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“All My Means are Sane, My Motive and My Object Mad”

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Globalization, Inequality, and Climate Change

image of Worldviews: Global Religions, Culture, and Ecology

Neoliberal economic globalization is motivated by the quest for ever-increasing profits and endless economic growth. Both the motive and means of economic globalization prove to be irrational in the context of the ecological limits of the planet. Rising rates of social and economic inequality coupled with growing ecological breakdown and climate change demonstrate that this economic model is neither socially just nor environmentally sustainable. Ethical analysis of different models of globalization provides alternatives rooted in moral norms of justice, equity, democratic participation and environmental sustainability. Studies of human happiness demonstrate that once basic needs are met, there is little to no correlation between increasing levels of per capita consumption and human wellbeing and happiness (Diener et al., 2009; Helliwell, Layard & Sachs, 2012). Hence affluent nations can and must decrease rates of per capita consumption, which can be accomplished while enhancing happiness and wellbeing. While economic growth for poor nations remains a priority to meet basic needs, affluent nations such as the United States need to shift away from neoliberal economics based on endless growth to more localized and sustainable ways of living.

Affiliations: 1: University of Montana, Missoula, MT, USA


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