For the perceived destruction of the planet, angry teenage activist Greta Thunberg puts the blame on economic growth and capitalism. Yet she doesn’t talk much about any alternative system that could provide for our needs.
The question arises: Is it even possible for human society to progress without economic growth?
An ecological Chinese-style global economy
One chief editor at German WDR public television thinks it is possible: People will just have to get used to austerity.
In an interview, Ulrich Ueckerseifer told the WDR that it would be possible for a global economy to function without growth “in the form of a managed market economy, for example. In a nutshell: a bit like China, but ecologically”.
Ueckerseifer said to do this there would have to be very strong targets and limits and that “no more environmental pollution would be allowed to be produced”.
Learning to go without
The WDR chief business editor said this would require “a high level of willingness on the part of the population to do without.”
Dictatorship “the most socially just”
A growing number of activists and political leaders are seeing growth and sustainability as being incompatible, and many are calling for a system of rigid regulation. For example, German Green Party leader Annalena Baerbock sees regulatory measures as a central element for better climate protection.
According to German weekly FOCUS here: “Yes, for me regulatory law is the central element, because it is also the most socially just. This is also the instrument in environmental policy that has always helped us,” Baerbock told Deutschlandfunk radio.
How nice. All our climate “problems” can be solved – with just a little bit of dictatorship!
Already again authoritarian ideas and dreams are in vogue in the German political discourse.