Some 40 per cent of the world’s population survives on less than $2 a day and yet mankind’s ecological footprint is 50 per cent larger than global ecosystems can accommodate. Clearly, few have ‘more’ whereas a sizable number continues to scrape just ‘enough’ for survival.
The focus of Enough is Enough is not as much on iniquitous progress as on the idea of steady-state economy for ensuring that everyone has ‘enough’. While defining ‘enough’ could be context specific, authors Rob Dietz and Dan O’Neill instead detail out where all we have had ‘enough’ – from population expansion to waste production; from growing inequity to mounting debt; and from expanding unemployment to collapsing economies. Far from being pessimists, the authors find it hard to avoid feeling worried about the future we face.
Enough is Enough is a book of hope! It diagnoses facets of ‘enough’ in its varied manifestations before issuing ‘prescriptions’. Unless indicators such as the ecological footprints, income inequality and happy life years do not replace ‘gross domestic product’ as a measure of progress, the world will eventually become an ouroboros, a snake eating its own tail. The illusion of economic growth, measured as GDP, can never pull the poor out of poverty because it takes a minimum of $166 increase in global production & consumption for raising an extra $1 for the poor. At such a rate, there can never be ‘enough’ for everyone!
Instead, the world needs a shift from its current obsession ‘make consumption our way of life’, and replace ‘disposable’ with ‘durable’. Only then a shared prosperity could be achieved. The book explores specific strategies for each of the challenges the consumptive society faces. After laying down near-perfect diagnosis of the problem, the authors specifically examine ‘what could we do instead’ followed by ‘where do we go from here’. Each of its prescriptions is evidence-based and pragmatic. These are as real as actionable!
Rob Dietz and Dan O’Neill argue for a ‘beyond growth’ debate because we have waited enough for an economy whose goal has consistently been ‘more’….Link
Enough is Enough
by Rob Dietz and Dan O’Neill
Routledge/ Earthscan, UK
Extent: 240, Price: US$ 12.71
(Dr. Sudhirendar Sharma is author (development journalist), academic (offers lectures), advisor (provides consultancy) and activist (providing knowledge backup) rolled into one, based in New Delhi.)