Our current affairs involve a global crisis similar in scope and consequences to World War II! It is not our political freedom this time at stake, but our survival as a species and as a planet. “Our house is burning,” as activist Greta Thunberg has so timely and urgently stated. Our economic model has been the main culprit in creating this environmental and social crisis. Although our time is limited (about 10 years) in regards to the inevitable ecological and social collapse, a solution exists to our unraveling crisis. That solution is a new economic model proposed by rebel British economist Kate Raworth in her book Doughnut Economics. It is called the Doughnut Economy and it can be our moral compass to help us transform our local, state, national, and global economies.
We will not avoid this crisis unless we have the courage to change our economic and political models. For over 70 years, our economic and political models have been addicted to GDP, or the perpetual increase in national output, as its main measure of progress. This measure of the economy has only served to increase the wealth for about one percent of the population of our nation. Most of us realize that economic growth can not continue forever; the earth has only finite resources and capitalism has failed to serve the vast majority of citizens in this country and around the world.
It is time to design a new model making the current economic model obsolete. We need to design new economies, local to global, which bring in all of the citizens of the world into a safe and just place.
The Doughnut provides the framework: every economy needs to redesign itself; energy must be part of the equation. Its use must be in harmony with nature and powered by the sun, the wind, and different sources of water. Our industries need to retool just as we did for World War II. This time, however, we need to eliminate weapons manufacturing and products and machinery that are degenerative and build regenerative products like solar panels, wind turbines, and different forms of water turbines as well as harnessing and utilizing geothermal water reserves. According to Raworth, we need to create new markets, transform old markets, create a new partnership between the local, state and national governments, corporations and small businesses, our households, and an open source commons. Finally, we need to eliminate private patents. Our new model also needs feedback loops.
The Doughnut gives us the ability to distribute land, enterprise, technology, knowledge and the power to create money justly. We can tear down the currently archaic social and economic pyramids. Our commercial products now need to be regenerative in design and therefore create a circular designed economy that creates balance and restores human beings as full participants in the Earth’s cyclical processes of life and doesn’t continue the current linear model the leads to the planet’s degradation.
There is time; we must have the courage and moral fortitude to adapt and transform our local, and state economies and others around the nation and the rest of the world will follow our lead.