Achieving Environmentally Sustainable Prosperity

Shann Turnbull
International Institute for Self-Governance

February 24, 2011

The contribution of this paper is to explain how to achieve a universally prosperous environmentally sustainable global society. This objective is incompatible with traditional economic policies dependent on environmentally exploitive growth in the population and/or full employment to generate prosperity. Politically attractive incentives of smaller taxes and government are identified as a way of changing the way an economy operates so that prosperity can be increased even with a declining and aging population. Localising the ownership and control of the means of production and exchange with individuals creates a way to create a universal minimum social dividend to replace the need for full employment, welfare, pensions, and big government. Local democracy is enriched with the power to nurture their host environment. The introduction of ecological forms of cost carrying money redeemable into local services of nature allows market forces to encourage production techniques that reduce their environmental impact. Increased life expectancy with depopulation is already occurring in twenty countries and this is expected to spread globally in the current century. This phenomenon with current environmental pressures create an imperative for achieving environmentally sustainable prosperity sooner rather than later.

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