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La croissance de l’économie est la priorité de la plupart des gouvernements. Elle est considérée comme le moyen d’accroître le bien-être de la population, et comme une condition pour assurer le bien commun. Elle est perçue comme profitant à tous, et l’idée sous-jacente clé est que plus de croissance est toujours bénéfique.

Mais est-il toujours mieux d’en avoir plus ? Herman Daly, économiste écologique, affirme que ce n’est peut-être pas le cas, car l’économie ne se développe pas dans le vide. Pour se développer, l’économie perturbe et dégrade l’environnement naturel dont dépend notre…

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Growing the economy is most governments’ priority. Economic growth is seen as the way to increase people’s well-being, and as a condition to ensure the common good. It is perceived as benefiting everyone, and a key underlying idea is that more growth is always good.

Is more always good? Herman Daly, an ecological economist, argues that this might not be the case, because the economy does not grow into a void. To expand, the economy displaces and degrades the natural environment upon which our (and other species) lives depend upon. …

This article is also available in English.

Je suis économiste, et il y a quelques années encore je faisais partie des économistes qui défendent l’idée que la croissance économique est toujours bonne. J’aimerais expliquer ce qui m’empêchait alors de remettre en question cette idée, car c’est ce qui peut aussi empêcher de nombreux économistes de le faire.

Crédit photo : Ryoji Iwata sur Unsplash

La façon dont nous voyons la réalité est déterminée par les histoires auxquelles nous avons été exposés. Les histoires — et les hypothèses qui en découlent — sont les raccourcis que notre cerveau utilise pour comprendre la réalité, qui, sinon, est trop complexe.

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I am an economist and I was, until only a few years ago, part of those economists that defended the idea that economic growth is always good. I would like to explain what was blinding me from questioning this idea, as it may be part of what is still blinding many economists today.

Photo by Ryoji Iwata on Unsplash

The way we see reality is determined by the stories we have been exposed to. Stories — and the assumptions that result from these stories — are the shortcuts that our brain uses to comprehend reality, too complex otherwise.


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This article provides, in a nutshell, the results of this analysis.

Photo by Mockup Graphics on Unsplash
  1. Problem: The environmental crisis
  2. Sub-problem: The political system blocks the environmental laws we need.
  3. Intermediate cause: The societal acceptance of the idea that economic growth should is always good and should be our societies’ priority.
  4. Root cause: The inherent advantage of false information (e.g. the idea that economic growth is always good), which can be exaggerated and more easily catch people’s attention. …

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In the previous article, we saw that our democracies are currently blocking the environmental (and social) laws we need because we are electing politicians defending corporate interests, rather than our own. We are voting these politicians because we do not realize that they are exploiting the inherent advantage of false information, which results in “the race to the bottom” being the dominant loop of the political system.

For democracies to want to solve the environmental crisis, we said that “the race to the top” loop needs to become dominant. We will discuss in…

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In a nutshell, we need to transition from a political system dominated by “the race to the bottom” towards one where “the race to the top” dominates. For this to happen, we need mechanisms that eliminate the inherent advantage of politicians using deception strategies. This is a high leverage point that has not been seriously tried yet, and as such, a piece of great news.

False information can be split into undetected and detected false information (bottom loop in Figure). Undetected false information contributes to “the race to the bottom” loop.

The impact of undetected false information.

As people’s…

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In a nutshell, according to Thwink, governments around the world — intentionally or not — are working for the interest of large for-profit corporations, incompatible with most people’s interests.

To the statement above, I expect at least two reactions, based on the ones I personally had or could have had a few years ago. The first could be: “more of the nonsense that corporations are evil and responsible for everything”. Another could be: “nothing new under the sun, I already knew this”. If the fact that I oppose corporations and people’s interests makes…

Cet article est aussi disponible en français.

If you are reading this article you are likely interested in change. Chances are you are also interested in sustainability and a better future.

As if it were a close-up shot in a film, imagine yourself, myself, and other people you know, on a boat, rowing. We are all rowing in the same direction, all of us mobilized for a sustainable future, despite small disagreements we may have on what that future looks like or how to get there.

Almost constantly — and more and more — people get on the boat and…

Cet article est aussi disponible en français.

You may agree with me if I said that a well-functioning democracy’s goal is to optimize the long-term well-being of its people (even if this may not be reflected in the system that we call “democracy” today). I hope you would also agree if I said that solving the environmental crisis is a condition for reaching that goal.

Solving the environmental crisis is, however, not our governments’ priority today. Governments are, on the contrary, resisting environmental policies and laws.

Photo by Joshua Hoehne on Unsplash

If solving the environmental crisis is a condition to achieve the goal of optimizing…

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