Growth – July 2014

Continuous Growth is Cancer!

Each year in spring plants emerge from their dormant winter state and put up shoots to the light or sprout leaves from their buds that were shut fast against the cold. Through summer shoots become stalks and flowers and the light leaves of spring become the burgeoning lush growth of summer. As the season ebbs many leaves lose nutrients sucked back into the body of the plant and with the first storms the leaves drop to the delight of small boys collecting bonfire material. As the temperatures drop so does all growth and plants are ready to survive the scarcity of warmth and light and nutrient flow. This is the truth of the seasons; this is natural growth.

Growth is a good thing and so is its halting. All is meant to contract and decay and feed the next seasons growth. For when growth continues apace and breaks out of the confines of the natural order it is no longer called growth but cancer. Cancer eats up the bodies resources and forces cells to grow where none should be. Growth out of hand is as certain a death as none at all. Leaves can wither and die out of time, but they can grow on out of control and allow the diseases of wet and cold to seep into the body and devour the heartwood. Without the rise and fall of waves the seas stagnate. An ever falling sea means drought, and ever rising one flood. Balance is what nature needs.

When we interfere with the mechanisms we risk initiating our own demise. If we take the natural variety and pare it to a few crops or few animal species we risk the loss of all to a disease that can sweep through like a wildfire without firebreaks.

We do not learn from our past disasters thinking we can outwit nature with genetic engineering, but every time we promote one resistance who knows how many new diseases we lay open a path for.

Recently our diplomatic services throughout the world we told to promote trade above all else to make Britain grow. Missions are led by senior politicians to promote trade with emerging economies like Brazil, India and China. Because our economy has to grow. Growth is all. Without growth we cannot support a rising population. Without growth we cannot create more jobs, without growth we cannot afford to care for the sick and elderly… so the orthodoxy goes.

But continuous growth is not the norm. Continuous growth is truly cancer and it inevitably leads to death, if not for us then for the nations we exploit.

Where are the politicians who can see beyond the myth of growth? Where are the champions of balance? Where are the mechanisms of equilibrium?

Why do economists think their ‘science’ the only one that doesn’t have to obey the laws of entropy?

There is only so much of anything… we can only create more machines by destroying more trees, plundering more minerals or consuming trapped energy. We are not richer if we turn more trees into more paper. We do not prosper by taking diversity and reducing it to grain. Development is not turning rainforest into impoverished grazing to create burgers for obese people.

Rant it out!