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"Green Economy" - "Sustainable Growth"
thinking converts energy, always... "Green Growth" - "Green Economy" - "Sustainable Growth":

Three expressions frequently used by opinion leaders and functionaries in Buniness, Politics, and the discipline of Economics (BPE).

They are used in defense of the existing paradigm of economic growth, frequently to support the arguments that
  • the poor need development (growth) and
  • growth is needed to create jobs.

  • Growth is always material, increasing resource depletion rates, and
  • The earth and its resource are finite,
    neither "jobs", nor "development" are a valid argument.
    Humanity is in a horrible overshoot situation. Therefore, if people in poor regions need development this must be compensated by contraction of rich parts of the world.

    The below email sent to an economist provides some detailed explanations. top
  • [Some abbreviations used are explained at the bottom of the mail]

    Dear ...,

    I was just told that you explained "green growth" or sustainable growth or similar at last week's conference .... Unfortunately I was not in the meeting room at that time so my remarks to you after the conference were made without reference to your explanations during the session.

    In our brief discussion you've noticed that I share the desperation of normal people regarding the growth paradigm. Because whatever the theories and models claim, growth is always material and thereby accelerating the depletion rates of the world's ressources.

    This also counts for "qualitative growth", which is an expression with a strong inner conflict.

    Growth means "more".

    Quality needs to be defined.

    If quality refers to happiness and/or contentment with life or one's lifestyle, then some questions may be asked.
    1. Can one becomer happier with less material goods?
    2. Does this require more basic facilities such as clean water and toilets? 3. If the change in lifestyle for more happiness means living a more frugal life, without a car or other luxuries of modernity, then this will generate a reduction of the GDP, not growth. Why should/could we call this "qualitative growth"? It factually is an economic contraction, generated by a qualitative lifstyle change.
    4. If a person changes towards a better basic lifestyle, with clean tap water, toilets, electricity, then this produces economic growth and thereby increases the person's impact on the environment by a higher resource use, most of which is non-renewable.
    Thus "qualitative growth" is an oxymoron. It should not be used to defend the needs of people in poor areas to get better basic lifestyles, or - worse - to defend our growth ideology in this rich part of the world.

    On my website you find this brief statement on "qualitative growth" here:

    http://www.ecoglobe.ch/sustain/e/glos8830.htm#economicgrowth - "Economic Growth" is expansion of human activity, i.e. the increase in production and consumption, normally accounted in Gross Domestic Product growth over one year.

    The GDP is the total monetary value of all economic activity, i.e. agriculture, manufacturing, so-called services (which include such very resource-intensive activities as transportation).

    The GDP does not distinguish between goods and "bads", i.e. work to repair accidents or outright harmful activities. So-called "sustainable growth", "immaterial growth", "different growth", "decoupled growth" are theoretical fiction, designed to maintain the growth paradigm that is cherished by most opinion leaders."

    I've also explained this in German here:
    "Wachstum oder Nachhaltigkeit" - Brief an die KOF Zürich
    "Qualitatives Wachstum", Effizienssteigerung und Dienstleistungen

    As mentioned in our discussion, ... had suggested to meet for a clarifying discussion before I would start publicly asking the difficult questions about the UNEP's green economy intiative.
    Online I've already become more explicit, see

    In one session at the recent WTO public forum I questioned UNEP's GEI after a presentation by Marc Halle, although without going into details. Public forums hardly allow a real scientific and balanced discussion.

    I'm open to any critique.

    Kind regards ... Helmut Lubbers

    <<< some abbreviations to facilitate understanding of modernity >>>
    BPE = Business, Politics and the discipline of Economics
    ECONOMIC GROWTH = The difference in GDP between one year and the previous one. GDP=Money=Material. "Dematerialised growth" is nonsense sublime.
    HOT = Hope Optimism Technology
    LSM = Lame Stream Media
    OVERSHOOT = Too many people consuming too much resources, possibly more than 400 times in excess of the planet's carrying capacity.
    PIP = People In Power
    PPOD = Post Peak Oil Downslope
    Also see:
  • Transition to a so-called "service" economy
  • Annotated Press Release from the UN on the launch of the "Green Economy Report"
  • "Green Economy" - "The New Big Deal"
  • "Rio+20 and the "Green Economy"
  • On a finite planet economic and population growth are suicide for humanity!
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