Essays and Talks

October 2015

Our Holocene Our Garden Getting back to 280 PPM – The Holocene was a lovely time period. It brought us to a kindly 280 parts per million of certain gasses and to a interglacial period that enabled successful agriculture for the last 9,000 years. But then we humans, employing some unwise inventions and technology, made a mess of our blue sky.

March 2015

Revolving Doors as a Retrofit Project Energy wasted as it escapes out open doors could be conserved through a more wide-spread use of revolving doors. It would save costs and help save the planet.

February 2015

Why Vertical Farms? – Can resilient, regenerative agriculture refresh the ecological condition of our planet?  It can, and vertical farms can help us. – Evan Bromfield

January 2015

Planetary Boundaries & Investments Overview – The planet supports all life via natural systems. Nine life-support systems (also called boundaries) are as follows: freshwater use, land-system change, biosphere integrity (diversity), chemical dispersion, climate change, ocean acidification, biochemical flows (nitrogen and phosphorus cycles), stratospheric ozone depletion, novel entities (modified organisms), and atmospheric aerosol loading (air pollution). It is an important indicator and feedback system to ensure a healthy planet.

October 2014

The Root Causes of Social & Ecological Crisis? – Published in November 2014 Common Ground.

Hybrid Economics Talk – Given at “Techno-Utopianism and The Fate of the Earth” conference hosted by International Forum on Globalization

November 2012

An Inaugural Speech for Our Time – The Presidential speech we so desperately need.

October 2012

A Practical Proposal to Erase Externalities – As the global economy grows, it expands into pristine habitats, interferes with critical ecosystems, consumes more resources, and emits more pollutants. Many activities that fall under the banner of economic growth are undercutting the planet’s ecological systems. At the heart of this tragedy are pollution damages that are imposed on society but not factored into company costs. These damages are called externalities because they are externalized by the businesses generating them. — Randy Hayes & Brent Blackwelder 

June 2012

Finding Real Economic Leadership in the Wake of Rio+20 – Twenty years after the seminal “Earth Summit” on sustainable development in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil once again has hosted a “fate-of-the-earth” meeting (Rio+20) focused on the themes of a green economy and institutional change. In the aftermath of the 1992 meeting, too many nations, including the United States in particular, failed to reverse the downward trend in planetary ecosystem health. Today, with a global population of 7 billion consuming resources beyond the ability of the earth to replenish itself, we’d better hope there’s a better attempt at the transition to a sustainable economy after this meeting. — Brent Blackwelder 

February 2012

Toward A True-Cost Economic Model: Cheater Economics, Fair Play, & Long-Term Survival – Over the next century communities worldwide will experience an unprecedented shift of weather instability. Extreme weather events are ecological spasms often driving economic spasms and regional collapses. Concerned citizens and opinion leaders need to prepare before these eco-spasms proliferate. Far from being prepared, most leaders and power brokers are not mindful of the rethinking that is required. This working paper and appendix offers a brief economic vision, a set of economic principles, and list of problematic trends to help respond to the challenges as we work for a better day. — Randy Hayes 

Capitalism Can’t Be Reformed, Try the Incentive Economy – Yorick Blumenfeld’s Dollars or Democracy: A Technology-Driven Alternative to Capitalism (2004) contends that capitalism is fundamentally flawed and cannot be overhauled. He provides an alternative he calls the Incentive Economy. His proposed cooperative and ecologically sane society is a positive vision. The book gives many justifications and additional clarifications of how things would work including the transition. Personal liberation is realized in a greater choice of work and leisure time. Nonviolent cooperation, seen as key to human survival, would replace competition. “Cooperation and interdependence are central mechanisms of the evolutionary process.” He knows this is an enormous challenge, but perhaps one for which a new generation could readily adapt. Look how swiftly the once vast Soviet empire collapsed. The American capitalist supremacy could vanish rapidly as well. New systems are unlikely to come about unless people, in time of crisis, see an attractive alternative. We have the ability and duty to change an economic system that is not serving us well. This article is a summary of Yorick’s thinking. A few [bracketed] points were added by me. Blumenfeld truly presents a challenging alternative. Read his book.  – Randy Hayes

March 2002

Restructuring the Global Economy: Eradicating Bretton Woods and Creating New Institutions – Presented by Randy Hayes at the 2002 Johns Hopkins Symposium on Foreign Affairs series, Paragon or Paradox? Capitalism in the Contemporary World