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"3e" | Energy - Ecology - Economy
Actual research, news, comments, reports and links about the interactionbs between energy, ecology and economy.
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Satyajit Das: "The End of Growth?"

Satyajit Das: "The End of Growth?" | "3e" | Energy - Ecology - Economy | Scoop.it

Satyajit Das explores the decoupling of financial markets and real economies, and asks whether it is possible that a paradigmatic shift to a no-growth global environment has taken place, leaving financial markets dangerously optimistic.


Economic Endgame


Arthur Miller wrote that “an era can be said to end when its basic illusions are exhausted”. The central illusion of the age of capital -economic growth- may be ending.

 

All brands of politics and economics are deeply rooted in the idea of robust economic growth, combined with the belief that governments and central bankers can exert substantial control over the economy to bring this about. Economic growth has become the universal solution for all political and economic problems, from improving living standards, reducing poverty to now solving the problems of over indebted individuals, businesses and nations.

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Nothing Grows Forever. Why do we keep thinking the economy will?

Nothing Grows Forever. Why do we keep thinking the economy will? | "3e" | Energy - Ecology - Economy | Scoop.it

PETER VICTOR is an economist who has been asking a heretical question: Can the Earth support endless growth?

Traditionally, economists have argued that the answer is "yes." In the 1960s when Victor was earning his various degrees, a steady rise in gross domestic product (GDP)—the combined value of our paid work and the things we produce—was seen as crucial for raising living standards and keeping the masses out of poverty. We grow or we languish: This assumption has become so central to our economic identity that it underpins almost every financial move our leaders make. It is to economics what the Second Law of Thermodynamics is to physics.

But Victor—now a professor at York University in Toronto—felt something tugging him in the opposite direction. Ecologists were beginning to learn that Earth does have limits. Pump enough pollution into a lake and you can ruin it forever; chop down enough forest and it might never grow back. By the early '00s, the frailties of the planet were becoming even more evident—and unsettling—as greenhouse gases accumulated and chunks of Greenland's glaciersbegan breaking off into the sea. "We've had 125,000 generations of humans, but it's only beenthe last eight that have had growth," Victor told me. "So what's considered normal? I think we live in very abnormal times. And the signs are showing up everywhere that the burden we're placing on the natural environment can't be borne."

Aykut Kibritçioğlu's insight:

Peter Victor (2008): Managing withouth Growth: Slower by Design, not Desaster. http://www.pvictor.com/MWG/Home_MWG.html

 

PPT presentation: http://www.slideshare.net/instruw/peter-victor-managing-withouth-growth-slower-by-design-not-desaster

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Steven Stoll (2008): "Fear of Fallowing: The specter of a no-growth world"

Steven Stoll (2008): "Fear of Fallowing: The specter of a no-growth world" | "3e" | Energy - Ecology - Economy | Scoop.it

ostco shoppers navigate with carts broad enough to seat two children side by side. The carts had better be big. They need to haul gallon jars of mayonnaise, 117-ounce cans of baked beans, 340-ounce jugs of liquid detergent, and 70-ounce boxes of breakfast cereal. The coolers advertised for summer picnics hold 266 cans. Giant warehouse stores, shelved to the ceiling with goods from all the waters and forests of the world, make no excuses for consumption. But although Costco sells its goods in large packages, there is no item here that cannot be found at a corner grocery. So why don’t I lighten up and buy a pallet of mango salsa? Because thundering all around me is the scope and scale of American economic growth. Here it is possible to see the enormous throughput of the economy—its capacity to mobilize resources and energy and turn out waste. One store manager, on the floor for fourteen years, tells me he has seen eight pallets of paper towels move out the door in a single day. At forty packages to a pallet, twelve rolls to a package, this means nearly 4,000 rolls. I can hear the sound of chain saws laying off as falling trees cut the air somewhere high in the Cascades. The question that comes to my mind whenever I catch a glimpse of aggregate consumption is always the same: How can it last?

Aykut Kibritçioğlu's insight:

Robert Solow (2008): “There is no reason at all why capitalism could not survive without slow or even no growth. I think it’s perfectly possible that economic growth cannot go on at its current rate forever."

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