Prosperity without Growth: Foundations for the Economy of Tomorrow, Edition 2

Taylor & Francis
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What can prosperity possibly mean in a world of environmental and social limits?

The publication of Prosperity without Growth was a landmark in the sustainability debate. Tim Jackson’s piercing challenge to conventional economics openly questioned the most highly prized goal of politicians and economists alike: the continued pursuit of exponential economic growth. Its findings provoked controversy, inspired debate and led to a new wave of research building on its arguments and conclusions.

This substantially revised and re-written edition updates those arguments and considerably expands upon them. Jackson demonstrates that building a ‘post-growth’ economy is a precise, definable and meaningful task. Starting from clear first principles, he sets out the dimensions of that task: the nature of enterprise; the quality of our working lives; the structure of investment; and the role of the money supply. He shows how the economy of tomorrow may be transformed in ways that protect employment, facilitate social investment, reduce inequality and deliver both ecological and financial stability.

Seven years after it was first published, Prosperity without Growth is no longer a radical narrative whispered by a marginal fringe, but an essential vision of social progress in a post-crisis world. Fulfilling that vision is simply the most urgent task of our times.

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About the author

Tim Jackson is Professor of Sustainable Development at the University of Surrey, UK, and Director of the Centre for the Understanding of Sustainable Prosperity (CUSP). For seven years he was Economics Commissioner on the UK Sustainable Development Commission, where his work culminated in the first edition of this book. He was awarded the Hillary Laureate for exceptional international leadership in 2016. In addition to his scientific work, Tim is a prize-winning dramatist with numerous radio writing credits for the BBC.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Taylor & Francis
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Published on
Dec 8, 2016
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Pages
310
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ISBN
9781317388227
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Best For
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Language
English
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Genres
Business & Economics / Economics / Macroeconomics
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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Stimulating growth through adjusting macroeconomic conditions remains the principal policy responses to pressing problems of unemployment, poverty and environmental degradation. However, are the current policy approaches capable of tackling these problems by generating win-win solutions or are they the root causes of these problems? The current growth trajectory has neither lead to a reduction of our overall resource use – as we use resources and energy more efficiently we consume more – nor create the conditions for employment and well-being.

Increasingly, there is the realization that it is necessary to make substantial interventions into our national economies and create better framework conditions and incentive systems in order to more widely and rapidly develop and disseminate workable, innovative solutions for realizing sustainable development. This is the task of politics, and the concrete design of the measures must be built upon a broad public debate and shared long-term visions.

The authors of this book intend to trigger a dialogue among stakeholders about how we can shape this transformation process towards sustainability. Following a detailed presentation of the key arguments for reconsidering the necessary conditions for sustainable economies, an international cast of commentators from politics, administration, civil society, business and science engage with the central question: is there an alternative trajectory for Western economies that sustains wellbeing whilst confronting ecological and social breakdown?

In 1972, three scientists from MIT created a computer model that analyzed global resource consumption and production. Their results shocked the world and created stirring conversation about global 'overshoot,' or resource use beyond the carrying capacity of the planet. Now, preeminent environmental scientists Donnella Meadows, Jorgen Randers, and Dennis Meadows have teamed up again to update and expand their original findings in The Limits to Growth: The 30 Year Global Update.

Meadows, Randers, and Meadows are international environmental leaders recognized for their groundbreaking research into early signs of wear on the planet. Citing climate change as the most tangible example of our current overshoot, the scientists now provide us with an updated scenario and a plan to reduce our needs to meet the carrying capacity of the planet.

Over the past three decades, population growth and global warming have forged on with a striking semblance to the scenarios laid out by the World3 computer model in the original Limits to Growth. While Meadows, Randers, and Meadows do not make a practice of predicting future environmental degradation, they offer an analysis of present and future trends in resource use, and assess a variety of possible outcomes.

In many ways, the message contained in Limits to Growth: The 30-Year Update is a warning. Overshoot cannot be sustained without collapse. But, as the authors are careful to point out, there is reason to believe that humanity can still reverse some of its damage to Earth if it takes appropriate measures to reduce inefficiency and waste.

Written in refreshingly accessible prose, Limits to Growth: The 30-Year Update is a long anticipated revival of some of the original voices in the growing chorus of sustainability. Limits to Growth: The 30 Year Update is a work of stunning intelligence that will expose for humanity the hazy but critical line between human growth and human development.

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