The new World Bank boss has initiated his tenure with a hearty rendition of the fat cats’ mantra: “growth is good”. Or is that “greed is good”?
The trouble is that growth is the cause of all the problems. It starts with the politicians rule: “more people voting for me is good”, and the commercial rule: “quarterly growth is required for success”. The growth mantra means that those in power want more people on the planet and all their metrics are based in abstract one-dimensional money terms. They entirely ignore quality of life – which is what people care about – and ignore the fundamental drivers of nature like clean air and water, food, species diversity, and weather. They do not look for sustainable solutions. Growth is not sustainable – even you stop growing in your teens, unless you lard up.
The World Bank must expand its repertoire so that “growth” is dismissed as good in itself, because it is not. Fairness and honesty are good. Educating people is good. Money is just a tool for barter and we need to wake up and realise that we are trading life for an illusion of “growth”.
The planet is a closed system which does not grow. It changes. It can become more interesting and sophisticated or reset itself with natural disasters and extinctions, as it has before. It is greatly worrying that the President of the World Bank is still admiring the King’s New Clothes.