Ok, I hope this fits in Science and Society... So, many economies of western nations are trying to grow, and most do exactly that. Some more than others, but each year, nations try to increase their economy. A question: Is that really necessary? Or even realistical? An economy cannot grow for ever, that is just not feasible, at some point a maximum has been reached. But this does not only affect international stock markets, it affects the whole earth, the nature if you want to call it that way. The growth of the humans and their society are stripping this planet of resources and destroys ecosystems. Ultimately, we will destroy the whole planet and ourself. Of course, voices will say that this is overdramatized, right? There will always be resources, the human society will prosper and so on. Well, how should that be possible? Resources like oil will run out eventually, and faster than many people think. Granted, if the use would not increase by a big margin, they should last for some decades, even centuries. But something like that is a stupid outlook. The human population will grow, even thought the rate with which we procreate has gone down. For that, some numbers: World Population around 1800: 1 Billion (Milliard) people World Population around 1900: 1.5 Billion people World Population around 2000: 6.5 Billion people Estimated world population 2030: 8.5-10 Billion people Another factor: Other countries are developing, many African nations are getting more industrial and their standart of living increases. The same goes for China and India, the countries with the biggest population. This means that more people use up oil for combustion engines. But that is not the only problem, far from it. Another thing; right now, we humans use about 40% of all the plants on the earth for food, either to feed us or to feed the animals we eat. Most African and Asian countries are still eating plants, but the wealthier they get, the more meat they will consume. And you need much more plants to feed a cow that you are going to eat afterwards. As a result, the per head consume of plants will grow exponentially, hence more useful plants would need to be cultivated and planted. That again would result in a reduction of the natural plants, which, in turn, will kill off animals that life from these plants, which, in turn will bereave other animals from their prey... In short, it would destroy a great part of the ecosystem. Looking at China as an example, they need more water to irrigate their fields, so they have built some gigantic dams and lakes. The local flora and fauna was flooded and how long will the Chinese be able to use those lakes? They have the sandiest river in the world, and build the biggest dam in the world to collect its water. This will probably result in a pretty sandy lake in a matter of decades. Apart from that, they already drained some other rivers to get water for their fields, and drained the water that collected under the earth over some thousand of years. Some rivers no longer flow the whole year since too much water has been used, and the ground water which was reached after only 3-4 meters can now be found in a depth of 37 meters... Furthermore, some Chinese rivers are heavily polluted by the fast growing industry, all the animals in and around the river died and the water cannot be used to irrigate plants anymore. So, if China's population grows, and it is sure to do that, they would have to import grain and wheat. Not that big a deal, if you look at it in a limited area and timeframe. But the other countries, even those with an overproduction will need more food, and there are many other ascending countries that will also demand wheat and grain. Over a long timespan, there would not be enough food. Another factor, the price of those demanded products would be very high, as a consequence, many poor African states could no longer import the wheat and grain needed to support their inhabitants... A nice outlook so far, isn't it? Perhaps I should go on. So, there are many countries that are advancing fast, their population will increase, as will their consume of various goods. In this light, how long can an economy grow? And is this growth really desireable? Oh, and would not the use of oil increase? And what about all the CO2 in the atmosphere? Do you think that some really big holes in the ozone layer would make it easier to grow crops? And the air pollution would increase alongside the economy and industry of the upcoming countries. Now, does anyone still feel the need to drive around in SUVs? Well, I have some other aspects, but first, this is quite long enough, second, I do not want to write anymore, third, I might put them into other subforums since they have different characteristics. All in all, this is just a text to make people conscient about the rest of the world, intending to make them less shortsighted in their actions and aims. And, this text was inspired by the book "Die Zukunft des Lebens" / "The future of life" written by Edward O. Wilson, can only recommend reading it. It deals with global problems but also focuses on localised events all over the world, giving a good perspective of what might happen.