Bad ideas never die; they become government reports

The UK’s Sustainable Development Commission has just published a report -– Prosperity without Growth? -- arguing that the pursuit of growth has had disastrous environmental consequences. Arguing that the current economic crisis is too valuable to be wasted, it calls on the upcoming G20 summit in London to adopt a 12-step plan to make the transition to a fair, sustainable, low-carbon economy.

Remarkably, the SDC relies heavily upon the thoroughly discredited theories of Stanford biologist Paul Ehrlich to unravel the arithmetic of growth. The report’s message is that the crisis is directly linked to the pursuit of economic growth. Reliance on debt to finance this has created a boom and bust economy and has made Britons unhappy by hooking them on consumerism.

The report was skewered by a columnist for the London Times, Dominic Lawson. He believes that the report’s real agenda is population control, which is, he says, “nothing more than an idea in search of an argument”.

“Down the years the anti-humans have always been skilful in adapting the fashionable concern of the day to their own peculiar obsession. In the cold war they argued that an uncontrolled surge in young men in the Third World would be prey to the recruiting sergeants of international communism. Nowadays they argue that the same supernumerary youngsters are the future foot soldiers of Islamist terrorism. This is their eternal wail: cull or be killed.”


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