24 September 2009

Prosperity Without Growth: Economics for a Finite Planet

New book by Tim Jackson, published by Earthscan

'Economic growth is supposed to deliver rising prosperity. Higher incomes increase wellbeing and lead to prosperity for all, in this view. But the conventional formula is failing. The ecological and social consequences of unfettered growth are devastating. Climate change threatens long-term wellbeing. Resource scarcities undermine the basis for future prosperity. Persistent inequalities still divide the world and a growing 'social recession' haunts the market economies. Growth has delivered its benefits, at best, unequally. Development remains essential for poorer countries. But are ever-increasing incomes for the already-rich still a legitimate goal for advanced nations? Or should we be aiming for prosperity without growth?

In this ground-breaking book, Tim Jackson, an advisor to the UK Government, acknowledges that society faces a profound dilemma: economic growth is unsustainable; but 'de-growth' - or economic contraction - is unstable. The prevailing 'escape route' from this dilemma is to try and 'decouple' economic activity from its impacts. But there is no evidence at all that this is working. Global resource consumption is still rising (in some cases faster than GDP). Meeting climate change targets will require reductions in carbon intensity two orders of magnitude higher than anything achieved historically. Faced with this challenge, the book engages in a critical re-examination of the economic structure and social logic of consumerism. Prosperity without Growth calls for a new vision of a shared prosperity: the capability to flourish as human beings - within the ecological limits of a finite planet. Fulfilling that vision is the most urgent task of our times.


1 Prosperity Lost
2 The Age of Irresponsiblity
3 Redefining Prosperity
4 The Dilemma of Growth
5 The Myth of Decoupling
6 Confronting Structure
7 Keynesianism and the 'Green New Deal'
8 Macro-Economics for Sustainability
9 Flourishing - within Limits
10 Governance for Prosperity
11 The Transition to a Sustainable Economy
12 A Lasting Prosperity

1 comment:

  1. Very thoughtfull post on prosperity .It should be very much helpfull.

    Karim - Creating Power


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