COVID-19 Implications and the Economy

Post Carbon Institute

I am attaching the YouTube interview between the Post Carbon Institute’s Asher Miller and Post Carbon Institute Fellow and University of Minnesota Adjunct Professor Nate Hagens. They are discussing the near and long-term implications of COVID-19 on the financial, energy, and overall economy. Recorded March 16, 2020.

Some of the ideas that I gleaned from this video on my first listen:

  • The current market model is like a beach ball. It will always work to resurface if pushed underwater. The implications are that you can’t keep it underwater, but it also takes tremendous energy to keep it up in the air.
  • With Covid-19, we need is not more lift in the beach ball, but more air bags that can act as shock absorbers. Shock absorbers are similar to buffers whether they be social, environmental, medical or financial, etc.
  • A funny comment: The energy to keep our beach balloon up in the air is GDP, or as they refer to it at the Post Carbon Institute, ‘Gross Domestic Burning’.

Impact on the Nature Towns conversation:

  • Where will the money come from to support that balloon? Taxes? Carbon taxes? How much more will it cost due to Covid-19?
  • Will the funds come from your cash in the form of higher taxes on wealth or income?
  • How much of those costs will impact the resale value of your property? Location-based expenses such as annual household auto mileage could be one of the future sin taxes, similar to most other countries.
  • How important is it to adjust our lifestyle to be the lower cost?
  • How successfully can regenerative lifestyles adapt to these future concerns?
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