The Ecological Citizen

A free-to-access publication confronting human supremacy in defence of the Earth


Long article

The insanity of endless growth

Haydn Washington, Helen Kopnina

The Ecological Citizen Vol 2 No 1 2018: 57–63

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First published: 1 July 2018  |  Permanent URL  |  Download citation in RIS format


The authors consider the reality that endless economic growth on a finite planet is unsustainable, especially if society has exceeded ecological limits. The paper examines various aspects of society's endless growth predicament. It reviews the idea that there are 'limits to growth'; it then considers the 'endless growth mantra' within society. The paper then considers the 'decoupling' strategy and its merits, and argues that it is, at best, a partial solution to the problem. The key social problem of denial of our predicament is considered, along with the contribution of anthropocentric modernism as a worldview that aids and abets that denial. Finally, the paper outlines some potential solutions to our growth predicament.



Anthropocentrism, Ecological economics, Societal change, Sustainability