Escape From Overshoot

by Peter Victor

Overshoot is where a species, in particular industrial humans, consumes more resources and/or releases more waste than the Earth can accommodate over time.

Escape From Overshoot is refreshing in that it acknowledges outright that humanity has grown past planetary boundaries. The obvious question then becomes what to do?

Recalling the title message of his earlier book: Managing Without Growth: Slower by Design Not Disaster Victor explains that we can either adapt to the Earth’s limitations with intentional action, in ways that cause a minimum of human and natural world pain, or we can continue with no plan until the world as we know it collapses.

As a foundation for intentional action, Victor outlines the evolution of economic thought from early observations about how Capitalism can aid humanity, to how it became a key organizing principle leading to much prosperity. Following this history he then introduces more recent economists who have noticed how the doctrine of perpetual Growth has changed from a helpful guide for humanity to a suicidal disregard of planetary limits. This new perspective calls for new policies and actions.

With the oavershoot crisis identified, there is much we can do to regain a balanced relationship with the Earth. Victor outlines numerous techniques that provide individuals, businesses and governments with useful steps to take.

People, businesses and governments should read Escape From Overshoot and take it to heart. We might then be able to escape overshoot’s worst consequences.