Now we know for sure what a world of Emperor’s new clothes the global economy has been, Tim Jackson’s book is a most timely one. His view of our financial future – a world where we can prosper without constant economic growth is balm to the soul. The situation can and must be changed, Tim Jackson’s arguments showing we can also create an economically successful world without overloading the environment.
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Is more economic growth the solution? Will it deliver prosperity and well-being for a global population projected to reach nine billion? In this explosive book, Tim Jackson - a top sustainability adviser to the UK government - makes a compelling case against continued economic growth in developed nations. No one denies that development is essential for poorer nations. But in the advanced economies there is mounting evidence that ever-increasing consumption adds little to human happiness and may even impede it. More urgently, it is now clear that the ecosystems that sustain our economies are collapsing under the impacts of rising consumption. Unless we can radically lower the environmental impact of economic activity - and there is no evidence to suggest that we can - we will have to devise a path to prosperity that does not rely on continued growth. Economic heresy? Or an opportunity to improve the sources of well-being, creativity and lasting prosperity that lie outside the realm of the market? Tim Jackson provides a credible vision of how human society can flourish - within the ecological limits of a finite planet. Fulfilling this vision is simply the most urgent task of our times. This book is a substantially revised and updated version of Jackson's controversial study for the Sustainable Development Commission, an advisory body to the UK Government. The study rapidly became the most downloaded report in the Commission's nine year history when it was launched earlier this year.
'Provokes official thought on the unthinkable. No small accomplishment! I hope this gets the serious attention it deserves.'
Professor Herman Daly, author of Steady-State Economics and recipient of the Honorary Right Livelihood Award (Sweden's alternative to the Nobel Prize)
'This might well become as important for sustainable development as the Brundtland Report'. Paul-Marie Boulanger, Director of IDD
'In the teeth of the economic crisis, Tim Jackson has written the most important book that could possibly be written now. Economic growth may be the world's secular religion, but as Jackson eloquently describes, it is a god that is failing today - underperforming for most of the world's people and, for those of us in affluent societies, creating more problems than it is solving. It destroys the environment, fuels a ruthless international search for energy and other resources, and rests on a manufactured consumerism that is not meeting the deepest human needs. Jackson therefore calls upon us not just to restore the economy but to reinvent it, and to realize a true prosperity beyond growth. In this pathbreaking book, Jackson offers a bold agenda for system change.
James Gustave Speth, author of The Bridge at the Edge of the World: Capitalism
, the Environment, and Crossing from Crisis to Sustainability 'This is one of the most brilliant analyses I've seen. It is a thoughtful and action-oriented masterpiece, with an eye open to how to overcome resistance to the task ahead.
Arnold Tukker, Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research
Publication date: 16/10/2009
Publisher: Earthscan Ltd
|Publication date:||16th October 2009|
Tim Jackson is Professor of Sustainable Development at the University of Surrey in the UK and Director of the ESRC Research Group in Lifestyles, Values and Environment (RESOLVE).More About Tim Jackson