A brief and illuminating animation from The Impossible Hamster Club:
What the impossible hamster has to teach us about economic growth. A new animation from New Economics Foundation, scripted by Andrew Simms, numbers crunched by Viki Johnson and pictures realised by Leo Murray.
We wanted to confront people with the meaning and logical conclusion of the promise of endless economic growth. We used a hamster to illustrate what would happen if there were no limits to growth because they double in size each week before reaching maturity at around 6 weeks. But if a hamster grew at the same rate until its first birthday, wed be looking at a nine billion tonne hamster, which ate more than a years worth of world maize production every day. There are reasons in nature, why things don’t grow indefinitely. As things are in nature, sooner or later, so they must be in the economy. As economic growth rises, we are pushing the planet ever closer to, and beyond some very real environmental limits. With every doubling in the global economy we use the equivalent in resources of all of the previous doublings combined
H/T to Moussequetaire.
And here’s another dramatic depiction of the malignant nature of compounding growth [essential to feed the debt monster], called “The Legend of the Chessboard” and featured in a 1961 IBM educational film, Mathematics Peepshow: