Bookmark and ShareSam Thompson is a researcher and a consultant at nef‘s centre for well-being.

.. there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth (Luke 15:10).

“Let’s today step out of the normal boundaries of analysis of our economic crisis and ask a radical question: What if the crisis of 2008 represents something much more fundamental than a deep recession? What if it’s telling us that the whole growth model we created over the last 50 years is simply unsustainable economically and ecologically and that 2008 was when we hit the wall – when Mother Nature and the market both said: “No more.”

We have created a system for growth that depended on our building more and more stores to sell more and more stuff made in more and more factories in China, powered by more and more coal that would cause more and more climate change but earn China more and more dollars to buy more and more U.S. T-bills so America would have more and more money to build more and more stores and sell more and more stuff that would employ more and more Chinese …

We can’t do this anymore.”

Indeed we can’t, as nef and many others have been saying for ages.  Still, nice to hear it from Thomas Friedman, for years one of the most vocal champions of free-trade and deregulated globalisation. In fairness, it’s been coming for a while, but such a plain-speaking recognition of the real environmental limits to our current economic model is nonetheless very welcome.