THE STEADY-STATE ALTERNATIVE
If we indeed have a moral obligation to avoid harm to the health of human beings, species, and natural ecosystems, as the previous chapter argues, then one method for doing so is to implement a steady-state economy as suggested by Herman Daly (1991a). The goal of a steady-state economy is to bring the global economy into balance with the global ecosystem. The central conclusion of the earlier chapters of this book is that economic expansion places increasing demands on a global ecosystem that has a finite ability to absorb wastes and provide ecosystem services. These growing demands also result in environmental threats to the health of human beings, plant and animal species, and ecosystems. Regulation has mitigated the effects of growth on the environment but has succeeded neither in stabilizing all significant environmental threats nor in reducing them to ethically acceptable levels.