The global economy has for years worked on the assumption that there can be perpetual growth. Every year we would have more productivity, more cheap energy and more economic activity. Yet this model of economic growth assumes that more resources can be taken each year from a finite world. In the past, when our ability to exploit the world’s resources was much more limited, it may have seemed obvious that whatever we wanted, resources would also be available.
But that is no longer the case. Life in Britain today is based on excessive consumption of energy and raw materials from non-renewable sources. We are consuming the planet three times over, while globally many people do not have enough to live on.
At present our society and economy are organised in ways that make difficult the transition from excessive to sustainable consumption. The challenge for Transition is to help people and businesses to take steps towards a low energy, sustainable and equitable future, making ourselves more resilient and able to live in ways that recognise the ecological limits of our planet.