02 January 2012

Life After The End of Economic Growth

From Heinberg's article:

"...over the longer term there will undoubtedly be life after growth, and it doesn't have to play out under miserable conditions. With less energy to fuel globalisation and mechanisation there should be increasing requirement for local production and manual labour. We could meet everyone's basic needs by prioritising jobs in manufacturing and agriculture while downsizing the financial industry and the military. We will also have to reduce economic inequality and corruption (as the rapidly spreading Occupy movement rightly insists).

As we do these things, we must reform economics to reflect ecological reality: nature is not, after all, just a pile of raw materials waiting to be transformed into products and then waste; rather, ecosystem integrity is a precondition for society's survival. Adaptive responses cannot only be left up to government officials and economists; for their part, households must rein in debt and overconsumption while contributing more to community resilience.

There's light at the end of the tunnel. If we focus on improving quality of life rather than boosting quantity of consumption, we could be happier even as our economy downsizes to fit nature's limits.

But a benign future is unlikely to transpire if we all continue living in a dream world where growth knows no bounds, where debt can be repaid with more debt, and where natural resources are assumed to be endless.

Alarm bells are ringing. Wake up to the post-growth economy."

1 comment:

Bobbi Walker said...

Hear, Hear!! To quote R.E.M.: "It's the end of the world as we know it. And I Feel Fine!"

Simplify...it's a global imperative now.

We make choices, we decide what our priorities are, and we give up certain things to gain others. Adding more and more to our list of “hav...