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.