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Post-COVID, should countries rethink their obsession with economic growth?

Posted On: 11 Aug 2020   |   Posted By: Grist

Post-COVID, should countries rethink their obsession with economic growth?

In 1968, a small group of elite academics, industrialists, and government officials gathered at a Roman villa to discuss “the predicament of mankind.” They called themselves the Club of Rome, and, in a largely impenetrable document filled with bizarre flow charts and words like “problematique,” they laid out a plan to analyze the major issues facing humanity with the new technology of computer modeling.
“We proceed from the belief that problems have ‘solutions,'” they wrote. Their goal was to find them.
The result, a 200-page book called The Limits to Growth published in 1972, forever changed the contours of the burgeoning environmental movement. The thesis was simple: The planet simply could not sustain current rates of economic and population growth. “The most probable result,” the group predicted, “will be a rather sudden and uncontrollable decline in both population and industrial capacity.” In other words, humanity would have to hit the brakes - or suffer the collapse of society as we know it.
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