N6 Some Things are Not Substitutable

Current economic thought assumes all things are substitutable; if one thing is scarce or expensive, something else can and will take its place. While this is generally true for goods provided by human labor—secondary goods—it's not true for goods provided by nature—primary goods. These goods and services provided by nature make production of secondary goods possible, and production is limited by the scarcest resource; If you can't get water to a crop it doesn't matter how good the soil is. Design an economy that recognizes this.

Instead of: Using up the resources we can't substitute for at an ever increasing rate while we still can. CARD VERSION:

Screen shot 2012-04-27 at 6.36.05 AM


E. F. Schumacher outlined these principles, and ecological sciences support them, but to date these concepts have been actively rejected by mainstream economists.

"The Wealth of Nature: Economics as if survival mattered" John Michael Greer p59

"Only after the last tree has been cut down, Only after the last river has been poisoned,
Only after the last fish has been caught, Only then will you find that money cannot be eaten."
~ widely quoted as a Cree Indian Prophecy (or proverb). Origin not confirmed.