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Design principles of an economy with built-in sustainability

Lothar Mayer

The theme of this Discussion Forum is the future of education, knowledge and institutions like the university. Yet such a debate takes place within wider contexts, one of which is economic. Lothar Mayer suggests that our present economic approaches cannot continue indefinitely and, in their place, proposes an economy with built-in sustainabiity. He writes "Human numbers are four times the level of a century ago, and the world economy is 17 times as large. Oceanic fisheries are being pushed to their limits and beyond, water tables are falling on every continent, rangelands are deteriorating from overgrazing, many remaining tropical forests are on the verge of being wiped out, and carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere have reached the highest level in 160,000 years. If these trends continue, they could make the turning of the millenium seem trivial as a historic moment, for they may be triggering the largest extinction of life since a meteorite wiped out the dinosaurs some 65 million years ago."

To read his article in full, click here.

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