Review of 'Shrinking the giant hamster: how we can be better off without growth.'


Boniface Centre, Crediton EX17 2AH GoogleMap

Around 35 people attended Simon's stimulating talk.

Simon explained that we are already using 1.5 times the Earth's resources to maintain our current economic lifestyle. However all the world's economies are advocating growth economics as the way ahead. With an average growth forecast by traditional economists of 2.5% pa, the world's economy will double in 28 years and will be consuming resources of 3 Earths. This sort of exponential growth clearly cannot continue for ever and we are already seeing signs that growth is stagnating in many of the world's developed economies such as the UK, Spain, Italy, Greece etc. perhaps the economists have the theory wrong ? Simon put forward lots of ideas and ways that economies could work in a sustainable way. The New Economics Foundation has many resources. Finally he told us of his work with ACT (Alliance for Change Today) founded by Charles Secrett where a manifesto for a new economics will be put before all MP candidates for the 2015 election.

See Simon's presentation, notes and reading list.

Following the talk , we broke into groups to discuss what we could do locally. Some of the ideas are:-

1.Support all local cooperative community groups such as the Community Bookshop and the Credit Union who were represented at the talk.

2.Community owned energy generation

3. Produce a leaflet explaining the new economics in simple terms.

4. Encourage Mid Devon District Council to continue with their green policies. Where appropriate devise a local plan as part of the Council's planning policy.

5. Sustainable Crediton to continue with its local transition efforts.

6. Pass on Simon's presentation

7. Individuals to join ACT.

8. Use and encourage the free economy such as Freecycle

9. Really reinforce the positives Crediton has.

10. Switch your savings and bank accounts to ethical banks and investments such as Co-op bank, Triodos bank, Credit Unions .



A talk by Simon Tytherleigh of Bradninch Climate Action

Both the desirability and possibility of never ending growth goes unquestioned in mainstream economics. It's odd, because the world would be a very strange place if the same was applied in nature. For example, from birth until around six weeks old, a hamster doubles its weight each week. If, it didn't stop and continued doubling each week, on its first birthday, you would be looking after a very hungry nine billion-tonne pet hamster. 

During Simon's talk we will look at climate change , economics and see if there are better ways to run the world's economies without destroying our planet.

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