My Dad recently passed on a book called “The Great Disruption” by Paul Gilding. While I’ve read articles and listened to arguments about the impact of man-made global warming, finite resources and over consumption, I’ve never thought about how all these events will come together to impact on life as we know it.
Paul Gilding (originally from Adelaide) was former global CEO of Greenpeace, taught at Cambridge University and is a writer, advisor and advocate on climate change and sustainability.
His book systematically goes through the last 50 years of environmentalism including what sparked people to action. By drawing on the advice of scientists, mathematicians and economists worldwide he shows where we are now in our consumption of the earth’s finite resources, and how economic and population growth will result in a collapse of the global economy in the near future.
An interesting example is from the Global Footprint Network, a group of scientists who worked out in 2009 at the global rate of consumption we needed 1.4 planet earths to live sustainably. So 140% without any further population or economic growth!
Gilding says we are addicted to growth and questions the idea of economic growth as a goal for governments, citing Professor Tim Jackson’s report for the Sustainable Development Commission, Prosperity Without Growth, the Transition to a Sustainable Economy.
I’m only a third of the way through the book at the moment but the main message so far is ECONOMIC GROWTH IS OVER. I’ll post again on this book as I keep reading, please feel free to comment.