Slamming Face-First into the Limits to Growth
- Escalating costs of resource extraction and associated pollution are key headwinds on future economic growth
- For the first time in generations, the same limits to growth that handicapped pre-industrial society are reasserting themselves
- Our economic and political leaders are misdiagnosing the root problem, and therefore prescribing the wrong treatments
- Remember stagflation? Get ready to experience it again – with a vengeance
The forces driving today’s ongoing economic crisis were sketched out decades ago in the pages of the Club of Rome’s epochal 1973 study, The Limits to Growth. Mention that book to most people nowadays, and those who admit they’ve heard of it at all routinely insist that it made false claims about the future.
The irony – and it’s not a small one – is that this simply isn’t true...
A society in this situation can expand its production of goods and services – its 'wealth economy,' in the terms used in Part I – up to the limits of the environment’s ability to provide resources and absorb waste. Once those limits appear in the rearview mirror, though, any further expansion of the wealth economy runs into two insurmountable difficulties...