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Progression without growth - the only way to achieve sustainable development

Today, almost all political and economic leaders live in the fascination with growth. We need to produce more and more, it has to be bigg...

Today, almost all political and economic leaders live in the fascination with growth. We need to produce more and more, it has to be bigger and grow. It is enough for the economy not to grow for a social leader to fail, and it is enough to promise an easier and better life, so economic growth, to elect a candidate.

Social leaders are on a compulsion path. Society expects from them to create growth. However, continuous growth is also the doom of society. In a closed system like Earth, continuous growth is an unsustainable requirement. According to an indicator, every year, human society is increasingly using available resources, and year by year human society uses the Earth's reserves earlier and earlier.

Almost nothing is recycled or converted back to its pre-used form after consuming it. Our only external source for our closed biosphere is the energy from the sun and the energy from Earth's interior. This outside energy keeps our environment moving and circulating. If we use more energy what we get from the outside, or if we use the stored energy, or if the consumed raw materials are not recycled or convert back into its original form, we will exploit our environment and ourselves as well, because human society is part of the biosphere.

If we use more than we give back, we create an unsustainable state. The inevitable consequence of this process is total depletion.

To avoid depletion would it be enough just not to advance and progress? Yes, but man and human society are unable to do so. Advancement is a necessary basis for the existence of human society. Humankind is an intelligent race. We extract and accumulate knowledge and information from our environment and use it according to our own needs. On Earth, the human race is the only species capable of doing so. The accumulated science and increasing knowledge necessarily lead to improvement. And so far, improvement has meant growth, and for the time being, it still means growth. Supporting by our growing knowledge, we use more and more, consume more, and this is what we call development. However, development does not necessarily have to go hand in hand with growth and increasing consumption. Development and growth in human society must not be synonymous with each other. It would lead to a depletion of the environment and lead to extinction. We know it, we already saw it before.

The only sustainable way for the progression of human society is non-growth-based advancement. Economic leaders must declare, political leaders and the people must accept, scientists who are the foundation of progression must develop non-growth-based advancement. And this has to happen as soon as possible, even right now, because we have come to the limit of the growth of human society. We are already transforming our environment to the extent that it threatens our survival. It is necessary to reject the dogma that development means an increase in production, consumption and soul count. It's unsustainable, and it's going to destroy us. It should be a progression without growth. Even it is the only sustainable path.

The only feasible way to achieve sustainable advancement is equilibrium growth. What is equilibrium growth?

Human society is condemned to advance. We can't exist without progress. But in order not to be destroyed by development, we can only progress in harmony with our ambiance. We need to find a way to manage development in equilibrium with our environment. Our individual and social lives and our economy must be shaped by turning back everything we use in development, giving it back to where we took from.

The goal is simple, but the task is difficult to achieve. Scientific, technological problems can be overcome, but human nature, our evolutionary heritage, greed, and exploitation are the main obstacles. However, social rules can and must help. Development must be not only scientific, technical, economic development but also social development. We should grow up to the task at a social level, and by that, we must also partially give up our evolutionary heritage. Can we do that? It's the only way we can survive on Earth.

The only other solution is that our evolution must lead to us or to our descendants leaving Earth and thus breaking out from the limited resources. This way, we could manage the progression with growth. But the intelligent species that leaves Earth and establishes extraterrestrial life will no longer be the human race. They'll be our descendants, maybe we create them, but they won't belong to the human race. Intelligent but non-biological based organisms will be able to continue to spread intellect in the space, but it is no longer the story of the evolution of us, the human race. We, the human race, the biological organism have evolved on Earth, we are bound to Earth, the Earth is our home. Either we manage our evolution within here in bounded limits, or we, the human will be extinct. These two possible and inevitable fates await us. Mars, other alien planets, space is the place for the intellect, but it is not the future of the human race. We have to manage here until we can.

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