rather than destroy our current civilization through the financing of ecological and climate catastrophe? It’s a massive problem that needs multiple solutions.
Before we turn our attention to some possible solutions, we need some context. Global GDP in 2018 was $87.5 trillion. Global debt, created by the world’s financial institutions, was $247 trillion, growing by $14 trillion a year. Between 2005 and 2016 the debt increased by 73%, split between governments ($63 trillion), non-financial corporations ($68 trillion) and private households ($44 trillion).
Continue reading Five Ways to Achieve Ecologically Sustainable Finance
By Guy Dauncey, March 2018
If we are to live in a fair, just, ecologically sustainable world, many things in our economy will need to change, from the way banks create money to the way environmental losses and gains are accounted for and measured.
Let’s start with the businesses that grow the food, manufacture the products and provide the services we all depend on and enjoy.
It’s almost impossible to imagine a successful economy without its businesses. The Soviet Union tried, and Cuba is still trying, but neither has had much success. It’s hard to have success when the spirit of enterprise is not allowed to flourish. Continue reading Let’s Make Every Business a Social Purpose Business
They say we are self-interested, we’re always out to win.
Always individualistic, though it used to be a sin.
They say we need free markets, the better to compete,
and the economy will flourish if we only think of greed.
This is Economics 101, the way it’s taught today. Not a word about nature, community, caring, sharing, or cooperation.
During the mid 19th century, advances in science, democracy, education, literacy, public healthcare, labour unions, technological breakthroughs, banking, and the power of fossil fuels to generate rapid economic growth certainly made it seem that after ten thousand years of economic stagnation the competitive pursuit of profit was improving life for all. In the 1760s it took eighteen hours of human labour to transform a pound of cotton into cloth. By the 1860s it took one and a half hours. Today, it probably takes five seconds.
Continue reading The Birth of a New Cooperative Economy
Guy Dauncey is the author of Journey to the Future: A Better World is Possible and nine other books. He is an Honorary Member of the Planning Institute of BC and a Fellow of the Royal Society for the Arts.
June 2017. This is an updated and expanded version of Canada’s Housing Crisis: 22 Solutions, originally published on The Practical Utopian in December 2016.
A PDF Version of this essay can be downloaded here: Canada’s Housing Crisis – Guy Dauncey.
Canada’s housing crisis is far more severe than most people realize. The fundamental problem is an excess of money pouring into the housing market from various sources, combined with an abdication of responsibility by all levels of government for the past 30 years.
There are many on-the-ground solutions, demonstrating positive ways to build affordable housing. And there are seven new housing-related taxes that could raise the funds needed for a massive expansion of affordable housing.
The fundamental cause of the problem is the excess of funds flowing into the market, and until this is solved house prices will continue to rise, and most other solutions will seem like never-ending sandbagging.
The money supply problem can be solved. The money can be obtained to restore safe, sustainable, socially designed affordable housing as a fundamental human right.
And by establishing an Affordable Housing Social Justice Connector, a permanent, hundred-year solution can be put in place that will guarantee that Canada need never confront a housing crisis again. Continue reading Canada’s Housing Crisis: A Permanent, 100-Year Solution
by Joel Solomon with Tyee Bridge
New Society Publishers, April 2017. Review by Guy Dauncey.
This is a great book. It’s personal, committed, passionate, informative, and full of great stories. For an addicted change-the-worlder, what more can you ask?
And the stories, from Joel’s personal life and those of his colleagues, are about one of the most important challenges we need to embrace on our planet – changing the way we invest our money.
Continue reading Book Review: The Clean Money Revolution – Reinventing Power, Purpose and Capitalism
by Guy Dauncey, inspired by Matthias Kroll
PDF download available here: The Boldest Climate Solution
A globally agreed carbon cap? Carbon rationing? Holland’s proposed ban on the sale of non-electric cars by 2025? Oslo’s goal to reduce the city’s total greenhouse gas emissions by 95% by 2030?
No, none of the above.
So what is it? In a nutshell, it’s the proposal that the world’s central banks create $300 billion a year, and use it to leverage investments of up to $2 trillion a year in the urgently needed transition to renewable energy, and other climate solutions.
Continue reading The World’s Central Banks to the Rescue