Growth is thus only possible to the extent that human invention is limited. What we do not perceive today as a possible source, as something useful, may look completely different in the eyes of future people. Trying to "stop growing", to freeze in the current state, is a huge slap for those who will live for many decades. Just because of us, they will be worse off than they could be.
"We cannot grow indefinitely! Resources are limited and will run out one day! With more production, we will consume everything and starve to death! Garbage will overwhelm us! ”
And so on. Everyone has heard it.
Many "economists" say that change is needed - a change in the "growth mentality", that you can't "grow" all the time, even that you need to "degrowth". That we should be poorer, or at least not get rich. Whatever that means to everyone.
We are part of our surroundings
These people assume that humanity came to this universe from some alternative reality, that is, that we are plundering this universe and the world. The problem is that the opposite is true, people are part of this world. Even humans are nature, we are not gods or "something more". By taking something from one's surroundings and transforming it into another form of the same thing (consuming it), nothing disappears. It will stay here. It looks different, it has other features, but it's still here.
In fact, one does not produce much new. He just takes what is already in the world and transforms, rearranges, transforms it into something else. The wooden table is still wood with some other elements - just in a different form. Likewise, oil is another form of once-living organisms. The only thing that is new is the idea, the process necessary for transformation.
If by "consumption" we mean that we destroy something, that something disappears, then we can say that man does not consume, but constantly transforms. It changes what is already here to other forms of the same. It rearranges the atoms that will still be here. We do not dispose of them, we rearrange them.
Cities and towns are not the opposite of nature, they are part of it, just looking different.
All those who refuse grow, do not realize the potential of as yet unused resources. They usually mind a huge amount of waste that "destroys nature". However, they do not realize that what we perceive as waste is only a challenge to human ingenuity. For us, every piece of waste means a question: how to make better use of this piece? What would he use it for?
Every waste is someone's cargo. It is a piece purchased but also unused in production. It's literally "money thrown out the window." Every piece of waste is a reason to invent new methods for ordering raw materials and other goods, new procedures for processing resources and inputs. Because every piece of waste is moneythat were spent on their own throw in the trash.
It is therefore - paradoxically for many - private companies that are most motivated to reduce waste to a minimum. If waste is still generated, it is simply because its further processing is disadvantageous, ie it is cheaper to throw the item away than to process it further.
It can be terrible for someone - why throw it away when there is a way to handle the thing?
The answer is simple: if it is cheaper to generate waste than to process it further, current waste treatment methods are underdeveloped and need to be worked on to improve them.
If this is the case, then by disposing of the thing we do not consume it, but we save it: we create resources for the future, when the given waste will be better processable, at lower costs. For example, if recycling is unprofitable, too expensive, it is just a sign that current methods are not effective enough and therefore that somewhere and sometimes in the recycling process more resources are used than necessary - that is, somewhere and someone will not have the resources available for better use.
By subsidizing recycling, if it is in itself disadvantageous, then we do not save, but vice versa we are wasting.
The power of invention
Growth is thus only possible to the extent that human invention is limited. What we do not perceive today as a possible source, as something useful, may look completely different in the eyes of future people. Trying to "stop growing", to freeze in the current state, is a huge slap in the face for those who will live for many decades. Just for us they will be worse off than they could be.
Only because of our current sense of self-importance will we put an obstacle in the way of ingenuity for them - they will be behind and what could already be discovered will not be discovered yet.
The only consequence will be a situation where there will be much more waste in landfills and we will have many fewer ways to process it. We will have to wait much longer to process it into something useful, the waste will take up much more space, much more land that could be better used, and inefficient incinerators will stink under our windows much longer.
Profit and loss
The worst thing we can do to manage resources is to ask the state to oversee the private sector and order them to dispose of their waste. The state, a bureaucratic institution, is not run by a profitable motive. She is not guided by the fact that every piece of waste is her wasted money. It cannot compare whether it is more advantageous to process waste today or in the future. She has nothing to guide. He is not responsible for costs and does not keep profits.
It is the state "saving" policies that cause the most waste.
We can grow until we are looking for profits - whether we see money, personal gain, a more comfortable life or more free time behind it. Until then, our desire for profit is the engine of our invention, when we turn what we have around us into a source by using it to achieve our goals. It is therefore the state that causes the most waste, and it is the market economy that is the best tool for minimizing it.
To say that while something cannot be a resource today, it cannot be a resource in the future is the same as saying that my decisions and knowledge are at a higher level and far more important than the decisions and knowledge of all people who are yet to live. Imagine that they would follow this in the 16th century.