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Funny words of the year were were nominated in the german langauge in the last years: "financial crisis", "problem guru", "manager bonuses", "social hammock", the "scrappage bonus", "Wutbürger" and the "Euro rescue package".

We noticed not only on language use: the economic growth engine has stalled. But only those who promised to sustainable growth, in election year 2009 could also win elections. Most politicians and eople still believe in a world economy with a need to spin faster and faster, so we are all doing well. Have we not already spanned the bow?

(machine translated below, please help to improve! -RAS)

The ethical debate on the limits of growth will continue to ride. The Euro Barometer 2009 showed that climate change was seen in Austria, as currently most pressing global issue - even before the global economic downturn. In total, approximately 86% of the population consider climate change as a significant problem 1 . So it's not just Dennis Meadows, who designed its 1972 projections of a looming crisis of the system, published in the report to the Club of Rome sees confirmed. In 2004 the authors published the 30-year update. Therein they brought the data used to date, were slight changes to their computer model World3before and calculated based on various scenarios of possible developments, starting from 2002 until 2100. In most scenarios, the calculated results exceeding the limits to growth and a subsequent collapse (" overshoot and collapse " ) no later than 2100th Continuation of " business as usual " of the past 30 years lead to the collapse from 2030.


Dennis L. Maedows about limits to growth at the World Economic Forum in Davos 2009

Even when converting from an energetic environment- And efficiency standards can often alleviate this tendency only, but not be prevented. Only the simulation of a highly ambitious mixture of restriction of consumption, Control of population growth, reduction of pollutant emissionsand numerous other measures results in a sustainableCompany at nearly 8 billion people. 2

Our rampant consumerism is also material for many artists. Kalle Lasn shot numerous documentaries and commercials, for example, about the disappearance of rain forests in the Pacific Northwest. 3 refused the television, however, to send his spots, making it the foundation of the Adbusters Media Foundation initiated - an organization that works to protect public access airtime . Already published in 1999, Lasn the corporate and consumer-critical work "Culture Jam". In it he writes: "The Earth can no longer support the lifestyle of the cool hunting American-style consumer. We have sought, bought, spewed and devoured too much, too fast, too brazenly, and now we're about to pay. Economic "progress" is killing the planet ". 4 Austrian documentarian thematize these frontiers: 2005 Erwin Wagenhoferin „We feed the world“ und 2008 mit „Let's make money“ oder Werner Boote 2009 mit „Plastic Planet“.

The centuries-long exploitation of the natural riches of the earth has led to important ecosystems threaten to collapse. The proof of the contradiction between finite resources and an economy based on exponential growth, is now established. If China and India continue to catch up so quickly and the economy in the industrialized world is gaining momentum again, a 5%-owned global growth would mean that every 14 years, the performance - but also the consumption - doubled. If all (future) would have nine billion people on the current wealth of the OECD countries would have the economic power to be 15 times higher than today until 2050. 5 How can the legitimate demands of developing countries are reached after growth with existing resources? What is the ratio of growth, prosperity and quality of life in various regions? Do we need other consumption habits in developed countries? Do we need new rulers and criteria to measure progress and prosperity?

Especially in the emerging markets increasing dramatically in industrialized countries already unsustainable level of demand for energy and raw materials can be increasingly difficult to meet. Even China reports 19 industries in over-capacity, from flat glass container ships up to 6 . On the other hand, more and more people can no longer satisfy their basic needs, whether on land or in the slums of megacities. Industrial agriculture is not only environmentally destructive in many ways, but also manages to not feed the world population adequately. One billion people suffer from chronic hunger, die daily from malnutrition 100,000. The increased production of biofuels, speculation on food, the consequences of climate change and an economic crisis worsen the food crisis, so they can be felt even in highly developed countries. In the United States moved into one in eight adults and one child in four Christmas 2009 food stamps 7 , because they could no longer afford the food.

Moreover, the increase can not be more productivity in many areas, whether in agriculture, in the supermarket, hairdresser, a doctor or in training. Some things need time to mature or to obtain quality. We want to eat vegetables that grew in real world, with people also sometimes exchange a few words, not the doctor take a good diagnosis and in training the opportunity, only knowledge but also develop skills and gain experience on. This can be through glass houses, do not reach 5-minute timing or turbo courses. Less is more often now, and yet we are moving like gerbils in a wheel, running faster and faster.

In the cultural sections of newspapers, a new ethicsdemanded, which should control our thinking and acting better. Those who are trained to tell of ethical concepts that hundreds or even thousands of years old entrench or behind a scientific approach, which provides some ethical dilemmas except a few concrete posts for a current debate over values. To assess whether stem cell researchers blaspheme God because they can create new life without reproduction can perhaps be explained by a more deep-seated Gebärneid of (male) scientists. Ethics is invited to attend again even at the everyday life. In view of numerous crises, there is a current need to define the framework beyond prophetic promises, as we can and should live.

We need urgent solutions, the growth in many areas to have it within bounds. It applies to sort new ethical values, to bring them into a contemporary context and to formulate guidelines for action. In the following chapters first attitudes of different religions are recalled and illuminated patterns of action from our civilization. This is followed by an attempt to determine a set of values ​​on the one hand, for the individual, on the other hand as a guide for organizations and the economy. With, culture jamming, or the quotient Ethify describes some media to reach a personal value system to live it and share it with other people.

Back to the roots? No, no one with Ethify Yourself must return to the Middle Ages. We want to keep a lot of achievements: the rule of law, education, mobility, or the Internet. You need not go into a monastery, the community of Wisseranianer 8 pilgrims in the taiga or the ecological Federation of Damanhur in nine join in Turin, although these autonomous communities can certainly be very inspiring. Ethify Yourself begins with yourself, in the neighborhood, and in operation in the region and brings strength in creative environments. Seek and find people and cities or towns in the area, who are already on the right track. This must be countered by strengthening political work, to network and present it to the conditions actually lead an ethical life can be better. The "Happy Planet Index" and the "Ethify quotient" will continue to increase, not the gross domestic product, but more on that later.


Measuring systems for wealth or ethical considerations are never objective, but always the result of people with interests. This is true for every science, even physics. Roland Alton told briefly his personal access to Ethify, his role in this project and open the edible media that accompanies him.

After graduation, some practice in the industry and some scientific research, Roland had made ​​mid-nineties independent. In the second general meeting of the PUBLIC VOICE Telecommunications Company Ltd., proposed partner and chief financial officer Dieter, to pour out the shareholders only crispbread and water. All deposits were scheduled and still not a finished product was standing on the market, an increase in shares to the discussion. The revenues are then developed splendidly, which Austria were to online manuals nonfiction - best sellers, and there were offers for various consulting activities. Dieter was a consultant and set up a mobile phone company, Reinhard went back to the USA and Roland took care of a research and development organization that has been converted into a cooperative in 2003 10 .

Yes, crispbread, which was the right menu. Roland's in-law grandfather William had power to purchase as a food chemist, the patent in Germany and opened in 1927 a Knäckebrotfabrik in Berlin-Lichtenberg. 11 He built from patent revenues a hut near Davos and got out first from the turmoil of war and then in the civic life . In Switzerland, he advised the rusks - factory in Murten to build a Knäckebrotwerkes carry their products today in the name of the brand. He built ships and sailing with his family spent seven months in the Mediterranean and five months in the mountains. 12 At the age he moved back to Greece and fed on bread and olive oil in particular.


Knäckebrotkiste on the force - in the hut on the Schwarzseealp Prättigau

His daughter, Astrid, that Roland's mother, builds organic fruit and vegetables in Feldkirch since the 1960s, when it was the most natural thing in the world. It is practiced with Kräutermixturen, natural fertilizer. effective microorganisms, some tricks to keep the snails and to achieve the right neighbor plants the best possible return. You do not buy goods and welded-produced virtually no waste. The cabbage heads buried in the winter they live in glass houses and in summer there is the cereal for lunch in the garden on it crispbread with butter fat, even on weekdays on the Sunday page (which is the one with the deeper holes).

Roland's Grandmother Elisabeth Schepers rarely had bread at home in the home garden in Gelsenkirchen, but still crisp. My favorite was a smear cheese spread that there was but just in Holland, and she allowed him to bring her forever. Roland's family when they visited in the 1970s in Tyrol, getting four packs were double wrapped in this bag.

Satisfaction has so many facets, with Roland, it is perhaps the reduction on rye, water, yeast and salt. With crisp starts and ends his day in the morning and evening with jam on it with a piece of mountain cheese. The Altons always have at least three kinds of crispbread in the closet. For drying in the fireplace was a door vogesehen. And when an acquaintance once traveled to Sweden to the land of Hårdbröd, then a separate case with Kaka Leksands round is ordered. So also was the constant companion of this crisp text. This dry bread a metaphor, the simplicity, style and combines universality and stands for many positive qualities: balance, prudence, self-determination and justice. But more to the canon of values ​​later.

By Roland crispbread recipe works with William of force

To write a book about a current ethics means first and foremost, the discussion about values ​​and goals to make room. On the constant search for orientation and satisfaction, we must readjust in all stages of life a little. A fulfilling life can achieve that which is committed to ethical goals, the Australian ethics professor Peter Singer concludes in his book "How shall we live?" He who has no goals in mind, may indeed enjoy life any way, but is later Peter Singer is the key to a fulfilling life is to do good and to advocate. This text will inspire practice. Every day, every week, every year we have come a step closer to good values.

The motivation comes naturally but also by the current world events, which employs so many people after the first decade of the new millennium. We feel a number of break points: family relationships are in transition, the business throws off their industrial structure, the financial world has gone too far and we want to consume more conscious. To give the new media, a new noise floor of our social relationships in a quality, as we have never experienced. On so many upheavals give us neither the world nor the religious policy satisfactory answers, partly because the situation is very complex.

Students at the University of Applied Sciences Vorarlberg, for the "Ethify Yourself" is used as lecture notes, discussed the subject "New Business Ethics" by always eagerly. At the final presentation on the one hand personal consequences were articulated in a surprising extent, on the other hand, showed portraits of people 13 , which took a clear stance on selected ethical issues. Ethify the first set of values ​​formulated Roland Alton with his friend Michael Fröschl in during the descent from the High Priel Dead Mountains. These were offline and online in an open process several times revised and presented for the first time in November 2009 during the Long Night of Research in Dornbirn and a Barcamp in Liechtenstein. Long stretches of text are on the long train rides from Vorarlberg to Vienna and back angles formed by the Alps, where fellow travelers the author is not involved in discussions, after she responded to the book titles that were lying around in the compartment. Juliane Alton has proof-read large parts of the text. Their children, Leonard and Verena have encouraged Roland to incorporate in the chapter on nutrition for an appeal waiver meat, because they are ethical vegetarians for years and want to see any dead animals on plates. And Caroline, daughter of Alton smallest rightly warned, and with a tenacity that labor is the only purpose in life.

Sources are accessed via footnotes, as well as some body parts that have been taken from the Wikipedia. The tactical change of gender in the text brings the best to express that both men and women are active subjects. For each exiled sharp double-s ß was naturalized.

As co-founder of Creative Commons AustriaIt is only logical for Roland, not to formulate any new definition and to write good summaries of new. He slipped in a few chapters more, in others not, in the role of the editor and put together texts that have been written by others for being taken over. The Creative Commons license brings the terms, conditions clearly expressed 14 and is compatible with the terms of Wikipedia. Because even in scientific texts work may be used in part where reference is made ​​to the authors. In the case of a source from the Wikipedia article about a link or an endnote link and the list of authors is on the "History" of an item available, whereby all users are identified by acronyms listed separately in the notes again. Similarly, illustrations or photographs were used and those that are homemade, are also placed under a CC license or shall be construed as a quote in a research paper.

In the first two years, since the book was online, about 20 people involved in additions and corrections. An access from mobile phones and Facebook, and a game were developed, many people have blog posts on written. The texts were updated again in 2011, partially translated into English and published in an online version 2.0. A reduced version was designed by Birgit Hofer carefully prepared as a book and also as an eBook. But enough of the technical and personal details. Here we go with the question of how and whether we should measure growth.