Adbusters have announced their person of the year, and it’s Herman Daly, godfather of the steady state economy movement.
Daly has been preaching his economic heresy for decades, after realising that the economy aims for infinite growth while the ecosystem that contains it remains resolutely finite. The economy relies on the environment both to supply resources, and to absorb waste. When the economy begins to outpace the earth’s capacity to supply those needs, we have a problem. Peak oil, forest loss and collapsing fish stocks testify that we’ve reached that point on the resource side. Climate change, air pollution and the trash island in the Pacific tell us we’ve hitting the limits on the waste side too. Daly’s ideas suddenly don’t look so eccentric after all.
“Herman Daly is a game changer and a paradigm shifter” say Adbusters. “He is illuminating the path that will lead us away from ecological and economic crises. Thus, at this critical juncture in our history, Adbusters has chosen him as Person of the Year.”
A worthy winner in my opinion, and here’s hoping 2009 will be the year that steady state economics begins to break through.
- Herman Daly shares his big idea in an Adbusters article.
- A steady state economy reading list.