Global warming, pollution of the oceans and the waste of resources are acutely threatening the basis of human existence on a global scale. The cause for this is an archaic linear economic model geared toward acquiring raw materials and energy cheaply and, based on this, generating products which need to be replaced in increasingly short intervals, in order to create a continuously high or even an increasing demand. The results of this model are directly visible: ever-growing amounts of waste all over the world being deposited in landfills or incinerated. High-grade recycling is the rare exception. The economy of the future in a world with a population of over 10 billion is calling for a radical change of paradigm.
»The ›great acceleration‹ has exponentially decreased resources and caused climate change and huge amounts of waste. The high level of consumption of 10 billion people by the year 2050 will require a radically different economy which is based on sustainable products, which has reduced waste to a minimum and shares goods rather than owning them individually.«
What we need are globally binding product standards regarding the durability, reparability and modular construction of products. Waste disposal must neither be automatically programmed nor should it be a general rule; it must become an exception. Articles to be disposed of must be recyclable as a matter of principle. Environmental destruction related to production and marketing and the costs for its correction must be factored into the market price of products, and tax systems must be shifted from being based on the taxation of work to a taxation of raw materials and products. All this is can only be achieved through a global and joint effort of the major economic powers. Without these changes, there will be no future for coming generations.
An interview with Helmut Maurer (engl.)
An article by Helmut Maurer (dt.)