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Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Vol. 36, No 11 May 30th, 1973

Attacking the Environment

Attacking the Environment

Mr Turnovsky then raised the argument that zero economic growth had no relevance to environmental and conservation issues any way. While the National Government had held power, there had, for a time, been no economic growth, but the environment had still been attacked with power projects and other such schemes. But, here again, our environment-minded manufacturer appears to have missed the whole point at issue. Admittedly the depletion of natural resources can still take place while there is zero economic growth, but a drastic change in attitude is implied. When zero economic growth is aimed at, there is no need to build a road over the Heaphy Track to increase the numbers of tourists passing through the Westport and Collingwood areas, in order to increase total Japanese and U.S. spending in this country. There is no need to establish a beech forest industry to increase employment on the West Coast and to increase our foreign exchange earnings of Japanese yen. For zero economic growth means zero new industrial development. When industrial development policies might have been in conflict with the environment, industrial development will lose out. Also, zero new industrial development implies that there is no longer any rationale for industry to earn profits for itself. In fact, it is very likely that as business continues to earn profits, a state of over production will develop, and a great economic depression will occur. This is the Marxian description of the condition for the end of capitalist society. Perhaps that is why Mr Turnovsky is so hostile to the policy of zero economic growth.