Credit: Bobbart (Boris Klissourski)

Credit: Bobbart (Boris Klissourski)

In the most recent Sustainability Action Network weekly newsletter, there was the following little article. I feel that it makes a very apt point, so I thought that I would reprint it in its entirety.


As the human species inexorably expands over the face of planet Earth, the trajectory of compound growth shows that the scouring of the planet has only just begun. Even if we ignore climate disruption, biodiversity collapse, the depletion of water, soil, minerals, and oil, the mathematics of compound growth make continuity impossible.

According to George Monbiot, “Economic growth is an artefact of the use of fossil fuels. It was neither capitalism nor communism that made possible the progress and the pathologies (total war, the unprecedented concentration of global wealth, planetary destruction) of the modern age. It was coal, followed by oil and gas. Some people try to solve the impossible equation with the myth of dematerialisation: the claim that as processes become more efficient and gadgets are miniaturised, we use, in aggregate, fewer materials. There is no sign that this is happening. The inevitabilities of compound growth mean that if global population growth of 3.1% is sustained, even if we miraculously reduce the consumption of raw materials by 90%, we delay the inevitable by just 75 years. Efficiency solves nothing while growth continues.” Learn more at – The Impossibility of Compound Growth.

To sign up for the weekly newsletter, click here.

%d bloggers like this: