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The Miser and the Climate Change.

Posted by on Feb 9, 2013 in Featured, Sustainability | 55 comments

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money in handMEISER (1), SCHMEISER and CLIMATE CHANGE, what’s the connection?

The connection is a way of life and the results and the same way of life as a alternative, a kind of remedy.

The Miser, a stingy person, a person unable to spend more than the absolute necessary and even then, only as cheap as possible. To call someone a Miser is not exactly a compliment. The image of a miser is somehow always depicted as, let’s put it nicely, a problematic figure. And even in real life a miser, someone who can’t part with a penny easily, is a sometimes difficult person to be around with. Although parsimony does not seem to be part of the seven deadly sins (2), Misers aren’t very popular. The fun factor with such a person tends towards zero. But who am I to judge?

Still there is also something positive in being a miser. Those people are seriously into saving energy and resources and landscape. The miser might lose of lots of fun because of stinginess, so on a personal level it is okay to be generous. In limits , of course, since the opposite of stinginess, squandering, is just as bad. On the other hand, on a local, regional or state level, the miser is a example of sustainability. The everyday politics of a miser is rigid austerity measures. Save today, so you’ll have tomorrow. It is not our task here to diminish the pleasures of our venerable visitors. Enjoy your life and buy what you can afford but do not buy what you cannot afford. This maxim is valid on a personal as on a social and political level.

I wish politicians would act accordingly!

But after two hundred years of technological development and economic growth, it still seems to many people, that this won’t change. Albeit the signs of a Climate Change and the efforts to find a sustainable exit of a unsustainable situation! The time has come to readjust our possibilities and our goals. In the case of the Climate Change the possibilities are twofold. The first possibility is, Climate Change is possible. If it does not become probable or even inevitable. The second possibility is the Inherent Possibilities of the situation and what we are going to do about it?

The miser would have built a bunker long ago. It might be a hefty investment, but in an emergency it would be worthwhile. And the bunker is of course prepared for all eventualities. Except for space travel! Obviously the bunker will cost a lot of money, why would a genuine miser spend so much money for a mere possibility. The root of parsimony is the need for security. Live is so unpredictable, the more I have, the more secure I feel. I am prepared and for survival in the future is more important for the miser than to live the moment. This investment can also be regarded as a certain aspect Diversification of ones wealth.

The miser is not exactly the role model for our present economy, which is based on brainless consumerism. By refusing to consume the miser does not participate in the waste of energy, resources and landscape. The miser could very well be a role model how not to become totally indebted. Perhaps Stinginess will be the base line of the Sustainable (3) economy. Anyway, in order to get the global indebtedness down, we don’t have much choice but to live more humble and start paying back our debts to the banks, to our nations and, last but not least, nature.

Our way of adding more new debt to the old one might lead total meltdown of the global economy. This must be avoided at all cost, the energy waste in the ensuing chaos is to be avoided. Since it is clear, that a new concept, a new paradigm – Sustainability, will relieve the present concept, the solution to avoid chaos after a meltdown is to establish a alternative economic system. If a meltdown will happen the alternative will smooth the transition from one model to the next.

*** Again I have forgotten something and had to add it later on. It is an interesting point. A miser can only be called a miser, if someone lives in an exaggerated frugal way in a land of plenty. Poor people have no other way as to live frugal, but no one would name them misers. Also someone who indulges in the sport of  the Survivalist is not called a miser. A sailor sailing around the world in a small sailing boat has to live frugal, although he obviously is not a poor person. Still he can’t be called a miser.

**Perhaps what is now called Parsimony is the future survival strategy?   

Here a very amusing way how the great Moliere depicted a Miser. It is really worthwhile to watch the whole play. You miss, if you don’t!

For further information:

1. Definition Miser

2. Seven Deadly Sins

3. Sustainability






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