Note — Nov 18, 2018

Does Economic Growth Need to End?

Short read on growth. A good part of the more affirmatively pro environment, anti fossil fuels crowd is often very much for de-growth and for curtailing capitalism. It’s usually my case. But we mustn’t be dogmatic and too hooked on formulas. The problem is the current (im)balance. Maybe we could grow some aspects of society, perhaps even some financial ones, without throwing ever more carbon in the air and destroying ecosystems. Which is why I like the example and framing below.

Consider the compact, self-repairing, mobile, renewable-resource-powered chemical reactor that we call a “cow”. Courtesy of evolution, it is vastly more impressive than human-designed facilities. This elegance, suggests Mr Romer, tells us that there is plenty of room for us to do things better.

On the more “extreme” end, I’m ambivalent about this one and don’t quite have a set opinion yet but worth a read, if only for the closed system vs solar power view: The Secret of Eternal Growth.