123: Dave Gardner: Busting the Growth Myth

January 22, 2019 by Joshua
in Podcast

Dave saw the problems with growth to local communities, the national economy, the global economy, and the environment. He questioned the the nearly unquestioned belief that growth is good, especially GDP and population growth.

Once you question it, like a sweater unraveling, you start seeing the problems it causes. I haven’t been able to communicate its problems to someone who disagreed, so I won’t try here, though if you’ve also tugged at any of its loose ends, Dave’s documentary, his podcast, and this conversation will help you feel like you’re not alone.

You’re not crazy. There’s plenty of evidence that I find conclusive that for whatever it helped before, growth of a certain percent a year—that is, exponential—is unsustainable and the more we push to keep it up, the more problems we create for ourselves. Sadly, people who believe growth solves problems, when they see problems that growth causes, push for more growth.

You’ll be glad to know that not pursuing growth doesn’t mean returning to the stone age. It means focusing on relationships, enjoying what you have, and other meaningful things.

Listening to David leads me to imagine the resistance Martin Luther King or Gandhi must have faced promoting non-violence. Or the first women to wear pants. I’m glad they stuck with it. The analogy isn’t perfect, but it’s meaningful to me and I hope Dave sticks with it.

Read the transcript.

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