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View Diary: MIT team: global economic collapse by 2030 (246 comments)

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  •  we had it and we threw it away. (20+ / 0-)

    Key example from my own industry (telephony):

    The Bell Telephone System was the world-leading example of eco-industrial design, with all of its components designed for long lifespans.  

    For example the "outside plant" (cable along the streets from you to the telco central office) is designed to last anywhere from 25 years (cable strung on telephone poles) to 125 years (cable in ducts under the street), and then be recycled indefinitely for its raw materials.  

    Your home telephone back in the day (up through the 1990s), was designed to last 40 years, and then be reconditioned at a telco workshop, and last another 40 years and then be recycled for raw materials.  In contrast the average cellphone has a lifespan of 18 months and ends up in the landfill.  

    We know how to do this.  We can do it again if we choose, and replicate the model to all sectors of the consumer goods economy, to reduce our ecological footprint to 1950s levels without a substantial decline in standard of living.  

    There is nothing stopping us but the ill will of plutocrats and theocrats who are trying to suck the life blood out of the ecosystems and out of humanity, for their own self-aggrandizement and delusions.  The existence of those plutocrats and theocrats is optional.  The existence of civilization and even that of the human race is what's at stake.

    "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

    by G2geek on Thu Apr 05, 2012 at 03:16:08 PM PDT

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    •  Exactly! Ten recs for you! We know how. n/t (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      What a Police State Looks Like: "On one side: soft human flesh, unprotected human skulls, cardboard signs, slogans they chant, armed with belief in 1st Amendment rights. On the other: helmets, body armor, guns, batons, chemical weapons." -- JanetRhodes

      by YucatanMan on Thu Apr 05, 2012 at 10:20:25 PM PDT

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    •  Yes, a lot has been thrown away.. (2+ / 0-)

      Some of us have resisted. I held on to a Kirby vac for over 20 years. Still have the Elna sewing machine that came from my parents in '75, the Kitchenaid mixer from '77. Just had the stereo system from ~'90 cleaned and checked out. Working just fine except for the CD unit. Which only played one CD at a time. So I'm ok with replacing it.

      My maternal grandfather worked for Ma Bell. Before he lost his mind to Alzhiemer's mid 70's he was complaining about how cheap the new stuff was. I think he disparaged lighter models that would hold up as well as the older heavier ones. But it was more than just the phones.

      The bummer is that we had people telling us about The Limits to Growth 40 years ago, we had a president that understood it all very well, and the plutocrats and theocrats shoved Ronnie into the oval office.

      Whether we can get the human race to accept and fight for a lower standard of living is going to be interesting.
      Diamond's Collapse is a fascinating read on the past and gives some insight into the problems that have to be over come. This time it is not local. The whole globe is at risk.

      I can't decide if I want to know how many will survive and whether they will learn the lessons well enough.

      "People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed and redeemed; never throw out anyone. " Audrey Hepburn "A Beautiful Woman"

      by Ginny in CO on Thu Apr 05, 2012 at 11:57:40 PM PDT

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