How and why did our society come to value economic growth so highly that we pursue it at the risk of our long-term survival? For some time scientists have warned that human civilization is living beyond the ecological means of our planet. Yet our commitment to economic growth is unwavering. Australian writer Kerryn Higgs chronicled this triumph of denial over science in her book, Collision Course: Endless Growth on a Finite Planet. This book is impressively researched. She shares her findings here.

I sat down with her in April, 2017 for a two-part interview exploring how and why our society came to value economic growth so highly that we pursue it at the risk of our long-term survival. In this first part, Higgs provides a history of our love affair with economic growth, a quick survey of what science has been telling us, and a summary of why we’ve so far chosen to ignore the science.

Kerryn Higgs taught history at Melbourne University and environmental studies at the University of New South Wales. She’s a University Associate at the University of Tasmania, where she received her PhD in Geography and Environmental Studies.

Kerryn’s Book: Collision Course: Endless Growth on a Finite Planet

About The Author


  1. This was a brilliant interview with Dr Kerryn Higgs whose exploration of this area is both innovative and accurate. I thought she talked about the ‘current critical crisis we are in due to growth economics’ – with great clarity on such a complex and enormous subject which she is not afraid to tackle.

    I would like to hear more from Dr Kerryn Higgs as I have read her book, she is a well researched and convincing authority on economics and climate change and the dangers ahead. If we are ever going to make a difference we need more like her.

  2. I’m so glad you appreciated this conversation, Silva. I was so impressed with her book. Be sure to subscribe and listen to part two of this conversation next week. You won’t be disappointed.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>