I'm producing the non-profit documentary, Hooked on Growth: Our Misguided Quest for Prosperity. This film, to be completed in 2010, asks the most critical question of our time: How do we become a sustainable civilization. It examines the beliefs and values we need to leave behind, and those we must embrace, in order to secure a bright future for our children.
The first commandment of economics is: Grow. Grow forever. Companies get bigger. National economies need to swell by a certain percent each year. People should want more, make more, earn more, spend more - ever more.
The first commandment of the Earth is: enough. Just so much and no more. Just so much soil. Just so much water. Just so much sunshine. Everything born of the Earth grows to its appropriate size and then stops. The planet does not get bigger, it gets better. Its creatures learn, mature, diversify, evolve, create amazing beauty and novelty and complexity, but live within absolute limits.
Now, when there's an inconsistency between human economics and the laws of planet Earth, which do you think is going to win?
December 14, 1996