Economic and financial systems drive human impact on Spaceship Earth and even on space beyond the earth’s atmosphere as the above illustration of space debris shows. The great issue of our times is whether economic growth can be sustained as the environment, resources and life support systems of the planet are impacted and consumed at exponentially accelerating rates. A new story is needed.
THE IDEOLOGY OF GROWTH – Schmelzer’s article traces the emergence of economic growth measured by GDP as mainstream policy around the entire world. This coincided with the Great Acceleration of the Anthropocene Epoch after WWII; Genuine Progress Index (GPI) – an alternative to GDP; The serious absurdities of GDP. – Non-productive GDP growth (land price inflation); “Peak stuff” – consumer saturation point; GDP condemned; and again; Limits to Economic Growth – lecture notes; The decoupling delusion; Korten on stupidity of GDP; Review of Pilling, D (2018) The Growth Delusion; Growth addiction; GDP obsession;
CIRCULAR ECONOMY – Can a steady state or circular economy as a goal for societies ever replace the universal political desire to maximise the expansion of GNP? Doughnut economics – Kate Raworth’s model for a safe operating space between poverty and planetary boundaries. Raworth’s doughnut economics critically reviewed as too upbeat. Local currencies offer one alternative to mainstream monetary economy; Mondragon – a cooperative Basque corporation owned by the workers; Localism – antidote to globalism; Wasteful fashion industry; Sustainable agriculture indicators;
DE-GROWTH – is it possible? De-growth aesthetics of existence Part 1– Samuel Alexander, Part 2; Dematerialisation – shift from consuming stuff to services; Milankovic criticised; EU Commission critiqued; Escaping Growth Dependency – review;
CLIMATE ECONOMICS – Lord Nicholas Stern lecture Nov 2017 – global agenda, SDGs, carbon pricing, development bank investment in sustainable infrastructure, level of economic risk, zero emissions, sequestration, energy productivity, circular economy for low carbon future, market failures, urban population 2x in next 35 years to 7 billion,
INEQUALITY Can the increasing concentration of wealth in fewer and fewer hands be reversed? Is the increasing concentration of production and distribution in the hands of a few global brands desirable? There is a growing movement of pressure groups against wealth concentration: click here for examples. Positive money – this Tshort video (6 min), from a campaign to reform the financial system, critiques UK government misuse of quantitative easing following the 2008 Great Financial crash; Rich world exploits the poor; – Land use demands for foodstuffs;