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Escape from Overshoot (PDF)
Economics for a Planet in Peril
Earth is in overshoot. The cumulative impact of 8 billion humans combined with the relentless pursuit of economic growth in the name of "progress" has stressed the planet beyond its limits. We must act now.
Surveying economic alternatives and charting plausible paths forward for a planned economic contraction, Escape from Overshoot covers a wide terrain, including:
- An overview of Earth overshoot and prevailing trends and implications for humans and biodiversity
- A concise review of economic ideas including neoclassical, Keynesian, Marxist, ecological economics, and steady state economics with an eye to the current crisis
- An analysis of the limitations and possibilities of alternative scenarios such as green growth, doughnut economics, regenerative economics, degrowth, and more
- Prioritizing intergenerational justice through a contraction and convergence ethical framework
- The results of modeling of Canada's economy under different scenarios and the prospects for managed degrowth across industrialized economics as an escape route from overshoot.
Incorporating over 150 informative diagrams and illustrations, this compelling and provocative work is required reading for students and professionals grappling with specific manifestations of overshoot including climate change, biodiversity loss, food and freshwater shortages. It's also essential for all people concerned about the deteriorating state of societies and the environment and seeking an equitable way out.
Peter A. Victor, PhD, is Professor Emeritus at York University. He earned his PhD in economics from UBC and has worked for 50 years in Canada and abroad as an academic, consultant, and public servant specializing in ecological economics and alternatives to economic growth. He is the author of Managing without Growth. He lives in Toronto, Ontario.