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Scientific paper


The Knowledge Economy: Key to Sustainable Development?

Lukáš Režný, James Buchanan White

Entry type:
Scientific paper

Year of publication:

Degrowth Conference Leipzig 2014


Knowledge economy, Sustainability, Economic growth, Nonrenewable natural resources consumption, Peak oil

Abstract: Humanity is currently facing harsh resource depletion and environmental degradation problems. Investment into the Knowledge Economy is presented as a solution to these problems thanks to drastically reduced resource inputs necessary for maintaining and expanding such an economy. Data from the Knowledge Economy Index is examined to test the viability of the Knowledge Economy as a means to sustainability and continued Economic growth. We analyze the Knowledge Economy Index together with many variables aimed at capturing nonrenewable natural resource consumption, notably material footprint, energy and oil consumption of selected nations. Results are in direct opposition to truly sustainable development, which strictly demands gradual decline in nonrenewable natural resource consumption over time. We conclude that the Knowledge Economy is a false solution, supporting a failed growth model, blindly pursuing economic growth at all costs, hindering any actions aimed at necessary conservation of nonrenewable natural resources and degrowth.
Keywords: Knowledge economy – Sustainability – Economic growth – Nonrenewable natural resources consumption – Peak oil

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