We asked Mag. Günther Jedliczka, Managing Director of the OeAD Housing Department and founder of the Summer School “Alternative Economic and Monetary Systems”, three questions on this topic.

But first, what is the problem with our monetary system? Where is the link to the climate change/crisis? How can we all contribute to an improvement? These are the questions we urgently needed answers for!

So, let’s start reading and write us in the comments:
how do you see it? Were you aware of the connections
& most importantly, which is your favorite quote?
Have fun reading this post!

What is the current situation?

What are monetary systems and what social or economic problems are there?

Explaining our current monetary system succinctly is almost impossible, but I will try anyway and concentrate on what I think are the essentials. Interested parties can find an enormous amount of information about the keywords in books or on the internet. At present, about 10% of the money is made at the central bank and 90% from private banks (real money). Therefore the states have their money monopoly out of their hands and have virtually no real influence on the money stock of their respective national economy.

Therefore boom times lead to “bubbles” (real estate, stock market) or in a recession to a credit crunch. Instead of being able to borrow at 0% interest rates from the National Bank in the past, they had to do so with private banks, which could draw this money from virtually nothing. Much of today’s debt (up to 97%) of most states is compounded with interest and compound interest, which is utterly absurd and only benefits private banks.

A real alternative would be “positive money” or “sovereign money”. This hat would solve all the problems of our current monetary and financial system and there would be enormous sums of “positive money” for education and fighting against the climate change / crisis available.

It is well enough that people of the nation do not understand our banking and monetary system, for if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning.
Henry Ford
The money was created for the exchange, but the interest shows gives it the determination to multiply. This is contrary to natural law.
The issuing power of currency shall be taken from the banks and restored to the people, to whom it properly belongs.
Thomas Jefferson, US-Präsident

Very much, because in a monetary system as described above, this money would be “suddenly” there and could be used in the fight against the climate crisis. In other words, States would no longer be forced to indulge in the growth fetishism. A zero growth would then no longer be a problem. Unfortunately, growing on a limited planet linearly or even worse exponentially, shows, that many decision makers simply did/or do not understand the basic principles of natural sciences.

Anyone who believes in indefinite growth in anything physical, on a physically finite planet, is either mad or an economist.
Kenneth Boulding
Experience teaches, that all systems that perform only though growth will die though this. Few economists are ready to see that.
Rupert Riedl

What does the solution look like and what can anyone do to help?

Positive money would be one of the most important solutions in the monetary and financial system. The common good economy as an idea that puts people and the environment at the center (“Is it good for people, the economy is doing well?”) is another great alternative. However, they need solutions in a variety of areas, from a radical decarbonization by 2030 (including Co2 tax, kerosene tax) to meaningful consumption, afforestation and not the opposite. Much less meat consumption and no factory farming. Instead organic, sustainable agriculture, renewable energy (PV, wind, water) etc.

Everybody can become active in his field and try to be a positive role model or not to proselytise others but to inform and convince them.

Who has recognized his situation, how should he/she be stopped?
How numerous are the things that I do not need.
We can no longer afford pessimism, it's just too late for that.
Climate Conference Paris 2015
Make yourself and then act on others by what you are.
Wilhelm von Humboldt
WBV-GPA /OEJAB / Feierliche Eroffnung des Studierenden-Wohnheims Greenhouse / Sonnenalle 41 / 1230 Wien (C) Marianne Weiss / www.weissphotography.at

About the Guest Author

CEO Günther Jedliczka defined a sustainable business strategy for the OeAD-Housing Office (currently the biggest provider of energy-efficient dorms in Austria). In order to spread knowledge about sustainability issues and to promote international exchange in education, he also initiated two academic programs focusing on ecology, sustainability and resource conservation

These events are organized in close association with several Universities, giving them a solid academic standing. The OeAD-Housing Office also provides all participants with energy-efficient accommodations, giving them first-hand experience with sustainable technologies.

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