Ecological Limits to Growth

Dave Abson
YouTube (MÖVE), 2021
Level: beginner
Perspective: Ecological Economics
Topic: growth, mainstream critique, post-capitalism, social ecological transformation
Format: Lecture
Duration: 00:52:12
Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WIEH8wbZXok&list=PLHcX3MybUIx6pe32iG7hRUoommFLAZXht&index=4

The third chapter "Economics for Future" of this lecture series by MÖVE sheds light on economic transformation dynamics. MÖVE invited speakers, starting with Prof. Dr. David Abson, an ecological economist at Leuphana.

His lecture briefly discusses historic understandings of the limits to - or undesirability of - infinite economic growth on a finite planet (from John Stuart Mill to Marx). We then take a largely ecological economics perspective: We will discuss the metabolism of the economy, the economy as a subsystem of the environment, biophysical limits to growth, and sustainable economic scales. Having established the problems of economic growth, we will explore why we continue to “shovel fuel into the runaway train” and touch on some key alternatives to our current growth paradigm.


Comment from our editors:

This is a great speech! It analyses the neoclassical model of endless growth and it highlights its shortcomings, while also pointing at alternative perspectives that could change our future for the better. These include the thoughts of outstanding economists such as Donella Meadows, Karl Marx and Maynard Keynes, as well as modern models of ecological economics. 


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