The population problem should be considered from the point of view of all populations–populations of both humans and their things–if we are going to achieve a steady state economy.
Daly explains how the conflation of growth and development, and a reliance on the Cobb-Douglass production function, can lead to the spurious conclusion that natural resources are unimportant factors of production.
Herman Daly explains how we can use prices now as tools for rationing a fixed predetermined flow of resources, rather than determining the volume of resources taken from nature, or the physical scale of the economic subsystem.
Our current economic policy goal is not fit for a finite and entropic world. But what would our economic policy goal be in a steady state economy?
Our economy faces a futility limit, ecological catastrophe limit, and an economic limit. Fortunately, the economic limit will likely be the first we encounter; hopefully we can implement a steady state economy before the others are reached!
Daly challenges the assertion that a steady-state economy is inherently capitalistic and must be instead be based on a socialist system.
Herman Daly, Daniel Janzen, and the Instituto Nacional de Biodiversidad are this year’s winners of the Blue Planet Prize. Congratulations!