Economic competition is for losers!!!
If you ask me, the G7’s hatching of a new plan for “competing” with China (or any other country) is antiquated, crusty thinking.
Other than selling us megatons of cheap consumer goods (which we typically keep for six months or less before sending them to landfill), China is also building a massive belt of roads around the world — presumably to facilitate exploiting more forests and other natural resources. NONE of that is a competition we want to win.
In December 2020 at the UN climate change dialogues, UN Secretary-General António Guterres stated that making peace with nature will be the defining task of the 21st century. If there’s any competing we should be doing, it’s a healthy competition to find new ways for humans to coexist harmoniously and synergistically with all other life forms. After all, the air, water, trees, and all the other living things and natural materials that make up the biosphere constitute our life-support system. We trash it, we die.
Competing economically is a road to death. It’s eco-cide, and eco-cide is suicide. Let’s take the high road by ditching this mind-set of “competing” with other countries.
Time to update our mindset to the 21st century.
Here are some ways we could compete with China:
We could try to match their massive efforts to re-forest parts of their country.
We could also compete to see who can produce higher volumes of organically grown food, using “low-tech” old techniques.
What other ways of healthy competition can you think of?
• The Story of Stuff – referenced & annotated script by Annie Leonard. Some of you have probably seen her famously viral YouTube video by the same title. I first watched the video a few years back; that’s where I first heard the statistic that only about 1% of what we buy is still in our possession after 6 months; the rest we have sent on to landfill. The transcript is an immensely valuable asset, and I’m grateful to Ms. Leonard for making it available.
• Making Peace with Nature: Highlights from the UN Climate Change Dialogues 2020 (iisd.org). “‘Making peace with nature is the defining task of the 21st century. It must be the top, top priority for everyone, everywhere.’ UN Secretary-General António Guterres. While the Climate Dialogues were in their second week, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres spoke about the state of the planet. ‘Apocalyptic fires and floods, cyclones and hurricanes are increasingly the new normal,’ he highlighted. ‘It is time to flick the ‘green switch.””
The days before the opening of the Dialogues were rife with media talk of COVID-19 vaccines but overcoming one crisis does not mean dismissing the other. As Patricia Espinosa, Executive Secretary, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), gravely noted during the opening of the Dialogues, “There is no vaccine for the global climate emergency.” (The International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) is “an award-winning independent think tank working to fulfill a bold commitment: to create a world where people and the planet thrive.”)