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Enough Is Enough: Building a Sustainable Economy in a World of Finite Resourcesby Rob Dietz and Dan O'Neill
Synopses & Reviews
We’ve outpaced our planet. It’s a truth we can no longer escape or ignore. Signs are everywhere. Of the 7 billion people who live on the earth, 2.7 billion struggle to live on less than $2 per day. Four hundred ocean zones are completely devoid of life, with one dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico estimated to be the size of New Jersey. We use eleven times as much energy as we did just fifty years ago. More of the same is clearly not sustainable.
But what can we do? In Enough Is Enough, Rob Dietz and Dan O’Neill urge us to shift our focus from the symptoms to the cause: the pursuit of never-ending economic growth. Since we live in a world of finite resources, we must change our economic goal from the madness of more to the wisdom of enough.
What sets this book apart is its focus on the solution: a prosperous and stable steady-state economy. Dietz and O’Neill describe the features of this economy and explain how to achieve it. They explore specific strategies to limit resource use, stabilize population, achieve a fair distribution of income and wealth, reform the financial system, reduce unemployment, and more — all with the aim of maximizing long-term well-being instead of short-term profits. They also provide advice for changing consumer behavior and shifting the political conversation away from the misguided pursuit of economic growth and toward the things that really matter to people.
Ultimately, this book offers more than just a survival strategy. By eliminating the waste and excess that have put the planet in peril, people can lead healthier and happier lives. Filled with fresh ideas and surprising optimism, Enough Is Enough is the primer for achieving genuine prosperity and a hopeful future for all.
"Humans seem to be intent on confirming the argument of biologist Ernst Mayr that higher intelligence may be a lethal mutation. But the grim prognosis is not inevitable. This lucid, informed, and highly constructive book shows that with the will to act, solutions can be found to build a steady-state economy geared to meeting human needs." Noam Chomsky
Our planet is finite. And on this finite planet we now have seven billion people, with an estimated three billion more on the way by midcentury. The seven billion of us have to find ways to reverse the environmental crises we’ve set in motion, eradicate poverty, and erase the divide between the haves and the have-nots. The economic orthodoxy in use around the globe — the pursuit of never-ending economic growth — is not up to the challenge. With each passing day, we are witnessing more and more uneconomic growth — growth that costs more than it is worth. An economy that chases perpetually increasing production and consumption, always in search of more, stands no chance of achieving a lasting prosperity.
The purpose of this book is to describe how to establish a prosperous yet non-growing economy. The emphasis is far less on diagnosing the problem — there are already many books that do that — than on laying out practical solutions for achieving a steady-state economy and strategies for making them a reality. Now is the time to change the economic goal from the madness of more to the wisdom of enough. Enough Is Enough offers readers a much-needed escape route from the environmental and economic traps we’ve set for ourselves.
Its time for a new kind of economy
Were overusing the earths finite resources, and yet excessive consumption is failing to improve our lives. In Enough Is Enough, Rob Dietz and Dan ONeill lay out a visionary but realistic alternative to the perpetual pursuit of economic growth—an economy where the goal is not more but enough.
They explore specific strategies to conserve natural resources, stabilize population, reduce inequality, fix the financial system, create jobs, and more—all with the aim of maximizing long-term well-being instead of short-term profits. Filled with fresh ideas and surprising optimism, Enough Is Enough is the primer for achieving genuine prosperity and a hopeful future for all.
“Humans seem to be intent on confirming the argument of biologist Ernst Mayr that higher intelligence may be a lethal mutation. But the grim prognosis is not inevitable. This lucid, informed, and highly constructive book shows that with the will to act, solutions can be found to build a steady-state economy geared to meeting human needs.”
“Rob Dietz and Dan ONeill bring clarity and style to their impassioned and meticulous analysis, offering the way to a better quality of life and a sustainable future for all.”
—Kate Pickett, Professor of Epidemiology, University of York; cofounder, The Equality Trust; and coauthor of The Spirit Level
“Dietz and ONeill create a remarkable vision—a world with enough prosperity and happiness for everyone, not just for a few. This book will restore your hope in the future and give you specific things you can do to help!”
—Thom Hartmann, internationally syndicated talk show host and author of twenty-four books
About the Author
Rob Dietz grew up in the suburbs of Atlanta during the 1970s and 80s, immersed in the culture of consumerism. By the time he finished college, he knew that he'd have trouble following the rules of this culture (buy, buy, buy, work, work, work). His career has consequently taken some unusual turns. He started out as an economist, trying (and failing) to use economic tools to solve environmental problems. He reinvented himself as a scientist and geographer, working for the U.S. government to support the conservation of wildlife and habitat. He then switched to activism, serving as the first director of CASSE, a nonprofit organization with an aim of advancing a sustainable economic agenda. During his meandering career, Rob has been compelled to write about big-picture topics at the interface of society and nature, such as how nations can align their economic practices with ecological realities. He is currently the editor of the Daly News, an online publication named in honor of the visionary economist Herman Daly. Rob is married, has one daughter, and lives at CoHo Ecovillage in Corvallis, Oregon, where he occasionally shuts down the computer and ventures into the great outdoors (despite the uncooperative weather).
Dan O'Neill is a lecturer in ecological economics at the University of Leeds, and the chief economist at the Center for the Advancement of the Steady State Economy. His research focuses on the changes that would be needed to achieve a successful nongrowing economy, and alternative ways of measuring progress besides GDP. Dan has worked in both the public and private sectors in areas such as regional planning and energy management. He holds a doctorate in ecological economics from the University of Leeds, and a master of environmental studies degree from Dalhousie University. He grew up on the West Coast of Canada, but currently lives in the North of England where he enjoys hiking in the Yorkshire Dales and singing songs about the misguided pursuit of economic growth.
Table of Contents
Foreword by Herman Daly
Part I: Questions of Enough
Chapter 1 Have You Had Enough?
Chapter 2 Why Should Enough Be the Goal?
Chapter 3 How Much Is Enough?
Chapter 4 What Sort of Economy Provides Enough?
Part II: Strategies of Enough
Chapter 5 Enough Throughput: Limiting Resource Use and Waste Production
Chapter 6 Enough People: Stabilizing Population
Chapter 7 Enough Inequality: Distributing Income and Wealth
Chapter 8 Enough Debt: Reforming Monetary and Financial Systems
Chapter 9 Enough Miscalculation: Changing the Way We Measure Progress
Chapter 10 Enough Unemployment: Securing Meaningful Jobs
Chapter 11 Enough Business as Usual: Rethinking Commerce
Part III: Advancing the Economy of Enough
Chapter 12 Enough Materialism: Changing Consumer Behavior
Chapter 13 Enough Silence: Engaging Politicians and the Media
Chapter 14 Enough Unilateralism: Changing National Goals and Improving
Chapter 15 Enough Waiting: Taking Action to Start the Transition
About the Authors
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