“Questioning growth is deemed to be the act of lunatics, idealists and revolutionaries. But question it we must. The myth of growth has failed us. It has failed the two billion people who still live on less than $2 a day. It has failed the fragile ecological systems on which we depend for survival. It has failed, spectacularly, in its own terms, to provide economic stability and secure people’s livelihoods.”
Strong words from Tim Jackson, Economics Commissioner of the Sustainable Development Commission, an independent advisory body to the UK government. It comes from a report entitled ‘Prosperity without growth’, and it sounds a warning to the G20 as they convene.
“A return to business as usual is not an option. Prosperity for the few founded on ecological destruction and persistent social injustice is no foundation for a civilised society. ”
That’s our philosophy on a plate. All that’s missing is a broader definition of wealth and the point that we’d be better off with a little less affluence. Oh wait…
“Prosperity goes beyond material pleasures. It transcends material concerns. It resides in the quality of our lives and the health and happiness of our families. It is present in the strength of our relationships and our trust in the community. It is evidenced by our satisfaction at work and our sense of shared meaning and purpose.”
In short, the government’s advisors are telling them to make wealth history. Let’s hope they’re listening.