Economy Ethics

Dear friends, here’s an important Letter to the Editor written by BPAV board member, George Plumb.

Our exploding global population — 186,000 more people each and every day — clings for life to an exploding economy, a system faithful not to the habitat it exploits, but only the single species which gorges on it. Our economy obeys not the limits of the biosphere but the limitlessness of human greed.

I have long distrusted this economy. I was among a few volunteers who helped found the Hunger Mountain Coop when it was just a small group of us who gathered to buy bulk from a national cooperative and then met to divide up the bulk among us locals. That was in the ’60s and we judged that was a better way to buy than through commercial stores. I have invested my modest discretionary wealth in a green investment business instead of the regular stock market. I have flown in a jet plane only once in my life for recreation because I felt jet travel is harmful to the environment. The list goes on. The economy not only seemed to be helping the few, more than the many, but also day by day inflicting more and more damage on our habitat.

So, I was very pleased to learn that a Vermonter has written a book calling for a “new economy.” The book is “The Progress Illusion: Reclaiming Our Future from the Fairytale of Economics” written by Blittersdorf Professor of Sustainability Science and Policy at the University of Vermont, Jon D. Ericson. It is a challenging read, I’ll admit, but well worth the effort.

We are all connected to the Earth and all living things on it and this connection, not mindless devotion to our appetite, is what our economy must reflect.

                            — George Plumb

Published in the Times Argus newspaper, January 10, 2023


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