[No] More Growth

It’s not about overthrowing capitalism. It’s not about trying to change human nature. What we’re doing here is we’re taking a few simple steps towards an economics fit for purpose. And at the heart of that economics, we’re placing a more credible, more robust, and more realistic vision of what it means to be human.

This is from a 2010 TED Talk by economist Tim Jackson who offers a way to keep our system and save our planet. It’s the kind of rational conversation you don’t actually see very often.

The gist (but watch the video anyway) is that we must curb our lust for economic growth if we’re to save the planet and close the inequity gap between rich and poor. Doing so, he shows, need not be damaging to our collective or individual dignity and it need not cost us our convenient and comfortable System. We just need an economic reality check (that’s the title of his talk, actually) on our society’s addiction to growth and GDP.

the only thing that has remotely slowed down the relentless rise of carbon emissions over the last two to three decades is recession. And recession, of course, isn’t exactly a recipe for hope, as we’re busy finding out. So we’re caught in a kind of trap. […] We can’t live with [growth]; we can’t live without it. Trash the system or crash the planet–it’s a tough choice; it isn’t much of a choice. And our best avenue of escape from this actually is a kind of blind faith in our own cleverness and technology and efficiency and doing things more efficiently.

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Robert Wringham is the editor of New Escapologist. He also writes books and articles. Read more at www.wringham.co.uk/about.

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