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Industrial ecology: depreciation, waste and pollution

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The paper discusses a number of economic implications of cross-boundary flows of energy and materials. One of them is that exponential economic growth, along the current materials (and energy)-intensive trajectory, is also utilizing exponentially increasing amounts of raw materials. All materials extracted from the environment, of which fossil fuels are only the most obvious example, eventually become wastes and emissions. While not all emissions are equally harmful, growth is creating increasingly unsustainable pressures on the environment and threatening the continued availability of essential environmental services. Thsi means that either growth must cease, or its character must change.

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