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Growth for Good: Reshaping Capitalism to Save Humanity from Climate Catastrophe Hardcover – 27 May 2022
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From the front lines of economics and policymaking, a compelling case that economic growth is a force for good and a blueprint for enrolling it in the fight against climate change.
Economic growth is wrecking the planet. It’s the engine driving climate change, pollution, and the shrinking of natural spaces. To save the environment, will we have to shrink the economy? Might this even lead to a better society, especially in rich nations, helping us break free from a pointless obsession with material wealth that only benefits the few? Alessio Terzi takes these legitimate questions as a starting point for a riveting journey into the socioeconomic, evolutionary, and cultural origins of our need for growth. It’s an imperative, he argues, that we abandon at our own risk.
Terzi ranges across centuries and diverse civilizations to show that focus on economic expansion is deeply interwoven with the human quest for happiness, well-being, and self-determination. Growth, he argues, is underpinned by core principles and dynamics behind the West’s rise to affluence. These include the positivism of the Enlightenment, the acceleration of science and technology and, ultimately, progress itself. Today growth contributes to the stability of liberal democracy, the peaceful conduct of international relations, and the very way our society is organized through capitalism. Abandoning growth would not only prove impractical, but would also sow chaos, exacerbating conflict within and among societies.
This does not mean we have to choose between chaos and environmental destruction. Growth for Good presents a credible agenda to enroll capitalism in the fight against climate catastrophe. With the right policies and the help of engaged citizens, pioneering nations can set in motion a global decarbonization wave and in parallel create good jobs and a better, greener, healthier world.
A spirited defense (against degrowthers) of the need for growth...Growth for Good does an excellent job of pointing out the silences and the inconsistencies in degrowth arguments.--Diane Coyle "Enlightened Economist" (3/24/2022 12:00:00 AM)
Are capitalism and economic growth the source of humanity's most pressing problems--climate change in particular--or the solution? Whichever way you come out on this question, this book will be a revelation. Terzi's optimistic and compelling message is that a green and more equitable future is possible, but only if we remake capitalism as we know it.--Dani Rodrik, author of The Globalization Paradox
Terzi thoughtfully engages with the 'degrowth movement'...Although he acknowledges the urgent need to attend to climate change and income inequality, he makes the case that only the resources made available by an expanding market economy will suffice to address these problems.--Barry Eichengreen "Foreign Affairs" (5/1/2022 12:00:00 AM)
This book is an extremely readable guide as to both why we need to treat climate change so much more seriously as well as why such a path might deliver better sustainable and fairer economic growth.--Jim O'Neill, Member of the House of Lords of the United Kingdom
This important book takes the reader on a journey through economic history to conclude that people, planet, and prosperity are not only compatible--they are inseparable. A must-read for policymakers, and anyone interested in fighting climate change.--Paolo Gentiloni, European Commissioner for Economy and former Prime Minister of Italy
Growth for Good is thought-provoking and important, and builds a compelling case by linking the literature on economic growth, inequality, and climate change. I hope this book reaches the hands of economic advisors of key politicians and persuades them to embrace the future.--Roger Fouquet, editor of Handbook on Green Growth
About the Author
- Publisher : Harvard University Press (27 May 2022)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 320 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0674258428
- ISBN-13 : 978-0674258426
- Dimensions : 15.75 x 3.81 x 22.61 cm
- Best Sellers Rank: 102,100 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer reviews:
About the author
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While favouring transition to ‘green growth’ without carbon emissions, he fails to mention the extensive evidence that complete decoupling seems to technologically infeasible, and ignores other major resource constraints described by Hickel, whose book ‘Less is More’ Terzi dismisses while obviously not having understood it. He mentions the Easterlin Paradox that aggregate growth does not increase average happiness though relatively richer individuals are happier but ignores the conclusion that redistribution of extreme concentration of wealth could make most people happier and abolish poverty while the top one or five percent would have to start paying tax on the unrealised capital gains which have created most of their wealth and would protest loudly. Instead, he just claims that growth avoids the political obstacles faced by redistribution, which of course depends on politics being dominated by right wing parties and media as in the UK and US with their undemocratic, first-past-the-post systems.
Perhaps the most serious omission is the lack of any reference to the steady state economy developed by Herman Daly over several decades, which is arguably the only long term feasible economic model, in a world of finite natural resources, but allowing for continued growth of knowledge and well-being to improve the best sustainable use of these resources. While discussing ways to ‘cushion the impact’ of the green transition on the poorest, Terzi ignores the potential of a public sector job guarantee which could end unemployment.