Reclaiming Progress by Limiting Economic Growth

By Christopher A. Haines

The idea of progress was developed during the French Enlightenment as an optimistic belief in human potential encompassing intellectual, physical and spiritual health within an enlightened society working to maximize happiness. Progress became equated to and then supplanted by economic growth, assumed to be the means to that progress. We are now suffering from that assumption. It is time to acknowledge the limitations, the failings and the costs of economic growth as a means to bettering society. We need to take the opportunity, thrust upon us by environmental impacts to de-throne growth in order to reclaim human potential for social progress, increase happiness and maybe even save the planet.

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Know Thyself: Where the road to sustainability education begins

By Esmeralda Guevara

In her vision for sustainability education, Esmeralda Guevara analyzes how Western culture seeks happiness to the exclusion of living a full life, which inevitably involves knowing pain. Material wealth can buy that happiness, but perhaps at the cost of spiritual fulfillment. By returning to the age-old creed “Know thyself,” argues Guevara, we begin down a road to sustainability that recognizes the importance of ecology as well as economics, and spiritual richness as well as material wealth.

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