‘Perpetual economic growth a global cancer’

New Delhi, April 23 (IANS) Economic growth globally is on the descent and growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of a disease, like cancer, a senior analyst has said.

“The idea of perpetual growth is not possible and growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of a disease — cancer. Thus, perpetual economic growth is like global cancer,” Mansoor Khan, author of ‘The Third Curve: The End of Growth’, said late Friday.

In a lecture titled ‘The End of Growth’, by Alternative Futures and the Indian Habitat Centre, Khan explained three phases of economic growth.

The first phase, he said, started from 1750 and ended in 1960. In this phase the concept of growth began.

Mankind invented technologies, machinery and thousands of other resources during this phase, which he termed “global paradise phase”.

In the second phase — post 1970 — mines started drying up, soil fertility was lost, climate change occurred, wars took place. Khan termed the second phase “global ecological collapse”.

In the third phase — post 2008 — inflation, currency devaluation, concept of failed banks came and financial crisis became prominent, which Khan called “economic collapse”.

He said: “Post 2008 the global economic growth is shrinking. The energy sources are descending, real productivity is going down and thus the growth has collapsed.”

“Humans are exploiting energy, which is derived from the resources on mother Earth, and the energy exploitation has reached its peak point,” Khan, also a filmmaker, said.

He said the resource consumption graph was moving exponentially.

Half of the resources like fossil fuels, which take 500 million years to form, have been exploited in the last 50 years, he said.

Khan, giving a strong argument on the concept of perpetual growth, its possibilities and if it was desirable, said that real growth was over. There is no perpetual growth in the universe, and to chase the growth people come up with the option of “fake growth”, he added.

He also said the concept of growth was a trap and humans needs to “deal with this reality or the reality will deal with you”.



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