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Why HOURS are ECOLOGY Money
|by Sean Kelly|
Greenbacks. The green stuff. Green gold. Rolling in the green. A lot of expressions about money have the word green in them. More often than not however, the most important green-the environment-is forgotten.
Money is the tool we use to measure the value of a product or
service. But the toll our modern economy takes on the environment
is rarely reflected in the true price of something. For example,
is the air pollution that results from transporting a product
halfway around the world factored into the price we pay?
So would a new type of money be any better? Although alternative currencies such as Ithaca Hours can increase the local money supply, guarantee that this new money stay localized and create jobs, do they have the potential to be truly green dollars?
While creating a whole new system of pricing is probably beyond the scope of local currencies, there are many reasons why Ithaca HOURS-even though they're gold, orange and blue-can be green dollars.
These days money-and jobs-move around at the touch of a button. Local communities can't control the forces affecting them. One-industry towns or communities where the main employers live (and make decisions from) thousands of miles away are vulnerable to economic blackmail. "If you don't relax this environmental standard which is affecting our profit, we will just move somewhere else." While citizens may say "Not in my backyard", many large companies are saying "Not in My Profit Margin!"
The president of auto-parts manufacturer Magna International once said, "Money has no heart, no soul, no conscience, no homeland. It knows only profit." It's time for money to have a home, and a heart-a green heart. After all, money is just paper. Its value comes from nature's bank-the trees, the oceans, the air, the soil-home to all living things.
(from Maritime Money, Halifax, Nova Scotia)