A Journey of No Return, Not a Circular Economy

By Herman Daly

The economic process is not a mechanical analog that can be run forward and backward, nor a circular process that can return to any previous state. Rather it is an irreversible and irrevocable process moving in the direction of time’s arrow of increasing entropy [1]. Finitude and entropy guarantee that the economic life of our species will be a journey of no return. Therefore even a stationary economy, in the classical sense of constant population and constant capital stock, is ultimately a journey of no return, because the metabolic throughput of matter and energy required to maintain constant stocks of people and physical capital, in the face of depreciation and death, is an entropic flow from ever less concentrated sources to ever filling sinks – and both sources and sinks are finite.


The Green New Deal: What’s Really Green and What’s Really New

By Brian Czech

Ask Americans what the Green New Deal is all about, and you’ll get two basic answers. Most often you’ll hear, “It’s about moving to renewable energy in order to fight climate change.” You’ll also hear, from a camp further right, “It’s all about socialism!” Either way, the really green, really new feature is overlooked. What the Green New Deal is really about is the transition to a steady state economy. At least, that’s what it must be about, to be truly green and new. Let’s start with green. “Green” connotes environmental protection. Some may view it naively as a tree hugger’s agenda, but ultimately, it’s about economic sustainability. That’s because economic activity starts from deep in the environment; namely with the agricultural and extractive sectors.


Earth Day Message: Double the Native Forest Cover

This Earth Day, Brent Blackwelder urges us to double the current amount of native forest cover.


A New Economy Will Help Save Rivers and Fisheries

Many activities that today damage rivers and fisheries would not occur in a steady state economy.


Crossroads on Global Infrastructure

A momentous choice is before us. Will we choose more mega-highway projects, centralized electric power plants, and mega-dams, or more decentralized wind and solar investments?


Giant Mats of Green Slime in Lake Erie Signal a Need for New Economic Approaches to Pollution

What do we do when water supplies are cut off to a city of 400,000 people?


Fresh Water, Growth, Degrowth, and the Steady State Economy

by Geoffrey Matthews In Our Common Future, the 1987 report of the United Nations World Commission on Environment and Development, sustainable development is described as a process of change which meets the needs of the present generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs and aspirations. To achieve this objective, […]


The Hidden Costs of Cheater Economics on Human Health & the Future of Life on Earth

Brent Blackwelder provides an overview of some of the ecological costs of economic growth, as presented in Tony Juniper’s latest book, What has Nature Ever Done for Us?


The One Percent: Not Kristallnacht but Lebensraum

The purchase of expensive luxury goods requires an agricultural and extractive surplus at the base of the economy–this is the “tropic theory of money.”


What to Do When You Suspect We’re Headed for Collapse

What can you do in the face environmental and social mayhem? Learn something, say something, and do something.