From a press release from the Environmental News Network that landed in my inbox:
It's Time to Re-think Economic Growth for Advanced Nations
LONDON - In Prosperity Without Growth: Economics for a Finite Planet, published by Earthscan this week, Professor Tim Jackson raises fundamental questions about the economics needed to tackle climate change. Jackson argues that, faced with the limits imposed by carbon sinks and the scale of "˜de-carbonization' of the world's economy required to stay within them, continued economic growth in the already affluent world does not offer the solution; it represents the problem....
there is a strong case for the developed nations to make room for growth in poorer countries. It is in these poorer countries that growth really does make a difference. In richer countries the returns on further growth appear much more limited; for example subjective well-being diminishes rapidly at higher income levels."
Assuming that such thinking is not just a crass excuse for totalitarian control, it represents an enormous failure of imagination. The author cannot imagine what benefits increased wealth would provide, so he assumes those benefits to be zero. There is absolutely no reason that this same exact thinking could not have been applied in 1300 or 1750 or 1900. Fortunately it was not.
Wonder where the communists went when their philosophy was shown to be bankrupt? Wonder where the anti-globalization folks went after they looted in Seattle. Look no further than the global warming movement. The author suggests, among other things:
- support for "˜ecological' enterprise "“ resource efficient, community-based activities that offer meaningful employment and deliver low-carbon goods and services
- clear restraints on unbridled consumerism
- the protection of public spaces and a renewed vision of social goods
- investment in the capabilities for people have to participate in society in less materialistic ways
Just say no to ecological Marxism.