Economic Growth

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© CartoonRalph

Excellent intro here,
See also

Thirty years ago, what dominated the environmental debate was the idea of "limits to growth" – the fact that industrial and economic growth would eventually be choked off by a shortage of resources. In the 1990s, environmentalism became "politically acceptable" because it dropped this fundamental objection to growth economics, and instead opted for green consumerism and sustainable consumption as the solution to our problems. In fact, the "limits" issue never went away; as demonstrated by recent scientific studies, it's been inexorably growing as a problem,ref ignored not just by mainstream society but also by large sections of the environment movement who felt it easier to convey a more pro-consumption message as part of their work.

Today, the "limits" issue is once more challenging the environment movement.ref That's partly because ecological limits are now destabilising the human system – most notably the plateau in oil production since 2005, which alerts us to the imminent decline in production over the next few years.ref
The economic crash of 2008 did more to reduce global carbon emissions than any "planned" measures implemented by govts or the UN. The historic data shows we have emitted 33% of the carbon over the entire Industrial Revolution since 1992, when the world's govts agreed that action was urgently needed – and 20 years of conference and campaigns since then have niether addressed that problem, or changed a thing.

Economic Models

Doughnut Economics

  • Nov.07.2017: Doughnut Economics: an economic model for the future. Kate Raworth argues that our economic activity should operate in a space that’s above a social foundation, and below an ecological ceiling. What this means in practice is that essential human rights and quality of life are delivered to everyone, but within the means and resources we have available on the planet. Triodos Bank Interview, Kate Raworth

Prosperity Without Growth


  • Jan.17.2018: Britain is being stalked by a zombie elite – time to take them on. What to do when our economy benefits only the few, but politicians seem powerless to change it? This new series, called the Alternatives, follows communities who are working out their own answers. In 2008, the banks broke, the govts stepped in – and the cast-iron premises that underpin our economic system were exposed as fiction for all to see. Yet a decade later, those dead ideas still walk among us. Austerity – the policy that more than any other will define this decade – was lifted by George Osborne straight out of Margaret Thatcher's handbag. He justified it with zombie rhetoric. Labour frontbenchers from Andy Burnham to Chuka Umunna spent the first half of this decade pleading guilty to the trumped-up charge of creating a debt crisis. Labour councils are among those pursuing outrageous privatisations. And over the past 40 years both sides have adopted as an article of faith the idea that politics is about What Works – and that What Works is a mix of Potemkin markets and crude managerialism. The outcome has been almost predictably dire. London boasts more billionaires than any other city in the world, yet 1:5 of the country’s workers earn less than a living wage. The regional wealth gap in the UK is bigger than in any other member of the EU. Amazon, Facebook, Apple, eBay Inc and Starbucks put together pay less in tax to the British exchequer than the 5 biggest cooperatives – including such titans as Arla Foods. Yet it's the Silicon Valley giants who are feted by ministers and given public money. The taxpayer even paid for the roads laid to Amazon's Swansea warehouse. (more) Aditya Chakrabortty, The Guardian.