Planetary Boundaries – ECONOMICS Part 3

May 11 2022

Mainstream economics ignores the impact of economic activity on the natural environment. Ecological economics recognizes that the human economy exists in a larger planetary system, and that destroying the natural environment will affect future well-being.

In [ECO]NOMICS part 3, Professor Schor shows how human economic activity has exceeded the reproductive or sustainable capacity of the planet over the past half-century. Ecosystems have been worn down by deforestation, destruction of species, depletion of material reserves and destabilization of the climate. Humans are destroying these ecosystems at a dizzying, unsustainable and accelerating rate. Capitalism has certain features – most notably pressure to grow – that make a change of trajectory all but impossible in this context. Conventional economic policies are lured by the hope they can still maintain economic growth while simultaneously reducing carbon emissions. But Professor Schor shows how decoupling growth from emissions is a mirage. Wealthy countries cannot grow their way to sustainability. We need to enact structural changes and consider alternative approaches that reduce climate disruption and improve well-being.

Part 4 will be available May 18, 2022

Learn more at…

Credits: Juliet Schor, Matthew Kulvicki, Nick Alpha, Gonçalo Fonseca, Kurt Semm

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