As far as we know, planet earth cannot be replaced. We inhabit a world whose resources are beginning to run out. Humanity has consumed them, setting up an economic model which is, in the long term, unsustainable: the economic growth that so many continue to aspire to is no longer efficient, because the costs of progress are greater than its benefits. The problem is that everyone acts as though nothing has happened: in university classrooms, corporate meeting rooms and newspaper offices, it is very rare to hear about uneconomic growth.
In many cultures, being more well-off means being better-off, as it has done for a long time, in many parts of the world. When you don’t have enough to eat, having a stomach that is “too full” is seen as a good thing, in the same way that sleeping five minutes more is one of the best feelings in the world. At the same time, however, it is true that those who sleep, do not catch any fish, and that indulging in the World’s incredible food supply can easily lead to health problems. Yet, even though this revered “more” has many negative aspects, it also has more than enough fans to go around. Even if having just enough is the equivalent to getting a C grade at school, that is the same grade which will be enough for us not to fail and have to repeat the year. The message that the authors want to convey is that having “enough” is good. Enough is a good quantity.
This is why there are already a number of supporters of a steady growth economic theory, kept under control by governments, or one that is stable or static, and its supporters are growing in number. And to achieve such a model you need:
- an awareness that our planet’s resources are finite, that some of them are running out, and that very few of them are distributed fairly;
- political cooperation whereby governments are willing to activate the right socio-economic measures;
- the will to act.