Most economists and politicians expect – and rely on – the size of the global economy doubling in the next ~25 years or so. Is this possible? Is it desirable? What will be the impacts if it happens? And if it doesn’t?
This lecture outlines 40 ‘contrasts and continuums’ relevant to these questions. The 3 main points are:
- Energy underpins human economies. (We are living midway through the Carbon Pulse.)
- We are headed for a world with less total consumption.
- After basic needs are met, the best things in life are free.
We are unlikely to change significantly ahead of coming events, but we can begin a wider, more reality-based cultural conversation.
Thanks to Wes Jackson and the Land Institute and Matt Thompson and Kansas Wesleyan for inviting me. Also thanks to Paul Green at KWU for filming and Soren Holm for video editing.