Is a Four-Day Work Week the Secret to Saving the Planet?

Perpetual economic growth is driving climate change and making us miserable. The degrowth movement offers a way out
by Brad Badelt
Illustration by Natalie Vineberg
Updated 17:06, Jun. 10, 2020 | Published 13:23, Jun. 10, 2020

Economic growth has long been considered a good thing. A booming economy has typically been associated with more jobs, higher wages, and a better standard of living for all. But, in recent years, there has been increasing debate over the benefits and feasibility of perpetual economic growth. In 2018, more than 200 academics published a letter in the Guardian calling on governments to seriously consider degrowth to avoid environmental collapse. Other supporters include prominent environmentalists Bill McKibben, Naomi Klein, and Canadian scientist Vaclav Smil, who recently told the Guardian: “Growth must come to an end. Our economist friends don’t seem to realise that.” Activist Greta Thunberg made a similar point when speaking at the United Nations last fall: “We are in the beginning of a mass extinction, and all you can talk about is money and fairy tales of eternal economic growth. How dare you!”

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