Unsustainable development on a grand scale

It was reported on the BBC News today that China’s growth has slowed from 8.1% to 7.6% over the last three months. Big deal. What does this matter? Either way, it is completely unsustainable!. I am afraid this prompted another rant from me (albeit subject to a 400-character limit):

“Even at 7% p.a. this would result in a doubling of China’s economy in 10 years. That means a probable doubling of its consumption of the Earth’s resources. In what sense can this ever be considered sustainable? Quantitative growth is not – nor can it ever be – the answer. What the Earth needs is Qualitative development. Economists and politicians need to stop lying to themselves and us.”

The former World Bank economist, Herman E Daly (yes him again), once lamented that: “Anyone who asserts the existence of limits is soon presented with a whole litany of things that someone once said could never be done but subsequently were done”; but insisted that “Continuing to study economies only in terms of the [exchange value of money] is like studying organisms only in terms of the circulatory system, without ever mentioning the digestive tract.” I am sorry but, apart from saying that it is time the World woke up to reality, I cannot be bothered to say anything else; but I am going to repeat this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EQqDS9wGsxQ


About Rick Altman

Possibly just another 'Climate Cassandra' crying 'Wolf' in cyberspace. However, the moral of the old children's story is that the Wolf eventually turned up!
This entry was posted in Climate Science, Consumerism, Denial, Economics, Environment, Growthmania, Insanity, Limits to Growth, Sustainable development and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Unsustainable development on a grand scale

  1. Jennifer Browdy de Hernandez says:

    Yes, the denialism is rampant. How to change this narrative? How to get the commitment to sustainability to be more than just lip service? Ranting is a start but–what’s next?


    • Rick Altman says:

      Apart from emailing my elected unrepresentatives (which I am also tired of doing) – I think is civil disobedience a la Dr J. E. Hansen… whom I emailed recently and within about 30 minutes (early morning in NY) got a really nice reply… It brightened my day no end (and his I suspect). Thanks, as ever, for taking the time to comment.


  2. jpgreenword says:

    I love that video! We can’t watch it enough.


  3. Nele Marien says:

    yes, growth has been the only pillar of sustainable development that received real attention. Social wellbeing and environment were left far behind since the Earth Summit in 1992. see also http://www.nelemarien.info/20-years-of-unsustainable-development/


    • Rick Altman says:

      Hola Nele! Many thanks for visiting and commenting; and thank you for providing that link to your own essay – which is absolutely excellent.


  4. Pingback: 20 years of unsustainable development « Anthropocene Reality

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