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Dumb Growth and the Biosphere
Cairns, John Jr.
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Dumb growth is defined as any growth that is unsustainable on a finite planet. Growth in population and consumption of finite resources are not sustainable practices and have already damaged the biospheric life support system in a way that is difficult to eradicate. In fact, all eight interactive global crises (human economy, climate change, exponential human population growth, ecological overshoot, biotic impoverishment and reduction of biodiversity, renewable resources depletion, energy allocation, and environmental refugees) are affected by dumb growth. Humans have tried to disguise dumb growth by relabeling it smart growth or sustainable growth to make it sound more positive. Smart growth is defined as sensible growth, or economic growth that consciously seeks to avoid wastefulness and damage to the environment, however this is nearly impossible. An _acid test for true smart growth would be to achieve economic growth while also reducing ecological overshoot. If dumb growth continues, it will destroy the present biosphere and force the replacement in evolutionary time by a new biosphere that may not be suitable for Homo sapiens.