No-Nonsense Guide to Degrowth and Sustainability

No-Nonsense Guide to Degrowth and Sustainability

By Wayne Ellwood



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The world’s addiction to economic growth continues with barely any recognition that this is a problem. Indeed, in a Western world currently dominated by austerity measures and ducking in and out of recession, growth is seen even by progressives as the only possible solution for our economic and social woes. This No-Nonsense Guide looks deeper into the idea of economic growth–to trace its history and understand why it has become so unchallengeable and powerful. And then it goes beyond that to present the alternative–how we can kick our dirty habit, how degrowth can be turned into a positive and how we can arrive at a new levels of environmental sustainability without having to turn the clock back to the Dark Ages.

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[This] book is a goldmine of information and the students find it satisfyingly accessible.

– Jennifer Sumner, PhD, Director, Certificate Programs in Adult Education for Sustainability and Community Healing and Peacebuilding

Ellwood excels in simple, non-condescending, even amusing explanations of key concepts and complicated subjects.

– The Compulsive Reader

Without the determined efforts of writers like Wayne Ellwood, important ideas such as degrowth and sustainability would likely remain on the periphery of public discussion and debate.

– Peter A. Victor, Professor, Environmental Studies, York University

This book contains a lot of clearly stated, no-nonsense arguments against our growth obsession, and for a steady state economy. Highly recommended!

– Herman Daly, Emeritus Professor of Public Policy, University of Maryland, U.S.

The challenge of our time is to re-insert ourselves back into the natural world to recognize the complete unsustainability of the modern world. Books like this get us started in our thinking and our actions.

– David Suzuki, Science broadcaster


Chapter 1 The Growth Machine
Chapter 2 Sources, Sinks and Services
Chapter 3 Peak Oil and Tar Sands
Chapter 4 Climate Change and Carbon Footprints
Chapter 5 Profits, Debt and the Growth Imperative
Chapter 6 Measuring What Counts: GDP and Happiness
Chapter 7 Life on the Treadmill: Buying, Selling, Working
Chapter 8 On the Road to Degrowth
Contacts and resources