'Uneconomic Growth Disorder' (UGD)

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The term Uneconomic Growth was coined by Herman Daly

Herman is peerless amonst the world's ecological economists.


'Expansion and Divergence' (E&D) is the systemic malfunction that led to the need to
create the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in 1992.

'Contraction and Convergence' (C&C) is the systematic correction that GCI proposed in
1995 to achieve the goal of the UNFCCC. In principle C&C was agreed at COP-3 in 1997.

In the chart below, five components of growth are measured and compared since 1750:

  1. Population
  2. Over/Under Production/Consumption
  3. Pollution (CO2 emissions from fossil fuel burning)

    correlated to global-growth/rise of

  4. Gross Global Product (International GDP),
  5. Atmospheric CO2 concentrations (ppmv)
  6. Temperature

The growth-rate of population was the fastest to start with;
But this was overtaken by the rate of production/consumption/pollution growth;
This is in turn has been overtaken by the growth-rate of GDP (the measure of increased-prosperity & poverty).

This growth matrix has become pathological & so is now called 'Uneconomic Growth Disorder' (UGD).
It is called UGD for four reasons.

  1. UGD is driven by the impossible goal of limitless growth (fairy tales of eternal economic growth);
  2. The 'benefits' of UGD are increasingly maldistributed (E&D);
  3. The 'benefits' of E&D are increasingly negated by both the social and the environmental damage it causes;
  4. This 'economic growth' is increasingly uneconomic (onconomic) and overwhelms organic & personal growth.

The situation is now is increasingly dire

As the chart above shows, acceleration is clearly evident in the rates of change of key vectors: -

  1. CO2 emissions
  2. CO2 concentrations
  3. Temperature

Not shown is the acceleration also clearly evident in: -

  1. ocean warming,
  2. ocean acidification,
  3. ice-melting,
  4. sea-level rise,
  5. forest burning

While the economic growth rates remains the fastest of all

Population growth rates remain slowest of all . . .

This excerpt from a recent report from JP Morgan suggests there is no global solution in sight . . . .