Kevin Danaher: Follow the Capital
Originally posted at Global Exchange, an international human rights organization dedicated to promoting social, economic and environmental justice around the world.
The Occupy demonstrations have raised a central issue that we must confront: how does capital get invested and who is controlling the process?
A new video by The Story of Stuff Project addresses this issue in a powerful and convincing way.
The evidence is mounting that the global economy has been allocating way too much capital to investments that destroy the environment. Every biological system on our planet is collapsing, largely due to the way we have been running the global economy, putting corporate profits ahead of saving natural resources.
Hundreds of species of plants and animals are being wiped out because we are destroying their habitats. Every year, billions of tons of the topsoil that grows our food is disappearing. We are rapidly destroying the forests that absorb carbon dioxide and produce the oxygen we need to breathe. The glaciers and polar ice caps are melting, which will raise ocean levels, threatening the very existence of major cities.
Everywhere you look, severe weather events are Mother Nature’s way of telling us that we cannot continue on our current path.
Now the new online video by the Story of Stuff Project lays out a well-researched case for changing the way our society decides how to invest its wealth. Instead of investing in the military-industrial complex that pollutes the earth and does not produce enough jobs, this entertaining video explains how we could redeploy our money in ways that will lessen environmental destruction and reduce the growing inequality that is prompting protests all around the world.
The Story of Broke points out the contradictions between the response we get from our political leaders when we want better schools and environmental protection—“Sorry, there’s not enough money”—and the way they always seem to find money when it comes to waging war, subsidizing big corporations that move our jobs overseas, and bailing out financial institutions that gamble our money away.
The video makes a very strong case for shifting our capital away from the destructive “dinosaur economy” to the newly emerging green economy sectors that are developing renewable energy, green building, resource recovery, grassroots education, and environmental restoration.
As Jim Hightower says: “Capital is like cow manure, if you concentrate it in a big pile it stinks, but if you spread it out evenly it makes things grow.”