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Notes

Look in the Chinese Economy Generic for Chinese Growth Good/Bad cards

Neg
Economic growth inevitably causes extinction through
environmental destruction growth is unsustainable and
the collapse is inevitable
Pradanos 15
(Luis, Ph.D., Professor at Miami University, specialist in ecocritical theories
and environmental humanities, 4.7.15, The Conversation, An economy
focused solely on growth is environmentally and socially unsustainable,
http://theconversation.com/an-economy-focused-solely-on-growth-isenvironmentally-and-socially-unsustainable-39761, Accessed: 7.30.16)VW
Most world leaders seem to believe that economic growth is a panacea for
many of societys problems. Yet there are many links between our societys
addiction to economic growth, the disturbing ecological crisis, the rapid rise
of social inequality and the decline in the quality of democracy. These issues
tend to be explored as disconnected topics and often misinterpreted or
manipulated to match given ideological preconceptions and prejudices. The
fact is that they are deeply interconnected processes. A large body of data
and research has emerged in the last decade to illuminate such connections.
Limited biosphere Studies in social sciences consistently show that, in rich countries,
greater economic growth on its own does very little or nothing at all to enhance
social well-being. On the contrary, reducing income inequality is an effective way to resolve social problems such
as violence, criminality, imprisonment rates, obesity and mental illness, as well as to improve childrens educational
performance, population life expectancy, and social levels of trust and mobility. Comparative studies have found that
societies that are more equal do much better in all the aforementioned areas than more unequal ones, independent of
their gross domestic product (GDP). Economist Thomas Piketty, in his recent book Capital in the Twenty-First Century, has
assembled extensive data that shows how unchecked capitalism historically tends to increase inequality and undermine
democratic practices. The focus of a successful social policy, therefore, should be to reduce inequality, not to grow the
GDP for its own sake.

Concurrently, recent developments in earth system science are telling us that


our frenetic economic activity has already transgressed several ecological
planetary boundaries. One could argue that the degradation of our environmental
systems will jeopardize socioeconomic stability and worldwide well-being.
Some scientists suggest that we are in a new geological epoch, the
Anthropocene, in which human activity is transforming the earth system in
ways that may compromise human civilization as we know it . Many reports
insist that, if current trends continue, humanity will soon face dire
and dramatic consequences. New framing If we consider all these findings
as a whole, a consistent picture emerges: constant economic growth
is a biophysical impossibility in a limited biosphere, and the faster
the global economy grows, the faster the living systems of the
planet collapse. In addition, this growth increases inequality and undermines democracy, multiplying the
number of social problems that erode human communities. In a nutshell, we have created a
dysfunctional economic system that, when it works according to its
self-imposed mandate of growing the pace of production and

consumption, destroys the ecological systems upon which it


depends. And when it does not grow, it becomes socially unsustainable. In a game with these rules, there is no way
to win!

Economic growth causes nuclear war increases military


spending and nationalism
Boehmer 2
(Charles, Ph.D. in Political Science, Professor of Political Science, Graduate
Director, Chair of the Graduate Council, fellow at UTEPs Center for Excellence
in Teaching and Learning, Domestic Crisis and Interstate Conflict: The Impact
of Economic Crisis, Domestic Discord, and State Efficacy on the Decision to
Initiate Interstate Conflict,
http://isanet.ccit.arizona.edu/noarchive/boehmer.html)VW
literature disagrees with the diversionary conflict thesis and
contends that higher rates of economic growth should lead to more
frequent (or more severe) interstate conflict. Some of these studies are posed on the systemic
Another body of

level of analysis (Kondratieff 1926; Goldstein 1988; Mansfield 1988; Pollins 1996; Pollins and Murrin 1999) while others are focused on the
national level of analysis (MacFie 1938; Blainey 1988; Choucri and North 1975; Doran 1983, 1985; Pollins and Schweller

Economic growth is said to have two effects that increase the


probability of conflict. First, economic growth could allow for
increases in military spending that could increase war-making
capacity (war-chest theme) or, second, that growth provides a
greater social willingness to allow leaders to opt to participate in
interstate conflict. Fewer domestic constraints should give leaders a freer
hand to initiate or join conflicts. Admittedly, theories in this category are no more developed (arguably less so) than
1999).

diversionary conflict theory. However, some insights are useful that I hope to explicate below. All leaders depend on a constituency of some
sort (Bueno de Mesquita et al. 1999) and always face potential opposition to their policies (Richards et al., 1993; Hagan 1994; Miller 1995,
1999; Heldt 1999). In democratic systems, opposition parties may seek to exploit foreign policies that they will argue are not in the best

during
times of economic prosperity, society is less likely to be influenced by the
rhetoric of parties and factions that stand in opposition to the leader.
Assuming that popularity ratings are higher than would be the case during
economic recession or depression, leaders should be more apt to initiate or
reciprocate military actions. Economic growth should reduce societal
resistance to conflict. This may seem like a counter-intuitive proposition
that people that should be relatively better off and happy during periods of
prosperity would allow leaders to opt for foreign conflicts. However, some
people may become more nationalistic or xenophobic during times of
prosperity and optimistic that success could be achieved in foreign
conflicts. Blainey (1988) claims that anything that increases optimism and state strength should be thought of as a cause of war.
However, it is most likely that this effect could heighten the risk of foreign conflict by reducing constraints placed on executives. For
example, would the Clinton administration have been able to commit US
troops to conflicts in Bosnia and Kosovo, areas where US interests were
debatable, without stauncher Republican resistance in Congress if the
economy had not experienced prolonged prosperity and economic growth?
interest of the nation and executives in democracies should be more constrained than their authoritarian counterparts. But

Of course

diversionary theory contends that domestic conflict should motivate interstate conflict, although there is no clear agreement on what type of diversionary behavior should be most beneficial. Again, some studies of diversionary conflict focus on the benefits of conflict externalization but
not the potential costs. Leeds and Davis (1997) are an exception and theorize that if it is low growth that induces diversionary behavior, than initiators should choose targets that are growing based on the belief that they would be less likely to respond militarily. Reducing the costs
posed by other states could then maximize the benefits of diversion? However, it is also unclear whether states need to merely make threats of if they need to use military force to attain the benefits of diversion. Clearly, provoking crises that are costly to a state in lives and resources
could be a detriment to leader survival, and of course possibly seen as immoral. Perhaps merely threatening other states could achieve the leaders aims, although citizens may not pay as much attention to these conflicts. While diversion may have benefits, what are its potential
internal costs? Involvement in interstate conflict could be hampered by the presence of domestic conflict. There are many reasons why people rebel. Through history, however, economic hardship seems to have been a key factor explaining peasant rebellions, revolutions, and coup
d'tat. It would seem that domestic groups must either be appeased or distracted, albeit by externalization or controlling other countries and extracting benefits. For reasons specified below, the theory presented here makes the opposite prediction. When governments face severe

domestic discontent, they should be less likely to become involved in militarized interstate conflicts. A people suffering from economic hardship may become pessimistic, and this mood may spread to the upper echelons of leadership as a consequence of the constraints that arise from
below. If a state becomes involved in a dispute that escalates, especially if it becomes fatal, it could undermine the government. During these times, the leaders political opposition is better able to detach the support of society away from the leaders policies during periods when
society is generally pessimistic. While during times of economic prosperity the leader enjoys increased popular support, during economic hardship the political opposition may be able to tap into the lower popular support for the leader and exploit it for their political advantage.
Consequently, if an opportunity for military conflict occurs during a period of economic stagnation, factions or parties in the domestic arena may be more able to resist the initiation and reciprocation of military conflicts. Of course, people in democracies have a more direct means to
express support or disapproval through direct communications, elections, and the media compared to citizens of autocracies. But again these same sentiments occur in societies governed by non-democratic forms of government, but in a different mode. Factions within institutions such
as the military or the sole legitimate party (communist, Baath, etc.) may launch a coup d'tat, or similar tactic aimed at removing current leaders, sometimes with the backing of elite business interests (in non-totalitarian states). In some instances, people may visibly begin to protest
and demonstrate their displeasure with the economy or other matters related to the governments management of the social and economic realms. Overall though, autocracies face weaker internal constraints than democracies and should be more apt to participate in military contests
during periods of recession or depression. But what do we mean by domestic conflict? Most studies of diversionary conflict do not make it conceptually clear what type of domestic problems should make interstate conflict attractive to leaders. Surely, winning elections or avoiding coups
would seem to be a goal. However, two factors would seem to be important: regime type and the magnitude of domestic conflict. I will first discuss the importance of the magnitude of domestic conflict. Conceptualizations of domestic conflict appear underdeveloped in the diversionary
literature, and this is true of its operationalizations as well.[4] Pat James (1988) provides a useful categorization of domestic discontent and conflict. Societies that have begun to feel disgruntled with the policies of their current government are said to hold feelings that can be best
expressed as latent. A poorly growing national economy may be reflected in the prevailing mood of society, although such anti-government sentiments may not yet be visible. James admits this concept is somewhat abstract but can be measured through indicators such as growth of
GDP, a misery index (inflation times unemployment), leader approval polls, and similar variables. Only later does this discontent become manifest as it is expressed through various acts ranging from strikes and demonstrations to revolutions and civil wars. Yet, James dichotomy of
latent and manifest conflict is of course a simplification of reality. While clearly it is a difficult task to capture all that domestic conflict entails in its various forms, we can at least broaden the manifest category by breaking it into less and more severe types. There is a great difference,
for example, between riots and revolutions, but clearly the latter could be linked to the same factors that led to the former. In other words, manifest domestic conflict may arise from latent sentiments, but the magnitude of visible manifestations of these acts may vary in their ability to
constrain participation in foreign conflicts. Lower magnitude feelings may be revealed in acts of protest such as riots and demonstrations. Later, protest may lead to attempts to overthrow the government. While I contend that manifest acts of domestic conflict should constrain leaders
seeking to initiate or participate in interstate conflicts, the most severe form of manifest conflict, rebellion, should pose a stronger constraint. How leaders of governments respond to lower popularity and domestic unrest appears related to the type of government that they lead,

by the time violent internal crises break out in


democracies, it is too late to use diversionary tactics to externalize the conflict,
while autocracies are likely able to suppress non-violent domestic unrest .
although leaders would generally want to use diversionary tactics before rebellion occurs. Miller (1995) speculates that

However, Gelpi

(1997) argues that democracies should be more likely to engage in diversionary tactics since they cannot as easily repress their citizens.[5] Scape-goating other nations for a states internal problems, or at least distracting a states citizens from these problems, could potentially
accomplish this objective. Meanwhile, since autocracies retain repression as an option they need not externalize internal conflicts. Yet, it seems only when discontent turns into manifest violence are dictatorships left with little option but to attempt diversion. In fact, Enterline and
Gleditsch (2000) show that while domestic conflict leads to both repression and interstate disputes, repression is more common. Moreover, executive constraints reduce interstate disputes more than repression. Democracies also engage in repression, but will repress and become
involved in interstate disputes less often than states with fewer constraints. This is contrary to Gelpis theory. However, attempts to suppress protest, or other acts, are likely to be counter-productive in the long run. Suppression by all regimes is likely to lead to declines in popular
support. With declines in support come decreases in state efficacy (Hagan 1994). Governmental legitimacy may fall with state efficacy, leading to the eventual downfall of the government (Jackman 1993). Even in cases where states have a limited ability to suppress their own people
without losing all legitimacy or state efficacy, neither economic reforms nor diversion may be viable options. Governments often fall, by vote or force, because they are unable to deal with seemingly intractable economic problems, and attempting to engage foreign rivals during these
crises should only increase this risk. Conflicts against weak states may not alter the governments own domestic situation, while contests against strong states entail a lower probability of victory that could accelerate a governments downfall. Hence, this strategy would seemingly entail
more risk than necessary to retain the stability of the government. As Ginkel and Smith (1999) point out, strong governments are likely to succeed in suppressing domestic conflict and vulnerable states will neither be able to offer concessions in the form of economic or political reform,
nor suppress discontent because these acts will only signal the weakness of the regime. It may be a misnomer then that states facing economic and political crises have much latitude to initiate foreign conflicts that have any chance of success. In fact, while states may have
alternatives to diversion, a possibility for some regimes is that they simply collapse. The best strategic option facing leaders in this situation may be to verbally scapegoat other external actors in a manner that does not invite some form of detrimental (especially military) reprisal . A
perfect example was the verbal attack on the IMF and currency speculator George Soros by Prime Minister Mahathir of Malaysia during the economic crisis that swept through Asia in the late 1990s. Such forms of diversion or scape goating would fall below the radar screen of
quantitative studies. However, for now let us assume economic hardship does induce diversionary behavior on the part of leaders. If diversion exists, I suspect that authoritarian regimes are the most likely to use tactics involving threats, displays or uses of force since democracies face
more institutional constraint and stable totalitarian regimes will have less need to do so. Also, autocracies should be less constrained to act in this manner considering the decreased sources of resistance, yet still not so strong that they need not worry about the maintenance of their
power. For example, the Soviet Union under Stalin was stable through much of his regime and faced no serious threat from society. Militarized diversionary tactics were less necessary. However, such totalitarian regimes may be more likely to use diversionary rhetoric since there is little
way for their societies to verify the legitimacy of government statements. Instead, any constraint upon the leader of a totalitarian state is likely to come from the leaders inner circle, such as the top leadership of a communist party or the military. Finally, the diversionary literature
typically ignores the potential difference between a short-term economic shock and more prolonged periods of economic growth or stagnation. For example, the Great Depression seemed to compound American isolationism in a way that a single year of economic contraction could not.
Only Russett (1987, 1990) and Miller (1995,1999) adequately tap into the dynamic effect of economic conditions on socio-political variables through the use of measures of economic growth or misery longer than a single-year lag. Perhaps manifest domestic conflicts appear only after
prolonged exposure to economic stagnation. Diversionary conflict theory does not present a dynamic picture of how economic growth could be related to domestic unrest and interstate conflict. I believe that prolonged periods of economic growth or stagnation should reduce the
uncertainty leaders face regarding their domestic support and the need or ability to become involved in interstate conflicts. After prolonged economic decline, citizen views or behavior should become more apparent to leaders, while prolonged growth should increase their popularity

In summary, I expect that higher rates of economic


growth will increase the probability of militarized interstate conflict
and possibly reduce resistance to involvement in foreign conflicts

while reducing the risk of regime transition. In instances where states experience both regime transitions and militarized interstate conflicts in the same year, I expect that lower rates of economic growth will raise the probability of a regime transition to occur first. I also expect that
higher levels of economic development and democracy will reduce both militarized conflict and regime transitions. Finally, while I expect domestic conflict to decrease the risk of a militarized interstate conflict, it should have its strongest effect in increasing the probability of
a regime transition.

Only a collapse can trigger the political mindset shift


needed for a successful transition
Alexander and Rutherford 14 (Samuel Alexander and Jonathan
Rutherford, Samuel Alexander is a lecturer with the Office for Environmental
Programs, University of Melbourne, and research fellow, Melbourne
Sustainable Society Institute; and Jonathan Rutherford is a Professor of
Cultural Studies at the University of Middlesex, 2014, "The Deep Green
Alternative: Debating Strategies of Transition," Simplicity Institute Report,
http://simplicityinstitute.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/The-Deep-GreenAlternative.pdf) JT
Perhaps a more reliable path could be based on the possibility that, rather than imposing an alternative

a deep crisis could provoke a social or


political revolution in consciousness that opens up space for the deep green
vision to be embraced and implemented as some form of crisis management
strategy. Currently, there is insufficient social or political support for such an
alternative, but perhaps a deep crisis will shake the world awake . Indeed, perhaps 20
that is the only way to create the necessary mindset . After all, today we are hardly
lacking in evidence on the need for radical change (Turner, 2012), suggesting that shock and
response may be the form the transition takes, rather than it being induced through
way of life on a society through sudden collapse,

orderly, rational planning, whether from top down or from below . Again, this non-ideal pathway to a postgrowth or post-industrial society could be built into the other strategies discussed above, adding some
realism to strategies that might otherwise appear too utopian. That is to say, it may be that only deep
crisis will create the social support or political will needed for radical reformism, eco-socialism, or ecoanarchism to emerge as social or political movements capable of rapid transformation. Furthermore, it
would be wise to keep an open and evolving mind regarding the best strategy to adopt, because the
relative effectiveness of various strategies may change over time, depending on how forthcoming crises
unfold. It was Milton Friedman (1982: ix) who once wrote :

only a crisis actual or perceived

produces real change. When that crisis occurs, the actions that are taken depend on the ideas that
are lying around. What this collapse or crisis theory of change suggests, as a matter of strategy, is that
deep green social and political movements should be doing all they can to mainstream the practices and

to prefigure the deep green social,


economic, and political structures, so far as that it is possible, in the hope that deep green
values of their alternative vision. By doing so they would be aiming

ideas and systems are alive and available when the crises hit. Although Friedman obviously had a very
different notion of what ideas should be lying around , the relevance of his point to this discussion is that

in times of crisis, the politically or socially impossible can become politically


or socially inevitable (Friedman, 1982: ix); or, one might say, if not inevitable, then perhaps much
more likely. It is sometimes stated that every crisis is an opportunity from which the
optimist infers that the more crises there are, the more opportunities there
are. This may encapsulate one of the most realistic forms of hope we have
left.

Growth Bad

Laundry List
Economic growth causes inequality, hurts democracy, and
causes extinction through environmental collapse
Pradanos 15
(Luis, Ph.D., Professor at Miami University, specialist in ecocritical theories
and environmental humanities, 4.7.15, The Conversation, An economy
focused solely on growth is environmentally and socially unsustainable,
http://theconversation.com/an-economy-focused-solely-on-growth-isenvironmentally-and-socially-unsustainable-39761, Accessed: 7.30.16)VW
Most world leaders seem to believe that economic growth is a panacea for
many of societys problems. Yet there are many links between our societys
addiction to economic growth, the disturbing ecological crisis, the rapid rise
of social inequality and the decline in the quality of democracy. These issues
tend to be explored as disconnected topics and often misinterpreted or
manipulated to match given ideological preconceptions and prejudices. The
fact is that they are deeply interconnected processes. A large body of data
and research has emerged in the last decade to illuminate such connections.
Limited biosphere Studies in social sciences consistently show that, in rich
countries, greater economic growth on its own does very little or nothing at all
to enhance social well-being. On the contrary, reducing income inequality is an effective way to
resolve social problems such as violence, criminality, imprisonment rates, obesity and mental illness, as
well as to improve childrens educational performance, population life expectancy, and social levels of trust
and mobility. Comparative studies have found that societies that are more equal do much better in all the
aforementioned areas than more unequal ones, independent of their gross domestic product (GDP).
Economist Thomas Piketty, in his recent book Capital in the Twenty-First Century, has assembled extensive
data that shows how unchecked capitalism historically tends to increase inequality and undermine
democratic practices. The focus of a successful social policy, therefore, should be to reduce inequality, not

Concurrently, recent developments in earth system


science are telling us that our frenetic economic activity has already
transgressed several ecological planetary boundaries . One could argue that the
degradation of our environmental systems will jeopardize socioeconomic
stability and worldwide well-being. Some scientists suggest that we are in a
new geological epoch, the Anthropocene, in which human activity is
transforming the earth system in ways that may compromise human
civilization as we know it. Many reports insist that, if current trends
continue, humanity will soon face dire and dramatic consequences .
New framing If we consider all these findings as a whole, a consistent
picture emerges: constant economic growth is a biophysical
impossibility in a limited biosphere, and the faster the global
economy grows, the faster the living systems of the planet collapse .
In addition, this growth increases inequality and undermines
democracy, multiplying the number of social problems that erode
human communities. In a nutshell, we have created a dysfunctional
economic system that, when it works according to its self-imposed
mandate of growing the pace of production and consumption,
to grow the GDP for its own sake.

destroys the ecological systems upon which it depends.

And when it does


not grow, it becomes socially unsustainable. In a game with these rules, there is no way to win!

Economic growth empirically causes inflation, recession,


environmental damage, and inequality
Pettinger 15
(Tejvan, economics professor at Oxford, writer for the Economic Review,
2015, Economics Help, Costs of economic growth,
http://www.economicshelp.org/macroeconomics/economic-growth/costs/,
Accessed: 7.28.16)VW
costs of economic growth include: 1. Inflation . If AD increases faster
than AS then economic growth will be unsustainable. Economic growth tends to cause
inflation when the growth rate is above the long run trend rate of growth. It is when demand
increases too quickly that we get a positive output gap and firms push up
prices. 2. Boom and bust economic cycles. If economic growth is unsustainable then
high inflationary growth may be followed by a recession. This occurred in the
UK in the late 1980s and early 1990s. In the 1980s there was an economic boom
with growth of over 5% a year. However this caused inflation to rise to over 10%. To
reduce inflation the government increased interest rates, this caused the
economy to slow down and then enter into a recession . However if economic growth is
Potential

at a sustainable rate this will not occur. For example, between 1993 and 2007, both economic growth and

Current account deficit Increased economic


growth tends to cause an increase in spending on imports therefore causing a
deficit on the current account. This shows that in the UK 1980s boom, there was
an increasing deficit in the balance of goods and services . In the recession of 1991,
inflation were at a sustainable rate. 3.

there was an improvement in the current account. The UK is susceptible to a current account deficit during

Increased
economic growth will lead to increased output and therefore
increased pollution and congestion. This will cause health problems such
as asthma and therefore will reduce the quality of life . Economic growth
also means greater use of raw materials and can speed up depletion
of non-renewable resources. 5. Inequality Higher rates of economic
growth have often resulted increased inequality because growth can
benefit a small section of society more than others. For example, those
with assets and wealth will see a proportionally bigger rise in the market
value of rents and their wealth. Those unskilled without wealth may benefit
much less from growth.
high growth because we have a high marginal propensity to import. 4. Environmental costs

Environment
Economic growth destroys the environment conclusive
report using a regression analysis drawing on data from
multiple studies proves
Holmgren 13
(David, studied Environmental Design at the College of Advanced Education
in Hobart, founder of Holmgren Design Services, an environmental design
and consulting firm, inventor of the Permaculture system for regenerative
agriculture, 2013, Simplicity Institute, Crash on Demand: Welcome to the
Brown Tech Future, http://simplicityinstitute.org/wpcontent/uploads/2011/04/CrashOnDemandSimplicityInstitute13c.pdf,
Accessed: 7.30.16)VW
Human activities are altering the global environment on an unprecedented
level. The concentration of green house and ozone depleting gases in the
atmosphere, the accelerated extinction of species, the breakdown of
biogeochemical cycles, deforestation, and natural resource depletion are
undeniably related to the human activity (Spangenberg, 2007). The question of how
economic activities affect environment has become popular among scholars by 1960s, although historical
records show that human related environmental catastrophes are not a rare event. For example, even by 800 B.C. terracing for rice farming
led to a massive deforestation in China, and during the height of the Roman Empire, land and water around Rome became highly
contaminated by human related activities (Kula, 1998, p. 194). Yet, by those times, as Hahnel (2010) argues, the world was empty and
environmental problems were local, which allowed humans to continue their unsustainable way of living without bothering with such

However, especially after the Industrial Revolution in the 18th century,


the world population started to grow rapidly and ecological scarcities started
to felt themselves. In 1966, the publication of a short chapter entitled The economics of the coming
Spaceship Earth (Boulding, 1966) changed radically the economic thought. Viewing the earth as a
small spaceship where all economic activities take place, Boulding argues
that as population and economic activity continue to increase, the scarcity
and the waste problems upon the spaceship will worsen (Kula, 1998, p. 199). The term
questions.

sustainable in modern ages was first spelled in the famous report of Club of Rome entitled The Limits to Growth (Meadows et al., 1972), and
since then it has been gaining increasing interest from scholars. In 1980, sustainable development concept was introduced by the
International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources report (IUCN, 1980), but it was after the publication of the Our Common
Future, commonly known as Brundtland Report (WCED, 1987), the concept gained popularity. Environmental sustainability, along with
economical and social sustainability constitutes the three pillars of sustainability (Moldan et al., 2011) and is defined by Goodland (1995) as
improving human welfare by protecting the sources of raw materials used for human needs and ensuring that the sinks for human wastes are
not exceeded in order to prevent harm to humans. Environment both serves for environmental and economical sustainability. In low and
middle-income countries especially, natural resources constitute a fairly big share of exports (Muradian and Martinez-Alier, 2001). Although,
UN's declaration of MDGs (Millennium Development Goals) in the year 2000 recognized the full integration of human development and the
environment as mutually reinforcing development goals (Costantini and Monni, 2007, p. 868), it is still questionable that the world will reach

accumulating scientific evidence does not


portray an optimist picture. Ewing et al. (2010) claims that the human demand has
led to an environmental degradation that surpasses the Earth's ecological
capacity to regenerate already in the mid 1970s, and this overshooting is growing ever since.
the targets in the near future, let alone by 2015 (UN, 2011). Yet,

Coupled with the recent global economic crisis, discontent over the conventional development paradigm is

the question of how


environmentally sustainable the economic growth process becomes more and
more important for policy design given the strong aspirations of low and
middle-income countries to catch-up with the level of life standards enjoyed
by high-income countries. The issue at stake is whether we will be able to decouple environmental pressure from
rising (Schneider et al., 2010 and Jackson, 2009). Hence,

economic growth. Decoupling can occur either relatively or in absolute terms. Absolute decoupling requires environmental pressure to be
stable or decreasing while the economic driving force is growing, whereas, relative decoupling occurs when the rate of environmental pressure

the casual
relationship between income and pressure on nature from the domestic
environmental sustainability perspective. Economic growth has
consequences on environment both domestically and globally . In this
is positive but less than the economic growth rate (OECD, 2002). In this study our aim is to investigate

paper we concentrate on domestic consequences and therefore, we employ natural disinvestment


components of Adjusted Net Savings (ANS) (called also as Genuine Savings) data constructed by Hamilton

Our panel consists of 213 low, middle and high-income


countries during the period between 1970 and 2008. This study aims to
provide new insights to the ongoing discussion by employing a new dataset
within a panel fixed-effects IV (Instrumental Variable) regression framework.
and Clemens (1999).

The paper is organized as follows. The coming part is devoted to the review of relevant literature and sustainability indicators. In Section 3 we
describe the data and the methodology. Section 4 presents our baseline regression results and a battery of robustness checks. And finally
Section 5 concludes. 2. Literature review 2.1. Human activity and environment The question of how human activity interacts with environment
can be traced back to the times of Malthus. In his famous 1798 book, titled as, An Essay on the Principle of Population Malthus proved that
the growth of population will eventually reach the limit of resource base in the absence of technological progress. In early 1970s, a debate
between Commoner, Ehrlich and Holden (1971) gave rise to the development of a formula, called as IPAT (Commoner et al., 1971), which

total environmental impact (I)


is the multiplicative product of population (P), affluence (A) and technology
(T) (see Marin and Mazzanti, 2009). Conventional wisdom sees economic growth as
indispensible in increasing human well-being. Yet, this view has been
challenged recently especially after the global economic crisis in 2008. For
example the proponents of degrowth movement put the paradigmatic
proposition as human progress without economic growth is possible (Schneider et
summarizes the impact of human activity on the environment. This formula states that

al., 2010, p. 512), by also adding that sustainable degrowth does not necessarily mean degrowth in all and every sector or regions. Jackson
(2009) also accepts that current development paradigm is unsustainable but he also criticizes the degrowth proposal as being unstable in
today's circumstances, for it may lead to rising unemployment, falling competitiveness and a spiral of recession (p. 46), and proposes zero
growth. Proponents of green economy, on the other hand, see the triple crisis as an opportunity and argue that green investments in key
sectors, like energy, construction etc., are able to create green jobs and to replace carbon-based economy with that of renewable-energy
(Barbier, 2010). For them, green Keynesian (or popularly known as Green New Deal) policies have a capacity to heal the triple crisis in the
short-run and to pave the way towards sustainability in the long-run, a promise which is attacked by many scholars as nave on the grounds
that they do not take into account the so-called rebound effect at least (Schneider et al., 2010). Throughout the sample period, global
economic system has changed radically. Thanks to the economic globalization, trade among nations increased dramatically. For example, the
average openness to trade ratio increased from 54.3 in 1970 to over 100 in 2008 in middle-income countries (see footnote 4 for income
classification methodology). The question of how this economic transformation affected the environmental sustainability of individual countries

opening up to trade could affect environment


through several channels. It may be that, after opening up to trade,
countries may prefer to adopt looser standards of environmental
regulation in order to gain or preserve international
competitiveness. This view is called as Race-to-the-Bottom Hypothesis (see
Daly, 1993, Ayres, 1996 and Frankel and Rose, 2005). Even in the absence of relaxed
regulations, opening up to trade may have negative consequences
over environment through relative price changes.
is interesting. In the literature it has been argued that

For example, Resource Curse Hypothesis (RCH), in particular Dutch Disease

argument (Van Wijnbergen, 1984), suggests that opening up to trade may lead to an increase in natural resource prices in the domestic economy, and hence a real exchange appreciation which would contract manufacturing exports or displace capital and labor factors away from
manufacturing towards the extractive industries (Costantini and Monni, 2007). At the other extreme, Gains-from-Trade Hypothesis states that openness may lead firms to adopt higher environmental standards and allows for technological and managerial innovations (see Eskeland and
Harrison, 2002) which help to reduce the pressure on nature. The interaction between environment and economic growth has been a subject of different approaches. The effects of natural resources endowment on economic growth are emphasized by studies based on RCH.1
Environmental Kuznets Curve (EKC) approach, on the other hand, analyzes the effects of economic growth on different dimensions of environmental quality. Initiated by Grossman and Krueger (1991), studies in the EKC literature hypothesize that the negative scale effect tend to prevail
in the initial stages of economic growth, but after a threshold level of development it should be outweighed by the positive structural and technological effects. Obviously environmental quality has several dimensions, yet aggregating them into a single indicator is problematic. Hence,
different studies in the EKC literature employs different indicators such as carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide emissions (i.e. Boulatoff and Jenkins, 2010 and Grossman and Krueger, 1991); urban air quality (i.e. Esty and Porter, 2005); deforestation (i.e. Ehrhardt-Martinez et al., 2002), heavy
metal contamination (i.e. Grossman and Krueger, 1995) and waste (i.e. Mazzanti et al., 2009). The empirical evidence is mixed however. It is not possible to talk about a unique curve for all types of environmental degradation, which raises doubts about the generalizability of the EKC
hypothesis (zler and Obach, 2009). In our view, natural disinvestment component of ANS is superior to these single environmental quality indicators employed in EKC literature in its capacity to represent more broadly the changes in environmental sustainability. 2.2. Human well-being
and sustainability The development of indicators was essential to pursue policies in line with sustainable development principles, and it was one of the main target of the Agenda 21 adopted by the UN World Conference on the Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro in 1992
(UN, 1992). In the years following the conference, several steps have been taken to measure the environmental consequences of economic activity through developing indicators, metrics and embedding environment into conventional accounting framework. Increasing dissatisfaction
from the conventional measures of well-being like GDP per capita can be argued to lead to the development of alternative measures of well-being and sustainability. Neo-classical economic growth theory links economic growth to the accumulation of physical capital. But the

That is, rising


GDP per capita may not necessarily reflect in an equal increase in the wellbeing of people
conventional saving rate which solely depends on accumulation of the physical capital lacks many dimensions on which the well-being of people is assumed to rest, i.e. natural resources, human capital and environmental quality.

(Hamilton and Clemens, 1999 and De Haan, 2004). Rennings and Wiggering (1997), Wilson et al. (2007), Siche et al. (2008), Singh et al. (2012) provide lists and comparative analysis of different indicators and metrics. Relevant

indices on the income-environment interaction can be listed as follows: Environmental Sustainability Index (ESI) ( WEF, 2001); Environmental Performance Index (EPI) ( Bohringer and Jochem, 2007); Environmental Vulnerability Index (EVI) ( Singh et al., 2012), Index of Sustainable and
Economic Welfare (ISEW) ( CES, 2000); Green Net National Product ( UNEP, 2000); Ecological Footprint (EF) ( Rees, 1992 and Wackernagel et al., 1999); and Adjusted Net Savings (ANS) ( Hamilton and Clemens, 1999). The discussion is still going on regarding the best approach to the
design and use of sustainable development indicators methods (Wilson et al., 2007, p. 300). On the income-environmental sustainability nexus, appropriate indicators are EF and ANS, cause other indicators mentioned above are either more appropriate to measure quality of life (for
example ISEW) or to assess the likelihood of potential damages caused by environmental problems (i.e. EVI), or are based on undertaken policies (such as EPI) (Singh et al., 2012), Yet the problem with EF is that, it accounts for resource use (consumption) regardless of the country of
origin where extraction/production takes place. Given the fact that some consumers are capable of displacing the ecological consequences associated with their consumption through trade (zler and Obach, 2009, p. 86), EF measure is not suitable for our aim in this paper. In contrast,
the natural disinvestment component of the ANS is measured within the country where production and extraction take place, which makes it possible to observe the effect of the income growth on the domestic environment and domestic environmental sustainability. To our knowledge,
regarding the interaction between economic growth and environment, natural disinvestment components of ANS has not been employed before in any other study, and it has a potential to bring useful insights on the issue. ANS combines the investments on three forms of capital,
physical, human and natural, all measured in current $US. More formally, ANS=NNS+ERP Turn MathJax on where NNS stands for net national saving, E for current education expenditures, R for resource rents (depletion of energy, minerals and forests), and P for carbon dioxide (CO2)
damage. NNS is computed as gross national saving net of depreciation of fixed capital. 2 The superiority of ANS over the conventional savings rate in reflecting the true well-being of people has been shown by several studies in the literature. Ferreira et al. (2008) finds a positive
correlation between current per capita Adjusted Net Savings and future changes in per capita consumption. Gnegne (2009) concludes that there is a positive and significant relationship between ANS and welfare, which is defined by Human Development Index and infant mortality rate.
ANS is the fruit of the notion called weak-sustainability (Gowdy and OHara, 1997) which assumes substitutability of different types of capital forming the fundamental basis of human existence (Gnegne, 2009, p. 1129). By referring to the Hartwick-rule (Hartwick, 1977), a country is
assumed to be weakly sustainable if she manages to channel fully the rents extracted from natural resources to physical and/or human capital formation. More formally, weak sustainability requires total net capital investment not to be persistently negative (Hamilton, 2003). Weak
sustainability rests on the belief that natural resources are super-abundant, or technological progress can increase the productivity of the natural capital faster than it is being depleted (Dietz and Neumayer, 2007, p. 618). It also assumes perfect substitution among physical, human
and natural capital, and neglects irreversibility issue (Bridger and Luloff, 1999 and Ekins et al., 2003). Strong sustainability, on the other hand, challenges most of these assumptions. Specifically, it argues that environment is not only a direct determinant of human well-being, more
importantly it has a specific function of holding everything together (Turner and Pearce, 1994). Hence, strong sustainability maintains that certain forms of natural capital cannot be substituted by other forms of capital, and a subset of total natural capital be preserved in physical
terms so that its functions remain intact (Dietz and Neumayer, 2007, p. 619). ANS is criticized not only because it is often employed as a measure of a controversial concept like weak sustainability, but it involves some methodological problems related to measurement, aggregation
and coverage. In developing composite indicators, the need to find a common measurement unit comes at the expense of some limitations. Valuing depletion and degradation within an accounting framework is still controversial. For example, one approach chooses maintenance cost
(UN, 1993) as a measurement unit, while marginal social cost is preferred in theoretical approaches (Hamilton and Clemens, 1999). Sutton et al. (2012), on the other hand, offers a different methodology for quantifying (or monetizing) anthropogenic environmental impact by using two
proxy measures; Anthropogenic Impervious Surface Area (which represents human demand on the planet) and Net Primary Productivity (which represents supply provided by the planet). The optimality and sustainability of the prices used in ANS computation is very crucial given the
assumption that the economy follows an efficient growth path in theoretical models upon which ANS is built. Yet, in practice only current prices, which are neither sustainable nor optimal, are available (Nourry, 2008). Moreover, Pillarisetti (2005) concludes that natural capital should be
treated independent of physical and human capital (p. 609) after finding out that ANS data is heavily driven education expenses. Another problematic issue is the coverage. Not all the pollutants and minerals are covered in the indicator. For example, energy depletion consists of the
depletion of oil, coal and natural gas only. Mineral depletion considers only the depletion of bauxite, copper, iron, lead, nickel, phosphate, tin, zinc, gold and silver. Pollution considers only carbon dioxide damage and neglects other pollutants. Other resources, which forms the biophysical
environment (i.e. water quantity and quality, air quality, sediments and soil nutrients, wildlife, habitat and vegetation, biota, species at risk, acoustics environment) are not included because they are more difficult to evaluate (Gnegne, 2009, p. 1129). 3. Methodology 3.1. Data and

descriptive analysis

With a panel of 213 low, middle and high-income countries, between

1970 and 2008, we employ a panel regression analysis to investigate the


relationship between log real per capita income and log real pressure on
nature. Our dependent variable, per capita pressure on nature, in constant 2005 US
$, is defined as; Pressure on nature p.c.=carbon dioxide damage p.c.+mineral
depletion p.c.+energy depletion p.c.+net forest depletion p.c. Turn MathJax on Unless
otherwise indicated, all variables are extracted from World Development Indicator (WDI) database3 of the World Bank (World Bank, 2012), and are summarized in Table 2.
See Table A1 for a detailed explanation and sources of all variables. Table 1 shows that the pressure on nature takes different forms in different income groups.
Comparatively, net deforestation and mineral depletion in low-income countries, energy depletion and CO2 damage in middle-income countries and energy depletion in
high-income countries constitute the major sources of the pressure on nature. Table 1. Natural disinvestment components of ANS (% of GNI).a Observation Mean Standard
deviation Min. Max. CO2damage High income 1513 0.37 0.40 0 4.4 Middle income 2962 0.7 0.8 0.3 7.7 Low income 1765 0.56 0.9 0 9.7 Net deforestation High income
1179 0.01 0.07 0 1.1 Middle income 2569 0.2 0.95 0 19.4 Low income 1766 1.34 2.3 0 20.1 Mineral depletion High income 1474 0.13 1.1 0 32.5 Middle income 2962 0.57
1.88 0 34.3 Low income 1765 0.79 2.5 0 27.6 Energy depletion High income 1513 3.8 10.3 0 98.2 Middle income 2962 4.8 12 0 150.7 Low income 1765 2.7 9.3 0 113.9 a
Note: See footnote 4 for the determination of income groups. Table options When we look at the shares of each component in the total pressure on nature, we come up
with a similar picture. In Fig. 1 we see that, in high and middle income countries CO2 damage and energy depletion constitute the majority of the total pressure on nature,
whereas in low income countries, it is dominated by forest depletion, followed by CO2 damage and mineral depletion. This uneven distribution of components across

Preliminary crosscountry analysis, by using the plot diagram in Fig. 2, reveals that
there is a positive relationship between income and pressure on
nature. In other words, as countries grow richer, so do their pressure
on nature.
different income groups requires more attention and we will turn back to this issue in the regression analysis part

However, the relationship is not linear across different income groups. Pressure on nature and income: 19702008 (Country Averages). Notes: See Table A1 ... Fig. 2. Pressure on nature and income: 19702008 (Country Averages). Notes: See

Table A1 for data definitions. Values are averaged by country in 19702008 period when both income and pressure on nature data exist together. The line represents Lowess function estimated with a bandwidth of 0.8. Figure options Due to the possible existence of endogeneity and
omitted variable biases cross-country relationship does not necessarily prove causation. Consider for example Turkey and Finland. Finland is richer and exerts less pressure on her nature, so a simple cross-country comparison would suggest that higher per capita income causes less
pressure on nature. But the right question to ask should be whether a country is more likely to exert less pressure on nature as it becomes richer or not. In Fig. 3, we plot the changes in log per capita income against changes in pressure on nature between 1970 and 2008. This helps to
eliminate the time-invariant country-fixed effects. But even after eliminating them, the positive relation between income and pressure on nature remains. Change in pressure on nature and income between 1970 and 2008. Notes: See Table ... Fig. 3. Change in pressure on nature and
income between 1970 and 2008. Notes: See Table A1 for data definitions. Changes are total difference between the latest and the earliest years at which both income and pressure on nature data exist together in 19702008 period. The line represents Lowess function estimated with a
bandwidth of 0.8. Figure options While differencing variables helps to remove the time-invariant characteristics of countries, it does not necessarily heal the simultaneity bias. That is, the positive relationship emerged in the plot-diagram may be arisen due to some other factor affecting
both economic growth and pressure on nature. The preliminary analysis of the data by plot diagrams presented in Fig. 2 and Fig. 3 helps us to find the right econometric method to study the economic growth-environmental pressure relationship. We will come back to this issue in the
next subsection. Table 2 presents the descriptive statistics of the observations included in the regression analysis. Table 2. Descriptive statistics.a Variable Mean All countries High income countries Middle income countries Low income countries Log real pressure on nature p.c. (t) 3.86
5.31 4.26 2.12 2.12 1.58 1.79 1.76 Log real GNI p.c. (t 1) 7.81 10.2 7.9 5.94 1.6 0.43 0.72 0.53 Rule of law (t) 0.08 1.32 0.22 0.86 0.98 0.56 0.64 0.51 Log openness (t) 4.3 4.4 4.4 4 0.55 0.6 0.5 0.53 Log population density (t) 3.87 4.3 3.8 3.9 1.5 1.8 1.4 1.32 Democracy (t) 0.55
0.58 0.6 0.45 0.29 0.15 0.3 0.3 Education (t) 6.8 9.8 6.9 3.9 3.2 2.1 2.3 2.3 Enrollment rate (t) 62.3 85.7 63.9 28.5 27.7 12.3 21 20.7 a Notes: Standard deviations are reported in italic below mean values. For detailed definition and sources, see Table A1. Table options 3.2. Panel data
econometric model Consider the following simple econometric model, which will be the basis of our analysis: equation(1) nit=git1+xit1+t+i+uit, Turn MathJax on where nit is the log real per capita pressure on nature of country i in period t. The main variable of interest is git1,
the lagged value of log real income per capita. The parameter therefore captures the causal effect of income on pressure on nature. Vector xit1 contains all other potential covariates. In addition, the i's denote a full set of country dummies and the t's denote a full set of time
dummies that captures common shocks to pressure on nature levels of all countries; uit is an error term, capturing all other omitted factors, with E(uit) = 0 for all i and t. We construct five-year and annual panels: for the five-year panels, we take the observation every fifth year. We
prefer using levels rather than averages, since averaging introduces additional serial correlation which complicates inference and estimation. For comparison purposes we start by estimating (1) in a pooled OLS model with time and country dummies. However, the estimates of the
pooled OLS model are biased and inconsistent when the i's are correlated with xit1. In order to investigate the causal effect of economic growth on nature we employ two strategies. The first strategy is to control for country-specific factor affecting both economic growth and
pressure on nature by including country-fixed effects. Let, View the MathML source denote the jth component of the vector xit1 and let Cov denote the population covariances. Then, if Cov (View the MathML source, i + uit) 0 for some j, the OLS estimator will be inconsistent. In
contrast, even when this covariance is nonzero, the fixed-effect estimator will be consistent if Cov (xit1, uit) = 0 for all j. Yet, it fails to measure the casual effect of income on pressure on nature simply because of the possibility that Cov (git1, uit) 0 because of the reverse effect of
pressure on nature on income, or because both changes in income and changes in pressure on nature are caused by a third, time-varying factor. To solve this problem, we implement a fixed-effect IV strategy. One important issue needs to be addressed is the stationarity of dependent
and independent variables. Standard regression analysis assumes that the dependent and independent variables are all stationary. Note that, the regression analysis employ five-year panel, hence for each cross-sectional unit (country) we have at most 8 observations during the 1970
2008 period. The short time dimension allows us to continue with the fixed-effects model without bothering about the stationarity of variables. How sensible are the conclusions to the inclusion or exclusion of some countries, or some variables, or to the income groups? Following the
baseline model, a battery of robustness checks will be presented to test the validity of earlier conclusions. Note that our panel is unbalanced due to missing data belonging to some observations. Hence, the first robustness check will employ the balanced panel. Secondly, it is natural to
expect that the effect of income growth on environment in a high-income country would be different than in middle and low-income countries (Muradian and Martinez-Alier, 2001). After classifying countries by using income ranges provided by the World Bank,4 we will run the baseline
model for each income group. What about the composition of environmental pressure in different income groups? As Fig. 1 shows, environmental degradation takes different forms in different income groups. Therefore, it may be too broad to claim that economic growth has the same
effect over, say CO2 damage and net deforestation (Bae et al., 2012 and Rudel et al., 2005). To clarify this point, we will run a third check by estimating the baseline model with different components of pressure on nature as independent variables separately. The fourth robustness check
will be conducted by including some structural and institutional variables, i.e. openness, democracy, education, etc., to the baseline model. On the question of how openness to trade interacts with pressure on nature, there are several competing hypotheses mentioned in the literature
review section. Therefore we expect that the effect will be either positive or negative. The regime characteristic (i.e. democracy or authoritarian) is another important factor to take into account. In democratic societies it can be expected that governments would be more responsive to
the demands for clean environment, which may result in decreasing the pressure on nature. Yet the evidence is mixed. Knight and Rosa (2011) study finds no significant effect of democracy on life satisfaction as measured by environmental efficiency of well-being. York et al. (2003b)
and Marquart-Pyatt (2010) report that the relationship between democracy and EF is either non-significant or positive. The regulatory framework is as important as the governance structure. Tragedy of the commons ( Hardin, 1968) describes perfectly the link between the
environmental protection and the quality of the regulatory framework. The unsustainable management of natural resources in low-income countries can be due to the lack of clearly defined property rights and lax (or non-existent) environmental standards (Deacon, 1994). However one
should also take into account the fact that the existence of rules and regulations does not necessarily guarantee their enforceability. Nevertheless, we expect that pressure on nature decreases as countries ability to enforce rule of law improves. Another important factor is the average
level of education in the society. In the literature, education is considered to have positive effects on environmental quality. Societies with longer average years of schooling are more likely to demand a cleaner environment ( Alam, 2010 and Torras and Boyce, 1998). Therefore, we
expect a negative sign for the coefficient of education variable. 4. Fixed-effects estimation results Table 3 presents the fixed effects estimation results.5 In columns 13 we use the five-year sample, whereas in columns 46 we use annual observations for comparison purposes. Log per
capita real income is highly significant in all regressions and indicates the positive relationship between the income and pressure on nature, however the effects are much stronger in the annual sample then in the five-year sample, suggesting a lower impact on the longer run. Starting
from the five-year sample, the coefficient 0.38 in column 1 of Table 3 implies that 10% increase in GNI p.c. is associated with a 3.8% increase in the per capita pressure on nature. Yet, the pooled OLS estimates are potentially biased. After eliminating time-invariant country effects, in
column 2 we see that the relationship between income and pressure on nature remains almost unchanged and 10% increase in income leads to a 3.8% increase in pressure on nature. In columns 46 we do the same exercise with annual data. The relationship between income and
pressure on nature remains highly significant and positive, and the effect is almost doubled (from 0.379 in column 2 to 0.725 in column 5). In columns 3 and 6, we instrument for GNI p.c. using a double lag to account for the bias possibly introduced by the existence of third factor
affecting both income and pressure on nature. As compared to fixed-effect estimates, fixed-effect IV estimates are smaller but have the same signs, and that 10% increase in GNI p.c. increases the pressure on nature by 2.6% in the five-year sample and 6.2% in the annual sample. All

Overall, the
regression results suggest that there is a significant positive
relationship between per capita income and pressure on nature. As
countries grow richer so do their pressure on nature, and it is
increasing over time. This finding is in line with York et al. (2003a) which
finds a monotonically increasing impact of affluence over environment (as
measured by CO2 emissions and energy footprint) .
the regressions in Table 3 are estimated with time dummies. Although not presented here, time-effects are found to be increasing over time. It could be that the valuation of the impacts has increased over time.

But as Fig. 1 indicates, pressure on nature is dominated by different components for different

income groups. Hence it can be expected that income growth may have different effects on different components of the indicator. Table 3. Fixed effects results.a All countries, 19702008 Five-year data Annual data Pooled OLS Fixed effects OLS Fixed effects IV Pooled OLS Fixed effects
OLS Fixed effect IV 1 2 3 4 5 6 Dependent variable is log real per capita pressure on nature Log real GNI (t 1) p.c. 0.38*** (0.09) 0.379** (0.17) 0.262*** (0.1) 0.72*** (0.04) 0.725*** (0.055) 0.67*** (0.041) Observations 1067 1067 931 5023 5023 4749 Countries 164 163 164 164
R-squared (within) 0.91 0.17 0.18 0.91 0.19 0.18 a Pooled cross-sectional OLS regression with time dummies in columns 1 and 4, with robust standard errors are in parenthesis. Fixed effects OLS regressions in columns 2 and 5, with time dummies and robust standard errors clustered by
country in parenthesis. Columns 3 and 6 employ the fixed-effect IV method; we instrument for GNI per capita using a double lag. Unbalanced panel, 19702008, with data at five-year intervals, where the start date of the panel refers to the dependent variable (i.e. t = 1975, so t 1 =
1970) in columns 13. Columns 46 use annual data, where, as before, the start date of the panel refers to the dependent variable (i.e., t = 1971, so t 1 = 1970). Time dummies and constants are not reported. For detailed data definitions and sources, see Table A1. * Significance at
90%. ** Significance at 95%. *** Significance at 99%. Table options 4.1. Robustness checks In this section we will present a battery of robustness checks to validate our results obtained from the baseline model. After excluding countries entirely with either of the dependent or the
explanatory variable is missing at any year between 1970 and 2008, we see that the coefficient estimates continue to be positive (Table 4). Table 4. Robustness check: balanced panel (19702008).a Five-year data Annual data Fixed effects IV Fixed effects IV 1 2 Dependent variable is
log real per capita pressure on nature Log real GNI (t 1) p.c. 0.1 (0.12) 0.49*** (0.05) Observations 672 3456 Countries 96 96 R-squared 0.18 0.17 a The values in parenthesis are the standard errors. Time dummies and constants are not reported. * Significance at 90%. ** Significance
at 95%. *** Significance at 99%. Table options Yet, in the five-year sample the effect now becomes insignificant. This is possibly due to the fact that most of the excluded countries from the panel (55 of 67) are either middle or low-income countries for which the effect can be expected
to be higher than that of for high-income countries. To test whether the effect will differ across different income groups, we run the baseline model in column 3 of Table 3 for each income group. Table 5 presents the estimation results. Remember that we found in our baseline regression
that 10% increase in GNI p.c. increases the pressure on nature by 2.6%. Table 5. Robustness check: income groups.a Five-year data Fixed effects IV High income only Middle income only Low income only 1 2 3 Dependent variable is log real per capita pressure on nature Log real GNI (t
1) p.c. 0.14 (0.27) 0.66*** (0.14) 0.32 (0.28) Observations 158 329 202 Countries 28 75 42 R-squared 0.29 0.14 0.14 a The values in parenthesis are the standard errors. Time dummies and constants are not reported. * Significance at 90%. ** Significance at 95%. *** Significance at
99%. Table options Compared with the coefficient estimates in Table 5, we see that this effect is much larger in middle-income group countries (almost 7%). The coefficient estimates for high and low income countries become insignificant though, nevertheless they still have positive

This result is in line with the


conclusions of Muradian and Martinez-Alier (2001), such that economic
growth in high-income countries goes together with increasing consumption
of non-renewable resources coming from developing countries; and
worsening terms of trade for exporting countries specialized in non-renewable
resources (p. 289).
signs. Income growth has the highest negative impact on environment in middle-income countries, shedding doubts on the sustainability of the income generation process

Economic growth may have different effects on different dimensions of the environmental pressure, say on CO2 damage and net deforestation. Table 6 presents the results of the baseline model estimated with each component

separately. We see that the positive relationship holds for all but the net forest depletion. Income growth reduces the per capita pressure on forests. In other components, like mineral depletion and CO2 damage, regression results indicate a negative scale effect of increasing income. As
for energy depletion, we do not find a statistically significant effect. Table 6. Robustness check: components of pressure on nature.a Five-year data Fixed effects IV Net forest depletion Energy depletion Mineral depletion CO2 damage 1 2 3 4 Dependent variable is log real per capita
pressure on nature Log real GNI (t 1) p.c. 0.34*** (0.05) 0.14 (0.10) 0.27*** (0.07) 0.23*** (0.06) Observations 901 901 901 901 Countries 160 160 160 160 R-squared 0.08 0.15 0.14 0.16 a The dependent variables are logarithms of real per capita figures. The values in parenthesis
are the standard errors. Time dummies and constants are not reported. * Significance at 90%. ** Significance at 95%. *** Significance at 99%. Table options Lastly, we investigate the influences of some structural and institutional covariates. Table 7 presents the fixed-effects IV model
results. The results are fairly supportive of the race-to-the-bottom hypothesis which asserts that countries tend to lower down their environmental standards in order to attract more investment. Table 7. Robustness check: structural and institutional factors.a Five-year data (19702008)
Fixed-effects IV Dependent variable is log real per capita pressure on nature 1 2 3 4 5 Log real GNI (t 1) p.c. 0.24** (0.1) 0.3*** (0.11) 0.13 (0.25) 0.18 (0.14) 0.54*** (0.2) Log openness (t) 0.95*** (0.11) Democracy (t) 0.24* (0.14) Rule of law (t) 0.54*** (0.17) Education (t) 0.08
(0.08) Enrollment rate (t) 0.01** (0.006) Observations 894 812 464 570 315 Countries 161 146 162 118 129 R-squared 0.26 0.19 0.21 0.11 0.28 a The values in parenthesis are the standard errors. Time dummies and constants are not reported. See Table A1 for a detailed explanation of

that 10% increase in


openness ratio increases the per capita pressure on nature by 9.5%. This is in
line with the conclusion reached by Borghesi and Vercelli (2003). The regression
variables. * Significance at 90%. ** Significance at 95%. *** Significance at 99%. Table options Increasing integration to the global system through trade increases the pressure on environment. We found

results support our hypothesis that the governance structure is positively


related with environmental sustainability which also confirms the findings of
the earlier studies mentioned above. More specifically, we found that a unit
increase in the rule of law indicator decreases the per capita pressure on
nature by 0.5%. Together with the effects of increasing openness to trade, the positive relationship
between rule of law (or quality of institutions) and environmental protection calls for a closer look at the
current globalization patterns. The environmental consequences of deregulation efforts by international
institutions like IMF, WB and WTO during the sample period is worth to mention. As Tisdell (2001) and Esty

existing environmental and social constraints were


gradually eroded by the indiscriminate deregulation of world trade . In
the same spirit, Daly (1993) argues that free trade promotes competition that
results in lowering of environmental standards as well as wages,
which in turn, increases environmental degradation in developing
and unemployment in high-income countries. The experience of Mexico,
as a middle-income country receiving a good deal of foreign direct
investment especially after the NAFTA agreement is telling . Steininger (1994) reports
that lower environmental standards in Mexico played a crucial role in the
concentration of maquiladoras along the US-bordering area, and this resulted
in increasing unemployment in US and environmental damage and health
problems in Mexico. Coming to the education, we find a statistically significant result between the
(2001) argue,

secondary school enrollment rate and pressure on nature, yet the positive sign of the estimate is not as
expected, possibly due to the very limited availability of data especially for low and middle-income
countries. Overall, we see that even after controlling for various structural and institutional indicators, the

Concluding
remarks Our results suggest that there is a positive relationship between
income per capita and per capita pressure on nature. The effect is much
stronger in middle-income countries than in low and high-income countries. After controlling for
various covariates, institutional and structural, the positive effect
still continues to hold. Our conclusions are fairly robust to the inclusion of
these covariates, and to the inclusion and exclusion of countries from the
sample. The regression results shed doubts on the environmental
sustainability of the growth process especially in middle-income countries .
Increasing prosperity leads more consumption and thereby more
pressure on nature especially in the form of CO2 damage and
mineral depletion. However, we found an opposite effect on forestry resources. The institutional quality, as measured by
positive relationship between income and pressure on nature continues to hold. 5.

the extent of enforceability of rule of law, has a significant negative effect on the pressure on nature along with our expectations. Our results
suggest that increasing trade has a negative impact on environment and this finding clearly can be taken as a support for race-to-the-bottom
hypothesis. Although the formulation of MDGs clearly demonstrates that economic growth and environmental protection are mutually
reinforcing, there are serious doubts on our ability in decoupling of economic growth from pressure on nature in absolute terms (Moldan et al.,

Our results support those studies indicating that the current economic
growth paradigm is unsustainable especially in middle-income countries . Given
2011).

the increasing importance of these countries as recipients of FDI flows and as producers in the global
supply chain, achieving environmental sustainability without jeopardizing the other determinants of human
welfare continues to be a big challenge that has to be confronted.

US-China economic growth causes warming


McElwee and Daly 14
(Sean, policy analyst, Lew, B.A. and other advanced degrees from Brown,
Director of Policy and Research at Demos, a public policy research

organization, Demos Senior Fellow, 3.20.14, The Week, What if economic


growth is no longer possible in the 21st century?
http://theweek.com/articles/449050/what-economic-growth-no-longerpossible-21st-century, Accessed: 7.30.16)VW
For decades, rapid economic growth has been the norm for developed
countries. An educated workforce, a large population boom, major technological advances, and
abundant fossil fuels were the key components of growth, generating substantial and broadly distributed

We have grown so used to such growth


that we inevitably view it as a panacea for a host of economic ills, whether
it's a deep recession or income inequality. We now understand, however,
that the postwar growth paradigm is not environmentally
sustainable. We also know that the shared prosperity it once delivered is itself unraveling. With
increases in standards of living in many countries.

these combined trends, something has to give in order to maintain living standards. One possible scenario,
with surprisingly good news for average Americans, is that constraints on growth will force political leaders
to accept redistribution as a policy tool. Indeed, if we cannot grow our way to broadly shared prosperity
again, redistribution is the only way to save the middle class. Many economists have warned that the old
model is dying out. In a much-cited paper, Robert Gordon argues that the rapid growth we take for granted
is not only historically anomalous but likely to slow significantly in the 21st century, pointing in particular
to diminishing returns from technology as one major drag. Developed countries have already picked the
"low-hanging fruit" of technological advance (in Tyler Cowen's phrase), and future innovations will produce
far less growth, he argues. Steven King, chief economist at HSBC, similarly argues, "The underlying reason
for the stagnation is that a half-century of remarkable one-off developments in the industrialized world will
not be repeated." Gordon also points to rising inequality, which has led to stagnating middle-class wages,
as a drag on future growth. As a result of these trends and others, average annual growth will fall below 1

Then there is the impact on the global economy


that will result from combating global warming. Working from a conservative
carbon budget of 450 parts per million (PPM), Humberto Llavador, John
Roemer, and Joaquim Silvestre predict that achieving this target will
require a substantial slowing of growth, mainly borne by the United
States and China. The U.S. and China must keep growth within the
threshold of 1 percent and 2.8 percent of GDP per year, respectively, for the
next 75 years, they say. In an interview, Roemer tells us that these results are optimistic; after all,
percent in the 21st century, he predicts.

some economists have argued that growth may not occur at all. In the paper, the three argue that "there is
no politically feasible solution to the climate change problem unless" both the U.S. and China "honestly
recognize the connection between restricting emissions and curbing growth." In contrast, the
Congressional Budget Office's long-range analyses use a growth projection of 2.2 percent on average over

Other economists have come to similar conclusions


about the connections between growth and sustainability . Early in
2012, Kenneth Rogoff argued that maximizing growth must be weighed
against the negative possibilities of growth, like global warming.
Indeed as James Gustave Speth notes , environmental impacts are the most significant
challenges to growth: "Economic activity and its growth are the principal
drivers of massive environmental decline." Growth constraints will push the issue of
the next 75 years.

distribution to the forefront of political discussions. In his forthcoming book Capital, Thomas Piketty
predicts that growth will slow to between 1 and 2 percent 19th-century levels by the end of the 21st
century. This trend, he further argues, will be accompanied by higher returns to capital and lower returns
to labor, thereby exacerbating inequality. The conclusions that flow from these observations are stark.

The old economic paradigm relied on unsustainable growth, so we


must change the paradigm. For decades, our rising standard of living
came at a deep cost to our environment and our children's future.
There is simply not enough planetary bio-capacity to grow our way
out of the messy moral discussions of distribution . The idea that

inequality is merely an inefficiency to be corrected with a technocratic fix or


perpetual growth is no longer tenable.

Increased physical economic growth destroys the


environment and causes extinction
Johnston 15
(Matthew, M.A. in Economics, B.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies, 12.5.15,
Investopedia, Is Infinite Growth on a Finite Planet Possible?
http://www.investopedia.com/articles/investing/120515/infinite-economicgrowth-finite-planet-possible.asp, Accessed: 7.28.16)VW
The last couple of hundred years have seen an incredible rise in the worlds average standard of living. This increase in living standards is a

negative effect has accompanied that


growthenvironmental degradation. Phrases such as peak oil and climate change have led many to
conclude that we have reached the limits of economic growth and that if the
growth is not curbed, it will ultimately destroy the Earth and all
species that inhabit it. Yet, there is a conceptual error being made when economic growth is equated with
result of an unprecedented level of economic growth. But a

environmental degradation, or at the very least, with the increasing consumption of the Earths resources. Despite their close connection in
the past, it is theoretically possible to have limitless economic growth on a finite planet. What is needed, however, is to turn theory into
actuality by decoupling, or separating, economic growth from unsustainable resource consumption and harmful pollution. Planet Earththe
Source and Limit of Growth All of life needs the Earths resources to survive. It is impossible to conceive of a world in which there is absolutely
no consumption of these resources. People need to drink water and eat food. Beyond that, humans have found that using other resources such
as wood have enabled them to build fires to stay warm and structures to shelter them from wind, rain and snow. The use of such resources has
enabled humans to not just live, but also to improve the quality of their lives. (To read more, see: Water: The Ultimate Commodity). The
improvement in the quality of life is what motivates the desire for continued economic growth. But for most of human history, economic
growth and improvements in peoples standards of living have increased relatively slowly. The situation changed dramatically around 200
years ago. J. Bradford DeLong, an economics professor at the University of California, Berkeley, estimates that from year 1 to 1800, average
world gross domestic product per capita remained under $200 (in 1990 international dollars), and after 1800, began to rise rapidly, reaching
$6,539 by the year 2000. While much of this economic growth and improvements in living standards has been concentrated in certain nations,
developing countries have also seen increases in per-capita economic growth, higher life expectancy and decreases in mortality rates from

economic growth has also been accompanied by


massive consumption of the Earths natural resources and
environmental degradation. The extraction of construction materials
grew by a factor of 34, ores and minerals by a factor of 27, fossil fuels by a
factor of 12, and biomass by a factor of 3.6, according to a report from the
United Nations Environment Programme. Further, while climate change is not
something new, research indicates that the increases in global temperatures
since the last half of the 20th century are most likely the result of human
activity. The massive increases in the consumption of the Earths resources
and the environmental impact of industrial activity have led many to
conclude that economic growth is unsustainable. Yet, these critics tend to have a narrow, although
disease and malnutrition. Yet that

understandable, interpretation of economic growth. For such critics, growth tends to be equated with physical/material growththat is, larger
buildings and more infrastructure expanding over an ever greater geographical area, as well as more material goods production. Although
much of economic growth in the past has coincided with physical growth, the concept of economic growth doesn't depend upon it. So What Is
Economic Growth? Economic growth is the increase in real (after inflation) GDP, where GDP is the total value of the domestic production of all
goods and services. The key word here is value. Economic growth occurs when the value of real GDP increases. There are two ways in which
value can be affected. One is what critics of economic growth tend to focus on: an increase in the quantity of production. The other way,
however, is to increase the quality of what is produced. (To read more, see: What is GDP and why is it so important to economists and
investors?) This leads to another distinction between extensive economic growth and intensive economic growth. Extensive economic
growth describes increases in physical growth that uses more inputs. Intensive economic growth, on the other hand, describes growth
increases resulting from more efficient or smarter ways of using inputs to produce higher quality goods. Remember, too, that GDP doesnt just
measure the production of goods, but also services. With increases in education, health care and other services, economic growth expands
without large quantities of the Earths resources being consumed or the environment being harmed. In fact, some economic growth can be
good for the environment and reduce our dependence on natural resources. That includes expanding public transportation and making it more
efficient, improving the energy efficiency of homes and businesses, producing more fuel-efficient vehicles, investing in non-polluting industrial
processes and cleaning up industrial waste sites. Sustainable Development Because economic growth doesn't mean infinite increases in our
consumption of natural resources or environmental degradation, it is possible to separate economic growth from physical growth and its
harmful effects. It is this possibility of decoupling that has motivated the sustainable development movement.

There is some

evidence suggesting when countries pass a particular wealth threshold, they


become cleaner, less wasteful and more efficient, all of which provides hope
that sustainable development is possible. Rich countries, however, tend to
export much of their resource-intensive and environmentally
damaging economic activity to poorer nations. Even with greater
resource efficiency, the finite limits of the Earths natural resources require a
greater separation of economic growth and physical growth . The Bottom Line
Economic growth has been defended for its contributions to human
well-being and increasing standards of living. Yet, it is becoming
more evident that the degree to which economic growth has
depended upon increasing use of the Earths natural resources is
unsustainable. It is clear that we cannot continue to consume more water,
burn more fuel and spew out more and more carbon dioxide at ever
increasing rates. While theoretically possible, we are at a point in history where separating
economic growth from physical growth has to become a reality or economic growth will
begin to reduce human well-being.

Growth destroys the environment reductions in


emissions cant solve, a new economic model is a
prerequisite
Johnson et al 10
(Victoria, Ph.D. in Atmospheric Physics,MSc in Climate Change, BSc in
Environmental Sciences, Research Associate at the Sustainable Consumption
Institute, Research Institute at the Low Carbon Research Institute, Senior
Research of the Climate Change division at New Economics Foundation,
Research Associate at Cardiff University, Andrew Simms, M.A. in development
and international political economy from the London School of Economics,
research associate with the Centre for Global Political Economy at the
University of Sussex, Policy Director at the New Economics Foundation, and
Peter Chowla, M.A. in Development Management a combination of
economics, political science, and business, 1.25.10, NEF, Growth isnt
Possible, http://www.neweconomics.org/publications/entry/growth-isntpossible, Accessed: 7.29.16)VW
Four years on from nef's Growth isnt Working, this new report goes one
step further and tests that thesis in detail in the context of climate change
and energy. It argues that indefinite global economic growth is
unsustainable. Just as the laws of thermodynamics constrain the maximum
efficiency of a heat engine, economic growth is constrained by the finite
nature of our planets natural resources (biocapacity). As economist Herman
Daly once commented, he would accept the possibility of infinite growth in
the economy on the day that one of his economist colleagues could
demonstrate that Earth itself could grow at a commensurate rate. Whether
or not the stumbling international negotiations on climate change
improve, our findings make clear that much more will be needed

than simply more ambitious reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.


This report concludes that a new macro economic model is needed, one
that allows the human population as a whole to thrive without having to
relying on ultimately impossible, endless increases in consumption.

Growth destroys the environment and an economic


collapse is necessary to avoid extinction by warming
Smith 14 (Richard, Richard Smith is an economic historian. He wrote his
UCLA history Ph.D. thesis on the transition to capitalism in China and held
post-docs at the East-West Center in Honolulu and Rutgers University., 1-92014, "Green Capitalism: The God That Failed," Truthout, http://www.truthout.org/news/item/21060-green-capitalism-the-god-that-failed) JT
soaring greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions drove global CO2 concentrations
past 400 parts per million in May 2013, shell-shocked climate scientists warned that unless we
As

urgently adopt "radical" measures to suppress GHG emissions (50 percent cuts in emissions by 2020, 90

we're headed for an average temperature rise of 3 degrees or 4


degrees Celsius before the end of the century . Four degrees might not seem like much,
but make no mistake: Such an increase will be catastrophic for our species and
most others. Humans have never experienced a rise of 4 degrees in average
temperatures. But our ancestors experienced a four-degree cooler world. That was during the last ice
percent by 2050)

age, the Wisconsin Stage (26,000 to 13,300 years ago). At that time, there were two miles of ice on top of
where I'm sitting right now in New York City. In a four-degree warmer world "Heat waves of undreamt-offerocity will scorch the Earth's surface as the climate becomes hotter than anything humans have ever
experienced. ... There will be "no ice at either pole." " Global

warming of this magnitude


would leave the whole planet without ice for the first time in nearly 40 million
years." Sea levels will rise 25 meters - submerging Florida, Bangladesh, New
York, Washington DC, London, Shanghai, the coastlines and cities where
nearly half the world's people presently live. Freshwater aquifiers will dry up;
snow caps and glaciers will evaporate - and with them, the rivers that feed
the billions of Asia, South America and California. The "wholesale destruction
of ecosystems" will bring on the collapse of agriculture around much of the
world. "Russia's harsh cold will be a distant memory" as "temperatures in Europe will resemble the
Middle East. ... The Sahara will have crossed the Strait of Gibraltar and be working its way north into the

humanity's grip on its future will


become ever more tentative." Yet long before the temperature increase hits four degrees, the
heart of Spain and Portugal. ... With food supplies crashing,

melting will have begun thawing the permafrost of the Arctic, releasing vast quantities of methane buried
under the Arctic seas and the Siberian and North American tundra, accelerating GHG concentrations
beyond any human power to stop runaway warming and sealing our fate as a species.(1) Yet paradoxically,
most climate scientists and even most climate activists have yet to grapple with the implications of their

GHG suppression on the order of 90 percent in less than 40 years would


require a radical across-the-board economic contraction in the developed
science: namely that

industrialized countries, and economic contraction is incompatible with a stable capitalism. On this point,
the Chamber of Commerce and National Association of Manufacturers would appear to be right and progrowth, pro-market environmentalists wrong: Under capitalism,

growth and jobs are more often

than not at odds with environmental protection . There may be some win-wins here and
there. But for the most part, given capitalism, imposing big cuts in greenhouse gas emissions means
imposing big job cuts across industrialized economies around the world. That's why, regardless of protests,
no capitalist government on the planet will accept mandatory cuts in GHG emissions. Since the Reagan

theorists
and proponents have argued au contraire that "jobs and environment are not
Revolution of the 1980s, when environmentalists began to turn to the market, "green growth"

opposed," that economic growth is compatible with emissions reduction , that


carbon taxes and/or cap-and-trade schemes could suppress GHG emissions while "green jobs" in new tech,

Their strategy has


failed completely, yet this remains the dominant view of leading climate scientists, including James
Hansen, and of most environmental organizations. All such market-based efforts are doomed
to fail, and a sustainable economy is inconceivable without sweeping
systemic economic change. The project of sustainable capitalism based on
carbon taxes, green marketing, "dematerialization" and so forth was
misconceived and doomed from the start because maximizing profit and
saving the planet are inherently in conflict and cannot be systematically
aligned even if, here and there, they might coincide for a moment. That's because under capitalism,
especially renewable energy, would offset lost jobs in fossil fuel industries.

CEOs and corporate boards are not responsible to society; they're responsible to private shareholders.
CEOs can embrace environmentalism so long as this increases profits. But saving the world requires that
the pursuit of profits be systematically subordinated to ecological concerns: For example, the science tells
us that to save the humans, we have to drastically suppress fossil fuel consumption, even close down
industries like coal. But no corporate board can sacrifice earnings, let alone put themselves out of
business, just to save humanity, and no government can suppress fossil fuel industries because to do so
would precipitate economic collapse. I claim that profit-maximization is an iron rule of capitalism, a rule
that trumps all else, and this sets the limits to ecological reform - not the other way around, as green
capitalism theorists had supposed. And contrary to green capitalism proponents, across the spectrum from

the practical possibilities for "greening" and


"dematerializing" production are severely limited. This means the only way to
prevent overshoot and collapse is to enforce a massive economic contraction
resource extraction to manufacturing,

in the industrialized economies, retrenching production across a broad range of unnecessary, resourcehogging, wasteful and polluting industries, even virtually shutting down the worst. Yet this option is
foreclosed under capitalism because this is not socialism: No one is promising new jobs to unemployed
coal miners, oil drillers, automakers, airline pilots, chemists, plastic junk makers and others whose jobs
would be lost because their industries would have to be retrenched - and unemployed workers don't pay
taxes. So CEOs, workers and governments find that they all "need" to maximize growth, overconsumption,
even pollution, to destroy their children's tomorrows to hang onto their jobs today. If they don't, the system
falls into crisis, or worse. So we're all on board the TGV of ravenous and ever-growing plunder and
pollution. As our locomotive races toward the cliff of ecological collapse, the only thoughts on the minds of
our CEOs, capitalist economists, politicians and most labor leaders is how to stoke the locomotive to get us
there faster. Corporations aren't necessarily evil. They just can't help themselves. They're doing what
they're supposed to do for the benefit of their owners. But this means that, so long as the global economy
is based on capitalism and private property and corporate property and competitive production for market,
we're doomed to a collective social suicide - and no amount of tinkering with the market can brake the
drive to global ecological collapse. We can't shop our way to sustainability, because the problems we face
cannot be solved by individual choices in the marketplace. They require collective democratic control over
the economy to prioritize the needs of society and the environment. And they require local, reigional,
national and international economic planning to reorganize the economy and redeploy labor and resources
to these ends. I conclude, therefore, that if humanity is to save itself, we have no choice but to overthrow
capitalism and replace it with a democratically planned eco-socialist economy.

Growth Unsustainable/Transition
Inevitable

General
Growth is unsustainable diminishing returns from tech
and stagnating middle class
McElwee and Daly 14
(Sean, policy analyst, Lew, B.A. and other advanced degrees from Brown,
Director of Policy and Research at Demos, a public policy research
organization, Demos Senior Fellow, 3.20.14, The Week, What if economic
growth is no longer possible in the 21st century?
http://theweek.com/articles/449050/what-economic-growth-no-longerpossible-21st-century, Accessed: 7.30.16)VW
For decades, rapid economic growth has been the norm for developed
countries. An educated workforce, a large population boom, major technological advances, and
abundant fossil fuels were the key components of growth, generating substantial and broadly distributed

We have grown so used to such growth


that we inevitably view it as a panacea for a host of economic ills, whether
it's a deep recession or income inequality. We now understand, however, that
the postwar growth paradigm is not environmentally sustainable. We also
know that the shared prosperity it once delivered is itself unraveling. With
these combined trends, something has to give in order to maintain living
standards. One possible scenario, with surprisingly good news for average Americans, is that
increases in standards of living in many countries.

constraints on growth will force political leaders to accept redistribution as a policy tool. Indeed, if we
cannot grow our way to broadly shared prosperity again, redistribution is the only way to save the middle

Many economists have warned that the old model is dying out. In
that the rapid growth we take for
granted is not only historically anomalous but likely to slow
significantly in the 21st century, pointing in particular to diminishing
returns from technology as one major drag. Developed countries have
already picked the "low-hanging fruit" of technological advance (in Tyler
Cowen's phrase), and future innovations will produce far less growth, he
argues. Steven King, chief economist at HSBC, similarly argues, "The underlying reason for
the stagnation is that a half-century of remarkable one-off developments in
the industrialized world will not be repeated." Gordon also points to rising
inequality, which has led to stagnating middle-class wages, as a drag on
future growth. As a result of these trends and others, average annual
growth will fall below 1 percent in the 21st century , he predicts. Then there is the
class.

a much-cited paper, Robert Gordon argues

impact on the global economy that will result from combating global warming. Working from a
conservative carbon budget of 450 parts per million (PPM), Humberto Llavador, John Roemer, and Joaquim
Silvestre predict that achieving this target will require a substantial slowing of growth, mainly borne by the
United States and China. The U.S. and China must keep growth within the threshold of 1 percent and 2.8
percent of GDP per year, respectively, for the next 75 years, they say. In an interview, Roemer tells us that

these results are optimistic; after all, some economists have argued
that growth may not occur at all. In the paper, the three argue that "there is no politically
feasible solution to the climate change problem unless" both the U.S. and China "honestly recognize the
connection between restricting emissions and curbing growth." In contrast, the Congressional Budget
Office's long-range analyses use a growth projection of 2.2 percent on average over the next 75 years.

Other economists have come to similar conclusions about the connections


between growth and sustainability. Early in 2012, Kenneth Rogoff argued that maximizing

growth must be weighed against the negative possibilities of growth, like global warming. Indeed as James
Gustave Speth notes, environmental impacts are the most significant challenges to growth: "Economic
activity and its growth are the principal drivers of massive environmental decline." Growth constraints will
push the issue of distribution to the forefront of political discussions. In his forthcoming book Capital,

Piketty predicts that growth will slow to between 1 and 2 percent


19th-century levels by the end of the 21st century. This trend, he further argues, will
Thomas

be accompanied by higher returns to capital and lower returns to labor, thereby exacerbating inequality.

The conclusions that flow from these observations are stark. The old
economic paradigm relied on unsustainable growth, so we must
change the paradigm. For decades, our rising standard of living came at a deep cost to our
environment and our children's future. There is simply not enough planetary bio-capacity to grow our way
out of the messy moral discussions of distribution. The idea that inequality is merely an inefficiency to be
corrected with a technocratic fix or perpetual growth is no longer tenable.

Growth is unsustainable economic recovery is shortlived


Monaghan 11
(Angela, Economics Correspondent for the Telegraph, History B.A. from
Cambridge, 11.24.11, The Telegraph, Economists say UK economic growth is
unsustainable,
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/economics/8913726/Economists-say-UKeconomic-growth-is-unsustainable.html, Accessed: 7.28.16)VW
The first revision of gross domestic product by the Office for National Statistics was unchanged from the initial estimate,

additional detail revealed a much weaker-than-expected underlying


position. "Economic growth in the third quarter was driven by stock building
and Government spending, neither of which is the basis for a sustained
recovery," said Vicky Redwood, chief UK economist at Capital Economics. Without a combined boost to growth of 0.9
percentage points, the economy would have contracted between July and September. Net trade was a drag
on growth, as exports fell by 1pc but imports grew by 0.3pc. Consumer
spending was flat, while services sector output grew by 0.5pc - less than previously thought. Andrew Goodwin,
senior economic advisor to the Ernst & Young ITEM Club said the detail revealed worrying trends "which
strike a significant blow" to short-term growth prospects. "This raises
genuine questions over the sustainability of the recovery . There is a
good chance that we will see GDP fall in Q4 and the longer that the crisis in
the eurozone remains unresolved, the greater the probability that we will
suffer a full-blown recession in the UK," he said. A Treasury spokesman said the Government
was "using all levers to protect the UK economy", but the data will provide
little comfort for the Chancellor, as he prepares to present his crucial Autumn Statement on Tuesday. Ben
Broadbent, a member of the Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee, said there was a 50pc chance
the UK economy would shrink in the fourth quarter . A CBI manufacturing survey
added to the gloom, showing a sharp fall in export orders in November . The 17but

point fall to -31 on the business group's industrial trends survey was the largest since records began in 1977 according to
Barclays Capital.

Unsustainable resource extraction means collapse is


inevitable technology cant solve and only causes more
consumption
Ahmed 14 (Nafeez Ahmed, 3-14-2014, "Nasa-funded study: industrial
civilisation headed for 'irreversible collapse'?," Guardian,
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/earth-insight/2014/mar/14/nasacivilisation-irreversible-collapse-study-scientists) JT
A new study partly-sponsored by Nasa's Goddard Space Flight Center has
highlighted the prospect that global industrial civilisation could collapse in
coming decades due to unsustainable resource exploitation and increasingly
unequal wealth distribution. Noting that warnings of 'collapse' are often seen
to be fringe or controversial, the study attempts to make sense of compelling
historical data showing that "the process of rise-and-collapse is actually a
recurrent cycle found throughout history." Cases of severe civilisational
disruption due to "precipitous collapse - often lasting centuries - have been
quite common." The independent research project is based on a new crossdisciplinary 'Human And Nature DYnamical' (HANDY) model, led by applied
mathematician Safa Motesharrei of the US National Science Foundationsupported National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center, in association with
a team of natural and social scientists. The HANDY model was created using a
minor Nasa grant, but the study based on it was conducted independently.
The study based on the HANDY model has been accepted for publication in
the peer-reviewed Elsevier journal, Ecological Economics. It finds that
according to the historical record even advanced, complex civilisations are
susceptible to collapse, raising questions about the sustainability of modern
civilisation: "The fall of the Roman Empire, and the equally (if not more)
advanced Han, Mauryan, and Gupta Empires, as well as so many advanced
Mesopotamian Empires, are all testimony to the fact that advanced,
sophisticated, complex, and creative civilizations can be both fragile and
impermanent." By investigating the human-nature dynamics of these past
cases of collapse, the project identifies the most salient interrelated factors
which explain civilisational decline, and which may help determine the risk of
collapse today: namely, Population, Climate, Water, Agriculture, and Energy.
These factors can lead to collapse when they converge to generate two
crucial social features: "the stretching of resources due to the strain placed
on the ecological carrying capacity"; and "the economic stratification of
society into Elites [rich] and Masses (or "Commoners") [poor]" These social
phenomena have played "a central role in the character or in the process of
the collapse," in all such cases over "the last five thousand years." Currently,
high levels of economic stratification are linked directly to overconsumption
of resources, with "Elites" based largely in industrialised countries responsible
for both: "... accumulated surplus is not evenly distributed throughout
society, but rather has been controlled by an elite. The mass of the
population, while producing the wealth, is only allocated a small portion of it
by elites, usually at or just above subsistence levels." The study challenges

those who argue that technology will resolve these challenges by increasing
efficiency: "Technological change can raise the efficiency of resource use, but
it also tends to raise both per capita resource consumption and the scale of
resource extraction, so that, absent policy effects, the increases in
consumption often compensate for the increased efficiency of resource use."

Transition Good
Collapse causes a transition to small, localized
civilizations that are sustainable
Lewis 98 (Chris H., Chris H. Lewis is an instructor in the Sewall American
Studies Program at the University of Colorado at Boulder. An environmental
and intellectual historian, he has recently completed Ecology and the Human
Future, 1998, "The Paradox of Global Development and the Necessary
Collapse of Modern Industrial Civilization," Syracuse University Press,
http://surface.syr.edu/books/23/) JT
With the collapse of the modern world, smaller, autonomous, local and
regional civilizations, cultures, and polities will emerge. We can reduce the
threat of mass death and genocide that will surely accompany this collapse
by encouraging the creation and growth of sustainable, self-sufficient regional
polities. John Cobb has already made a case for how this may work in the
United States and how it is working in Kerala, India. After the collapse of
global civilization, modern peoples will not have the material resources,
biological capital, and energy to reestablish global civilization. Forced by
economic necessity to become dependent on local resources and ecosystems
for their survival, peoples throughout the world will work to conserve and
restore their environments. For the societies that destroy their local
environments and economies, as modern people so often do, will themselves
face collapse and ruin. Thus, the rapid expansion of modern industrial
civilization since the 1600s, which modern peoples understand as progress, is
destroying the earth and threatening the human future (Hauchler and
Kennedy 1994). Since the birth of the modern world, we have witnessed
accelerating global population growth, air and water pollution, destruction of
forests, farmland, and fisheries, depletion of nonrenewable natural resources,
loss of biodiversity, and increasing poverty and misery throughout the
nonmodern world (Brown and Kane 1994). In Worldwatch's State of the World
1995, Hilary French (1995, 171) concludes: "The relentless pace of global
ecological decline shows no signs of letting up. Carbon dioxide concentrations
are mounting in the atmosphere, species loss continues to accelerate,
fisheries are collapsing, land degradation frustrates efforts to feed hungry
people, and the earth's forest cover keeps shrinking." And in his introduction
to State of the World 1995, Lester Brown (1995) warns that eroding soils,
shrinking forests, deteriorating rangelands, expanding deserts, acid rain,
stratospheric ozone depletion, the buildup of greenhouse gases, air pollution,
and the loss of biological diversity threatens global food production and
future economic growth. How could this rapid growth in wealth, population,
science and technology, and human control over the natural world have
produced such catastrophic results? Progress is proving to be a dangerous
delusion, which modern peoples continue to support despite the
overwhelming evidence that it has led to an escalating war against the earth.
Ironically, the modern world's relentless pursuit of victory in this centuries-old

war against nature will be the principal cause of its defeat and collapse. In
The Vanishing White Man, Stan Steiner (1976, 277) argued: The ruins of the
Roman Empire, and the Mayan and Byzantine and Ottoman and Inca and
Islamic and Egyptian and Ghanaian and Nigerian and Spanish and Aztec and
English and Grecian and Persian, and the Mongolian civilization of the great
Khans are visible for all to see. Is it heresy to say that the civilization of the
white man of Western Europe, which has dominated much of the earth for
four hundred years, is about to become one more magnificent ruin? Not
because it has failed to accomplish its goals, but because it has succeeded so
well, its time on earth may be done. The paradox of development is that the
tremendous success of modern industrial civilization will be the cause of its
collapse and ruin. To understand this paradox, we need to understand how
modern economic and political institutions are creating both the so-called
developed and underdeveloped worlds, which I will refer to as the First and
Third worlds (Escobar 1995).

Degrowth spurs a transition to localized, sustainable


economies that boost quality of life
Alexander 14 (Samuel Alexander, Research fellow, Melbourne Sustainable
Society Institute, University of Melbourne, 10-1-2014, "Life in a 'degrowth'
economy, and why you might actually enjoy it," The Conversation,
https://theconversation.com/life-in-a-degrowth-economy-and-why-you-mightactually-enjoy-it-32224) JT
Degrowth would liberate us from the burden of pursuing material excess . We
simply dont need so much stuff certainly not if it comes at the cost of planetary health, social justice,

Consumerism is a gross failure of imagination, a debilitating addiction


that degrades nature and doesnt even satisfy the universal human craving
for meaning. Degrowth, by contrast, would involve embracing what has been
termed the simpler way producing and consuming less . This would be a way of
and personal well-being.

life based on modest material and energy needs but nevertheless rich in other dimensions a life of frugal
abundance. It is about creating an economy based on sufficiency, knowing how much is enough to live
well, and discovering that enough is plenty. The lifestyle implications of degrowth and sufficiency are far
more radical than the light green forms of sustainable consumption that are widely discussed today.
Turning off the lights, taking shorter showers, and recycling are all necessary parts of what sustainability

this does not mean we must


live a life of painful sacrifice. Most of our basic needs can be met in quite
simple and low-impact ways, while maintaining a high quality of life. What would
life be like in a degrowth society? In a degrowth society we would aspire to localise our
economies as far and as appropriately as possible. This would assist with reducing
carbon-intensive global trade, while also building resilience in the face of an
uncertain and turbulent future. Through forms of direct or participatory democracy we
would organise our economies to ensure that everyones basic needs are met ,
will require of us, but these measures are far from enough. But

and then redirect our energies away from economic expansion. This would be a relatively low-energy mode
of living that ran primarily on renewable energy systems. Renewable energy cannot sustain an energy-

A degrowth society embraces the


necessity of energy descent, turning our energy crises into an opportunity
intensive global society of high-end consumers.

for civilisational renewal. We would tend to reduce our working hours in the formal economy in
exchange for more home-production and leisure. We would have less income, but more freedom. Thus, in

we would grow our own organic food,


water our gardens with water tanks, and turn our neighbourhoods into edible
landscapes as the Cubans have done in Havana. As my friend Adam Grubb so delightfully declares,
we should eat the suburbs, while supplementing urban agriculture with food from local
our simplicity, we would be rich. Wherever possible,

farmers markets. We do not need to purchase so many new clothes. Let us mend or exchange the clothes
we have, buy second-hand, or make our own. In a degrowth society, the fashion and marketing industries
would quickly wither away. A new aesthetic of sufficiency would develop, where we creatively re-use and
refashion the vast existing stock of clothing and materials, and explore less impactful ways of producing
new clothes. We would become radical recyclers and do-it-yourself experts. This would partly
be driven by the fact that we would simply be living in an era of relative scarcity, with reduced

human beings find creative projects fulfilling, and the


challenge of building the new world within the shell of the old promises to be
immensely meaningful, even if it will also entail times of trial. The apparent scarcity of goods can
discretionary income. But

also be greatly reduced by scaling up the sharing economy, which would also enrich our communities. One
day, we might even live in cob houses that we build ourselves , but over the next few
critical decades the fact is that most of us will be living within the poorly designed urban infrastructure that
already exists. We are hardly going to knock it all down and start again. Instead, we must retrofit the
suburbs, as leading permaculturalist David Holmgren argues. This would involve doing everything we can
to make our homes more energy-efficient, more productive, and probably more densely inhabited. This is
not the eco-future that we are shown in glossy design magazines featuring million-dollar green homes

Degrowth offers a more humble and I would say


more realistic vision of a sustainable future.
that are prohibitively expensive.

Regulations fail only economic collapse can reduce


emissions enough to stop warming
Abramsky 10 (Koyla, visiting fellow at the Institute of Advanced Studies in
Science, Technology and Society; fmr. coordinator of the Danish-based World
Wind Energy Institute, 2010, Racing to Save the Economy and the Planet:
Capitalist or Post capitalist Transition to a Post-petrol World?, in Sparking A
Worldwide Energy Revolution, ed. Koyla Abramsky, pg. 7, googlebooks) JT
The stark reality is that the only two recent periods that have seen a major
reduction in global CO2 emissions both occurred in periods of very sudden,
rapid, socially disruptive, and painful periods of forced economic degrowth
namely the break- down of the Soviet bloc and the current financial-economic
crisis. Strikingly, in May 2009, the International Energy Agency reported that,
for the first time since 1945, global demand for electricity was expected to
fall. Experience has shown that a lot of time and political energy have been
virtually wasted on developing a highly-ineffective regulatory framework to
tackle climate change. Years of COPs and MOPsthe international basis for
regulatory efforts have simply proven to be hot air. And, not surprisingly,
hot air has resulted in global warming. Only unintended degrowth has had the
effect that years of intentional regulations sought to achieve. Yet, the
dominant approaches to climate change continue to focus on promoting
regulatory reforms, rather than on more fundamental changes in social
relations. This is true for governments, multilateral institutions, and also large
sectors of so-called civil society, especially the major national and
international trade unions and their federations, and NGOs. And despite the

patent inadequacy of this approach, regulatory efforts will certainly continue


to be pursued. Furthermore, they may well contribute to shoring up
legitimacy, at least in the short term, and in certain predominantly-northern
countries where the effects of climate changes are less immediately visible
and impact on people's lives less directly. Nonetheless, it is becoming
increasingly clear that solutions will not be found at this level.

Transition to a degrowth economy requires an economic


crisis
Lewis and Canaty 12, (Michael and Patrick, executive director of the
Center for Community Enterprise; honorary research fellow at the University
of Birmingham and a director of Common Futures 2010, "The Resilience
Imperative: Cooperative Transitions to a Steady-state Economy," New Society
Publishers, googlebooks) JT
David Stockman, Former Republican congressman, budget director for Ronald
Reagan, and investment banker on Wall Street, gave his answer to the
question of who the American government is responsible to in an interview
with Bill Moyers on 20 January 2012: During a Few weeks in September and
October 2008, American political democracy was fatally corrupted by a
resounding display of expediency and raw power. Henceforth, the door would
be wide open for the entire legion of Washingtons K Street lobbies, reinforced
by the campaign libations prodigiously dispensed by their affiliated political
action committees to relentlessly plunder the public purse. Stockmans
soaring but accurate rhetoric echoes the utterances of many Occupy
protesters on Wall Street and at 1,900 Occupy sites around the globe. This is
both ironic and encouraging; it is also hopeful. The Great Transition requires a
broad range of citizens, From civil Society groups to small businesspeople and
From Farmers to trade unionists to find common ground and see the mutual
attractiveness of a SEE Change. What is discouraging is that Stockman sees
no change coming out of the crisis of 2008. He believes a similar crisis will
happen again and, indeed, that such a crisis must be bigger and deeper if
Americans are to be woken up sufficiently to mobilize the political Forces
needed to overcome corporate Americas undemocratic assault on Freedom.

Only an economic collapse can force the mindset shift


needed to create a sustainable society
Djordjevic 98 (Johnny Djordjevic, 1998, Sustainability, Senior Seminar
for Instructor: Peter A. Bowler,
http://darwin.bio.uci.edu/sustain/global/sensem/djordj98.html) JT
there is a solution, to create a sustainable
society. Rather than being greedy and only thinking about the self, each individual must realize the
impacts of his/her selfish tendencies, and disregard their former view of the
world. One must come into harmony with what is really needed to survive,
and drawn a strict distinction between what is necessity and what is luxury .
Despite all the gloomy facts and sad stories,

Not every family needs three cars, or five meals a day or four telephones and two refrigerators.
Countries do not need to strive for increasing growth, less materials could be imported/exported and international tension
could be greatly reduced. The major problems seem not to step from the determination of what a sustainable society is,

People must be forced to


realize the harmful and catastrophic consequences lie in their meaningless
wants and greed. The problem of cognitive dissonance is hard to overcome, but it is not impossible. The
solution to this dilemma lies in castastrophe. The only event that changes
people's minds is social trauma or harm. The analogy is that a person who refuses to
wear a seat belt and one day gets thrown through his/her windshield will
remember to wear the seat belt after the accident. The logic behind this argument is both
but on how to get people to change their values. This task is not an easy one.

simple and feasible. So the question of dissonance is answered in part, but to change a whole society obviously takes a

economic collapse or ice age would trigger a new


consciousness leading to a sustainable society.
bigger and more traumatic event to occur. An

AT: Decoupling
The mathematical reality of growth makes decoupling
impossible growth will inevitably lead to more
consumption and environmental destruction
Alexander 15 (Samuel Alexander, Research fellow, Melbourne Sustainable
Society Institute, University of Melbourne, 11-2-2015, "What is Degrowth?
Envisioning a Prosperous Descent," The Simplicity Collective,
http://simplicitycollective.com/what-is-degrowth-envisioning-a-prosperousdescent) JT
The controversy arises primarily in relation to the concept of GDP. Growth
advocates argue that there is no reason why we cannot decouple GDP
growth from environmental impact in such a way that avoids any perceived
limits to growth. Science, technology, and free markets will help us achieve
this. These growth advocates might acknowledge that current forms of GDP
growth are not sustainable, but nevertheless argue that what we need is
green growth in GDP; that is, growth based in qualitative improvement not
quantitative expansion. According to this view, all nations on the planet
should continue to pursue growth in GDP, while aiming to decouple that
growth from environmental impact. This is the dominant conception of
sustainability, as recently reiterated through the United Nations Sustainable
Development Goals, which didnt even use the phrase sustainable growth, it
merely called for sustained growth. Id now like to explain why this idea of
decoupling growth from impact, while theoretically coherent as far as it
goes, is dangerously flawed when grounded in reality. The arithmetic of
growth The most powerful way to debunk the growth model of progress is to
consider what might happen if we actually got what we were aiming for in
terms of GDP growth. When we read United Nations reports, or government
reports, or hear the promises of politicians on the left and the right, it seems
that the basic vision of global development is that the rich nations keep
growing in terms of GDP and, in accordance with justice, over coming
decades the poorest attain a similar standard of living, all done in a way that
is magically sustainable. But Tim Jackson, among others, have done the
arithmetic of growth, and even on quite modest assumptions expose the flaw
at the heart of the growth model that is, the apparent failure to understand
the exponential function. Let me explain. If the developed nations say the
OECD nations grew by 2% over coming decades and by 2050 the global
population had achieved a similar standard of living, the global economy
would be 15 times larger than it is today. If it grew at 3% from then on it
would be 30 times larger than the current economy by 2073, and 60 times
larger by the time this century. Very quickly, you see, the exponential
function makes a mockery of the growth model. Note also that if we ask
governments around the world, would you rather 4% growth than 3%?
theyd all say yes, without exception, making this arithmetic of growth all the
more absurd. Lets remind ourselves that the global economy is already in

gross ecological overshoot; that were already devastating the planet and
biodiversity; and if we succeed on achieving the trajectory the world is aiming
for by 2050 the economy would be 15 times larger than it is today. I wouldnt
much like to think what would happen to the planet if the economy was twice
as large as it is today, or four times as large, let alone 15, 30 or 60 times
larger over coming decades. This type of basic arithmetic of growth gives me
confidence that the growth model has absolutely no future. At some
stage we need to ask: how much is enough? How much is too much? Absolute
decoupling isnt even happening At this point, mainstream economists will
accuse degrowth advocates of misunderstanding the potential of technology,
markets, and efficiency gains to decouple economic growth from
environmental impact. But there is no misunderstanding here. Everyone
knows that we could produce and consume more efficiently than we do today.
The problem is that efficiency without sufficiency is lost. Despite decades of
extraordinary technological advancement and huge efficiency improvements,
the energy and resource demands of the global economy are still increasing.
This is because within a growth-orientated economy, efficiency gains tend to
be reinvested in more consumption and more growth, rather than in reducing
impact. This is the defining, critical flaw in growth economics: the false
assumption that all economies across the globe can continue growing while
radically reducing environmental impact to a sustainable level. As the
arithmetic of growth shows, the extent of decoupling required is simply too
great. As we try unsuccessfully to green capitalism, we see the face of Gaia
vanishing.

Decoupling is impossible and fails to achieve sustainable


growth EU proves
Mauerhofer 13 (Volker Mauerhofer, Coordinating Lead Author for Chapter
6 for the global assessment of biodiversity and ecosystem services of the
Intergovernmental Platform of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, Research
Fellow, WTO Research Center of Aoyama Gakuin University, Tokyo, February
2013, "Lose Less Instead of Win More: The Failure of Decoupling and Pers...:
ConnectComplete," White Horse Press,
http://dartmouthcolnh.library.ingentaconnect.com/content/whp/ev/2013/0000
0022/00000001/art00006) JT
Based on the five scenarios A to E provided in section 2 it appears that the
decoupling of growth from resource use and environmental degradation
introduced by the EU as a main objective of its environmental policy is too
inconsistent and incoherent. Therefore, ill-conceived, the EU fails to show
sufficiently how this relationship, under the assumption of durable increasing
growth, can ensure Sustainable Development in the long run. The assumption
of compatibility of durable economic growth with a sustainable development
of limited environmental resources appears by far too optimistic. It neglects
the laws of thermodynamics and it underestimates the Rebound Effect. Thus

the current EU Lisbon Strategy, focusing inter alia on economic growth, on


the one hand, and the EU Sustainable Development Strategy together with
the 6th Environmental Action Programme, emphasising a need for an
absolute decoupling, on the other hand, do not appear to be consistent at all.
Additionally, it is highly questionable whether the aim of an absolute
decoupling is not simply utopian and incoherent as such. This is supported by
the fact that the EU if it has indeed achieved anything in this respect as
yet has mainly achieved relative decoupling, at best (Eurostat, 2011).
Nevertheless, the current EU situation seems already to be quite close to an
economic system without growth, but only with regard to its low proportional
GDP growth rates (for data see e.g. Eurostat, 2002: 160 and IMF, 2007: 31).
Concerning the throughput of energy and resources, the EU is still viewed
globally as unsustainable, given, for example, its high ecological footprint
(WWF and Global Footprint Network, 2007)

Ecological limits of growth make decoupling unachievable


Wanner 14 (Thomas Wanner, Dr. Thomas Wanner has a background in
development studies, international political economy and international
relations and politics, 31 Jan 2014, "The New Passive Revolution of the
Green Economy and Growth Discourse: Maintaining the Sustainable
Development of Neoliberal Capitalism," New Political Economy,
http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/13563467.2013.866081) JT
In short, despite some progress in relative decoupling and some evidence of absolute decoupling in the

absolute decoupling of
a national economy remains an illusion as demands for environmental
resources and their associated impacts on the environment increase globally .
sense of a relative decline in environmental impact through eco-efficiency,

The idea of absolute decoupling is an ideological instrument of the passive revolution of green
economy/growth through which the predominance of economic growth over environmental sustainability is
maintained and environmental realities are obfuscated. This includes the ensuing class struggles between
the global rich and poor, where the poor are more vulnerable and suffer the double burden through
poverty and the consequences of global environmental crises (UNDP 2011: 456). The myths of limitless
growth and no trade-off between environment and growth The debate over economic growth has been a
feature of economic thought for centuries. As stated earlier, the debates about limits to growth and
conflicts surrounding sustainable growth and the environment prompted the emergence in the 1970s of
the sustainable development discourse and other environmental discourses, such as ecological
modernisation (see Dryzek 2005). The sustainability of economic growth is conditional on the maintenance
over time of the overall capital stock for economic production and consumption. Natural capital15 is part
of this total stock of capital required to be non-declining over time to ensure human welfare. Ekins (2000:
75) states that economic sustainability is most commonly interpreted as a condition of non-declining

In the dominant neoliberal economic


approach to the environment, which is enthusiastically reproduced by environmental
economists, the decline in natural capital can be substituted through other forms
of capital. The problem here is, as Daly (1996: 78) has argued, that natural capital has
replaced human-made capital as the limiting factor or capital of production,
and that many forms of natural capital cannot be substituted by other forms
of capital.16 How, for example, can one find a substitute for water as the source of life? The
depreciation of natural capital is often irreversible (like the increasing loss of
biodiversity) and ecosystems can collapse abruptly (UNEP 2011a: 18). However, increased
economic welfare projected indefinitely into the future.

resource use efficiency (eco-efficiency) and possible substitution of some


natural capital with other forms of capital does not overcome global
ecological limits. The reality is of increasing not decreasing demands on the planets resources and
ecosystems, with increasing global demands for energy and clean water that is declining natural capital
as a source for economic production and development. It is clear that the goods and services provided by
natural capital are in decline due to poor resource management decisions, growing human populations

there is a clear
contradiction between sustainable economic growth and the need to respect
ecological limits.
and increased per capita consumption (UN and ADB 2012: xiii).17 Thus

AT: Econ collapse causes war


Economic crisis reduces the incentives for and likelihood
of international conflict
Bennet and Nordstrom 2k (D. Scott Bennet and Timothy Nordstrom,
Ph.D., The University of Michigan. His research focuses on international
conflict, methodology, and computer applications, Ph.D., Pennsylvania State
University, 2000, "Foreign Policy Substitutability and Internal Economic
Problems in Enduring Rivalries," Journal of Conflict Resolution,
http://jcr.sagepub.com/content/44/1/33.abstract) JT
By coming at externalization from the substitutability perspective, we hope to
deal with some of the theoretical problems raised by critics of diversionary
conflict theory. Substitutability can be seen as a particular problem of model
specification where the dependent variable has not been fully developed. We
believe that one of the theoretical problems with studies of externalization
has been a lack of attention to alternative choices; Bueno de Mesquita
actually hints toward this (and the importance of foreign policy substitution)
when he argues that it is shortsighted to conclude that a leader will uniformly
externalize in response to domestic problems at the expense of other
possible policy choices (1985, 130). We hope to improve on the study of
externalization and behavior within rivalries by considering multiple
outcomes in response to domestic conditions.5 In particular, we will focus on
the alternative option that instead of externalizing, leaders may internalize
when faced with domestic economic troubles. Rather than diverting the
attention of the public or relevant elites through military action, leaders may
actually work to solve their internal problems internally. Tying internal
solutions to the external environment, we focus on the possibility that leaders
may work to disengage their country from hostile relationships in the
international arena to deal with domestic issues. Domestic problems often
emerge from the challenges of spreading finite resources across many
different issue areas in a manner that satisfies the public and solves real
problems. Turning inward for some time may free up resources required to
jump-start the domestic economy or may simply provide leaders the time to
solve internal distributional issues. In our study, we will focus on the condition
of the domestic economy (gross domes- tic product [GDP] per capita growth)
as a source of pressure on leaders to externalize. We do this for a number of
reasons. First, when studying rivalries, we need an indicator of potential
domestic trouble that is applicable beyond just the United States or just
advanced industrialized democracies. In many non-Western states, variables
such as election cycles and presidential popularity are irrelevant. Economics
are important to all countries at all times. At a purely practical level, GDP
data is also more widely available (cross-nationally and historically) than is
data on inflation or unemployment.6 Second, we believe that fundamental
economic conditions are a source of potential political problems to which
leaders must pay attention. Slowing growth or worsening economic

conditions may lead to mass dissatisfaction and protests down the road;
economic problems may best be dealt with at an early stage before they turn
into outward, potentially violent, conflict. This leads us to a third argument,
which is that we in fact believe that it may be more appropriate in general to
use indicators of latent conflict rather than manifest conflict as indicators of
the potential to divert. Once the citizens of a country are so distressed that
they resort to manifest conflict (rioting or engaging in open protest), it may
be too late for a leader to satisfy them by engaging in distracting foreign
policy actions. If indeed leaders do attempt to distract people's attention,
then if protest reaches a high level, that attempt has actually failed and we
are looking for correlations between failed externalization attempts and
further diversion.

AT: Diversionary Theory


Diversionary theory is empirically wrong no incentive,
quickly removed from office, and no escalation
Boehmer 2
(Charles, Ph.D. in Political Science, Professor of Political Science, Graduate
Director, Chair of the Graduate Council, fellow at UTEPs Center for Excellence
in Teaching and Learning, Domestic Crisis and Interstate Conflict: The Impact
of Economic Crisis, Domestic Discord, and State Efficacy on the Decision to
Initiate Interstate Conflict,
http://isanet.ccit.arizona.edu/noarchive/boehmer.html)VW
Theories of diversionary conflict usually emphasize the potential benefits of
diversionary tactics, although few pay equal attention to the prospective
costs associated with such behavior. While it is not contentious to claim that
leaders typically seek to remain in office, whether they can successfully
manipulate public opinion regularly during periods of domestic
unpopularity through their states participation in foreign militarized
conflicts is a question open for debate. Furthermore, there appears
to be a logical disconnect between diversionary theories and extant
studies of domestic conflict and regime change. Again, lower rates of economic growth are
purported to increase the risk of both militarized interstate conflicts (and internal conflicts) as well as regime changes (Bloomberg and Hess
2002). This implies that if leaders do in fact undertake diversionary conflicts, many may still be thrown from the seat of power (especially if the

Diversionary conflict would thus seem to be a


risky gambit. Scholars such as MacFie (1938) and Blainey (1988), however, have questioned the validity of the
diversionary thesis. As noted by Levy (1989), this perspective is rarely formulated as a cohesive
and comprehensive theory, and there has been little or no knowledge
cumulation. Later studies do not necessarily build on past studies. The discrepancies between studies are difficult to unravel.
outcome is defeat to a foreign enemy).

Studies have used a variety of research designs, different dependent variables (uses of force, major uses of force, militarized disputes),
different estimation techniques, and different data sets covering different time periods and different states (Bennett and Nordstrom 2000). To
these problems we should include a lack of theoretical precision and incomplete model specification. By a lack of theoretical precision, I am
referring to the linkages between economic conditions and domestic strife that remain unclear in some studies. Consequently, extant studies
are to a degree incommensurate. They offer a step in the right direction but do not provide robust cross-national explanations and tests of
economic growth and interstate conflict. However, a few studies have attempted to provide deductive explanations about when and how

Using Bayesian updating games, Richards et al. (1993)


and Smith (1996) demonstrate that while the use of force would appear to
offer leaders a means to boost their popularity, a poorly performing economy
acts as a signal to a leaders constituents about his or her competence . Hence,
attempts to use diversion are likely to fail either because incompetent leaders
will likewise fail in foreign policy or people will recognize the gambit for what
it is.[3] Instead, these two models conclude that diversion is likely to
be undertaken particularly by risk-acceptant leaders. This heightened risk of removal from office
diversionary tactics might be employed.

is also apparent in the work of Downs and Rocke (1984) and Bueno De Mesquita, et al. (1999) where leaders gamble for resurrection,
although the diversionary scenario in the latter study is only a partial extension of their theory on selectorates, winning coalitions, and leader

often do leaders fail in the process or are removed from


positions of power before they can even initiate diversionary tactics ?
survival. Again, how

To be clear, I am primarily interested in whether possible diversionary conflicts are related to economic growth, although I also provide and
examination of domestic conflict, democracy, and state efficacy. The next section offers a theoretical basis to expect that diversionary conflicts
may be less probable than regime transitions during periods of lower economic growth. This is followed by discussions of the research design

empirical results. I then conclude that while


there is evidence to support aspects of the diversionary conflict
thesis, this behavior is not related to lower rates of economic
used to test my theoretical expectations and the

growth. Theories of diversionary conflict make a few basic assumptions. First, leaders seek to remain in office. Second, leaders have
some latitude to use military force. Third, leader approval is in part determined by the state of the economy. Lastly, the use of military force

Yet, while these assumptions appear


reasonable and help simplify theories, they may not be the most appropriate
or informative towards an explanation of the decision to engage in interstate
conflict. From these pieces we cannot put together the whole diversionary puzzle. Other components of the story are missing and
results in a rally effect that increases leader popularity.

unaccounted for. For example, is there a difference between scape-goating and externalizing conflict? Disparate studies have discussed the
roles of regime types, repression, the magnitude of domestic conflict, opportunities for participation in foreign disputes, and differences in how
the severity of international conflict should affect the prospects of successful diversion. However, many theoretical linkages remain unclear in

I find the claim that lower rates of economic growth should


motivate diversionary behavior less than convincing since other studies
suggest that lower rates of growth increase the probability that leaders will
be removed from office (Londregan and Poole 1990; Bloomberg and Hess 2002). Empirical research also suggests that
individual studies.

incumbents in democracies are most likely to lose elections following periods of economic stagnation (Lewis-Beck 1988). Logically, lower rates
of economic growth should heighten the risk leaders face, no matter whether they are democrats or autocrats. Perhaps leaders do gamble for
resurrection, although many could be removed from power before they may be able to attempt this strategy. Another body of

literature disagrees with the diversionary conflict thesis

and contends that higher rates of economic

growth should lead to more frequent (or more severe) interstate conflict. Some of these studies are posed on the systemic level of analysis (Kondratieff 1926; Goldstein 1988; Mansfield 1988; Pollins 1996; Pollins and Murrin 1999) while others are focused on the national level
of analysis (MacFie 1938; Blainey 1988; Choucri and North 1975; Doran 1983, 1985; Pollins and Schweller 1999).Economic growth is said to have two effects that increase the probability of conflict. First, economic growth could allow for increases in military spending
that could increase war-making capacity (war-chest theme) or, second, that growth provides a greater social willingness to allow leaders to opt to participate in interstate conflict. Fewer domestic constraints should give leaders a freer hand to initiate or join
conflicts. Admittedly, theories in this category are no more developed (arguably less so) than diversionary conflict theory. However, some insights are useful that I hope to explicate below. All leaders depend on a constituency of some sort (Bueno de Mesquita et al. 1999) and always
face potential opposition to their policies (Richards et al., 1993; Hagan 1994; Miller 1995, 1999; Heldt 1999). In democratic systems, opposition parties may seek to exploit foreign policies that they will argue are not in the best interest of the nation and executives in democracies should
be more constrained than their authoritarian counterparts. But during times of economic prosperity, society is less likely to be influenced by the rhetoric of parties and factions that stand in opposition to the leader. Assuming that popularity ratings are higher than would be the case
during economic recession or depression, leaders should be more apt to initiate or reciprocate military actions. Economic growth should reduce societal resistance to conflict. This may seem like a counter-intuitive proposition that people that should be relatively better off and
happy during periods of prosperity would allow leaders to opt for foreign conflicts. However, some people may become more nationalistic or xenophobic during times of prosperity and optimistic that success could be achieved in foreign conflicts. Blainey (1988) claims
that anything that increases optimism and state strength should be thought of as a cause of war. However, it is most likely that this effect could heighten the risk of foreign conflict by reducing constraints placed on executives. For example, would the Clinton administration have been
able to commit US troops to conflicts in Bosnia and Kosovo, areas where US interests were debatable, without stauncher Republican resistance in Congress if the economy had not experienced prolonged prosperity and economic growth? Of course diversionary theory contends that
domestic conflict should motivate interstate conflict, although there is no clear agreement on what type of diversionary behavior should be most beneficial. Again, some studies of diversionary conflict focus on the benefits of conflict externalization but not the potential costs. Leeds and
Davis (1997) are an exception and theorize that if it is low growth that induces diversionary behavior, than initiators should choose targets that are growing based on the belief that they would be less likely to respond militarily. Reducing the costs posed by other states could then
maximize the benefits of diversion? However, it is also unclear whether states need to merely make threats of if they need to use military force to attain the benefits of diversion. Clearly, provoking crises that are costly to a state in lives and resources could be a detriment to leader
survival, and of course possibly seen as immoral. Perhaps merely threatening other states could achieve the leaders aims, although citizens may not pay as much attention to these conflicts. While diversion may have benefits, what are its potential internal costs? Involvement in
interstate conflict could be hampered by the presence of domestic conflict. There are many reasons why people rebel. Through history, however, economic hardship seems to have been a key factor explaining peasant rebellions, revolutions, and coup d'tat. It would seem that domestic
groups must either be appeased or distracted, albeit by externalization or controlling other countries and extracting benefits. For reasons specified below, the theory presented here makes the opposite prediction. When governments face severe domestic discontent, they should be less
likely to become involved in militarized interstate conflicts. A people suffering from economic hardship may become pessimistic, and this mood may spread to the upper echelons of leadership as a consequence of the constraints that arise from below. If a state becomes involved in a
dispute that escalates, especially if it becomes fatal, it could undermine the government. During these times, the leaders political opposition is better able to detach the support of society away from the leaders policies during periods when society is generally pessimistic. While during
times of economic prosperity the leader enjoys increased popular support, during economic hardship the political opposition may be able to tap into the lower popular support for the leader and exploit it for their political advantage. Consequently, if an opportunity for military conflict
occurs during a period of economic stagnation, factions or parties in the domestic arena may be more able to resist the initiation and reciprocation of military conflicts. Of course, people in democracies have a more direct means to express support or disapproval through direct
communications, elections, and the media compared to citizens of autocracies. But again these same sentiments occur in societies governed by non-democratic forms of government, but in a different mode. Factions within institutions such as the military or the sole legitimate party
(communist, Baath, etc.) may launch a coup d'tat, or similar tactic aimed at removing current leaders, sometimes with the backing of elite business interests (in non-totalitarian states). In some instances, people may visibly begin to protest and demonstrate their displeasure with the
economy or other matters related to the governments management of the social and economic realms. Overall though, autocracies face weaker internal constraints than democracies and should be more apt to participate in military contests during periods of recession or depression.
But what do we mean by domestic conflict? Most studies of diversionary conflict do not make it conceptually clear what type of domestic problems should make interstate conflict attractive to leaders. Surely, winning elections or avoiding coups would seem to be a goal. However, two
factors would seem to be important: regime type and the magnitude of domestic conflict. I will first discuss the importance of the magnitude of domestic conflict. Conceptualizations of domestic conflict appear underdeveloped in the diversionary literature, and this is true of its
operationalizations as well.[4] Pat James (1988) provides a useful categorization of domestic discontent and conflict. Societies that have begun to feel disgruntled with the policies of their current government are said to hold feelings that can be best expressed as latent. A poorly
growing national economy may be reflected in the prevailing mood of society, although such anti-government sentiments may not yet be visible. James admits this concept is somewhat abstract but can be measured through indicators such as growth of GDP, a misery index (inflation
times unemployment), leader approval polls, and similar variables. Only later does this discontent become manifest as it is expressed through various acts ranging from strikes and demonstrations to revolutions and civil wars. Yet, James dichotomy of latent and manifest conflict is of
course a simplification of reality. While clearly it is a difficult task to capture all that domestic conflict entails in its various forms, we can at least broaden the manifest category by breaking it into less and more severe types. There is a great difference, for example, between riots and
revolutions, but clearly the latter could be linked to the same factors that led to the former. In other words, manifest domestic conflict may arise from latent sentiments, but the magnitude of visible manifestations of these acts may vary in their ability to constrain participation in foreign
conflicts. Lower magnitude feelings may be revealed in acts of protest such as riots and demonstrations. Later, protest may lead to attempts to overthrow the government. While I contend that manifest acts of domestic conflict should constrain leaders seeking to initiate or participate
in interstate conflicts, the most severe form of manifest conflict, rebellion, should pose a stronger constraint. How leaders of governments respond to lower popularity and domestic unrest appears related to the type of government that they lead, although leaders would generally want

by the time violent internal crises break out in democracies, it


is too late to use diversionary tactics to externalize the conflict, while
autocracies are likely able to suppress non-violent domestic unrest .
to use diversionary tactics before rebellion occurs. Miller (1995) speculates that

However, Gelpi (1997) argues that

democracies should be more likely to engage in diversionary tactics since they cannot as easily repress their citizens.[5] Scape-goating other nations for a states internal problems, or at least distracting a states citizens from these problems, could potentially accomplish this objective.
Meanwhile, since autocracies retain repression as an option they need not externalize internal conflicts. Yet, it seems only when discontent turns into manifest violence are dictatorships left with little option but to attempt diversion. In fact, Enterline and Gleditsch (2000) show that while
domestic conflict leads to both repression and interstate disputes, repression is more common. Moreover, executive constraints reduce interstate disputes more than repression. Democracies also engage in repression, but will repress and become involved in interstate disputes less
often than states with fewer constraints. This is contrary to Gelpis theory. However, attempts to suppress protest, or other acts, are likely to be counter-productive in the long run. Suppression by all regimes is likely to lead to declines in popular support. With declines in support come
decreases in state efficacy (Hagan 1994). Governmental legitimacy may fall with state efficacy, leading to the eventual downfall of the government (Jackman 1993). Even in cases where states have a limited ability to suppress their own people without losing all legitimacy or state
efficacy, neither economic reforms nor diversion may be viable options. Governments often fall, by vote or force, because they are unable to deal with seemingly intractable economic problems, and attempting to engage foreign rivals during these crises should only increase this risk.
Conflicts against weak states may not alter the governments own domestic situation, while contests against strong states entail a lower probability of victory that could accelerate a governments downfall. Hence, this strategy would seemingly entail more risk than necessary to retain
the stability of the government. As Ginkel and Smith (1999) point out, strong governments are likely to succeed in suppressing domestic conflict and vulnerable states will neither be able to offer concessions in the form of economic or political reform, nor suppress discontent because
these acts will only signal the weakness of the regime. It may be a misnomer then that states facing economic and political crises have much latitude to initiate foreign conflicts that have any chance of success. In fact, while states may have alternatives to diversion, a possibility for

. The best strategic option facing leaders in this situation may be


to verbally scapegoat other external actors in a manner that does not invite
some form of detrimental (especially military) reprisal . A perfect example was
the verbal attack on the IMF
some regimes is that they simply collapse

and currency speculator George Soros by Prime Minister Mahathir of Malaysia during the economic crisis that swept through Asia in the late 1990s. Such forms of diversion or scape

goating would fall below the radar screen of quantitative studies. However, for now let us assume economic hardship does induce diversionary behavior on the part of leaders. If diversion exists, I suspect that authoritarian regimes are the most likely to use tactics involving threats,
displays or uses of force since democracies face more institutional constraint and stable totalitarian regimes will have less need to do so. Also, autocracies should be less constrained to act in this manner considering the decreased sources of resistance, yet still not so strong that they
need not worry about the maintenance of their power. For example, the Soviet Union under Stalin was stable through much of his regime and faced no serious threat from society. Militarized diversionary tactics were less necessary. However, such totalitarian regimes may be more likely
to use diversionary rhetoric since there is little way for their societies to verify the legitimacy of government statements. Instead, any constraint upon the leader of a totalitarian state is likely to come from the leaders inner circle, such as the top leadership of a communist party or the
military. Finally, the diversionary literature typically ignores the potential difference between a short-term economic shock and more prolonged periods of economic growth or stagnation. For example, the Great Depression seemed to compound American isolationism in a way that a
single year of economic contraction could not. Only Russett (1987, 1990) and Miller (1995,1999) adequately tap into the dynamic effect of economic conditions on socio-political variables through the use of measures of economic growth or misery longer than a single-year lag. Perhaps
manifest domestic conflicts appear only after prolonged exposure to economic stagnation. Diversionary conflict theory does not present a dynamic picture of how economic growth could be related to domestic unrest and interstate conflict. I believe that prolonged periods of economic
growth or stagnation should reduce the uncertainty leaders face regarding their domestic support and the need or ability to become involved in interstate conflicts. After prolonged economic decline, citizen views or behavior should become more apparent to leaders, while prolonged
growth should increase their popularity and possibly reduce resistance to involvement in foreign conflicts. In summary, I expect that higher rates of economic growth will increase the probability of militarized interstate conflict while reducing the risk of regime transition. In instances
where states experience both regime transitions and militarized interstate conflicts in the same year, I expect that lower rates of economic growth will raise the probability of a regime transition to occur first. I also expect that higher levels of economic development and democracy will

I expect domestic conflict to decrease the risk of a


militarized interstate conflict, it should have its strongest effect in increasing the probability of a regime
reduce both militarized conflict and regime transitions. Finally, while

transition.

Aff

Growth Good

Environment
Economic growth is sustainable and good for the
environment critics are wrong about the nature of
growth
Johnston 15
(Matthew, M.A. in Economics, B.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies, 12.5.15,
Investopedia, Is Infinite Growth on a Finite Planet Possible?
http://www.investopedia.com/articles/investing/120515/infinite-economicgrowth-finite-planet-possible.asp, Accessed: 7.28.16)VW
The last couple of hundred years have seen an incredible rise in the worlds average standard of living.
This increase in living standards is a result of an unprecedented level of economic growth. But a negative
effect has accompanied that growthenvironmental degradation .

Phrases such as peak oil


and climate change have led many to conclude that we have reached the
limits of economic growth and that if the growth is not curbed, it will
ultimately destroy the Earth and all species that inhabit it. Yet, there is a
conceptual error being made when economic growth is equated with
environmental degradation, or at the very least, with the increasing
consumption of the Earths resources. Despite their close connection
in the past, it is theoretically possible to have limitless economic
growth on a finite planet. What is needed, however, is to turn theory into actuality by
decoupling, or separating, economic growth from unsustainable resource consumption and harmful

All of life needs the Earths resources


to survive. It is impossible to conceive of a world in which there is absolutely
no consumption of these resources. People need to drink water and eat food. Beyond that,
pollution. Planet Earththe Source and Limit of Growth

humans have found that using other resources such as wood have enabled them to build fires to stay
warm and structures to shelter them from wind, rain and snow. The use of such resources has enabled
humans to not just live, but also to improve the quality of their lives. The improvement in the quality of life
is what motivates the desire for continued economic growth. But for most of human history, economic
growth and improvements in peoples standards of living have increased relatively slowly. The situation
changed dramatically around 200 years ago. J. Bradford DeLong, an economics professor at the University
of California, Berkeley, estimates that from year 1 to 1800, average world gross domestic product per
capita remained under $200 (in 1990 international dollars), and after 1800, began to rise rapidly, reaching

While much of this economic growth and improvements in


living standards has been concentrated in certain nations, developing
countries have also seen increases in per-capita economic growth, higher life
expectancy and decreases in mortality rates from disease and malnutrition .
$6,539 by the year 2000.

Yet that economic growth has also been accompanied by massive consumption of the Earths natural
resources and environmental degradation. The extraction of construction materials grew by a factor of 34,
ores and minerals by a factor of 27, fossil fuels by a factor of 12, and biomass by a factor of 3.6,
according to a report from the United Nations Environment Programme. Further, while climate change is
not something new, research indicates that the increases in global temperatures since the last half of the

The massive increases in the


consumption of the Earths resources and the environmental impact of
industrial activity have led many to conclude that economic growth is
unsustainable. Yet, these critics tend to have a narrow, although
understandable, interpretation of economic growth. For such critics, growth tends to be
20th century are most likely the result of human activity.

equated with physical/material growththat is, larger buildings and more infrastructure expanding over an
ever greater geographical area, as well as more material goods production.

Although much of

economic growth in the past has coincided with physical growth, the concept
of economic growth doesn't depend upon it. So What Is Economic Growth? Economic
growth is the increase in real (after inflation) GDP, where GDP is the total value of the domestic production
of all goods and services. The key word here is value. Economic growth occurs when the value of real GDP
increases. There are two ways in which value can be affected. One is what critics of economic growth tend
to focus on: an increase in the quantity of production. The other way, however, is to increase the quality of
what is produced. (To read more, see: What is GDP and why is it so important to economists and
investors?) This leads to another distinction between extensive economic growth and intensive
economic growth. Extensive economic growth describes increases in physical growth that uses more
inputs. Intensive economic growth, on the other hand, describes growth increases resulting from more
efficient or smarter ways of using inputs to produce higher quality goods. Remember, too, that GDP
doesnt just measure the production of goods, but also services. With increases in education, health care
and other services, economic growth expands without large quantities of the Earths resources being

economic growth can be good


for the environment and reduce our dependence on natural
resources. That includes expanding public transportation and making it more
efficient, improving the energy efficiency of homes and businesses, producing
more fuel-efficient vehicles, investing in non-polluting industrial processes
and cleaning up industrial waste sites. Sustainable Development Because economic
growth doesn't mean infinite increases in our consumption of natural
resources or environmental degradation, it is possible to separate economic growth from
physical growth and its harmful effects. It is this possibility of decoupling that has motivated
the sustainable development movement. There is some evidence suggesting
when countries pass a particular wealth threshold, they become
cleaner, less wasteful and more efficient, all of which provides hope that
sustainable development is possible. Rich countries, however, tend to export much of
consumed or the environment being harmed. In fact, some

their resource-intensive and environmentally damaging economic activity to poorer nations.

Inequality
Growth is key to economic equality theres a shift to
inclusive growth
Karuku 16
(Jane, MBA, Bachelor of Science, managing director of Cadbury Schweppes
East Africa, deputy chief executive and secretary-general of Telkom Kenya,
AGRA president, EABL Managing Director, 7.26.16, Daily Nation, Economic
growth unsustainable if it excludes poor majority,
http://www.nation.co.ke/oped/Opinion/economic-growth-unsustainable-if-itexcludes-the-poor-majority/440808-3317018-k2qdfvz/index.html, Accessed:
7.28.16)VW
There has been a discernible shift in global economic thinking
towards a development model that fosters inclusive growth. This new
paradigm argues that economic growth is unsustainable if it excludes the poor majority. And that
business and other economic agents should embrace inclusive growth as a
fundamental operating principle. Building on this idea elicits yet another interesting dimension
that economic and business value chains can be a potentially
powerful catalyst for achieving and sustaining inclusive economic
growth. This envisions creating business models that not only target low-income
communities as a distinct market segment but also integrate them into the
business value chain. The phrase inclusive business is often used to describe a business model
that aspires to involve the low income population in all aspects of the value chain, including production,

The idea of inclusive business is premised


on the notion that poverty reduction requires all groups in society, whether
rich or poor, contributing and benefiting from economic growth . This informed
the deliberations at the just-concluded 14th session of the United Nations
Conference on Trade and Development (Unctad 14) in Nairobi. Coming
against a backdrop of the adoption last year of sustainable development
goals by the UN General Assembly, Unctad 14 was critical in addressing
inclusive and equitable global economic environment. Businesses have a role
in creating an inclusive and equitable economy. This entails building business
value chains that ensure access to goods and services by low income
communities and creating livelihood opportunities for them.
distribution and supply of goods and services.