Only growth and market economies can save the planet.

Spoiler: Global warming is a real problem that needs to be addressed. However, policies appeasing the cries of alarm demanding de-growth and socialism would be disastrous for our planet. Most of the growth today is intensive. That means that we consume more of less material-intensive products such as information- and telecommunication services. The production of such requires less inputs of material and energy than production of goods. Continued growth including digitalisation, more use of robots and artificial intelligence in the production processes will therefore mean even less use of resources than today while less growth or de-growth means the opposite. And the good news is that de-coupling is possible.

De-coupling can only take place in market economies. Socialism and planning economies would only make matter worse. The belief that concentration of power in the hands of a few people should solve the problem of global warming ignores the fact that there has never been any more environmental damaging system than the planning economies in Soviet Union, its satellite states, China and North Korea. Market economies are much more capable of fostering new ideas and transforming these into innovative products through technological progress than planning economies. But markets alone won’t do it. Policies that affect relative prices supporting green technology and provide incentives for innovation are necessary.

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