Prosperity Without Growth: Economics for a Finite Planet

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Earthscan, 2009 - Business & Economics - 264 pages
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Is more economic growth the solution? Will it deliver prosperity and well-being for a global population projected to reach nine billion? In this explosive book, Tim Jackson, a top sustainability adviser to the UK government, makes a compelling case against continued economic growth in developed nations.

No one denies that development is essential for poorer nations. But in the advanced economies there is mounting evidence that ever-increasing consumption adds little to human happiness and may even impede it. More urgently, it is now clear that the ecosystems that sustain our economies are collapsing under the impacts of rising consumption. Unless we can radically lower the environmental impact of economic activity – and there is no evidence to suggest that we can – we will have to devise a path to prosperity that does not rely on continued growth.

Economic heresy? Or an opportunity to improve the sources of well-being, creativity and lasting prosperity that lie outside the realm of the market? Tim Jackson provides a credible vision of how human society can flourish within the ecological limits of a finite planet. Fulfilling this vision is simply the most urgent task of our times.

This book is a substantially revised and updated version of Jackson's controversial study for the Sustainable Development Commission, an advisory body to the UK Government. The study rapidly became the most downloaded report in the Commission's nine year history when it was launched earlier in 2009.

Ten percent of the proceeds from the sale of this book will be donated to rainforest protection

This paperback edition includes a new foreword by HRH The Prince of Wales


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Chapter 1 Prosperity Lost
Chapter 2 The Age of Irresponsibility
Chapter 3 Redefining Prosperity
Chapter 4 The Dilemma of Growth
Chapter 5 The Myth of Decoupling
Chapter 6 The Iron Cage of Consumerism
Chapter 7 Keynesianism and the Green New Deal
Chapter 8 Ecological Macroeconomics
Chapter 11 The Transition to a Sustainable Economy
Chapter 12 A Lasting Prosperity
List of Figures Tables and Boxes
List of Acronyms and Abbreviations

Chapter 9 Flourishing Within Limits
Chapter 10 Governance for Prosperity

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About the author (2009)

Tim Jackson is Economics Commissioner on the UK Sustainable Development Commission. He is also Professor of Sustainable Development at the University of Surrey and Director of the ESRC Research Group on Lifestyles, Values and Environment (RESOLVE). In addition to his scientific work, Tim is an award-winning dramatist with numerous BBC radio writing credits to his name.

For links to Tim Jackson's TEDTalk and related articles, blogs and resources visit

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