Patrick Noble thinks it probable that as GDP (spending) shrinks, things such as "bed time stories, knowledge, handshakes, gossip, sympathy, empathy, shared pleasures – raised glasses, a pub chorus, birdsong, a walk to the hilltop, a stroll on the shingle, good cooking and gardening" will expand and as they do so, happiness can expand.
Brian Davey connects the fall in the growth rate, with its roots in the rising costs of energy extraction and generation, to declining resilience in the economic system. He argues that these are in turn related to a more conflict ridden geo-politics. There is an increased vulnerability to shocks which will be catastrophic unless and until there is a new conventional wisdom in society about what is wrong and what has to be done about it.
Caroline Whyte writes that universal basic income is "an exciting idea, and this book is well worth reading if you’re even mildly curious to learn more about its potential."
"Mainstream economists typically concentrate on science, technology and innovation to explain economic growth – but virtually all these new innovations are new ways to use energy and it is the energy of coal, oil and gas that does the work," writes Brian Davey.
This book is a powerful attack on rentier capitalism and, very explicitly, a call to revolt. Standing is at his best describing the features of crony capitalism that are totally different from the neo-liberal story of free markets that justifies it. While a very informative read, the analysis urgently needs to be expanded if the emerging commons movement is to be able to adapt to the limits to growth.
Instead of playing catch-up to other EU countries as is currently the case, we believe Ireland could leapfrog them and establish itself as a visionary leader by taking a global view of the climate challenge and incorporating action on climate with substantive action on inequality and poverty, significant improvements to the quality and freshness of food, and greater overall prosperity and stability in Ireland and elsewhere.