Economic growth and transition to sustainability

When POW formed last year, it was formed by a group of people who care about the earth, care about other people, and believe that all people have a right to a fair and equitable share to live a dignified life.

Since then, you have become a part of our network. We all have in common a sense, a feeling, an intuition that our biosphere is being degraded, that the climate is changing, pollution is increasing. We also have in common an idea that we can make a difference by sharing our stories, encouraging one another and getting out there and doing things. It’s a start.

We often look to our politicians for solutions. Governments, whether local, state or federal seem to see that the answer is more growth. Whenever the GDP figures come out, always the expectation is that there must be growth. To have zero growth or even worse, negative growth, is a disaster. That perception is quickly reflected in the stock market. It propagates through the economic system. It’s reflected in the responses of our politicians.

Whether we want it or not, we are part of the system that perpetuates the idea that growth is the answer. We need to start questioning whether growth will help us to have a lighter and smaller impact on this blue globe of water, clouds and land, travelling around the sun. The earth has finite sources; how do we reconcile a finite source with infinite growth?

Have a look at this video. Then go to this website, http://www.neweconomics.org/ and download the PDF http://www.neweconomics.org/sites/neweconomics.org/files/Growth_Isnt_Possible.pdf. Have a read. In a fortnight’s time, the next part of this topic will address 2 important revolutions in human culture; the agricultural revolution that started around 10,000 years ago, and the industrial revolution that started about 250 years ago. What lessons can we learn from these revolutions?