Where are we now?
We are now in the midst of a very fragile economy which is finding it very difficult to grow at all. The present economic system is only stable as long as it is growing and politicians get twitchy when anything threatens this growth. Just look at how the government has thrown tax payers’ money into failing financial systems in an attempt to save the economy.
Our role as consumers is key in sustaining economic growth – by increasing public spending on goods and services, firms sell more and hence are encouraged to produce more. So, higher demand leads to higher output which gives us our precious economic growth.
But can the economy really go on growing forever?
That’s one question that most economists seem to have closed their ears to.
Is economic growth sustainable?
Economic ‘wealth’, although more conventionally represented by money, is actually dependent on natural resources. The goods and services exchanged for money are inextricably linked to the natural resources from which they are derived, which in the large part stem from good old fossil fuels.
So, at the crux of it all, the present economic system, stable only with growth, is dependent on an infinite supply of natural resources! Have we completely lost touch with reality?! We must bear in mind this ecological constraint on the economy.
Bearing in mind that “Eco” comes from the Greek word oikos, meaning home, the New Scientist article, Economics blind spot is a disaster for the planet, neatly describes how the economy and environment are inextricably interlinked: