What is unbelieveable is that we are informed that the end of our wonderful depression (i'm not prepared to participate in the word game by using recession) will be over when we are back on the track of 5% annual growth.  They say this with a straight face.  I have reduced my critique of capitalism with those who are math challenged to show them that the product of 1.05 by itselff over some number of years yields a large number. The popular masses are not abstract thinkers; but in the end they are the ones who must grasp the consequences of unlimited growth.  Consequently i simply invite them to determine themselves that 5% growth means that over the next 100 years there will be 131 times what we presently have, that we'll have to spend 131 times what we spend today, that there will be 131 times the waste that we produce today, etc.  I believe that the head in the sand response of your New Zealand intelligentsia is disingenuous.  They are not the ones who are going to suffer.  It is the children of everyone; their existence will become untenable.  I encourage everyone of us clever science types to shift our attention from exclusive communities of intelligentsia to the popular masses by presenting not just scenarios of what the planet will be like but show them that just as a 5% mortgage compounded monthly means that they pay 4.5 times the initial principle for their home over thirty years so also does 5% growth mean that everything from paper to automobiles to human shit will be 4.5 times what it is now after thirty years; and that's not good!

We have got to stop just talking among ourselves in our wonderfully abstract language and communicate directly, using concrete, understandable examples, with those who are being hornswoggled into their own destruction.

The destruction of our planet by the necessity, built into our economic system, of unlimited growth must become the substance of popular discourse.  This does not require much science, just common sense and a little arithmetic.

Robby, the Club of Rome, although to be credited with making public this central problem has never and cannot show that the wonderful reductions in consumption that you recommend are contradictory to the laws of capitalism.  The capitalists themselves in their overwhelming majority know that there can be no capitalism without a continual positive growth rate.  That is why your establishment organizations will not give voice to you and your friend.  I anticipate that over time the absolute contradiction between quality of life and the necessity of a never ending positive growth rate will bring people to recognize that capitalism has to go.  Hopefully by then they will also have developed a common vision of a viable, acceptable alternative.

On 8/16/2011 8:20 PM, Robert Mann wrote:
[log in to unmask]" type="cite"> Goldsmith-type doom, gloom lives on

        This author I've known since he invited me as an inaugural member of the (short-lived) NZ branch of the Club of Rome.  He is our country's senior practitioner & critic of world modelling.  In the broad tradition of Goldsmith's '5000 Days' & other dire warnings, a coherent perspective based on science is developed.  The results are dismissed mockingly by growthmaniacs as 'doom, gloom'; yet they are well founded and never refuted.  Far worse doom will result if such warnings are not heeded.
        A broad theme in rational responses will be to decrease consumption several-fold in the overdeveloped world, to allow basics of life & health to the billions in the undeveloped world.  Even if climate degradation had not been thought of, such decreases of bloat are justified and had better be planned, rather than left to market forces. 

        He remarks:-

This is science, holistic science that combines information from many sources, from many disciplines.  In the booklet I mention some of the science and describe how such interdisciplinary work once started in the DSIR, and how it is blocked today.  My recent experience has been the refusal of the Royal Society of New Zealand (both the national office and the Wellington branch) and the New Zealand Association of Scientists for a debate on the limits to growth, and a paper on the current lack of science in New Zealand and the need for an independent interdisciplinary study has been turned down by the Journal of the Royal Society of New Zealand and the New Zealand Journal of Science, with no feedback or discussion in either case. 
        There is such a belief in growth (as preached by Paul Callaghan) that a scientific analysis pointing to the limits to growth is rejected.