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Job Creation Replaces Apple Pie

Job creation is THE mantra of every elected official and political candidate these days. Indeed, just about any act – even if foolish or dangerous – is considered desirable if it “creates jobs.” A classic example is this ad campaign funded by the American Petroleum Institute, an oil and natural gas industry trade association:

Energy-Tomorrow-1-Million-jobs-image-300x159 Today, the industry attempts to gloss over legitimate questions about the public safety of hydraulic fracturing techniques (“fracking”), and misdirect our attention to the creation of jobs and energy independence. Nothing can stand in the way of jobs and cheap, plentiful energy! Job Creation has replaced apple pie as the all-American icon.

The-Key-to-Job-Growth-300x217 In this clip from an interview for the GrowthBusters film, Brian Czech raises the uncomfortable subject of how job creation is actually limited by the finite amount of natural resources on the planet to support those jobs. He also wisely connects the need for job creation with population growth. My addition here: At current population growth rates the U.S. will need to create a new job every 15 seconds in 18 to 22 years. Globally we’ll need to create 9,000 new jobs every hour.

When I began research for the GrowthBusters film, I was very focused on overpopulation. One book opened my eyes to the role of economic growth in humankind’s exceeding the capacity of the planet. Shoveling Fuel for a Runaway Train was written by Brian Czech, president of the Center for the Advancement of the Steady State Economy. This book is a fairly quick read and is not your typical economics text. It was written for the average reader. Along with Richard Heinberg’s The End of Growth, it tops my list of recommendations for you to explore the subject or open the eyes of someone you know.

LTG-Experiment_day91-300x212 If you’ve been following our exponential growth demonstration, perhaps even doing your own at home or office, I’ve put it on hold for a few days. Let’s get back to it today. Last time we doubled 64 grains of wheat in the beaker, for a total of 128. Let’s double that today (our wheat is growing at a rate of about 3% per hour):

If you find this information at all compelling, if you’re concerned about the prospects for a civilization hell-bent to grow forever on a finite planet, please take the Think Small Pledge and encourage your friends, family and colleagues to do so. Thank you.

Dave Gardner

Dave Gardner is the director of the new documentary, GrowthBusters: Hooked on Growth, which uncovers the cultural forces that keep us pursuing growth in the face of overwhelming evidence we’ve outgrown the planet.

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