Crossing the Dematerialization Frontier

Since at least 1970, it’s been widely believed that accelerating economic growth and population growth would exhaust the Earth’s physical resources.  That implied a need for fewer people, each with a lower standard of living.  But the latest evidence clearly shows that the underlying assumption tying growth to increased consumptions is demonstrably false.  In fact, when technology and affluence reach a certain level known as the “dematerialization frontier” society begins to consume fewer resources in aggregate, even as the population grows and becomes more affluent.  .....

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