British government must switch to a degrowth economy to avoid ecological collapse

British government must switch to a degrowth economy to avoid ecological collapse

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For the past seven decades, GDP growth has stood as the primary economic objective of nations around the world. But as our economies have grown, so has our negative impact on the environment. We are now exceeding the safe operating space for humanity on this planet.

Reluctance to face unpleasant realities is a common trait of human character. We would like to think that we can continue 'business as usual', and that small individual lifestyle choices will be enough to make a difference. What's more, our leaders have a lot to gain from maintaining the status quo. But the evidence before us suggests that we are set for disruptive and uncontrollable levels of climate change, bringing starvation, destruction, disease and war. In our lifetimes, and in our children's lifetimes. A UN report released on the 8th October 2018 warned that without radical and immediate transformation of the global economy, we are facing a bleak, dystopian future of wildfires and droughts, inundated coastlines, the mass die-off of coral reefs, and massive food shortages.


And yet still, the official mantra remains growth — redressed as ‘sustainable’, ‘green’, or ‘inclusive’ — but first and foremost, growth. Even the UN Sustainable Development Goals include the pursuit of economic growth as a policy goal for all countries, despite the fundamental contradiction between growth and sustainability.


We can't have infinite growth on a finite planet.


Over 200 academics and scientists from across Europe recently signed an open letter urging the European Union and member states to end their suicidal dependency on growth by switching to a post-growth model.

We need our leaders to show courage, imagination, and wisdom, not short-sighted self-interest and dangerously impoverished vision. Demand that the British government set a precedent for Europe and beyond by switching immediately to a degrowth economy, so that we can offer young people and future generations a fighting chance of thriving on a habitable earth.

 

FURTHER READING ON DEGROWTH


https://degrowth.org/definition-2/


https://www.opendemocracy.net/riccardo-mastini/degrowth-case-for-constructing-new-economic-paradigm

https://theconversation.com/life-in-a-degrowth-economy-and-why-you-might-actually-enjoy-it-32224


http://www.lifeworth.com/deepadaptation.pdf

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