Sustainable Growth?

This series is meant to illustrate the following points:

  1. ‘growth’ over time can be linear, natural or exponential. Nature is sustainable because its growth mechanisms are natural.
  2. the mechanism of compounding interest upon interest over time is ‘exponential growth’ which is unsustainable
  3. the growth of interest-free cash is minute compared with the growth of interest-bearing credit and the growth of the national debt.

Under its aims and objective, the UK Treasury advocates ‘sustainable growth’ on http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/about/about_aimsobject.cfm

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One Response to Sustainable Growth?

  1. The current issue of Resurgence [No. 244 Sept/Oct 2007] has one of the finest pieces on genuine sustainabiliy in the article on DEFINING SUSTAINABILITY by Micahel Ben-Eli –
    from which I have extracted these key passages.

    SUSTAINABILITY: a dynamic equilibrium in the processes of interaction between a population and the carrying capacity of an environment, such that the po;ulation develops to express its full potential without adversely and irreversably affecting the carrying capacity of the
    environment upon whichit depends.

    The set of sustainability principles that follows is grounded in this definiton.

    THE SPIRITUAL DIMENSION
    which identifies the necessary attitudinal orientation and provides the basis for ethical conduct

    THE DOMAIN OF LIFE
    which provides the basis for appropriate behaviour in the biosphere with respect to other species

    THE SOCIAL DOMAIN
    which provides the basis for all social interactions

    THE ECONOMIC DOMAIN
    which provides a guiding framework for creating and managing wealth

    THE MATERIAL DOMAIN
    which constitutes the basis for regulating the flow of materials and energy that underlie existence

    The result is a set of five core principles, each with its own derived
    policy and operational implications. The set is fundamentally systemic in nature, meaning that each domain affects all the others and is affected by them in return. Rather than a list, the set should be
    approached and understood as a coherent whole.

    THE UNDERSCORING SPIRIT
    ultimately any serious reflection on the concept of sustainability, and the five core principles which together prescribe it, reveals that the spiritual principle is essential for the possibility of attaining
    sustainability as an enduring state. It alone underscores the difference between a greedy, ego-centric, predatory orientation and a nurturing, self-restrained approach to the world. The spiritual principle drives, integrates and centres the other four principles. It provides the attitudinal orientation that is absolutely essential as a basis of change.

    Hope that is helpful

    Peter Challen

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