The flawed paradigms of economics and sustainable development
by Richard Sanders
International Journal of Sustainable Development (IJSD), Vol. 19, No. 2, 2016

Abstract: This paper argues that the failure of the sustainable development paradigm is due to it being subsumed into the economic paradigm - a paradigm so disconnected from reality that it simply cannot address the sustainability problem. This arises from a failure to understand the fundamental contradiction between ecological imperatives and economic imperatives. An analysis of the financial system and its role in the problem leads to the conclusion it is the inevitable structural driver of ecological overshoot and increasing inequity. An examination of the origins of economic thought and the assumptions it is based on throws some light on the flawed theoretical foundations of economics. In light of these insights the final section considers how humanity might allocate the absolutely scarce resources of the planet so as to maximise the welfare of humanity while ensuring the very long term sustainability of the human enterprise.

Online publication date: Fri, 24-Jun-2016

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