The world’s response to climate change is based on the concept of “sustainable growth”: we postulate that economic growth is necessary and try to ensure that it is sustainable. It is kind of like putting lipstick on a pig, but the banks love it.
There are a couple of problems with this approach:
- It has not worked so far. Not only are the concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere still increasing, they are increasing faster than ever. After 30 years of failure, it might be time to stop beating the dead horse.
- There is no evidence that sustainable growth is even possible. Common sense and experience tells us that it is not.
- We need to be absolutely sure that sustainable growth is possible before trying. Otherwise, continuing to grow the economy is a recipe for disaster.
I have updated my plot comparing global GDP and CO2 emissions below. The data and analysis is provided in the following Excel Sheet. Please feel free to use and distribute as you like.