Major points 1. Growth economics does not contribute

Major points 1. Growth economics does not contribute

Major points 1. Growth economics does not contribute to per capita wealth or quality-of-life (in developed nations) 2. Growth economics is the worst tool for alleviating poverty 3. Growth economics is not sustainable 4. Technology does not slow growth Major points (cont.) 5. Growth economics will end (sooner or later; whether we like it or not) 6. Growth economics places future quality-of-life at great risk 7. There is a better alternative Steady State Economics

Steady state economics Steady state economics can [in wealthy countries] distribute wealth more equitable lower rates of (or even eliminate) poverty foster a more educated citizenry foster a more politically-engaged citizenry produce cleaner water and cleaner air offer high quality transportation increase efficiency of resource utilization substitute renewable for non-renewable resources offer more leisure time In U.S. communities Economic progress, improved quality-of-life, and human justice do NOT require growth economics In 1970s economic growth decoupled from quality-of-life 140 130

120 110 Index Sustainable Economic Welfare 100 per capita Gross National Product 90 80 70 60 0 5 19 5

5 19 60 9 1 65 9 1 70 9 1 Max-Neef, 1995 75 9 1

80 9 1 5 8 19 Threshold Hypothesis Growth is decoupled from per-capita income Paul Gottlieb, 2002 Policies based on false assumptions do not achieve desirable goals

Growth Economics worst tool for fighting poverty In 1980s, of every $100 added to the global economy, $2.20 went to those in poverty In 1990s, poors share shrank to just 60 In 2008, mankinds ecological Worth it? footprint was already 1.35 Earths Using global economic growth to increase poors income to $3/day would require 15Earths of biocapacity Reducing poverty requires policies specifically designed for that purpose e.g., wealth redistribution Growth Economics (in any community) Increases aggregate rate of consumption (plus net

exports) tracked by increasing GDP/GNP (national level) Caused by increasing rate of per-capita consumption population Per-capita consumption correlated with standard of living per-capita ecological footprint In U.S. communities, most all economic growth results from increasing population Current policies encourage population growth Growth Economics forever? Cannot! ecological economists Can! mainstream economists

Science-based, rational View human activities in a vacuum Supported by ecology, biology, physics Consider interactions between humans and rest of nature banks, investment firms most corporations CASSE www.steadystate.org

Ecological Footprint & Biocapacity cover Sweden <15 acres Niccolucci, et.al. (2007) Ecological Economics 60: 667-672 Our Communitys Situation cover ~25 acres United States Ecological Deficit

Niccolucci, et.al. (2007) Ecological Economics 60: 667-672 Unsustainable condition Dependents dilemma: What if they change their minds? Moral costs: What are foreign providers doing to their bio-capacity & biodiversity? Growth Economics increases our takings from others (including our children) and the risks to all Rational growth maximizes ultimate, steady-state consumption rates Steady state Resource Consumption Rate Growth curve Time

Growth is NOT sustainable Resource Consumption Rate Our current path (overconsumption) lowers the ultimate steady-state condition overconsumption rational steady state - rational steady state- overconsump Overconsumption Overshoot Time

Total costs of achieving sustainability significantly increased Flexibility/options vis--vis unknown challenges significantly decreased Significantly delays achievement of sustainability Reduces steady-state quality-of-life from (competes with) future generations Poor or no plan for vanishing resources Or, our current path may be HYPER-CONSUMPTION hyper Resource Consumption Rate overshoot rational steady state Overconsumption Crash

Time Which future are we leaving our children? Growth economics could condemn/sacrifice most to a future of poverty, violencetotalitarianism We owe future generations a planned endgame Sustainable scenarios curve U.S. Line 1 Per-Capita Footprint (acres) 30 Currently 25 20 15 10 5

150 200 250 300 350 Population (millions) 400 Technology a false messiah Increased efficiency in resource usage increases consumption of that resource Jevons Paradox: The Myth of Resource Efficiency Improvements, J. M. Polimeni, K. Mayumi, M. Giampietro, B. Alcott (Dec, 2007)

Decreased demand for a resource decreases resource price, which then increases consumption rebound effect Savings from efficiency improvements are spent on increased consumption elsewhere savings deposits in fractional reserve bank is the worst choice (money supply increased 10x) Technology often worsens consumption Technology false messiah Overcoming one resource constraint simply extends the biophysical limits on growth economics until another limit is encountered If the only check to population is misery the population will grow until it is miserable enough to check its growth. the result of any improvement is ultimately to

enable a larger population than before to live in misery, so that resource-improvement actually increases the sum of misery. Kenneth Boulding, "The Malthusian Model as a General System," Social and Economic Studies, Collected Works, Vol. I, p. 455, (1955) Voluntary simplicity Does not lower system-wide consumption one persons doing without enables another to do with Free markets Low living standards (real or perceived) advertising-driven demand for prestige consumption (affluenza) Wants-based economies governments (including representative democracies) manage supplies, not wants How economic growth becomes a cost, Paul E. Smith,

Ecological Economics, 68(3), pp. 710-718 (2009) Resource Consum ption Rate The ultimate steady state condition has a huge impact on community &/or global biodiversity Steady State Total Bio-capacity Natural wealth/capital (resources) left for biodiversity (assuming anything is left!) The final, steady state condition will be our legacy to Life Natural wealth/capital (resources) allocated to

the human economy Time We have already taken TOO MUCH! Growth WILL end at some point End growth ASAP to maintain biodiversity and protect our own mental, emotional, physical and spiritual health Current growth-first systems and policies Land use and zoning policies allocate resources to serve growth economics Legal systems colonial (17th century) English common law intrinsic rights sacrificed to property rights unreasonable corporate power rights of personhood, commerce clause

Monetary/economic systems self-destructive (recessions, depressions) monetary expansion over wealth preservation private/aristocratic control (banks, corporations) convert non-monetary, community wealth into monetary assets None of the existing decision systems consider future generations Non-monetary community wealth

Clean, healthful water Clean, healthful air Low crime Low taxes (volunteerism, minimal complexity & infrastructure) Light traffic, short lines Small, locally-owned businesses Diversity in local culture Small schools, class sizes and student/teacher ratios Space Quiet Nature, biodiversity

Historical preservation Community self-sufficiency Citizen participation in civic and community affairs Community doing things, making decisions together Individual freedom By converting community assets into money, large banks and corporations maximize their takings (wealth extraction) from communities Growth-first social and political systems favor totalitarianism Centralized control of resources

in all systems (financial, production, natural resources, governance) control and power concentrated in the hands of a few Federal preemption/supremacy Lack of free press mainstream media corporate-controlled active & passive censorship/disinformation urbanization advocates dont worry, be happy (1984 opiate of the masses) Weak democracies direct democracy (self-governing people) smothered by representative democracy (ruling class) pro-money voting/campaign laws

Myopic religious institutions Anthropocentric (restricted morality), Biblical/colonial, Ishmael In other words, growth economics IS un-American Systems/policies that maintain growth economics must be replaced With alternatives that nurture sustainable economies Communities are taking action Towards a Low Footprint Scotland (2007) www.scotlandsfootprint.org/pdfs/LowFootprintScotland.pdf a low footprint lifestyle can be appealing and beneficial to society as a wholeSome of the measures may appear counter to traditional government pro-economic growth policies. In reality, these recommendations are a pro-Scotland, pro-quality of life approach

which will secure Scotlands future. policies aimed at achieving well-being rather than economic growth as an over-riding objective are appealing to many and may provide the necessary new perspective to achieve a strong, healthy and just society within global limits. This could not only have positive environmental effects. As a cross-cutting issue, freeing up more time for life could also contribute to the establishment of healthier communities, the strengthening of social cohesion , and improving peoples quality of life Government policies should aim for increased well-being and not economic growth per se. People in Scotland are willing to adopt more sustainable lifestyles if they are given clear leadership by government. CASSE Petition www.steadystate.org Scientific Organizations: American Society of Mammologists Society for Conservation Biology (N. American Section) British Columbia Field Ornithologists

Civic & Political Organizations: Bloomington (IN) Environmental Commission Coast Range Association (Corvallis, OR) Coos Cty. Alternatives to Growth (Coos Bay, OR) Sustainable Saratoga Springs (NY) U.S. Green Party Community Actions Determine ecological footprint (EF) vs. biocapacity (BC) in your community Set a desired target EF/BC ratio to drive all community policies Set a desired, target population based on target EF/BC and other desired quality-of-life indicies Estimate future water supply vs. consumption rate; set desired target [consumption/availability] to drive community policies Make preservation of local, agricultural land a top priority in land use/zoning/taxation policies

Give citizens easy access to clear and complete information about upcoming government deliberations & decisions that could increase communitys EF, decrease BC, increase water consumption, or degrade water quality Community Actions (cont.) Require EF/BC impact assessments of any measures considered by government bodies or voters Require voter approval of annexations, TIFs, changes to housing allocations, and changes in the master plan Require voter approval of any development project that would increase the EF from (or decrease the BC of) the subject property Require a project applicant to disclose all potential risks to public health, safety and welfare and to the environment Give community residents rights to challenge government decisions (made without voter approval) that may increase the communitys EC, decrease its BC, increase water consumption, or degrade water quality Assess impact fees to cover ALL the estimated costs to the

public End growth promotion by the homestead tax credit Community Actions (cont.) Reform environmental and conservation law 1) 2) 3) 4) 5) Make rights-based rather than property-based Extend legal standing (inherent rights) to ecosystems (CELDF) Adopt Tort of Ecological Degredation (Guth) Adopt Precautionary Principle Protect commons for current and future generations (SEHN)

Restore community control over land development 1) Rein-in corporate rights/powers within the community 2) Deny corporations rights to personhood Ban campaign contributions by non-local businesses in local elections (Humboldt Cty., CA) Eliminate State or Federal authority to act on behalf of corporations involved in local land use (or other natural resource) disputes Take home points Growth economics does not contribute to per capita wealth

or quality-of-life Growth economics is the worst tool for alleviating poverty Growth economics is not sustainable economic growth increases rates of natural resource consumption and pollution (including CO2 emissions) Technology does not slow consumption growth Growth economics will end (whether we like it or not) the world has changed (we are reaching our limits esp. energy) Growth economics places our quality-of-life at great risk we are stealing from future generations and all of life Steady state Economics a better alternative Citizens for Sustainable Economies Working for future generations www.ControlGrowth.org/SteadyState.ppt

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