A permanent growth in a limited system is not possible for simple mathematical reasons. The question is, how long the earth will tolerate our unsustainable economy. We have been discussing this important issue for decades now. There was already a near-consensus 20 years ago, when the first UNEP conference in Rio dealt with this and related problems.
And some hope came up 10 years later in Johannesburg. Some guidance was given, how the goal of a sustainable development could be achieved. Now the third conference, again in Rio (Rio+20) was a flop. The most important political leaders did not even attend.
The formula 'qualitative growth' found much acceptance at the end of the 20th century, you did not even mention it in your blog. If we continue in the same absolutely irresponsible way, humankind is doomed, indeed.
Prof. Dr. Walter Klöpffer - Frankfurt, Germany, The International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment
You don't need to be a scientist to understand this. Out of 100 per cent, you cannot take out 101 per cent. It might even be easier to be understood by normal people than by scientists and politicians. Normal people have the advantage to have their feet on the ground and to have daily experience of the concrete real life, not statistics and pseudo-scientific-analysis.
GZ - Luxembourg
This highlights the need to develop measures that complement GDP, that can evaluate the social and environmental costs and benefits. For, GDP cannot measure the impact and effects of policies on many of today`s challenges - such as an obesity
epidemic, climate change and an ageing population.
The financial crisis and its huge social impacts in many EU countries, raise questions about the ability to measure progress using only economic criteria. The crisis offers us an opportunity to examine society's priorities and what really matters to citizens
and how to measure it.
This work has already been started, including the Better Life Index from the OECD, with international organisations and some national governments looking at ways to measure our societies. The outcome has the power to revolutionise policy-making - breaking the hegemony of economic thinking as the dominant political paradigm and shaping society in the upcoming sober decades.
Leonardo Palumbo - European Public Health Alliance
Of course we will. We have to realise that we don't own the planet. We share it with wildlife which deserves respect and most of all, room to live. Politicians refuse to mention population control and just seem to think that we can devastate the planet to provide for the ever-growing population.
'Global warming' is nothing compared with the mass extinction we are causing. Even when I was a small child, I thought the endless pursuit of economic ''growth'' was unsustainable. It shows how intellectually challenged our 'leaders' are.
Peter Jack - Helston