Global Warming Caused the Business Cycle and What Must Be Done

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Obama and Congress are moving toward dramatically reducing carbon emissions over time, but they are not acting fast enough. The recent financial collapse is just the latest thing we can easily blame on global warming. After all, if human carbon emissions can cause the whole earth to warm up, certainly they could cause the economy to falter.

Here’s my theory, which I’m working to get federal grant money to pursue further: The boom in construction and development, spurred by human greed, caused global warming, which in turn has led to the bust. Don’t ask me how exactly, unless you’re a denialist. Surely the right response is for the government to pump money into the economy, but we must make sure that the printed green is really green.

This means no more public works projects that build up infrastructure that encourage carbon use. No projects that themselves use gas-powered motors of any kind. Everyone should be made to use eco-friendly farming implements and tools, rather than modern anti-Earth ones, to produce for the new 21st century economy, one that fails to grow and will thus avoid the boom-bust cycle endemic in capitalism.

Imagine a world with no heavy industry, no oil, no coal, no energy except that which we get from eating a raw and healthy, rationed vegan diet. It will require sacrifice, but the planet is at stake. There are too many people on earth, too, so we’ll have to find those who use the most carbon and liquidate them. Anyone who requires specially designed technology just to get by, like eyeglasses (sorry, Lew) will also have to go. And anyone whose cultural biases are toward the Industrial Revolution and thus eco-genocide will have to go, as well. This probably means we’d have to rid of those with an attachment to Western traditions such as English or Christianity. The plan sounds ambitious, but we have good models to look at. Cambodia tried a somewhat similar policy in the 1970s and consequently had one of the most earth-friendly regimes in modern times. They didn’t take it far enough, but it’s a good start.

Let us commit to making every day Earth Day. Humanity has had its chance, and it has meant economic inequality, war, and even a reduction in ice at the North Pole. The financial collapse is only the latest reminder that the world can no longer afford mankind.

4:18 pm on April 22, 2009