13 de maio de 2009
The growth economy is failing and we have to attempt a steady-state economy.
For four decades, the econimist Herman Daly has worked tirelessly to challenge the growth dogma that modern society has so enthusiastically imbibed. Publishing several books and more than 100 articles, Daly has even tried to effect change from within, spending six frustrating years at the World Bank, where he observed how misguided policies emerged from "an unrealistic vision of development as the generalization of Northern over-consumption." In 1994, Daly left the World Bank for the University of Maryland. To date, he has received the Right Livelihood Award as well as the Heineken Prize for Environmental Science awarded by the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Thanks to the overwhelming evidence natural scientists have amassed demonstrating that if we want to avoid catastrophic climate change, humanity must stop pumping CO2 into the atmosphere, mainstream economists are grudgingly coming to accept the fact that there are ecological limits to our growth after all. While the majority have yet to admit that growth is a false idol, once one limit is accepted, the likelihood that there are others quickly follows. Once these limits are accepted, the whole plausibility of continued growth crumbles.
Herman Daily has contributed to a new paradigm: the steady state economy. Regardless of whether it will be hard or easy, Daily proposes a SSE because we cannot continue growing, and in fact so-called "economic" growth already has become uneconomic. The growth economy is failing. In other words, the quantitative expansion of the economic subsystem increases environmental and social costs faster than production benefits, making us poorer not richer, at least in high-consumption countries.
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