I think the problem is better defined as a disease of believing our own myths, several separate ones at once. How our minds do that is less important than realizing that every mind seems capable of it, and a regular way to go back and forth between observation and belief is needed. Otherwise we can’t make sure our own myths are resting on something solid.
Maybe more of the growth promoters will understand the following. Our society has had a longstanding belief in having a dollar saved in the past earn ever growing material returns in the future.
The physical world obviously doesn’t work that way,.. and so it clearly puts us at great risk to attempt to operate our society to achieve that. But that’s what we’re doing.
I think the reason that wording may work better is the phrase “growing material returns”, which signals the reader that the subject has switched from money to reality. Using the phrase “growing returns” instead would just imply staying with the subject of money.
People actually do know that we use money to measure our access to the material services of the economy. If the way we speak doesn’t connect those two subjects, the conversations about each can develop unconnected meaning…
The organization you linked [above] may or may not be influential, but they do certainly have the same basic policy of the OECD (i.e. the governments of the world) and the IPCC (i.e. the work group charged to make environmental control plans to achieve the goals of the OECD). The defining phrase I found in their brochure [that matches the repeated preface for climate response plans generally] is: “how to steer a transition of such magnitude without compromising development and growth prospects as well as how to equitably manage the impact on competitiveness.”
I think that warm and fuzzy [but contradictory] idea confuses people all over the place, including most of the “alternative” and “green” media. People get lost in thinking through the process of putting resources into organizing ways to take ever growing resources out of them.
The deceptiveness of it keeps people from needing to face how that definition of “profit”, as ever doubling profit, also means actively tearing down the pillars of life on earth. Of course, that doesn’t work out well.
When you’re actually truthful enough to look at the real problem, people see it, and you stop wasting your time with distracting political debates. Then you see the true options too, and survival is not all that bad a choice, in the end.