Magazine article Monthly Review

MONTHLY REVIEW Fifty Years Ago

Magazine article Monthly Review

MONTHLY REVIEW Fifty Years Ago

Article excerpt

Means of satisfying human wants are limited by natural resources, machinery, labor power. With a given level of productive efficiency, the less we use, the less wear and tear on resources and machines and the greater the leisure enjoyed by workers. True economy results not from producing as much as possible but from producing as little as necessary

-Scott Nearing, "World Events,''Monthly Review, November 1965

Ecological balance designates an absolute limit to growth....The economic needs for a growing population and increasing productive exploitation of nature are faced with two important material limitations: on the one hand, the supply of finite resources-the area of cultivable and inhabitable land, fresh water, foodstuffs, and non-regenerating raw materials (minerals, fuels, etc.); on the other, the capacities of irreplaceable ecological systems to absorb pollutants such as radioactive by-products, carbon dioxide, or waste heat....

Even on optimistic assumptions.. .one absolute limitation on growth can be stated.... If economic growth is necessarily coupled to increasing consumption of energy. …

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