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Green Liberal Democrats

Goodbye to growth by Richard Heinberg, author of "Peak Everything"

January 13, 2009 1:00 PM

The contraction of the global economic system bodes nothing but good for global ecosystems. Growth is dead - long live sustainability

Banks are teetering. Car companies are on life support. The dollar is rising in value, not because anyone has faith in the US economy, but because other currencies are shedding confidence even faster. Chinese factories are closing by the thousands. Store shelves in Russia are bare.

Meanwhile, oil demand and prices are falling. People can't buy fuel if they don't have money, and most consumers have less real money in their pockets than they recently did.

The oil price has now fallen below the cost of bringing a new marginal barrel into production - but that new barrel won't be needed for some time. Meanwhile, depletion continues, production declines accumulate and investments in new production capacity are not being made. Call it capacity erosion.

The worldwide financial crisis, together with the decline in available energy, means that we have seen the final year of aggregate world economic growth - ever.

Read more on The Ecologist website here: http://www.theecologist.org/pages/archive_detail.asp?content_id=2030