Prosperity without growth: economics for a finite planet by Tim Jackson (EarthScan, 2011)
Endless economic growth is a fundamental requirement of capitalist economics, but a disaster for a finite planet. Since we happen to live on a finite planet (not there are any infinite ones out there), this is a problem looking for an economist with an understanding of ecology to solve. That economist is Tim Jackson, a British professor who has both the academic knowledge of economic theories and models and a grasp of the finite character of our natural resources. Although this book is somewhat dry reading for all of us non-economists out here in the real world (there are equations), it is quite well done. Jackson makes some excellent points about the psychology of material possessions and how capitalist economics has made consumerism a virtually inescapable part of our lives in order to continue the cycle of economic growth. He goes on to explore a variety of alternate approaches that would allow us to live sustainably in both the economic and environmental senses.