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Managing without Growth, Second Edition

Slower by Design, not Disaster

Peter A. Victor

Ten years after the publication of the first edition of this influential book, the evidence is even stronger that human economies are overwhelming the regenerative capacity of the planet. This book explains why long-term economic growth is infeasible, and why, especially in advanced economies, it is also undesirable. Simulations based on real data show that managing without growth is a better alternative
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Chapter 8: Scale, composition and technology

Peter A. Victor


Three aspects of an economy are important determinants of its environmental impact: its scale, the composition of GDP in terms of goods and services, and technology. These aspects are incorporated in the IPAT equation (impact = population _ affluence _ technology). Making Room, a simulation model based on a variation of this equation, is described in which countries are categorized as high income, and middle and low income. The population, GDP per capita, energy use and GHG per unit energy of these groups of countries are used to calculate greenhouse gas emissions. It is shown that if past trends are projected into the future, GHG emissions will increase dramatically. It is also shown that the extent of changes required in both categories of countries to achieve a substantial reduction in GHG emissions is considerable. Managing without economic growth in high-income countries will help but much of the required changes will have to occur in low and middle-income countries.

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