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Future Proof Kilkenny

“The idea of a non-growing economy may be anathema to an economist, but the idea of a continually growing economy is anathema to an ecologist” - Jim Jackson, Prosperity without Growth, Sustainable Development Commission.

“I will accept the possibility of infinite growth in the economy on the day that one of my economist colleagues can demonstrate that the Earth can grow at a commensurate rate” – Herman Daly, Beyond Growth: Economics of Sustainable Development

“The greatest shortcoming of the human race is our inability to understand the exponential function.” - Prof. Al Bartlett, Arithmetic, Population and Energy

I have read many many books that critique societies addiction to growth and some of the best I have listed above. However this short video by the The New Economics Foundation is all you really need to know. It is concise and too the point and far better than any of my blatherings. Great as an introduction to a talk or discussion on economics and sustainability. The clip coincides with a new publication called “Growth is’nt Possible“. Short, sweet and to the point.

More videos on growth below the fold.

One Comment to “The Impossible Hamster”

  1. on 27 Jan 2010 at 8:24 pmPhoebe Bright

    OK I know I’m going to get shot down in flames here but,

    I don’t see why economic growth HAS to require resource growth. Second Life has a growing economy and yes that does require more computers and energy, but in theory it doesn’t have to. Suppose that instead of traditional economic growth which favours my buying a new washing machine every 5 years because my current one is not made to last, I had an infinitely repairable and upgradeable machine made from recycle or biological resources. I could buy software upgrades that did a newly optimised cycle for my particular hardness of water for example. I would be buying software, not hardware.

    Yes in practice, more software means more stuff, but I feel uncomfortable when assumptions are hidden in a statement. When we talk of growth we mean ECONOMIC growth but the problem is RESOURCE growth. I’m all for making much, much better use of the resources we have and sharing them much, much more equably but shouldn’t we way what we mean?

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