Monday, September 27, 2010

The economy can’t grow forever

Commentary: The whole planet must live within its means
By Rex Nutting, MarketWatch

This is an excerpt. Read the full article here.

Those of us who believe that the economy should serve us instead of the other way around are conflicted.

We know that the only way to end unemployment at home and poverty around the world is to make the economy grow faster. But we also know that nothing can grow forever, that the faster the global economy grows, the sooner we’ll run out of essential resources, including fossil fuels, water, arable land, healthy ecosystems and moderate climate.

Economists and politicians can’t admit it, but the laws of physics apply, no matter what the latest polls tell us. The Earth has finite resources that will someday limit our economic growth.

World leaders gather at the United Nations, where tackling global poverty is high on the agenda. Video courtesy of Reuters.

The Earth cannot forever support 7 billion people consuming as much as Americans consume. And yet we’ve staked our future — individually, nationally, and maybe even as a species — on that impossible dream.

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