Génial livre sur un monde alternatif et très concret. Je le conseille à tous ceux qui veux approfondir leurs point de vue sur l'altermondialisme, nouveau capitalisme et mouvements environnementalistes. Bonne lecture!
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40 internautes sur 42 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile
Can't have our cake and eat it too...13 août 2010
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We can't have our cake and eat it too, according to Tim Jackson. While many (or even most) people are convinced that "technology" and ever-increasing efficiencies will allow humankind, and especially us Rich World folks, to live green and still live large, this books demonstrates in well-documented detail the fallacy of this way of thinking. For instance, while we are getting more production for any carbon we emit into the atmosphere (25 percent more efficient globally in the past 40 years), our actual carbon output is up by 80 percent, as more people are finding more ways to burn fossil fuels--in effect overwhelming any impact from being more efficient.
Jackson is thorough in documenting our overuse of important materials such as copper, bauxite and iron ore, which he points out, if the rest of the world used like we do, world supplies would be exhausted within 20 years. He is also quick to note that not only are we exhausting the planet's physical storehouse and storage capacity for things like carbon, we are at the same time driving a large wedge between the haves and have-nots of the world. And more wealth won't solve these inequities: per capita income in the US is some $42,000 per year, yet the US has the largest income stratification of any rich nation.
He blames much of our problem on "novelty"--the pursuit of the new thing. This creates a throwaway society as product after product is "up-graded" for the next model; it also creates persistent anxiety among and between citizens as they strive for acceptance and supremacy via things. He feels that the goal of society should be to create a world that is environmentally sustainable and that focuses on helping people flourish--neither of which can be accomplished in a highly competitive capitalistic society whose mantra is "more." He calls for both local and national initiatives to redefine life, rewarding behaviors that promote the goals mentioned above.
Pithy quote: "Prosperity for the few founded on ecological destruction and persistent social injustice is no foundation for a civilized society."
27 internautes sur 30 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile
useful restatement of many good arguments19 avril 2010
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A useful re-statement of all the good arguments made over the past 40 years for transforming public policy beyond erroneous economic models. Summarizes the debate and the conclusions on the need to move to low-entropy models based on better understanding of real human needs and goals of equitable, ecologically sustainable prosperity. Some strange omissions, including E. F. Schumacher's Small Is Beautiful (1973) in its heavily focused British literature and the ascribing of the European Commission and the European Parliaments Beyond GDP conferences in 2007 ([...]) to the OECD. A good introduction for those unfamiliar with this 40-year old debate.
Hazel Henderson, author of Ethical Markets: Growing the Green Economy and co-creator and author of the Calvert-Henderson Quality of Life Indicators
34 internautes sur 41 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile
It was going well but....25 août 2010
Erminio Di Lodovico
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It is a good book, well written. The first part, where the author makes the case for the unsustainablility of the "growth model" of the economy was very well written. It cannot be said the same about the second part of the book, which was how will be possible the revert and fix the problem. I understand perfectly that it was the most difficult part of the book, and that such a complex matter cannot be fully covered in one book, but I was expecting something more than wishful thinking. Anyway, it is a book worth reading.
20 internautes sur 23 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile
second edition, please!!16 juillet 2011
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I'm delighted that the author addresses this topic. I have some suggestions for a second edition: (1) The subtitle should become the title (2) The title should NOT become the new subtitle. It is inconsistent for the author to request the development of an ecologically-aware macroeconomics and simultaneously imply that he already has such a macroeconomics in hand. We don't know whether 'prosperity without growth' is our best option - maybe we need generations of economic and population contraction (rather than mere stasis) to get us out of the horrible jam we've gotten ourselves into. (3) All references to the financial crisis of 2008 should to be removed. The crisis of 2008 is not (and will never be) viewed as suggesting that there is a systemic flaw in the capitalist model. Instead, the crisis is viewed as an acute illness brought on by the development and deployment of a fatally flawed mortgage securitization pipeline by thoroughly corrupt and unprincipled financiers. (4) In order to convince someone to do something, you can use a carrot or a stick. The carrot that the author dangles here is not particularly appealing (flourishing without growth), and the stick is practically non-existent, except for one meagre sentence toward the end of the book: "By the end of the century, our children and grandchildren will face a hostile climate, depleted resources, the destruction of habitats, the decimation of species, food scarcities, and almost inevitably war." (p. 203) In the second edition, 'the stick' needs to be much more developed, or we humans will just continue on our present path. (5) The powerful entrenched interests who will fight to the death to prevent the development and deployment of an ecologically aware macroeconomics should be described, along with the tools at their disposal and their manner of use. We can't vanquish an enemy we can't see. (6) The population growth topic needs to be addressed more fully. A growing population appears to be fundamentally incompatible with a static or contracting economy. It's not sufficient to shrug our shoulders and claim the population growth problem is unsolvable, or depends only upon improved female education. There are things a society can do to encourage small or non-existent families - these policy options should be described and discussed. (7) It's not clear that the authors are thinking sufficiently 'out of the box'. For example, the authors appear wedded to the traditional notion of 'work' as the foundation of a healthy society, but its not at all clear whether this notion can survive in its present form in an ecologically-aware macroeconomics. (8) Existing work on this topic needs to be better described. Renegade economists (and others) have been thinking about this topic for decades (and even centuries - consider Malthus).
Get to work!! I'm waiting for the second edition!!
7 internautes sur 8 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile
Flourishing without opulence6 juillet 2011
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We are already at or near the ecological limits to growth of our magnificent planet. At the same time the economies of affluent nations, as presently conceived, require continuous growth to avoid collapse into recession and high unemployment. Tim Jackson's book Prosperity without Growth, examines this paradox in detail and presents a path toward its resolution.
A first step is to examine our definitions of prosperity. A shift away from prosperity pursued as opulence -- constantly acquiring new material satisfactions -- and toward prosperity enjoyed as flourishing -- deep and enduring satisfaction and well-being -- allows us to consume less while we enjoy life more. A graph of happiness as a function of average annual income reaches a plateau as essential material needs are met. A graph of life expectancy as a function of GDP per capita reaches a similar plateau. This insight helps us recognize that paths toward increased happiness do not require more material goods.
In the economies of affluent nations, competition stimulates technology improvements that increase labor productivity to reduce costs. As labor becomes more productive, fewer people are required to produce the same goods. This would lead to unemployment unless demand grows at the same rate as labor becomes more productive. If growth stops, unemployment increases, household income drops, demand drops and the system collapses toward recession.
This presents the dilemma of growth: + Growth in its present form is unsustainable -- unbounded resource consumption is exceeding environmental capacity, and + De-growth under present conditions is unstable -- reduced consumer demand leads to increased unemployment and the spiral of recession.
A solution to this dilemma is essential for future prosperity.
We can begin to see a solution in the "Green new deal". People need jobs and the world needs to manage a transition to sustainable energy. These two goals can be met simultaneously by directing investments away from opulent consumer goods and toward low-carbon systems that reduce climate change and increase energy security. In addition investments in natural infrastructure including sustainable agriculture and ecosystem protection provide long-term benefits. The engine of growth becomes creation and operation of non-polluting energy sources and selling non-material services. In addition, delivering the benefits of labor productivity to the workers would allow them more leisure and less stress as they enjoy a shorter work week. The book describes quantitative models to demonstrate the feasibility of this approach.
The many elements of such a transformation are described, including:
Establishing limits: + Establishing resource extraction and emissions caps, including reduction targets, + Reforming financial systems to support sustainability, and + Supporting ecological transitions in developing countries. Fixing the economic model: + Developing a new macro-economic model based on ecological constraints, + Investing in jobs, assets and infrastructures, + Increasing financial and fiscal prudence, + Revising the national accounts such as GDP to include the value of ecological services and the costs of pollution and destructive activities. Changing the social logic: + Adjusting working time policy to allow shorter or longer work weeks to suit the preferences of the workers and share the work to be done, + Reducing systemic inequalities, + Measuring capabilities and well-being, + Strengthening social capital, and + Dismantling the culture of consumerism.
This is an immensely difficult transformation; however it is essential for a lasting prosperity.