Where do we want to grow?

Economic growth
Today I attended a talk which focused on development assistance in Africa. I was quite impressed when this picture was shown. It illustrates in a simple way the distribution of advanced, rich nations.

I was thinking how our battered world will be like in 100 years, concidering our current, not sustainable growth rate in terms of economy and world population.

I can not believe that at all the times Economic growth was seen as holy grail, solving all our problems. Imagine we would have a growth rate of 5%. YEAH! All politicians would cheer and clap themselves on the shoulder.

But what does that mean if you think about the next 100 years? (And not just for a legislative period)

It says in plain text, resource consumption will completely overcharge our planet:

  • 500% more waste
  • 500% more pollution
  • 500% more energy consumption
  • 500% more land consumption
  • 500% more stress for nature and people

Humanity is currently using renewable resources 50% faster than they can be regenerated, at the rate of 2 planets each year by 2030. ref

In the future, countries such as Africa, India, South Amerika and China with reason want to have the same standard of living as the rich one have.

How can this work? By selling super expensive gas-guzzling sedans to China?

I live in bavaria, a quite populous region in Germany, and did some research:

  • 27 hectares or 270,000 square meters, or the area of 33 football fields are concreted over every day.
  • In less than a century, our country is completely built over and sealed, if this trend will continue.
  • Every second we lose 15 square meters in Germany and at the end of each day, nearly 1.3 million square meters – the equivalent to 160 football fields. 470 million square meters on average each year, “rezoned into residential areas”

Here is a picture that i took a few months ago. I titled it “R.I.P Tree$”

R.I.P Tree$

I took this picture to document the madness of exaggerated economic growth.
All this will disappear soon and be replaced with another senseless business park. (They alread have one which is larger than the town itself) We loose 270 000 square meters of nature in bavaria every day! Our most precious and limited recource concreted over and sealed forever…

Where do we want to grow on a planet with finite resources?

Funny Professor explaining economic growth – The magic washing machine:

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One Response to “Where do we want to grow?”

  1. But what to do about it or better: against? And who? There wouldn’t be so much economic growth with all its disadvantages if every single person controlled his/her consumption a bit. But many want more, better, new, …

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