2017) Degrowth: the case for a new economic paradigm – opendemocracy.net
8 June 2017
Traffic in Dhaka: Pollution and congestion are two costly consequences of economic growth. joiseyshowaa/Flickr. Some rights reserved.In the 1970s, the emphasis was on resource limits. The French term décroissance (later translated into English as degrowth) was used for the first time by French intellectual André Gorz. In his book Ecology and Freedom, published in 1977, he wrote that “lack of realism consists in imagining that economic growth can still bring about increased human welfare, and indeed that it is still physically possible.” As the authors of the book “Degrowth: A Vocabulary for a New Era” explain, Gorz was inspired by the work of the intellectual pioneer of ecological economics Nicholas Georgescu-Roegen, who argued that all natural resources are irreversibly degraded when put to use in economic activity because of the entropy law. The discipline of ecological economics later went on to theorize that the economic system is embedded in the ecological system.
A brief history of degrowth