Tuesday, October 18, 2016

"Decoupling" exposed. Growth advocates are misleading the world.

PLOS ONE: Is Decoupling GDP Growth from Environmental Impact Possible?: "Similar evidence to that in Fig 1, showing apparent decoupling of GDP from specific resources, has been shown throughout much of the OECD [28]. However, there are several limitations to the inference of decoupling from national or regional data. There are three distinct mechanisms by which the illusion of decoupling may be presented as a reality when in fact it is not actually taking place at all: 1) substitution of one resource for another; 2) the financialization of one or more components of GDP that involves increasing monetary flows without a concomitant rise in material and/or energy throughput, and 3) the exporting of environmental impact to another nation or region of the world (i.e. the separation of production and consumption). These illusory forms of decoupling are described with respect to energy by our colleague [29]."