Prosperity Without Growth: Economics for a Finite Planet review ☆ 104

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Prosperity Without Growth: Economics for a Finite Planet review ☆ 104 Æ Traditional Chinese edition of Prosperity Without Growth Economics for a Finite Planet The book addresses the most important economic premise that continued prosperity and growth in a finite world is unsustainable So where do we go from heSsion's Economics Commissioner and Professor of Sustainable Development at the University of Surrey In Chinese Distributed by Tsai Fong Books I. When I made the move from engineering to acting I was fortunate to find a teacher early in my training that translated what can be a very airy fairy touchy feely language that often pervade acting techniue into a clear and structured approach to acting trainingI have found the same in my experience with environmental and community groups issuesYou can't pursue infinite growth on a finite planet consumerism and materialism are undermining our community and humanity these are all things we in these fields believe strongly but a clear well reasoned argument backing these beliefs is not often well articulated Just as with acting when you've been in the field for long enough these things seem self evident but explaining them to others can be challengingTim Jackson deftly navigates some very dense and heavy topics yet manages to keep it engaging and bring together the evidence on subjects from ecology to economics to social issues to make a very clear and well reasoned argument The book calls for a rethink on the association of economic growth with prosperity and a refocus on what true happiness and prosperity for society would like and how we go about achieving itIf you've had that feeling that the system is fundamentally flawed in many areas but are hard pressed to explain the interconnections between all those broken parts this book is a must readOr if you like a very scientific mathematically sound explanation for the world and sometimes wonder what all these hippies in the green movement are on about then this book is for you

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Traditional Chinese edition of Prosperity Without Growth Economics for a Finite Planet The book addresses the most important economic premise t. Although as a longtime environmentalist I'm a member of the choir that this author is preaching to I found myself resisting much of what he was saying and I certainly could not imagine that a gung ho pro growth climate change skeptic would be moved by the arguments presented in this book My main takeaway was the realization of just how far apart people can be who are supposedly on the same teamFor one thing I had problems with the style and presentation of the book The heavy use of sentence fragments made me feel I was reading an expanded PowerPoint presentation and the pervasive presence of weasel words like clearly is a sign of the weakness of the supporting argumentsI was frustrated with the author's fence sitting I was expecting to find at a minimum a clear alternative definition of prosperity but this I did not get at least not that I can recall Instead there were repeated statements to the effect that our future idea of prosperity will have to include such things as But the author felt that coming down too definitely on exactly what should be done or how was beyond the scope of what one book his book anyway could doMuch of the book is concerned with providing suggestive evidence that alternative ways of measuring our economic activity and success are feasible But too often for my taste this evidence consisted of the tentative findings of various social scientists based on mushy things like opinion surveys To me this is not science in any useful sense for I have little doubt that like expert witnesses in court cases other soft scientists could be found to offer evidence supporting different or even contradictory conclusions Only hard science physics and chemistry carry conviction and there's very little of that in this bookWhat was most troubling to me was the author's faith in government as the solution to our global ecological economic crisis My alarm bells first started ringing early on when the author says that although the bailouts of financial firms in the crisis of 2008 were used to fund multimillion dollar bonuses for those firms' executives politicians had no choice but to intervene in the protection of the banking sector This reader for one believes that politicians did have a choice Can we possibly believe that there was no choice but to borrow billions of dollars in my name and use it to reward their cronies for losing such stupendous sums of moneyThe bold visionary change needed to bring a new world economy into being will never arise from such feckless and fatalistic acceptance of government as it is currently practiced As far as I can tell governments are responsible than anyone for the ecological harm that has been wrought on planet Earth It is governments after all who subsidize Big Oil and pay people to destroy fisheries and mow down rainforests Private interests of course could still accomplish these things but not so uickly or so completely as when they receive government handouts to do so Canada would still have a cod fishery if its government had not paid people to extirpate it The idea that the Stephen Harper government in Canada might lead us toward a ecologically responsible economics would make me laugh if it didn't fill me with such bleak hopelessness Our governments rule us; they don't lead us Our leaders that is the people we spontaneously wish to follow will have to come from the grass rootsThis book was at its best and most interesting when the author was at his most wonkish He spends time discussing GDP and the euations with which it's calculated But although I found this interesting and informative I don't think that a bold new prosperity based economics can emerge from such technical futzing Maybe if we can tweak these euations a bit My overall impression is that although the author talks about vision he sees and treats the uestion of changing the economic basis of our society as a technical one to be solved ultimately by academics and bureaucrats Even the attitudes of us consumers which according to the author must fundamentally change are really the responsibility of those same bureaucrats who must construct the institutions and incentives that will cause the livestock oops citizens to behave in the right way Mr Jackson sees a thoroughly socialist society one in which the evils of capitalism with its promotion of consumerism via an unpleasant thing called novelty have been overcome as the most likely means of getting to the sustainable Earth we need to live on In this view a benign dictator or a benign oligarchy will shepherd us to the Promised Land of a prosperous sustainable socially leveled EarthOf course the author does not say that not in so many words But to me it is the necessary implication of a world in which the state is even bigger than it is today As though our real problem were a lack of right thinking technocrats And if people won't stop their neurotic pursuit of novelty they will have to be forced won't theyOur future and our prosperity are not technical uestions They are uestions of principle of ideas; they are philosophical uestions and they need to be discussed at this level We do need a new idea of prosperity but that idea needs to be clear and definite and it needs to be communicated with passion and conviction by men of vision and integrity our future leaders whoever and wherever they are That was never the mission of this book but this book could have been and should have been a stone for the sling of one of those leaders and I'm afraid it just isn't

Tim Jackson  4 review

Prosperity Without Growth Economics for a Finite PlanetHat continued prosperity and growth in a finite world is unsustainable So where do we go from here Tim Jackson is Sustainable Development Commi. This is an important serious but ultimately disappointing book Important because it grapples with the vital task of how to redefine economics in a world of limited resources and an ever damaged climate Serious because it approaches the task stage by stage confronting some of the important issues which any change of this magnitude must face But disappointing because it still leaves us dangling wondering exactly what a society which adopted this completely different set of objectives would look like and how it would work As a result its prescribed path for reaching the objective seems only thinly describedThere is almost nothing in the book with which I could disagree but this isn't enough We are daily confronted with greed and materialistic ambition that seems to get worse and worse just look at the unbelievable arrogance of Goldman Sachs spending billions on salaries when it was was one of the agents of our recent crisis At a mundane level we see the clamour for the latest Apple product or even the most recent fashionable shoes How do we change this How do we change ourselves even those of us who would willingly sign up to a vision of the kind described by Jackson I don't know and for all that he has written a necessary book I don't think Tim Jackson really knows either