Wild Green

Former Utne Reader senior editor Keith Goetzman on environmental issues from climate change to composting.

Add to My MSN

The Economy of Death

1/27/2011 5:06:12 PM

Tags: economics, economic growth, no-growth economics, GNP, natural resources, environment, Keith Goetzman

Stacked logs in British Columbia

More and more voices are pointing out that the idea of limitless economic growth is folly given the environment’s limits, and Utne Reader recently reprinted a Mother Jones story that explored the sensibly radical idea of a no-growth economy. But no one has described as succinctly as Orion columnist Derrick Jensen just how consumption is bumping up against creation. In his February column, Jensen asks:

… what, after all, is production? It is the conversion of the living to the dead, the conversion of living forests into two-by-fours, living rivers into stagnant pools for generating hydroelectricity, living fish into fish sticks, and ultimately all of these into money. And what, then, is gross national product? It is a measure of this conversion of the living to the dead. The more quickly the living world is converted into dead products, the higher the GNP. These simple equations are complicated by the fact that when GNP goes down, people often lose jobs. No wonder the world is getting killed.

Source: Orion 

Image by iangbl, licensed under Creative Commons. 



Related Content

Visualizing Language

Instead of clinging to static political boundaries, maps can illustrate changing forms of interactio...

The Economy Is Not a Person (Stop Talking About It That Way)

The economy is not an autonomous entity like the human body; it’s made up of people taking actions t...

Getting Over the Growth-Is-Good Myth

Some fallacies die long, slow, hard deaths, and it appears that’s what’s happening with the happy, c...

The Squatters are Movin’ On Up

No one’s paying rent in Venezuela’s newest apartments in the sky...

Content Tools




Post a comment below.

 

PE_5
2/2/2011 11:31:31 AM
So goes the Culture of Death. People ARE Soylent Green. But after an awakening in a Great Shock soon that doesn't dissipate (or after sympatric speciation), a bioculture of life will emerge. You saw the problem here, and did nothing. So goes the Culture of Death.



Pay Now & Save $5!
First Name: *
Last Name: *
Address: *
City: *
State/Province: *
Zip/Postal Code:*
Country:
Email:*
(* indicates a required item)
Canadian subs: 1 year, (includes postage & GST). Foreign subs: 1 year, . U.S. funds.
Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
Non US and Canadian Subscribers - Click Here

Want to gain a fresh perspective? Read stories that matter? Feel optimistic about the future? It's all here! Utne Reader offers provocative writing from diverse perspectives, insightful analysis of art and media, down-to-earth news and in-depth coverage of eye-opening issues that affect your life.

Save Even More Money By Paying NOW!

Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. You save an additional $5 and get 4 issues of Utne Reader for only $31.00 (USA only).

Or Bill Me Later and pay just $36 for 4 issues of Utne Reader!