The Constant Economy: How To Create A Stable Society By Zac Goldsmith
Reviewed by Honor May Eldridge
Goldsmith embraces his family’s legacy to fight to bring about the change we need in if we are to stay within the Planetary Boundaries and to stave off the devastating effects of climate change. He believes that through reform “we can build something new, something that will regenerate our stagnant economies, and which, unlike the growth model that has dominated for decades, can actually last”. These changes don’t have to be onerous and will not “hinder people struggling to cope”. Instead, they will help to support a thriving ecosystem and re-inspire people who have become disenchanted by what they see as a broken and unfair system.
He breaks it down into the ten steps that society must adopt to change the current trajectory:
- Measure what matters since GDP fails to take into consideration the complexity of the planet and make corporations measure the damage that they inflict.
- Give power to the people and increase direct democracy by encouraging ballot initiatives and referendum on the issues that matter to re-engage the electorate.
- Approach new technologies with precautionary since so many have unintended consequences that only emerge too late to address effectively
- Guarantee food quality and food security by providing children with healthy food grown sustainably by local farmers who are paid fairly for their produce.
- Save our seas and the immense biodiversity they contain by expanding fishing bans and creating marine protected parks so that overfishing can be curtailed.
- Rethink energy by incentivizing a system that would adopt a green renewable approach and reject fossil fuels by making the penalty of polluting exorbitant.
- Reconceptualize our transportation systems, encouraging green public transport and making cleaner cars cheaper to buy and run than the gas guzzlers of the past.
- Build with the future in mind and actively protect the green space that still remains through expanding greenbelts and encouraging green infrastructure.
- Reduce waste and adopt a circular economy to achieve zero net waste through the recycling and repurposing of products, reducing the pressure on landfills.
- Playing our part to protect the forests by committing to sustainable timber and to a reimagined more holistic version of carbon pricing and cap and trade.