Our favourite word is ‘money’ but does it have to be?
After living in poverty in Asia for five years, and in England for longer, I have discovered the most common word on people’s lips and in their minds is money. We are as a species obsessed with something that doesn’t really exist.
In my case, a ‘rich’ westerner in Indonesia, with no money, and my Indonesian partner were reduced to buying flour to make cheap cake in order make enough product to sell to locals so we could buy rice. We then wild foraged for vegetables to have enough to eat. With the remaining money we would buy more flour, and so the cycle would start again.
Our product and time was translated into tokens of paper and coin which would be handed over to purchase the flour miller’s product and time. This strange middle man of money, which weirdly represents gold, why didn’t our customers give us rice, or we sell our cake to the miller, and he gives us flour?
A recent BBC News article byaccording to the United Nations, nearly three billion people still live on less than $2.50 (£1.70) per day.” and yet: “We make more, sell more and consume more than ever before.”
Leggett also quotes Tom Murphy, professor of physics at the University of California San Diego: "From a physical point of view, if we grew at 3% a year, in about 400 years' time we would actually be boiling the oceans - not because of global warming and CO2, but just because of the heat that is a natural by-product of the energy that we use."
The planet is not able to cope with our demands of product. Though better we produce cake than chop down the rainforests for money. Money being a representation of Gold is rather bizarre as Gold lives in the ground just like trees.
There has to be a better way than raping the planet just to produce the latest version of the iphone that we all need so much to complete our lives.
Movements like ‘Occupy’ feel that there is a better way and campaign against social and economic equality. Although the main objective is questioning that the current financial system is a sensible and stable way to support humankind.
However while large financial corporations are filling the pockets of the wealthy few we can look forward to a future of boiling oceans.