May 2014 – Joy in Enough
We took the theme of this year’s Christian Ecology Link conference and started by watching a video, based on the book Enough is Enough by authors Rob Dietz and Dan O’Neill. Dan is a lecturer in Environmental and Ecological Economics at the University of Leeds and was the keynote speaker at the CEL conference.
The book explores the proposition that the growth economics we have experienced in the past cannot be sustained in the future and that we need to tread a different path.
In the discussion afterwards we looked in more detail at a few of the key themes mentioned in the video and covered in more detail in the book.
- The need for economic activity to respect planetary boundaries.
- The evidence that once people have enough, no extra satisfaction is derived from having even more.
- That inequality within a society may bring more negative results than poverty.
- The limitations of GDP as the main indicator of measuring progress.
- The challenge of global population growth.
- That growth cannot be sustained if, as in recent times, it has been financed by ever increasing debt.
We then looked at one Christian response to this – CEL’s project Joy in Enough which aims to:
- Produce a ‘Christian manifesto on the political economy’ by the autumn, for asking church leaders to sign up to.
- Use that in the run up to the next general election to influence political candidates.
- Get personal and parochial action – e.g. on church and personal investments & savings and on all the issues the working groups are coming up with.
A more detailed report of this event appears in our Newsletter – May-June 2014.