Apparently, the National Wildlife Federation recently “called upon” the powers-that-be to stop using Gross Domestic Product as the main benchmark of human welfare. (Not that you’d ever know it by looking at the NWF homepage, which makes no mention of the news or even the topic.)
NWF types provide this analysis of the situation:
The root cause of our environmental problems—our ecological crisis—is infinite planet economic theory, the rules and axioms of a discipline that tells us that it is possible to have infinite economic growth on a finite planet.
So, our problem is that economic theorists are tricking us all into doing the wrong things?
Poppycock. GDP counts most because our main problem is the cold, hard, in-the-flesh dominion of corporate capitalists over the whole of modern life. GDP is a mere expression of that actual, material dominance. All the special pleading in the world isn’t going to change either capitalism or the way it gets described in the corporate media/corporate politics. This isn’t tiddly-winks.
But such is the state of the greens: So well-indoctrinated and craven, they think hopeless language games are going to flip us toward survival.
And, to add insult to injury, the NWF feather jousters are proposing to count what isn’t countable — particular qualitative states of matter, a.k.a. the remaining unspoiled bits of nature here on middle-aged Earth. GDP counts human labor. No amount of human labor is going to turn smoke, heat, and ashes — or a pack of Charmin Ultra asswipes — back into an old growth tree. That “greens” don’t get this speaks volumes about how very far away we remain from having proper leadership.
Capitalism, we now know, is a pipe-dream, an ecological suicide mission. But it is a suicidal pipe-dream backed by the richest and most ideologically and organizationally powerful overclass in human history. These people are not going to agree to start counting and reporting their destruction. Unless and until those who hope to leave our children a decent world get honest with ourselves and direct with others about what we’re up against, we are simply f—ed. Circumlocution and feigned naivete are not going to cut it. Not by a long shot.