Can we afford unlimited growth?

Post by Urban Edenite David Ray: our planet is finite, we need a change of direction.

At the moment the ill-conceived Euro project is playing havoc with the world economy.  The response of politicians everywhere is to press for policies to encourage growth to get us out of financial mess.  The message simply has not got through that the world no longer has enough resources to underpin such growth, never mind that growth as we have known fails to redress glaring inequalities between developed and under-developed countries.

Ironically, slowing world growth is taking the pressures off resources, perhaps giving us a chance to change direction.  Perhaps there is a real opportunity to reinforce the effect of peak stuff.  In a thoughtful  article “Over the top” in New Scientist (16 Jun 2012 pp 38-43) Fred Pearce pulls the strands of evidence together to make the case that even without political leadership, our demand for planetary resources may be stabilising, and may ultimately begin to fall.

A further irony is that it is China that may be showing us the way forward, with their $100 billion in ecocompensation schemes.

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