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The Fallacy of Growth

I'm just back from vacation and came across a clipping I've been carting around for a month. It's a column by Jack Hart that appeared in the Oregonian newspaper on Aug. 1. It is titled, "The fallacy of growth in a finite world."

Mr. Hart, by the way, is no shrieking greenie, he's a former managing editor of the Oregonian, now an author, teacher and writing coach. A cynical, hard-bitten newsman, in other words.

In one sense, Mr. Hart's thesis is a truism: Perpetual economic growth is impossible. Eventually the planet will run out of oil, clean air, potable water, natural gas, or a hundred other resources--or the ability to absorb pollution. The popular mantra of the moment--sustainable growth--is an oxymoron if there ever was one.

But challenging the idea of growth is only rarely spoken in public. Heretical, impractical, political suicide. But someone's got to do it, and I tip my hat to Mr. Hart, a brave man. I hope this piece gets circulated far and wide.

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