Thanks for the reminder that consumption can’t last forever

July 9, 2014

Dear Zenith City Weekly:


Thanks to Tom Roark for his column on the limits to economic growth [“Why the economy can’t grow forever,” May 27, 2014]. Truly, this is a blind spot for both liberals and conservatives.


Two good books on the subject are Richard Heinberg’s The End of Growth and Dmitri Orlov’s The Five Stages of Collapse. The economic growth of the past two centuries was based on cheap fossil fuels.


Those days are over. Banks create wealth out of thin air, and the economy must then grow at a rate sufficient for their loans to be repaid with interest or the whole Ponzi scheme collapses. But limitless growth is impossible on a very limited planet.


The economy is headed for collapse, and not just because of big, bad government, but because our capitalist system—based on growth, debt, and fossil fuels—is doomed to fail. Humanity needs to scale down dramatically to live within our planetary means. Good luck with that.


David A. Sorensen


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