Fools world wide are trying to restart the economy.
Ultimately they will fail.
The notion that the economy can expand indefinitely is a very dangerous delusion.
Growth will stop, the question is when.
There is no chance what so ever to save the planet unless economic growth stops soon.
Sustainability is theoretically possible, unlimited growth isn't.
Growth in the economy requires material growth, in the end this means people.
There may be some debate as to whether our demands have exceeded the world's resources already. I think we have but even if it can many more - the limit is approaching rapidly and nothing is being done to address it.
The correlation between economic growth and material growth isn't perfect but it is strong. You can't have a large economy or GDP without the population to support it.
The population for economic growth can be non-local as is the case when asset rich countries export their goods. Oil rich countries are an example of this - they can be small but very rich.
There is also some wiggle room. A country can have economy growth without any population growth (internal or external) by bleeding the economies of others. High oil prices drained the money from the US and other countries. This can only continue for a while before the customers are too broke to continue playing the game.
World population will peak and most likely decline - this isn't a choice - it going to happen one way or another. As an allegedly intelligent species we may have some influence over how the end of population growth occurs. We can choose to manage population or we can wait and let nature do it for us.
The former is difficult and many will oppose it. The latter is likely be horrific.
No one in power is game to even acknowledge this let alone take action - politics sux.
The green movement is a good thing but it will also fail unless population is stabilized.
Technology, improved efficiency, re-cycling, communal living, frugal living and so forth can buy us some time but the underlying problem of ever increasing numbers for the earth to support must be addressed.
We don't know what will limit growth but we can be certain it will be limited. Even if climate change, ocean acidification, topsoil loss, epidemics, war and the rest our current issues turn out to be non-events - something will limit growth.
This is not a new idea. For decades population dynamics experts have be predicting a problem around about now.
Growth rates seems to be lower that expected but I think estimates of the worlds carrying capacity were also over-estimated. Time will tell who got it right.
Before the flames start I am not proposing a human cull, a breeding license, one child laws or anything else. I don't have to propose anything.
What I am saying is growth will stop some time soon one way or another. It may still take decades but not very many of them. When growth stops the economy will also stop - there may be some lag but not much. Unless we want a repeated series of growth spurts and collapses we will need find a way to operate that doesn't require growth. I'm quite sure this can be done and we'd save billions of people a lot of grief (literally) if we did that now rather that later.
Surely I'm not the only one thinking about a zero growth economy.