Bill McKibben on Deep Economy

In: Uncategorized

31 May 2007

The Christian Science Monitor has a review of Bill McKibben’s Deep Economy (Times Books). McKibben is a prolific writer, climate change campaigner (see 2 April 2007 post), active Methodist and leading growth sceptic.

Judging by the summary of his book it contains little that is new. Environmental limits, happiness and inequality are all there. However, it is likely to be an articulate synthesis:

“McKibben’s main thesis: ‘Growth is no longer making most people wealthier, but instead is generating inequality and insecurity.’

“Growth ‘is bumping up against physical limits” [peak oil and global warming] so that continuing to expand the economy may be impossible and possibly even dangerous.’

“Then there’s this wild card: ‘New research from many quarters has started to show that even when growth does make us wealthier, the greater wealth no longer makes us happier.’”

The review also puts McKibben in the tradition of other American writers who advocate greater communal living and reducing the human impact on the environment including: Hazel Henderson, Lester Brown, Herman Daly, Wendell Berry, Jonathan Rowe, Sarah van Gelder, Duane Elgin, and Vicki Robin. Arguably Henry David Thoreau and even EF Schumacher (although he was a Briton of German origin) belong there too.

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