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The Simple Math Of Growth

2011/08/20

Economic growth is something that we hear about all the time.  It seems to be the holly grail of a successful economy.  And yet, if you take a moment to think about it, “growth” is not sustainable when you live on a finite planet.  You can’t, for example, sell an ever-increasing number of cars because the resources to make the cars is finite (as is the number of people that can buy those cars).

The video I’ve embedded below is of a college professor giving a talk about the simple math (arithmetic) of exponential growth and how it applies to real situations such as populations and the consumptions of natural resources such as oil and coal.  The video makes the compelling point that people who hope for and talk about growth either do not realize it’s implications or are purposefully misleading their audience.

If you are concerned about the growth of the world’s population, peak oil and/or the rate at which we consume our planet’s natural resources (and you passed grade 12 math), you’ll find this video both interesting and (more than a little) frightening.

(Warning: It is long.  There are 8 parts to the video.  But, after watching the first clip, I hope you’ll agree that it is worth it.)

 

Source: Growth is not sustainable

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