The fallacy of endless growth

Julian Cribb’s article “It’s the end of politics as we know it” (, January 14) was for me the highlight of Friday’s The Canberra Times. Of human governance he says “they have managed to bury the facts under a fantasy of never-ending growth”.

And when speaking of the possibility of fixing 19th and 20th century politics, he says “not while political economics promises illusory wealth while it devours the habitability of the planet”.

How refreshing it is, if somewhat pessimistic, to hear some truths which challenge the many media offerings based solely on economic theory, wanting growth forever, an impossibility.

Our “leaders” want hundreds of thousands of immigrants to arrive every year to satisfy business demands and to keep wages down, without mention of ever stopping and stabilising Australia’s human numbers.

What a contrast this is with Peter Cain’s vision for a 1 million-person Canberra, which like all similar, never mentions stopping at 1 million. Nothing about its negative impacts on social and physical environments. As people’s demand for water grows, in droughts it becomes increasingly scarce and therefore more valuable, but economists seem unaware of that.

Vince Patulny The Canberra Times 17 January 2022

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