Well, actually that is just bad headline writing again.
The point is that the end of growth is not far in the future if we haven't already passed it, and we had better get used to it.
Gilding made the key point:
commodity prices, which have been going through a pretty steady fall since you know, the turn of the last century, so for 110 years or so we've seen a consistent decline averaging about 1.5 per cent per year, 70 per cent over that time frame.
And they've only really gone up during period of extreme demands like WWI, WWII, you know, sort of price shocks have seen it go up otherwise they've gone down.
Those commodity prices have now gone up again during a recession and so of course what that means is that the prices are going up because demand is out stripping supply and this is not just one or two items, this is like the entire range of commodities across food, minerals and so on. So of course that's in a recession.
What that means of course if we could get the global economy really growing again, then of course those prices would spike and would stop growth again and I think that's probably the biggest example we've got.
And those resources, those commodities are actually coming from Mother Nature and what we're now seeing of course is that now we're running right now at about 150 per cent of the sustainable capacity of the planet and we're planning to grow the economy to three or four times this size by 2050.
It's just not going to happen. Not because we don't want it to not because it wouldn't be nice or because polar bears will die, because physics and chemistry and biology as Tom said, I mean it's just not physically possible for that to occur.
I actually think that goes too far. I don't think any economic outcome is physically impossible in the usual sense, myself, because money. hence "growth" is just a sort of fuzzy abstraction. But if something continues to grow, it will be different from what we currently construe as wealth.
The way I look at is this: if we define the maximum ethical consumption level of a society as the consumption level that would be sustainable if everybody in the world achieved it, then we are far past our limits in America.