This short clip from a talk show has George Monbiot getting to the heart of the issue of why Spaceship Earth is on a crash course as its crew uses GDP growth as its goal for a better future. Although individual consumers can make a tiny difference by not using plastic cotton buds, by going vegetarian and by ceasing to fly, the system that promotes doubling of consumption every 24 years (3% annual growth) has to be radically restrained.
Green growth – a misleading concept (May 2019)
Tim Jackson is Prof of Sustainable Development Studies at the University of Surrey and a passionate advocate of a post-growth economics in which prosperity is not eliminated but is redefined. This short blog introduces his critique of GDP. His lengthy paper here sets out more fully his critical perspective on GDP and its stagnation in the OECD rich countries. It concludes:
The dynamics of the existing growth-based paradigm are driving environmental damage, exacerbating social inequality and contributing to increased political instability. There has never been a more urgent need to question the growth imperative. There has never been a more opportune time to develop the design concepts for a resilient post-growth society.