Letters to opinion-leaders
9 January 2008 - Financial Times

Email sent to Mr. Martin . wolf @ ft . com and letters.editor @ ft . com, Financial Times 9 January 2008

Subject: Challenges for the world’s divided economy Martin Wolf FT 9.1.07 p. 13

Ladies, Gentlemen,

Martin Wolf correctly views "the soaring prices of oil and other commodities" ... "as a consequence of growth", since rising prices normally reflect an increasing imbalance between supply and demand. Or must we say an increasing scarcity of commodities? This seems plausible since the rate of resource consumption increases in line with the expansion rate of the world's economies.

In December Martin Wolf hinted at the possibility of limits - a real break-through in thinking. ("The dangers of living in a zero-sum world economy", FT 19.12.07)

It can be safely assumed that the expansion of the economy is taking place in a world that has very real, physical limits indeed.

Actually, because of economic and population growth, our planet is not expanding but relatively shrinking. It has continually less per capita space and resource reserves. How far do we want to continue shrinking by growing economically?

Shouldn't we stop growth voluntarily? Or do we want growth to finish us up in a Soylent Green state with biologically dead megacities, surviving on food pills and with living nature being an immaterial memory conserved in video tapes?

Kind regards,

Helmut Lubbers, BE MSocSc DipEcol, ecological psychologist
Ecoglobe ecology discovery foundation New Zealand (charitable trust)
Boulevard Carl-Vogt 14, CH-1205 Geneva, Switzerland
+41 22 3212320 helmut at ecoglobe dot ch

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