, 13 tweets, 4 min read
Today's @bopinion post is about economic growth and the environment.

Contrary to popular belief, economic growth does NOT require increasing resource use or increasing harm to the environment.

For a more detailed discussion of this fact, check out @amcafee's new book, "More From Less":

Here's U.S. GDP growth compared to primary energy consumption:
Here's U.S. consumption of several important minerals:
Here's U.S. withdrawals of fresh water:
Here's total carbon emissions (including imports!) for various rich countries:
How the heck are we growing the economy while decreasing our resource use???

It's all about INTENSIVE GROWTH.
Intensive growth can come from greater efficiency.
Intensive growth can come from substituting an abundant resource for a scarce one (think: sunlight instead of oil):
And intensive growth can come from creating new information. New art, literature, video games...these things are growth!
For a fun sci-fi thought experiment, imagine that 200 years from now we upload humans into orbiting solar-powered supercomputers, and all our growth takes place in simulated worlds, leaving the Earth to recover.

Now THAT would be the ultimate case of "more from less"! 😊
But just because decoupling is POSSIBLE doesn't mean it's INEVITABLE.

Free markets won't force economic growth to decouple from environmental exploitation.

That task, my friends, is up to us.
Green growth IS possible, but it will require a huge political effort to achieve.

Are you ready?


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