The Ecology of Commerce4

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Written by Paul Hawken

The global economy has already exceeded carrying capacity--that point beyond which further growth will decay and effectively destroy its host. If our planet--its land and sky and oceans--were growing 2%/year, we could posit sustainable economic growth of a similar rate. But the earth is stable. It does not grow. The input of the sun likewise remains constant, while much of the wealth derived from that input, stored over tens of millions of years in fossil fuels, has already been consumed in less than two centuries. No technology in the world can alter that equation.

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