Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Why are you not worried?

Imagine for a moment that your great-great-grandfather died a very rich man. However, (also imagine) he did not directly bequeath all his fortune to his children, but made some peculiar arrangements for the distribution of his wealth.  Instead of dividing his fortune equally among his children, he proceeded to do the following:

1.  He put his entire money into his trusted bank
2.  He ordered the bank to never divulge the exact amount available in his account.
3.  He then instructed the bank to give out money to his descendants as and when they requested for it.
4.  He left a note to his descendants requesting them to dip into his fortunes only to cover for any shortfall, that is, only when they had spent more than they had earned that month/year.

From then on, his children and their children and so forth down to our generation (you, your cousins and second cousins, running into hundreds) have been going to the bank from time to time with requests and the bank has been honouring every request made with nary a peep.

However, lately the bank manager, without divulging any numbers, has been cautioning all of you with phrases like "um... you should not assume there is an endless supply of money, you know" and "Maybe it is time to consider living within your means, no?". This gives you some inkling that may be the inheritance is not infinite, after all.

Now imagine that
1.  You are earning only 60% of your annual expenses [Needing to go the the bank for the remaining 40%]
2.  You are unable to increase your earnings significantly
3.  Your expenses are increasing year on year.

Will you be worried about the future?  What will you do?  Think about this before reading further.

Well, this is exactly the situation we are in.  August 13th of this year (2015) was deemed the Earth overshoot day.  That is the day when we consumed all that the earth can produce in a year.  Which means that for surviving the rest of the year, we have to dip into our inheritance (our forests, our oil reserves, the other fauna and flora that have taken millennia to develop).

In another 15 - 20 years, the overshoot day will be sometime in June, which means by then we will be needing the produce of two earths to live each year. Unfortunately there is only one earth.

Now the question that is begging to be asked is this:

Why are you not worried?

The original can be read here.