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Do We Need Economic Growth          
to Achieve More Sustainability? - D - F

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Letter given to Mr Pascal Couchepin (translation of the original French version):
ecology discovery foundation
Helmut E. Lubbers
BE MsocSc DipEcol
14 Boulevard Carl-Vogt
CH-1205 Genève / Genf
Tel./tél. +41-22-3212320

Genève/Genf, 8 décembre 2008

ecoglobe, 14 bd. Carl-Vogt, CH-1205 Genève
M. Pascal Couchepin,
Président de la Confédération
Palais Fédéral
3003 Berne

"Avons-nous besoin de la croissance économique pour achever plus de durabilité?"
("Do We Need Economic Growth to Achieve More Sustainability", Davos 26.1.08)
Dear Mr Couchepin,

You remember your participation at the Open Forum on Growth, on 26 January 2008 in Davos.

Attached you receive my internet page on that part of the discussion that contains your answer to my remarks, including my comments to your reaction and those of the other forum members.

I had said that growth and overexploitation of our earth has lead to a very dangerous situation and development. The scale of non-renewable resource depletion actually forbids further growth. The planet is seriously overpopulated and overconsumed, and this asks for contraction in order to revert to a sustainable society.

You answered that I must not worry because we will invent technologies to reduce the consumption of non-renewable resources. Save that it is not sure whether and when these inventions will eventuate and in how far these new technologies will reduce consumption.

The precautionary principle demands that present problems be tackled with known methods. Waiting for future solutions is not responsible. Furthermore, technology can never compensate for the depletion of non-renewable resources, nor can it revive extinct species. Besides, technology is one factor of the equasion
        I = P x A x T (Impact on the environment = Population x Affluence x Technology).

There is no economic growth - "immaterial", "green", "decoupled", "different", sustainable", or other - that does not increase resource consumption and emissions, including greenhouse gases. Growth is measured in money units, which represent a quantity of material, of pollution, and of depletion of space.

The theories of economics are detrimental to concrete measures for changing our production and consumption systems towards less speed, less transportation, and less consumption of non-renewable resources.

Growth is really a suicidal policy for humanity.

I hope that you appreciate these brief remarks and I would be gald to receivie your reaction.

     Yours sincerely,

    Helmut E Lubbers
ecological psychologist

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