Oh, if only the economy could grow forever. We could buy more stuff tomorrow and more the day after tomorrow, and in their time our children could buy even more, and our grandchildren yet more again. There would be no limits.
This is the future our leaders envision, the future they dream of. When they meet, the conversation about growth has one focus and one focus only—how we can have more.
Endless growth is a lovely dream, but if we believe in it and act as if it's a possible dream, the result will be a nightmare.
There are limits. The planet is finite, and we are already using up its resources faster than it can replenish them. We are sucking it dry. If we continue to follow the impossible dream we will create a dystopian future, one where we will end up fighting, people against people, nation against nation, perhaps with nuclear weapons, over the remaining scraps.
The President was lavish in his praise of our Prime Minister, as were others. A spokesman from the Center for American Progress referred to him as a future "paragon of the progressive movement" and predicted he would become "a linchpin, if not the future leader, of that movement."
He has certainly, in a very short time, turned our country in sunnier directions on many fronts, but if he is to become a paragon of progress, he must lead on the most important front of all, the fight to end growth and live within our planet's means. This issue, like no other, awaits a leader. It is Mr. Trudeau's opportunity to seize, but first he must recognize the reality that growth presents.