The latest issue of Adbusters magazine is about ‘thought control’ in the field of economics. It includes an interview with Herman Daly, the godfather of the steady state, who explains the point at which growth becomes uneconomic:
“the economy is a subsystem of the finite biosphere that supports it. When the economy’s expansion encroaches too much on its surrounding ecosystem, we will begin to sacrifice natural capital (such as fish, minerals and fossil fuels) that is worth more than the manufactured capital (such as roads, factories and appliances) added by the growth. We will then have what I call uneconomic growth, producing “bads” faster than goods – making us poorer, not richer. Once we pass the optimal scale, growth becomes stupid in the short run and impossible to maintain in the long run.”
The issue also includes Tim Jackson’s introduction from the ‘Prosperity Without Growth‘ report.
- Is growth economics the defining debate of the 21st century?