27 September, 2007
Traditional economists, politicians and the press understand little about the interaction between natural resources or ecological capital and the state of the global economy. Ecology for them is the playground of naive greenies or excentric academics. It is therefore not surprising that the current financial crisis that has hit the world economy is being interpreted within the framework of this crippled economic paradigm.
But now that climate change and “peak everything” (Richard Heinberg) have reached the political radar screen, it is about time to connect the “ecological” crisis to the latest financial fever on the global markets.
Yesterday the International Herald Tribune (“Inflation creeping back into world markets“) provided at least indirectly some proof that there is a slow awareness within the media that there is a connection between the exploding world population, the natural resources needed to sustain this growing world population and the financial system that underpins our current globalisation. As millions of people in China, India and other fast-developing countries are lifting themselves out of poverty and are trying to get a first taste of Western-like material prosperity, their claims on the natural resources (oil, gas, uranium, minerals, copper, zinc, fresh water etc.) grow at an unsustainable pace with rising prices and supply challenges as a result. These rising prices, as the IHT underlines, might lead to global inflation which in its turn might “sow seeds for conflict between politicians and central bankers”.Author : Willy De Backer