The Largest Ponzi Scheme

Goodlifer: The Largest Ponzi Scheme

In the words of author and environmentalist Paul Hawken. “We have an economy where we steal the future, sell it in the present, and call it GDP.” What is this if not a Ponzi scheme? Something with which we are all far too familiar after the Bernie Madoff scandal.

In the name of corporate profit, heroically called progress, we are using the resources of the future to pay for our own sins, economically and environmentally. It is true that the economic stimulus package will be paid for by our grandchildren, but that assumes they still have a planet to call home. It is becoming a very real possibility that they won’t. Where is Mother Earth’s stimulus package? Sure, there is money set aside for renewable energy and green jobs, but until there is a major mind shift and a with it a law that forces every company to pay the true costs of their impact, we will not make significant progress.

It’s a sad world we live in where we have all gotten used to oceans, rivers and streams being too polluted to swim in or drink the water from. Where fish is almost gone due to overfishing and the ones left are contaminated with mercury or other substances to the point where it is unhealthy to consume more than once or twice a week. Where the food we eat is so far removed from that which our great grandparents ate, and the lists of ingredients are so long and full of stuff the we can’t even pronounce, less know what it actually does to us.

Solar and wind power both hold great promise, but it all matters little if we continue to use the same amount of energy. We would have to cover most of our land with solar panels and line every stretch of coast line with windmills to generate the amount of power we use today through renewable sources. In the words of Saul Griffith, this is an aesthetic choice we are faced with. How much destruction are we willing to accept? We can make fast and profound change or face the painful reality that nature as we know it has no future. Just like those hard-earned savings people across the country entrusted Bernard Madoff with.

A trait we still carry from our cave dwelling days is the inherent inability to deal with faraway and abstract danger. We are hard-wired for fight-or-flight and react with full force only when standing face to face with a saber-toothed tiger looking to have us for dinner. We need to outsmart our caveman selves and deal with this very real danger. Random reports of a healthy environment are as fake as those statements from Madoff Securities. Don’t loose your life savings, start investing smarter today. The environment is your only choice.

k you Alex Steffen for the quote that spurred this post.
Top photo: Charles Ponzi & Bernhard Madoff, notorious crooks.

About author
A designer by trade, Johanna has always had a passion for storytelling. Born and raised in Sweden, she's lived and worked in Miami, Brooklyn and, currently, Ojai, CA. She started Goodlifer in 2008 to offer a positive outlook for the future and share great stories, discoveries, thoughts, tips and reflections around her idea of the Good Life. Johanna loves kale, wishes she had a greener thumb, and thinks everything is just a tad bit better with champagne (or green juice).
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