About GIM

Update: GIM is now an archive. My thinking has moved beyond many of the ideas featured here. My current site is at johnfeeney.net.


It is essential to see the profound peril in continued flagrant misperception of the very nature of the human situation. — William R. Catton, Jr.


Growth is Madness! (GIM) addresses the most urgent challenge facing human society today: our need to confront the continued irrational push for unending growth on a finite earth. Though evolving and encompassing the ecological “big picture,” the site’s emphasis has been on the related topics of population growth and corporate economic growth as they degrade the global ecosystem. You will rarely hear it in the mainstream press, but these issues, acting in concert with growing per capita resource consumption rates and our reliance on nonrenewable resources such as fossil energy, are root causes of our looming ecological collapse. [1]

It is undeniable that well known problems such as climate change, overfishing, the extensive loss of coral reefs, deforestation, urban sprawl, the dramatically accelerated extinction of species, increasing soil erosion, aquifer depletion, and the peaking of world oil production would not exist, as we know them today, were it not for the interplay of population growth, corporate economic growth, excessive per capita consumption levels, and our reliance on fossil fuels. If these processes are allowed to continue, global crises of disease, famine, and war will be inevitable. Growth really is madness.

What we need to do

The earth is finite. Technological advances alone cannot save us from unending growth. We therefore need to rethink the growth imperative which has led us here. We need to focus on root causes, not just symptoms.

Some analysts conclude it is too late to steer away from our present, unsustainable course, to avoid both ecological and societal collapse. If we do not steer away, I agree collapse is inevitable. But I believe there is more room for hope. For now, I remain tenuously in that group which believes there may still be enough time to avert a catastrophic outcome. At the least, actions we take now can soften the landing.

Experts provide those actions, and it is up to us and our national representatives around the world to see to it they’re implemented.

Because the problems of population growth and economic growth are conspicuously ignored by the media, they are important points of focus here. Increasingly, the focus at GIM has been on population growth with additional time spent on such topics as the ecological role of humans in the biosphere, and our seeming inability to acknowledge our ecological plight. GIM will bring you information and, I hope, inspiration to tackle these issues in your own way. Future generations are depending on us.

For more on GIM, please read the introductory post, “Welcome to Growth is Madness!”
[1] They are preceded in the causal chain only, it seems, by the human psyche’s difficulty grasping the fundamental nature of our place, as one species, on Earth and the consequent structures of civilization which have evolved to fuel growth and other destructive activities.

Updated: 8/24/07, 10/9/07, 2/13/08, 3/2/08