Bankrupting Nature



2012

Anders Wijkman and Johan Rockström
Routledge
ISBN 9780415539692

Humanity is in deep denial about the magnitude of the environmental challenges and resource constraints it faces. Despite growing scientific consensus on environmental threats and the risks of resource depletion, societies are continuing with business as usual, or tinkering at the margins of these problems.

As well as explaining the causes and solutions to this problem, this book breaks the long silence on population, criticising countries for not doing enough to support the education of girls and reproductive health services. It shows that an economy built on continuous expansion of material consumption is not sustainable but that de-growth is no solution either. The growth dilemma can only be addressed through a transformation of the economic system. A strong plea is made for abandoning GDP growth as the key objective for development. The focus should instead be on a limited number of welfare indicators. Alternative business models are presented, such as moving from products to services or towards a circular economy based on re-use, reconditioning and recycling – all essential for sustainable development.