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Economics to prevent social collapse: Raworth & Keen speak to Extinction Rebellion UK

This was an invited talk, to Extinction Rebellion UK, on the economics of climate change, where the other speaker was the inventor of "Doughnut Economics", Kate Raworth. This is a much-improved video from one I posted recently and had to remove for the privacy of XR activists.

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This was an invited talk, to Extinction Rebellion UK, on the economics of climate change, where the other speaker was the inventor of "Doughnut Economics", Kate Raworth. This is a much-improved video from one I posted recently and had to remove for the privacy of XR activists.
Steve Keen
Steve Keen (born 28 March 1953) is an Australian-born, British-based economist and author. He considers himself a post-Keynesian, criticising neoclassical economics as inconsistent, unscientific and empirically unsupported. The major influences on Keen's thinking about economics include John Maynard Keynes, Karl Marx, Hyman Minsky, Piero Sraffa, Augusto Graziani, Joseph Alois Schumpeter, Thorstein Veblen, and François Quesnay.


  1. Sectoral Balances

    I'm an Aussie engineer. Go Steve. Good luck in the upcoming election.

  2. Sectoral Balances

    I get the feeling you're preaching to the converted. If you could somehow get on Russell Brand you would get a lot more coverage. His values a very much aligned with yours.

  3. Sectoral Balances

    Everyone is ignoring the elegant in the room. The major roadblock to getting things done. The politicians, the decision-makers are not going to do anything for the planet if it goes against their donors interests.

    • Yes. So why are you still waiting for them? This does expose the weakness in Steve's work: It's not system change, it's tweaks to a system that cannot be made sustainable because it is fundamentally diametrically opposed to that.

      But, bit by bit Steve gets closer to the deeper reality, e.g. the expectation of 80% reductions. What he still seems to be holding onto is that any form of "modern" economics can survive such a reduction.

      Raworth has the same error in her thinking.

  4. Sectoral Balances

    The ugly truth is that nothing will fundamentally change unless the people in power are afraid for their lives. You can protest all you like but they will simply sit back in the comfort of their expensive mansions and laugh at you because you have no power. At some point you have decide if this is a war for survival. As in any war you will have to accept there will be collateral damage.

  5. Well done Steve and Kate.

  6. क्रूर सिंह

    We can't even manage world affairs, see what the central banks arround the world have done to the world, There is no hope for us able to manage whole ecosystem. It's just number game.

  7. Love your work Steve, generally. Pre ordered your book, great read and lots to consider. Your economics makes sense to me. This presentation though seems cherry picked. On the one hand railing against referencing weather then showing a 100 year flood event. No mention of other factors besides human action producing change. Seemed more like a sermon for the converted. From my vantage point I see both sides of the argument as weighting models to suit their outcome.

    • You couldn't be more wrong Anthony. But I expect you'll need to be convinced by events rather than argument in advance.

  8. Leighton Watkins

    The prof

  9. Leighton Watkins

    Good to see your ok prof ….re Kate the problem I can see straight away is human behaviour and the existence of narcissism and sociopathy ,,which is why I would say we need a strong state not a pretend government based in neo liberalism…I mean if these people need to.
    Be jailed for th3 good of th3 rest of us so be it..

  10. Leighton Watkins

    Protesting dosent make a difference because your dealing with ,power, long have people been protesting ?…further reading Bertrand de juveneles,on power ,and bitchler and nitzans capitalism as power …put your energy finite somewhere else

  11. Leighton Watkins

    The guy on the end ..mate wish I could have done more is a non sequiter as far as I can make out because this is a global structural problem ..the state should be dealing with us but that’s been captured by assholes .

  12. Leighton Watkins

    Ask the government anything at the moment they don’t give a fuck …it’s not a government it’s a ,restraction fascilitaition unit for their donors ,,,,

  13. What is the goal? Don't leave PEOPLE in the hole. Based on the SDG's. Which are based on Economics.

    See the problem here?

    No, the goal is to return to a co-creative relationship with Nature, as we did for all but the last 4 – 10k years. Because Kate cannot leave her Econ background and START and END with Nature, the Doughnut has weaknesses.

  14. Notice how at around 55 minutes Raworth shifts to entirely economic concepts after just saying it's a subset of ecology?

    How do you have a Commons and markets and labor and capital? This is absurd and arises, I believe, from Raworth being an economist rather than a regenerative systems expert/designer/teacher. She starts from what she knows, so cites Rostrom and Commons, then blows right by both.

    Finance in service to life? Jesus… How and why does a Commons use or need finance? Who is buying and selling in a Commons? It's absurd.

    "Regenerative by design" while maintaining Economics as the basis of interaction and exchange? Ownership, which equals sequestration of resources from others, the opposite of a Commons? Kate, you do not understand what "regenerative" means. I have asked many times to communicate with you on these issues…

    "Distributive by design" but keep the worst aspects of Economics and Capitalism, ownership and private sequestration of resources from The People? This is nonsensical.

    Got a class to teach. Maybe more later.

  15. Gabriella Ditton is hopeful, yet, the Doughnut Economy is still faulty. It is the regenerative economy that we need and Doughnut does not quite get there. It should be thought of as a transitional concept, not the final destination. We can, and must, go even further.

    I applaud that Raworth got this far being an economist, but being embedded in Econ prevents her from starting and ending with what is truly regenerative.

  16. Yes and no, Craig Scudder. The idea there is a finite, known time frame is false. The very nature of tipping points is that they cannot be predicted. Have they passed? Possibly. Are they now? Possibly. Are they in 3 years? Possibly. Are they in 30 years? Possibly. What is actually most important is understanding what is regenerative? Because of the power of simplicity and regenerative design, we can reverse climate, and quickly. So saying it is this year or bust is fatalistic and inaccurate. So, the key is not ending oil tomorrow, per se, but to learn what is regenerative, to simplify and to DO regenerative.

    We can be under 300 ppm in as few as 20 years. Doing it in 30-50 years would be pretty easy.

    So, keep fighting the system. Take decades to make that minimal system change. Go for it. Or, create a new system that is regenerative. That we can do in a few years.

    XR and that oil group are fighting the wrong fight.

  17. Love your work Steve and can agree on an intuitive level that the world heating too much is not good, and I agree it is makes sense to take energy into economics as a mode of production, but are you really sure there is any real link between air carbon levels and heat?

    • Educating myself a little on the history of it now learning about Svante Arrhenius which seems to be an OG on co2.

    • I guess the strongest evidence against his theory I've found so far is that he won a nobel price.

    • @Alex Plante Thanks. Read a little about it. I guess I'm just grown very skeptical of things. One day I'll try better understand this particular stuff.

  18. The Earth is cooler with the atmos/GHGs/albedo not warmer.

    To perform as advertised the GHGs require “extra” energy upwelling from the surface radiating as a black body.

    The kinetic heat transfer processes of the contiguous atmos molecules render that scenario impossible.

    No greenhouse effect, no GHG warming, no man/CO2 driven climate change or Gorebal warming.

  19. Won't universal carbon credits with everyone getting the avg end up with the poor selling them at below their value because they can't already supply their needs… Similar to what happened to workers in the reforms post ussr collapse, the owned the shares of their companies but not the food, water, or shelter they needed so they sold them for pennies on the ruble to what are now the oligarchs.

  20. Keen – an MMT supportive economist who makes a simplistic claim that the sectoral balance effect results in increased saving and a surplus for the private sector if a government deficit spends .
    The whole idea of which is totally wrong because it omits the fact that government deficits are funded by debt the private sector is forced through taxation to pay out with applicable interest when the debt matures.

    He can't admit it and now is pretending to solve problems of climate change.
    Give it a break Keen and get your economics in order first instead of making foolish statements and running away from addressing the faults when they are pointed out.

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