Keywords: neomalthusian, sustainable development, Kondratieff cycles, unrestrained pillage, natural resources, human skills, short-term profit, long-term interests, free market, negentropy, gestalteconomy, pollution permits, environmental pollution, sustainability, nuclear energy, nuclear power
Sustainable development and permits to pollute – an impossible combination
The world economy is experiencing the turbulence of the end of a long wave of development or the Kondratieff cycle that precedes its entry into the new cycle, on which the 21st century will leave its mark. A technical system is drawing to a close – that of the 20th century characterised by a monetary, fiscal, political, epidemiological, economic, cultural, scientific, organisational, etc., order – which shaped its functioning and evolution around a rationale of the overexploitation of natural resources. We must shift as rapidly as possible from this economic rationale founded on the unrestrained pillage of natural resources to an economic rationale founded on the deployment of human skills. We need to move from a rationale promoting the accumulation of short-term profit to a policy that is careful to conserve our long-term interests. We need to transfer to an economic rationale restricting the application of the 'sacrosanct laws of the free market' solely to the outputs of acts of production, of which neither energy nor knowledge are part. We must move to an economic rationale prioritising the negentropic balance sheet of the cycle of production/consumption over the financial balance sheet.