July/August 2010
Zero Growth - Life beyond growth


Economic growth is the main objective of governments around the world. Growth leads to prosperity, happiness, employment and progress. Or does it? We've already exceeded the biophysical limits of the earth and growth is making things worse. We're fouling the globe with our wastes and threatening the natural systems on which humanity and other species depend. Even on its own terms, growth isn't working. Wealth doesn't translate into happiness. Poverty and unemployment are rife.

And yet when the system slows down things really fall apart. Consumption drops, bankruptcies pile up, factories close, unemployment soars and social pathologies multiply. It's a vicious circle. It used to be that we needed more people to work because we needed the goods and services they produce. Now we need to keep increasing production to keep people employed, to keep capital investment profitable and to keep the endless cycle of production and consumption spinning. There's got to be a better way.

This issue of New Internationalist asks the big question: how do we move beyond growth?








2 Letters
In defence of flying; why the West must consume less; and missing the point in Israel/Palestine.

3 Letter from Cairo
A stroll on a sultry summer night leads to an unexpected encounter for Maria Golia.

4 Nature's bottom line
Economic growth is an idea whose time has passed, argues Wayne Ellwood.

7 Growthbuster - A fresh Breaze
An Australian town goes green. By Fiona Armstrong.

8 Greed at the top
Consumer culture has caught fire in India, writes Urvashi Butalia.

10 On the road to zero growth
Illustrations by Henrik Drescher, text by Wayne Ellwood.

13 Growthbuster - Coffee in the clouds
Roxana Olivera looks at local opposition to foreign mining companies in Ecuador.

14 Oops, no brakes!
Without growth the economy collapses. What's the solution? Rowenna Davis asked Oxfam's
Duncan Green and researcher Tim Jackson for their opinions.

16 Workers of the world, relax
Slowing growth could help us work less, live better and save the planet. So what's not
to like about that, wonders Zoe Cormier.

19 Vive la decroissance!
Julio Godoy talks to French de-growth guru Serge Latouche.

20 Growthbuster - System change, not climate change
Climate change activists look at the big picture. Report by Jess Worth.

21 How poor is too poor?
Global poverty has seen a dramatic decline, says the World Bank. But is this so? David Woodward of the New Economics Foundation critiques the way poverty is measured and proposes an alternative to the dollar-a-day 'poverty line'.

25 Currents
BP under fire in Colombia; why the Western demand for leather causes misery for India's cows; and one activist's brave stand against Israeli violence.

27 Only Planet
Gort and Klaatu get set to barter in Marc Roberts' cartoon.

28 NI Jumbo Prize Crossword

29 Southern Exposure Special
Caught in the crossfire - a Bangladeshi exhibition hits the headlines.

32 Mixed Media
A HotDocs special from Canada; music from Jordi Savall that will leave you awestruck; and a 'magical realist book on world politics'.

34 Essay: Predators and scavengers
Richard Swift on the nature of the human beast.

36 Country Profile: United Arab Emirates





NI Japan




From this month's theme

- Nature's bottom line (NI p4-6)

- Growthbuster - A fresh Breaze (NI p7)
- Greed at the top (NI p8-9)
- Growthbuster - Coffee in the clouds (NI p13)
- Workers of the world, relax (NI p16-18)

From Special Features and other articles
- How poor is too poor? (NI p21-24)
- Blind violence (NI p25)
- India's Holy Cash Cow (NI p26)
- Indonesia brings terror once again (NI p26)

This month's Japanese organizations at a glance
National Defense Counsel for Victims of KAROSHI


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