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Sustainability and economic growth

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Getting richer and healthier, but at what cost?[edit]

What's the real state of the world? This is the brilliance of Gapminder - it takes us beyond platitudes and generalizations about poverty and abundance, and shows us the state of the world in terms we understand.

Hans Rosling's presentation to TED,[1] is an enlightening and optimistic about human development, showing improvements in public health and lifespan which we often overlook.

However, humans are not succeeding at improving their welfare with having a huge impact on the planet and especially its climate. Rosling states:

"This really shows you - we have not seen good economic and health progress anywhere in the world, without destroying the climate, and this is really what has to be changed."

As for how to have economic and health progress without destroying the climate - that's what Appropedia aims to help achieve.

Alternative models[edit]

Zero growth proposes that growth itself is bad, but appears not to define growth clearly, and apparently ignores the difference between consumption of resources and growth in economic terms (which, for example, includes services which do not consume resources).

Areas where growth is always sustainable[edit]

Some of the most important things in life are abstract - love, kindness, compassion, respect, ideas. Also non-material in some sense are other factors that nonetheless have a direct impact on physical welfare:

See also Zero growth #Growth of what?


  1. Hans Rosling: New insights on poverty and life around the world (Youtube, video)

See also[edit]