Economic growth and consumption cannot go on forever on a finite planet, a change is needed

Source: Chris Butters, Daily Maverick, 17 September 2020, photo credit: Heather Roper/Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, University of Arizona/

Amid the global crisis of the Covid-19 pandemic, economists and financial institutions are saying we must get back on track with industrial economic growth and ever-growing consumption. This is the basic myth that most people think is the only possible way of organising our world. But it’s a lie. Economic growth and consumption cannot go on forever on a finite planet, and it is the principal cause of the ongoing destruction of our planet

Beyond the health tragedy, the huge economic impacts of Covid-19 are becoming apparent. While all levels of the economy suffer, from individuals to small businesses to banks, at the top is the huge international power of the financial sector – the virtual futures markets, derivatives, and other “instruments” with which a tiny elite continues to push vast sums of money around the planet on the sole basis of profit, regardless of the human, social or environmental consequences of their actions.

Looking beyond the staggering corruption in South Africa, there is a deeper evil underlying the global financial system. It is not enough to protest about today’s state-led greed. The future, post-Covid “normal” which everyone is hoping will return soon, will only bring more of the same injustice and financial robbery – until we understand the need for much deeper change.
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The South African Pork Producers’ Organisation (SAPPO) coordinates industry interventions and collaboratively manages risks in the value chain to enable the sustainability and profitability of pork producers in South Africa.