Monday, July 18, 2022

Steady state ...


Photo illustration by Bráulio Amado

All we hear about from economists, politicos and above all else, big corporations, is the notion of GROWTH as this is the key to profit as man moves further into the future. You gotta keep growing the economy in order for civilization to prosper but there's a problem. In order to grow, you must use more resources, You know, raw materials as saif stuff is needed in order to make ever more stuff, a situation no longer tenable thanks to GW and ecological overshoot as we are running out of planet in vain hopes of continuing to grow no matter what the cost may be.

Growth is the be-all and end-all of mainstream economic and political thinking. Without a continually rising G.D.P., we’re told, we risk social instability, declining standards of living and pretty much any hope of progress. But what about the counterintuitive possibility that our current pursuit of growth, rabid as it is and causing such great ecological harm, might be incurring more costs than gains? That possibility — that prioritizing growth is ultimately a losing game — is one that the lauded economist Herman Daly has been exploring for more than 50 years. In so doing, he has developed arguments in favor of a steady-state economy, one that forgoes the insatiable and environmentally destructive hunger for growth, recognizes the physical limitations of our planet and instead seeks a sustainable economic and ecological equilibrium. “Growth is an idol of our present system,” says Daly, emeritus professor at the University of Maryland School of Public Policy, a former senior economist for the World Bank and, along with the likes of Greta Thunberg and Edward Snowden, a recipient of the prestigious Right Livelihood Award (often called the “alternative Nobel”). “Every politician is in favor of growth,” Daly, who is 84, continues, “and no one speaks against growth or in favor of steady state or leveling off. But I think it’s an elementary question to ask: Does growth ever become uneconomic?”

Makes sense to me.

This year, Earth Overshoot Day lands on July 28

Earth Overshoot Day marks the date when humanity has used all the biological resources that Earth regenerates during the entire year.

What happens when we hit June 30th?

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