Degrowth vs. Decarbon

In reply to my last post, Katharina linked to a think tank arguing for “degrowth” as a strategy of preventing further global warming. My mini model seems to support exactly that strategy: reduce consumption and production to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. But there is another way to deal with the problem, which is usually referred to as “decarbonization”. This strategy calls for reducing the use of greenhouse gas emitting modes of production, like switching from coal to nuclear power. In my experience both strategies tend to be supported by the same set of people. But think about them in terms of my model and you realize that they cut in opposite directions – the more we “decarbonize”, the less we need to “degrow”, and vice versa.

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Are we being stupid? – Part 1: Growth Economics 101

Over the past couple of months a number of things have been happening, which made me want to start writing a blog. So, when I finally sat down and started writing on one of them I realised that the topics are all linked and can be wonderfully put together under one question: „Are we being stupid?“ If I had to give this series a more technical title then it would be something along the lines of „Are Europe’s efforts to stay competitive appropriate to ensure the future growth of the region“, but, let’s face it, „are we being stupid?“ is a much more catchy title and regarding some of the things I’ll be talking about also way more appropriate. I wanted to jump right in, but some of you may have very little background in economics or economic growth, so I’ll use part I to put the whole debate into context (by heavily oversimplifying things!!!). By the end of this blog you should know why Western economies are innovation-driven and why that matters. In part 2 we’re getting more to the core of the issue about how innovative Europe is in comparison to other developed countries. Part 3 is a proposal for the changes I consider necessary. Let’s get started…

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