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October 23 , 2008

Flourishing Within Limits to Growth

Following nature's way


Decades of research and discussion have shown that the human population growth and our increased consumption of natural resources cannot continue – there are limits to growth. This volume demonstrates how we might modify and revise our economic systems using nature as a model.

The book describes how nature uses three growth forms: biomass, information, and networks, resulting in improved overall ecosystem functioning and co-development. As biomass growth is limited by available resources, nature uses the two other growth forms to achieve higher resource use efficiency. Through a universal application of the three ‘R’s: reduce, reuse, and recycle, nature thus shows us a way forward towards better solutions. However, our current approach, dominated by short-term economic thinking, inhibits full utilization of the three ‘R’s and other successful approaches from nature.

Building on ecological principles, the authors present a global model and futures scenario analyses which show that implementation of the proposed changes will lead to a win-win situation. In other words, we can learn from nature how to develop a society that can flourish within the limits to growth with better conditions for prosperity and well-being.

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