#1. Supply Shock by Brian Czech
Written by CASSE’s very own founding president and executive director, Brian Czech, Supply Shock is required reading for anyone concerned about the world our children and grandchildren will inherit. This landmark work lays a solid foundation for a new economic model, perhaps in time to prevent global catastrophes; certainly in time to mitigate the damage.
Starting with a refreshingly accessible, comprehensive critique of “the dismal science,” Czech develops a compelling argument for a steady state economy. Supply Shock succeeds at engaging readers while conveying keen scientific, economic, and political insights including:
- The trophic theory of money
- The overlooked source of technological progress that prevents us from reconciling growth and environmental protection
- Bold yet practical policy objectives designed to ease the transition to life after growth
#2. Beyond Growth by Herman Daly
Herman Daly is perhaps the most prominent advocate of the need for a new economic paradigm in response to our environmental crisis. He has a wide and growing reputation among environmentalists, both inside and outside the academy. Daly argues that if sustainable development means anything, it demands that we consider the economy as part of the ecosystem and, as a result, abandon the ideal of economic growth. We need a global understanding of developing welfare that is exclusive from expansion. These simple ideas turn out to be fundamentally radical concepts, and basic ideas about economic theory, poverty, trade, and population have to be discarded or rethought. Daly argues that there is a real fight to control the meaning of “sustainable development,” and that conventional economists and development thinkers are trying to water down its meaning to further their own ends.
#3. Enough is Enough by Rob Dietz & Dan O’Neill
Humans are overusing Earth’s finite resources, yet excessive consumption isn’t improving our lives. In Enough Is Enough, Rob Dietz and Dan O’Neill outline a visionary but realistic alternative to our unrelenting pursuit of economic growth—an economy where the goal is not more, but enough.
The pair explore specific strategies to conserve natural resources, stabilize population, reduce inequality, repair the financial system, create jobs, and more—each with the ultimate goal of maximizing long-term wellbeing ab0ve short-term profits. Brimming with fresh ideas and surprising optimism, Enough Is Enough is the primer for achieving genuine prosperity and a hopeful future for all.
#4. Prosperity Without Growth by Tim Jackson
This book challenges the embedded, unquestioned assumptions of the global policy of growth and shows that it’s both necessary and possible to have increased and widespread prosperity without economic growth.
Our modern economy is reliant on economic growth for stability. When growth falters, politicians panic, businesses fail, people lose jobs, and recession looms. Jackson argues, however, that continual growth is just not possible, and therefore not sustainable, and to believe so is ignoring our knowledge of the finite resource base and fragile ecology in which we live.
Prosperity Without Growth sparks dialogue on the most urgent task of our time—the challenge of a new prosperity encompassing our ability to flourish as human beings within the ecological limits of a finite planet.
#5. Doughnut Economics by Kate Raworth
Economics dominates our decision-making for the future, guides multi-billion-dollar investments, and shapes our responses to climate change, inequality, and other environmental and social challenges of our time. However, its fundamental ideas are centuries out of date, yet still taught in academic courses worldwide and still used to address critical issues in government and business alike.
Renegade economist Kate Raworth says it’s time to update our economic thinking for the 21st century. She explains seven key ways to fundamentally reframe our understanding of what economics is and does. Simultaneously, she points out how we can break our addiction to growth; redesign money, finance, and business to be in service to people; and create economies that are regenerative and distributive by design.
Raworth incorporates the best ideas from ecological, behavioral, feminist, and institutional economics to complexity thinking and Earth-systems science to address this question: How can we turn economies that need to grow, whether or not they make us thrive, into economies that make us thrive, whether or not they grow?
Banerjee, S.B., Jermier, J.M., Peredo, A.M., Perey, R., Reichel, A., 2021. Theoretical perspectives on organizations and organizing in a post-growth era. Organization 28, 337–357.
Clausen R. and R. York. 2008. Economic growth and marine biodiversity: influence of human social structure on decline of marine trophic levels. Conservation Biology 22(2):458-466.
Czech, B. 2019. The trophic theory of money: principles, corollaries, and policy implications. Journal and Proceedings of the Royal Society of New South Wales 152(1):66-81.
Czech, B. 2006. Steady state economy. Encyclopedia of Earth. Eds. Tom Tietenberg et al., National Council for Science and the Environment, Washington, DC.
Czech, B. 2009. Ecological economics, in Encyclopaedia of Life Support Systems. Developed under the auspices of UNESCO-EOLSS Publishers, Oxford, UK (copy compliments of UNESCO).
Czech, B. 2008. Prospects for reconciling the conflict between economic growth and biodiversity conservation with technological progress. Conservation Biology 22(6):1389-1398.
Czech, B. 2007. The foundation of a new conservation movement: professional society positions on economic growth. Bioscience 57(1):6-7.
Czech, B., and H. Daly. 2004. The steady state economy: what it is, entails, and connotes. Wildlife Society Bulletin 32(2):598-605.
Czech, B., P. Angermeier, H. Daly, P. Pister, and R. Hughes. 2004. Fish conservation, sustainable fisheries, and economic growth: no more fish stories. Fisheries 29(8):36-37.
Czech, B., P. R. Krausman, and P. K. Devers. 2000. Economic associations among causes of species endangerment in the United States. Bioscience 50(7):593-601.
Daly, Herman, 2008. “Towards a Steady-State Economy.” Paper presented to the U.K. Sustainable Development Commission.
Dietz, T., E. A. Rosa, and R. York. 2007. Driving the human ecological footprint. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 5(1):13-18.
Feasta (The Foundation for the Economics of Sustainability). 2005. “Eliminating the Need for Economic Growth.” Dublin, Ireland.
Gowdy, John, and J. Erickson. 2005. The approach of ecological economics. Cambridge Journal of Economics 29:207-222.
Jackson, T. 2009. “Prosperity without growth? The transition to a sustainable economy.” UK Sustainable Development Commission.
Jackson, T. 2009. Beyond the growth economy. Journal of Industrial Ecology 13(4):487-490.
Koch, M., 2015. Climate Change, Capitalism and Degrowth Trajectories to a Global Steady-State Economy. International Critical Thought 5, 439–452.
O’Neill, D. W. 2012. Measuring progress in the degrowth transition to a steady state economy. Ecological Economics 84:221-231.
Røpke, I. 2005. Trends in the development of ecological economics from the late 1980s to the early 2000s. Ecological Economics 55(2):262-290.
Rosales, J. 2006. Economic growth and biodiversity loss in an age of tradeable permits. Conservation Biology 20(4):1042-1050.
Simms, A., V. Johnson, P. Chowla. 2010. Growth isn’t possible. New Economics Foundation, London, U.K. 144pp.
Stern, D. I. 2004. The rise and fall of the environmental Kuznets curve. World Development 32(8):1419–1439.
Trauger, D. L., B. Czech, J. D. Erickson, P. R. Garrettson, B. J. Kernohan, C. A. Miller. 2003. The relationship of economic growth to wildlife conservation. Wildlife Society Technical Review 03-1. The Wildlife Society, Bethesda, Maryland.
Victor, P. and Rosenbluth, G. 2007. Managing without growth. Ecological Economics 61:492-504.
Woodward, D., and A. Simms. 2006. Growth isn’t working: the unbalanced distribution of benefits and costs from economic growth. New Economics Foundation, London, U.K. 26pp.
Berry, Wendell. “Faustian Economics: Hell Hath No Limits,” Harper’s Magazine, May 2008, pages 35-42.
Cox, Stan. “Enough for Everyone,” YES! Magazine, August 2021.
Czech, Brian. “Climate Change: The Wrong Top Priority for Environmentalists and Conservation Professionals.” Huffington Post. January, 2014.
Daly, Herman. “Dear Paul Krugman: Is Growth Making us Richer or Poorer? (Please Clarify)” Yes! Magazine. May, 2014.
Daly, Herman. “The Crisis.” Adbusters, February 2009.
Homer-Dixon, Thomas, “Economies Can’t Just Keep on Growing.” Foreign Policy, January/February 2011.
Jensen, Derrick. “The Tyranny of Entitlement: A Lesson in Limits.” Orion, January/February 2011.
Monbiot, George. “It’s Simple. If we can’t change our economic system, our number’s up.” The Guardian, May 2014.
Osaka, Shannon. “Covid-19 and the Debate on Degrowing the Economy.” Rolling Stone, August 2020.
Washington, Haydn and Kopnina, Helen. “The Insanity of Endless Growth.” The Ecological Citizen. July 2018.
Zencey, Eric. “Mr. Soddy’s Ecological Economy.” New York Times, April 11, 2009.