Prosperity Without Growth?

How do we generate equitable prosperity within an ecosystem (a planet, a watershed, a community) without using the growth model that we are addicted to?

as governments, as consumers, as businesses.

All the numbers tell us that the growth model is unsustainable, but are we listening? The following link will take you to a talk by Dr. Albert Bartlett of the University of Colorado at Boulder.

Please take the time to view this series of Youtube videos (8 parts) where the mathematics of our reliance on the growth model are explained in simple, yet powerful terms. While the talk is called Arithmetic, Population, and Energy, the series is posted under the title

The Most IMPORTANT Video You’ll Ever See

Then, if you’re still up for it, take a look at Dr. Tim Jackson, professor of Sustainable Development at the University of Surrey, setting the stage for positive discussion of what we must work toward if we are to create viable alternatives to the growth model that informs so much of our present dilemma:

Prosperity Without Growth

The United Kingdom has a Sustainable Development Commission (SDC) that issued in 2009 its report of that title, a “thinkpiece” offered by Dr. Jackson.

both the report and its critics key in on the components of the present system: reliance on growth and consumerism for the expanding economic pie that allows for stability in the face of inequality (that is, I am better off so increasing inequity is less painful to bear) and its relation to the destruction of the environment that appears so necessary to sustain the model. A trajectory that we know leads to the cave.

An important part of how we design our communities and spaces, says Dr. Jackson, is the role that public space plays in ensuring that inequality remains tangible, and consumers do not retreat fully from relation with one another, so that the larger issue of where we are headed can be discussed and addressed.

We agree.

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