Wednesday, January 2, 2008

SUSTAINABLE GROWTH: Letter to Indiana Green Party

Excuse me. But what the hell do you mean by "sustainable growth"? If you plant yeast in a petrie dish, can it grow "sustainably"? No, because the petrie dish is a CONTAINER. It contains whatever grows within it. It is a finite space. Indiana is also a finite space. As is the United States. And the world. There can be no "sustainable", that is, indefinite growth in a finite space. What the term "sustainable growth" is, is one of those sweet sounding oxymoronic buzzwords designed to appease both sides of an issue so as to make people think that they can have their cake and develop it too. Progressive developers, progressive governments and political parties like the British Greens are using it with indiscriminate ease. Everything today is "sustainable", when actually, it isn't. Whether we call it "smart", "managed", "sustainable", steered or deflected, growth is still growth, and however you slice it, its really not about how people are distributed, or what their per capita consumption is, but also, about the number of per capitas. That is what propels growth and that is what cannot be "sustained."
I live on the other side of the continent from you. I could just have easily directed this criticism to my own backyard. So don't take it personally. You suffer from a universal afflication of Greens. You really haven't grasped the full implications of a steady-state economy. When the oil suddenly runs out, we are all going to take a crash course. Despite the hardship, I think that will be very good news for most of us.

No comments: