Steady State / Circular Economics

Growth economics still remain the prime goal of almost every nation on earth despite the obvious fact that infinite exponential growth cannot be sustained on a finite planet (hence the simile Spaceship Earth).  Many now see circular or steady-state economics in harmony with the natural world as the long-term alternative to growth economics.  CASSE is one of the longest established centres advocating steady state economics. This article is an example of CASSE’s regular mailings of the Daly News, named after the founder of CASSE – Herman Daly. The article calls for religious organisations to add their weight to the environmental and progressive movements that are in a David and Goliath struggle against vested interests that promote economic growth:

“Neither the environmental movement nor the progressive movement possesses enough political strength to overcome the most powerful economic interests in the world. These potent interests include the oil and coal industries, banks, agribusiness, mining and chemical companies, Wall Street, etc. Congress will not act on big economic changes because too many members depend on election money from these very same economic interests.”

This second article from CASSE reminds us that time is running out to deal with the dire threat of population and economic growth and to redesign our  priorities and life styles to diminish human excesses that are now crossing planetary boundaries (the term coined by the Stockholm Resilience Centre researchers in 2009).

This chapter from the Worldwatch Institute “State of the Word 2015” yearbook is entitled ‘Energy, Credit and the End of Growth’ and is another of a growing number of works advocating the end to the universal obsession with material growth – the psychology of MORE, MORE,  MORE that cannot be sustained by Spaceship Earth for  much longer.

“We urgently need institutions and populations to begin to prepare, physically and psychologically, for a world with the same or less each year instead of more—a mindset that is not in our collective psyches or even imaginations.”

This post outlines a firm (called Interface) that over 20 years moved its operations through seven steps to implement the principles of a circular economy.

Self-limiting economies are need for long term sustainablility as this article from Resilience 16.11.16 explains -“The Growth Trap”.

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