The positive aspects of a recession

But behind the war headlines there is also a positive side of the financial crisis. A front page that is almost completely silent and drowned in the collective barges (or cheered when the stock market turns up). For when the economy stops, many of the emerging economist’s negative effects also decline. The effects that at an increasingly furious pace usually destroy the ecological conditions of living on this planet.

Some examples from the recent news week:

• So far this year, road accidents have fallen by 10 percent compared with last year. A large part of this decrease is explained by the fact that the recession has meant a decrease in car rental. Thanks to the “bad times”, in addition to less suffering, both hospitals have been affected by fewer traffic injuries and less emissions.

• At Kovikstippen outside of Stockholm, the waste volume has fallen by 18 per cent in recent months. Some national figures do not exist, but if the recession has had the same impact across the country, it would mean a decrease of over 22 million tonnes of waste per year. It turns out that people in these times rather retain what they have than throw and buy new ones. It’s not as important to replace the old “thick tv” with a flat one. The financial crisis has thus led to a clear reduction in the limited resources of the world, which means that they will last longer and more.

• The airplane is by far the most expensive transport medium, a means of transport whose use has increased low-level in recent decades. But with the low conjury, there was a clear trend break. In June, global air freight traffic decreased by 0.8 percent, in July by 1.9 percent and in August by 2.7 percent. Very far from enough if we are going to save this planet, but still a step in the right direction.

If you study what happens when the economy is falling, it is quite obvious that from an ecological point of view there is no disadvantage to this. On the contrary, it turns out that there is somewhere we have to look for solutions. If we are able to reduce emissions to a sustainable level, then better technology is not enough, but we must also reduce our activities. Should we be able to limit the withdrawal from the earth to the level it is capable of recreating, we can not have a society based on ever-increasing growth. Instead, it’s about getting down to at least the level of consumption we spent fifty years ago in Sweden.