Friday, 22 December 2006

Growth is Good

The gardener and the farmer know the joy of seeing flowers blooming and crops maturing. The parent feels happy observing the child gaining weight and height. The teacher loves growing the minds of his pupils. The business man enjoys increasing turnover and surplus.

So whats the big deal? why are there so many opponents to growth? and why are so many scared of the future?

The first answer may be that growth is disruptive. It changes the world radically, and for some people change is hard, particularly if they are not involved in the decisions of change. However, change is necessary. We can not make the world a better place without constant change. And the inquisitive human mind would be bored to death under stagnating conditions.

The second answer may be the false malthusian assumption about material limits to growth. There are sufficient energy and resources available for a much higher human population (10-100 billion people) on Earth living affluent lives, the only real physical constraint being area. If we look to space there are no real limits to growth on a universal timescale. The neo-malthusians are plainly wrong and their views harmful to building an affluent world for all people.

Let's wish for a 2007 with continued high material and spiritual growth.

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