Slower by Design, Not Disaster
Peter A. Victor
Professor in Environmental Studies, York University, Canada
This book is available as a free download.
The book tells how the recent idea of economic growth emerged from the idea of progress, itself only a few hundred years old. Many reasons for questioning growth are given based on an extensive review of the data as well as on conceptual and methodological considerations. The experience of growth in several countries is documented, compared and found wanting.
Possibilities for managing without growth in high income economies are simulated with a new, comprehensive systems model, co-developed with CUSP Director Tim Jackson. Three 50 year scenarios are compared: a base case, an ambitious greenhouse gas reduction scenario, and a sustainable prosperity scenario with broader environmental objectives, reduced income inequality, shorter working hours and the cessation of economic growth. The book closes with a review of policies to make this scenario a reality.
Peter Victor is Professor Emeritus at York University. He has worked fifty years in Canada and abroad on economy and environment issues as a pioneer academic, consultant and public servant. Peter was the founding president of the Canadian Society of Ecological Economics.
Ten years after the publication of the first edition of this influential book, the evidence is even stronger that human economies are overwhelming the regenerative capacity of the planet, the possibilities for a smooth transition to a sustainable economy have diminished. This book explains why long-term economic growth is infeasible, and why, especially in advanced economies, it is also undesirable. Simulations based on real data show that managing without growth is a better alternative.