The death of John Lewis is a reminder that power concedes
nothing without a struggle and that social and ecological justice is a
consequence of generational efforts.
Building a fair, just, and prosperous ecological future,
rooted in social and ecological justice means fundamental change of how we
treat one another, how we govern, how we work, how we protect and restore the
What John Lewis saw in the economic and social and public
health crises arising in the time of Covid-19 and the murder of George Floyd
unleashing a global multi-racial and multi-ethic movement for justice was the
latest incarnation of his injunction to make “good trouble”. But, sadly this
unfolded in the midst of a financial bailout largely of the rich as billions
pouring into Wall Street as the stock market prospered while tens of millions
lost their jobs asMain St. suffered, and the worst effects of a pandemic are
borne by the poor, by people of color, by essential workers.
For the election of Joe Biden to mean an epochal turn toward
social and ecological justice cannot be a return to business as usual BT(before
Trump). This means the transformation of institutions, organizations, and
businesses to follow new mandates established bylaw, by regulation, by custom
to pursue ecological ends and justice.
A market system must make economic growth mean ecological
improvement, not ecological pillage while pursuing as an imperative of
ecological and social justice. A failure to successfully fight for justice will
ultimately undermine any ecological hope as the poor struggle desperately for
survival. Justice denied also means the continuing growth of the concentration
of wealth in the hands of the very few.
Six Steps for a
Transformative Green and Just Future
First, the United States with China, India, and the OECD
nations lead efforts for an accelerated global energy transformation from
fossil fuel and nuclear power to renewable resources and green hydrogen. This
is a paradigmatic example of economic growth meaning ecological improvement.
Carbon emissions, pollution, depletion and ecological damage are slashed.
Trillions are productively invested in renewable economic growth and job
creation. Fossil fuel and nuclear workers are retrained for good-paying jobs in
the green economy. Renewable resources are phased in year by year, and fossil
fuel and nukes are phased on a strict yearly schedule.
The United States partners with the word’s industrial powers
in global efforts which will include financial and technological assistance to
poor nations for ecological transformation.
Second, the price system must send clear signals for
sustainability. Sustainable goods must become cheaper, more profitable and gain
market share. This can be accomplished by an ecological value-added tax on all
goods and services. The more sustainable, the lower the tax. Such a taxation
system will inevitably help lead to a convergence on the sustainable for almost
all goods and services in pursuit of profit. Ecological taxes combined with a wealth
tax will replace income taxes.
Third, in order to finance an ecological and just
transformation, instead of raising taxes, we can great trillions of wealth by
valuing and monetizing sustainability starting with the ecological value of
displacement metric tons of carbon dioxide by renewables. The National Academy
of Sciences (NAS) has found the value of displacing of one metric ton of carbon
dioxide (2204 pounds) is equal to $100.
We can create a new regulatory asset, the Sustainability
Credit (SC)valued at $100 for each metric ton of carbon dioxide displaced by
renewable energy. SCs to be managed as part of the Federal Reserve System, and
by other central banks. We don’t need carbon taxes to raise prices on
working people and the poor.
Sustainability Credits (SCs) will be monetized as paid-in
capital and as cash on the balance sheet of a Green Bank or Bank of the
Commons. The thirty-three billion tons (gigatons) of annual carbon dioxide
emissions can result in creation eventually of hundreds of trillions as in
paid-in capital and cash on the books of green banks to be used for investment
in future renewables.
A gigaton of carbon displacement means $100 billion in
sustainability credits on the books of a green bank who must loan this money
for further renewable energy investment. The common magic of bank financing,
$100 billion in paid-in capital, and cash means loans of 900 billion in further
renewable development that each year produces more Sustainability Credits that
monetized. Investment from SCs can encompass both ecological transformation and
social justice such as a $1,000 a month basic income grant for all.
The fifty trillion-dollar investment estimated by J.P.Morgan
for a global renewable transformation from 2020-2050 can be easily produced by
Sustainability Credits as the new gold-based on sustainable ecological value.
around the world.
ecological transformation must be pursued not just in energy, but in
agriculture, forestry, aquaculture, and an industrial ecology driven by the
pursuit of zero pollution and zero waste. All outputs of one process are
captured and used as inputs by other processes. The ecological value added tax
sends strong economic incentives for such conduct that can be similarly
financed through the generation ofSustainability Credits.
Fifth, is a global convergence on a living wage and common
sustainable standards for carbon generation and carbon sequestration. Globally
there must a convergence on common sustainable norms for emissions and carbon
sequestration that leads to atmospheric carbon below 300 ppm, to preindustrial
Six, law and regulation must redefine fiduciary conduct as
the pursuit of ecological economic growth within the context of social and
ecological justice as guide for government, institutions, and business. This
might also be codified by an ecological constitutional amendment.
These six steps are a recipe for ecological economic growth,
for sustainability, peace, and justice. They represent spurs to economic
and social action that uses an ecological focused pursuit of profit as
incentive for ecological behavior and embraces the imperative for pursuit of
social and ecological justice.
This is a recipe for an ecological future that transforms
ourself-destructive industrial world order into an ecological civilization.
This is a global ecological economic growth strategy that aims to build a
bigger pie that is fairly and justly divided, ending poverty and injustice, at
the same time healing the global ecosphere. Ecological economic growth and an ecological
turn is a means for strengthening our democratic institutions and revitalizing
Feb 11, 2020 -Data Release:Global energy-related CO2emissionsflattened
in 2019 at around 33gigatonnes(Gt), following two years of increases …
Defying expectations of a rise, global carbon dioxide emissions flatlined
in 2019 ..
*Roy Morrison is director of the Office for
Sustainability at Southern New Hampshire University. He is working on the
development of renewable energy hedges and on a new utility revenue model to
encourage efficiency and distributed generation. His books on ecological
transformation and economic development include We Build the Road as We Travel:
Mondragon, A Cooperative Social System (1991), Ecological Democracy (1995),
Ecological Investigations (2001), Eco Civilization 2144 (2005), and Markets,
Democracy and Survival (2007). roy.morrison114@EcoCivilization.info – www.EcoCivilization.info