a convenient truth
If mankind continues on the current path, we will undoubtedly damage the earth, nature and climate to an extent that may be fatal for mankind itself. Another probability is that poverty and inequality or shortages in food, energy or other essential resources, will plunge us into conflict and even war (as mankind has done so often in situations of scarcity), or into accidents with nuclear energy or other insufficiently tested new technologies.
An inconvenient truth is that the processes leading to this scenario are an almost unstoppable process, embedded in the current free market. The communist experiment has demonstrated that too much limiting of the free market causes even more damage. Nobody really is to blame. We all do what is best for ourselves and family. We get children and provide our family as best as we can with our limited resources and buy our products as cheap as possible. The rich world has gradually grown to huge consumption of scarce resources and space. The developing world has developed a population boom to our current 7 billion people. The combination of both makes our inconvenient truth so imminent. At business at usual the earth simply cannot sustain 7 billions of people, growing to 9 billions, living on western standards.
In the mean time developments are fast. Resources are being depleted, climate changes are already visible and may soon surpass tipping points beyond which there is no return, rising food prices, unemployment, unlimited corruption and financial irresponsibility are already causing revolts and vandalism in both the rich and the developing world. It is not impossible that in a way the big fighting for resources has already started.
But we believe there is a solution. Even though we may believe that we live in world of free competition, taxation methods are steering the economy to a great extent. Almost worldwide, governments get most of their income from taxes on labor and far less from resource taxation. This system finds its origin in a time that raw materials, nature and clean water and air were abundant and labor scarce. Now scarcity reversed, but we are still using the old system.
The Oiconomy idea is to develop a system of determination of the hidden costs of prevention of all damaging impacts related to products, presenting a self adapting balanced score, expressed in a monetary unit, of what, as much as possible according to international standards and declarations, needs to be stimulated or restrained. If the hidden costs of prevention would be added to the products’ price, consumer and industry, just by their normal behavior of price based consumption and efficient production will force them towards a sustainable economy. That is our convenient truth.