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Pitch

Built in obsolescence is a business norm, driven by share price and future earnings It consumes unnecessary resources and needs to stop


Description

Summary

This proposal is more of a request for knowledgeable brainpower and then lobbying.

The objective is to devise a suitable set of tax or regulatory incentives for consumer product manufacturers and financial markets that support them such that new products are developed that have a life expectancy in decade rather than single digit years.

The vast majority of consumer goods do not need to be replaced each year or so and this is a relatively recent concept developed as a result of the financial system businesses operate within.

Washing machines, TV's, cars, phones and more or less anything else you can think of can be designed to last well beyond their current life expectancy.

Aside for the carbon impact, the consumption of unnecessary new products depletes scarce resources and helps to promote conflict.

The challenge is that the capitalist model we currently have works on a future growth mechanism for determining share price and this flows down to director incentives and then subsequent business actions.

Unfortunately the model assumes (or more specifically is blind to there not being) infinite resources and no negative consequences.

If the fundamentals of capitalism do not change it is going to inevitably drive the human species to a global Easter Island scenario and all the ugliness that would result in.

 


What actions do you propose?

Bring together a group of economists, bankers, politicians and free thinkers and brainstorm what potential interventions could be made to suitably incentivise businesses to develop slightly more expensive (probably) but significantly longer lasting products.

Figure out how this could be achieved given the capitalist headwinds of the need to worship growth.

Figure out how to best lobby for implementation of the new model.


Who will take these actions?


Where will these actions be taken?


How much will emissions be reduced or sequestered vs. business as usual levels?

Non trivial impact potential, completely impossible to calculate


What are other key benefits?

Reduction in demand for resources and the mitigation of future conflicts


What are the proposal’s costs?

Why shouldn't it be cost neutral?


Time line

Ideally 5 years

Probably when its too late


Related proposals


References