Effects of a Linear Economic System on a Finite Planet
Under the capitalist system, we measure progress through the accumulation of capital. Be it land, money or resources, they all come from the planet, a finite resource. This economic system and mode of production are linear. A linear economic system is a ‘take, make, dispose’ model of production. After the product is consumed, it simply accumulates and collects.
This means we create materials out of the earth and consume them, using the planet up until it is useless to us. Most products have to be replaced every one to five years, and once the product is broken or no longer useful to us, it gets thrown into a landfill, this repeats creating endless wastelands globally.
If we are ever going to get out of this mess, at the very least we need a closed loop economic system. The products that we make need to be reused again and our economic system needs to admit that the planet is finite. At the very least, our climate treaties should admit that even infinite “green” growth in the market is not possible on a finite planet, the Paris Climate Accord failed to mention any limits to growth.