Once again conventional measurement has painted a warped view of our economic well-being. Relying principally on growth in the GDP sense, The Conference Board of Canada applauds the oil and gas rich provinces—Alberta, Saskatchewan, Newfoundland and Labrador—for being the country's top economic performers.
The underlying cause of the Board's madness is basing economic prosperity on GDP growth. It is folly to think of growth as a good thing when we are already well beyond the planet's carrying capacity. The idea, possessed of the Board and unfortunately most of our leaders, and apparently most of us, that we can grow seemingly forever is living in a fantasy world. It is time to accept reality—the Earth is finite, there are limits. The only sensible conversation we can have about growth is how to end it. The Conference Board economists clearly need a better yardstick to measure economic and social well-being. They should, in short, enter the real world.