Prosperity without Growth

Letter to Hereford Times 17 August 2017

 

Startling claim

MR A W Johnson, leader of Herefordshire Council writes about the need for a Hereford bypass (letters column July 13 ) citing as reasons, future traffic management and opening up the space for 6,500 houses and businesses which must be built by 2030.
He goes on to assert: “Our future depends entirely on growing the economy and income.”
This is a startling claim and I think it’s increasingly untrue.
A desirable future for the people of Herefordshire is definitely possible. But it depends on a whole host of things and unlimited economic growth will ruin everything that’s unique about it.
Since the mid 20th century the world economy has grown by more than five times. However, over recent decades expectations of further growth have created enormous levels of consumer debt. And now growth is increasingly stalled by hard physical limits such as depletion of resources, environmental devastation, financial crises, mountains of debt and the rapidly deteriorating net energy of oil.
Our future, Mr Johnson, does not depend on the fantasy of an ever-growing economy. Our future depends on us clearly seeing the reality of our situation, moving away from growth in consumption and towards improvements in the quality of life.
Herefordshire is a wonderful county, we can thrive, we can create something better. Growth is over – what about “prosperity without growth”.
BRIAN LUNT

2 comments

  1. Growing the economy has been the orthodoxy for nearly a century. It is good to see people are beginning to realise this is just not sustainable on a finite planet. How to show the powers that be that a change of direction is needed is the problem.

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