CHAPTER 3The Growth Illusion

To address poverty, economic growth is not an option: it is an imperative.

—MAHBUB UL HAQ, former World Bank vice president

Economic growth provides the conditions in which protection of the environment can be best achieved.

—INTERNATIONAL CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

Perhaps no single idea is more deeply embedded in modern political culture than the belief that economic growth is the key to meeting most important human needs, including alleviating poverty and protecting the environment. Anyone who dares to speak of environmental limits to growth risks being dismissed out of hand as an anti-poor doomsayer. Thus most environmentalists call simply for “a different kind of growth,” although it is seldom evident what kind that ...

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