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The UN's Devastating Climate Change Report Was Too Optimistic

By: 
Nafeez Ahmed

The UN report demands radical change, but all encapsulated within a seemingly unquestionable assumption: that economic growth will and must continue. The report authors, says Heinberg, “don’t explicitly mention the possibility of ditching growth as a primary policy objective, presumably because government leaders might then be moved simply to dismiss the whole raft of recommendations.”

Of course, the idea that we can continue endlessly growing our economies while reducing our energy consumption, known as ‘decoupling’ in the technical literature, is attractive.

But it has been increasingly rejected in a number of recent studies, including one published earlier this year in Science of the Total Environment, in which economists find that the dependence of global economic growth on natural resources has not decreased, but increased by over 60 percent over the last century.