Saturday, July 18, 2020

Nafeez Ahmed - 'Green Economic Growth' Is a Myth

There are 'no realistic scenarios' to make the economic growth demanded by capitalism compatible with a safe climate, researchers who advised the United Nations found.

Industry and society are becoming more efficient, but instead of using less, this efficiency is making it easier to use more.

Can we be happy with less? In the Scandinavian countries people are not so rich, but they tend to be happier places to live. The difference between the top wages and the lowest in Scandinavian countries is only 4 times, so it makes the cost of living high - for instance, shop assistants and waitresses earn a decent wage which pushes prices up. But if you don't have to worry about healthcare, pensions, sick pay, insurance in case you get ill, then why work yourself to death? And yet people remain very entrepreneurial in Scandinavia, but work is leisure.

In two new, peer-reviewed research papers published in June, their analysis goes further. Capitalism’s drive for maximising profits means that the economy is structured around continued economic growth: if it doesn’t grow, it collapses. This means that huge technological efficiencies tend to empower capitalism to grow faster and bigger.

As Hickel has shown: “Over and over again, empirical data shows that it is possible to achieve high levels of human welfare without high levels of GDP with significantly less pressure on the planet. How? By sharing income more fairly and investing in universal health care, education, and other public goods. The evidence is clear: When it comes to delivering long, healthy, flourishing lives for all, this is what counts—this is what progress looks like.”

Nafeez Ahmed - 'Green Economic Growth' Is a Myth

Way Finland and Norway are Happier than the US

In the US freedom means freedom from the government.

In the Nordic countries freedom means letting the government provide all the essential services, while they get on with living a happy, carefree life.


lastgreek said...

Indeed the "green" and "growth" together are an oxymoron :(

PS: You know, when I came to the realization that Yani Varoufakis was a joke? No, not when he came up with the crazy suggestion of repopulating the interior of Greece (that is, villages with now low pops) with refugees from Asia/Africa (snicker). No, it was when he was writing articles about "sustainable growth."

Peter Pan said...

Imagine the outbreak of happiness that will accompany the collapse of civilization.

Kaivey said...

Good one!