While newspapers and websites have been filled with stories of doom and gloom, little noticed by the mainstream media is an unprecedented surge in the economies of the other ten or twenty million species’ economic indicators. Some of these economies have been more or less stuck in a protracted bear market for over three hundred years, or ever since humans started using coal in large quantities at the dawn of the Industrial Revolution.
“It’s unbelievable,” bubbled one trader, a young downy woodpecker with a smart sartorial flair. “Less cars on the roads, that translates directly into fewer of us getting smacked as we flit from tree to tree looking for termites and other yummy grubs.” And drivers have slowed down since the spike in gasoline prices a few years back, making the world generally safer for all living things. “If this continues, it can only be a good thing!” he exclaimed.
Another trader on the floor of the Gulf Coast Exchange was equally voluble. Linsey, a juvenile striped bass, nibbled on a mayfly while exclaiming, “The humans are finally coming to their senses! It’s almost like in the last six months they’ve finally woken up to the physical limits of the planet we all share. They’re starting to get it. There isn’t an infinite amount of oil in the ground. You can’t pave over every last inch of the earth or build endless suburbs of 10,000 ft2 McMansions and expect to be able to heat these things and drive out to them. And the pollution from all this driving, burning fossil fuels every day, it’s crazy! It was starting to get hot down here, I’ll tell you! But they’re cutting back, they’re biking, they’re tearing up their useless fields of grass and starting organic gardens! They’re really waking up out there.”
Not everyone is convinced. Longclaw McCrabby, a veteran trader, scoffs at Linsey’s enthusiasm. “Frankly, I’ve fallen for this nonsense myself, in the late ’60’s and ’70’s, I thought all the things that Linsey is talking about were happening then. Let me tell you, it didn’t work out like that,” he says with something approaching a sneer. He pointed to the recent human stimulus package that included lots of “shovel-ready” projects like road expansions. “Same old, same old,” he muttered. “Look, they’re still dumping all these chemicals and fertilizers on their crops, trying to power their automobiles with corn, growing in former stream beds. Can you say, ‘Dead zone at all-time high?’ I hate to be a curmudgeon, but this is just a dead cat bounce,” Longclaw said, using finance trader lingo to refer to a temporary increase in an otherwise protracted bear market.
“Don’t listen to old Crabby,” Linsey rejoined. “He won’t be happy until all those Homo sapiens have disappeared from the earth. But I know we can all can live together, that life naturally loves other living things. I think they can break these shackles, this Neoclassical globalization economic nonsense they’ve been deluded by for so long.” She pointed to surging interest in Steady State economics, and the recent protest at the coal-fired Capitol Power plant. “All over the place, they’re looking for answers, trying to find a sustainable way out of this mess.” Linsey went on to point out that the human stock markets might be down for a few years while they figure things out, but right now for the other millions of stock markets, and in a decade or two once the Two-leggeds get their population under control and their economic system changed, this is the start of the Long Bull Run.
Stephen and Rebekah Hren are the authors of The Carbon-Free Home: 36 Remodeling Projects to Help Kick the Fossil-Fuel Habit from Chelsea Green.