This is an extract from the draft John Grant’s new book Co-opportunity, contracted for publication with John Wiley & Sons Limited, January 2010. This extract is section 4 of the book – Economic Resilience.

This is an extract from the draft John Grant’s new book Co-opportunity, contracted for publication with John Wiley & Sons Limited, January 2010. This extract is section 4 of the book – Economic Resilience.

How can an economy keep growing in a finite world? Most fans of the ‘green growth’ approach argue for green jobs, a dematerialised economy, service, software and so on. But the historical evidence isn’t kind to this view – as the economy grows there is very little relative decoupling and zero absolute decoupling. The gearing of the economy also impacts on events such as the food crisis. And in economic terms we have a system that has to go faster every year or it crashes, destroying businesses and communities in the process. That’s why economics is a hot topic in sustainability circles and proposals like the Happy Planet Index and Valuing Biodiversity are gaining serious political support.

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