Richard Hall Online

A Methodist Minister Blogging like it’s 2006

The Limits to Growth

cute hamster eating a biscuit (cookie)

It’s a central tenet of green politics that there have to be limits to economic growth. The world is not boundless, its resources not infinite. In this old, but still useful, article Andrew Simms explains with the use of a hamster.

From birth until it reaches sexual maturity at about six weeks, a hamster doubles its weight each week.

If, instead of levelling-off in maturity, it carried on growing – continuing to double its weight each week – we would be facing a nine-billion-tonne hamster on its first birthday.

If it kept eating at the same ratio of food to bodyweight, the hamster’s daily intake would be greater than the total, annual amount of maize produced worldwide.

In nature, there is a reason why things do not grow indefinitely.

It’s a very simple point, but surprisingly difficult for some people to grasp.

And it gave me an excuse to post a picture of a hamster.






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