UVM professor’s book takes on traditional ideas about economics and sustainability

Published: Dec. 29, 2022 at 7:03 PM EST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - A new book from a UVM sustainability science and policy professor takes on some common beliefs about the economy.

It’s called “The Progress Illusion: Reclaiming our Future from the Fairytale of Economics.”

Author Jon D. Erickson has a Ph.D. in economics and says the “fairytale” centers around the idea of unlimited resources and an economy that can grow without constraint. He thinks that’s not sustainable and the idea of “green growth” by making things more efficient is also a myth.

“The challenge is, is that efficiency often leads to more consumption. Right. And so we become efficiently good at degrading our environment or efficiently polluting or efficiently using more resources, not less. So the data shows that even efficient growth leads to more environmental degradation,” Erickson said.

Among the solutions, he advocates for rethinking ownership with more cooperatively owned enterprises and natural asset trusts.

Watch the video to see our Cat Viglienzoni’s full conversation with Jon Erickson.

You can find his book at Phoenix Books or through the publisher, Island Press.