Economic growth is rapidly becoming the biggest threat of the 21st Century. Growth, especially in wealthy nations, is already causing more problems than it solves. These problems are grave: environmental destruction, economic instability, and international turmoil that threatens national security. Let’s start with the environment.
Think about how an economy is structured. There must be agricultural and extractive surplus for the manufacturing and services to proliferate, and this surplus must increase for the economy to grow. Meanwhile, environmental impact increases in step with agricultural and extractive production. The clearest example of this environmental impact is biodiversity loss, because the growing economy degrades and liquidates wildlife habitats. Virtually every environmental problem – air pollution, water shortage, climate change, etc. – can be traced to economic growth.