illustration (attribution, if any possible, is at the end of the article)
Too much and for too long, we seemed to have surrendered personal excellence and community values in the mere accumulation of material things. Our Gross National Product, now, is over $800 billion dollars a year, but that Gross National Product —if we judge the United States of America by that— that Gross National Product counts air pollution and cigarette advertising, and ambulances to clear our highways of carnage.
It counts special locks for our doors and the jails for the people who break them. It counts the destruction of the redwood and the loss of our natural wonder in chaotic sprawl.
It counts napalm and counts nuclear warheads and armoured cars for the police to fight the riots in our cities. It counts Whitman's rifle and Speck's knife, and the television programs which glorify violence in order to sell toys to our children.
Yet the gross national product does not allow for the health of our children, the quality of their education or the joy of their play. It does not include the beauty of our poetry or the strength of our marriages, the intelligence of our public debate or the integrity of our public officials.
It measures neither our wit nor our courage, neither our wisdom nor our learning, neither our compassion nor our devotion to our country, it measures everything in short, except that which makes life worthwhile.
— Robert Kennedy (University of Kansas, March 18, 1968)
When do we learn?
When we label "developing" or "emerging" what amounts to millennia-old civilisations (like India and China) only because of a specific stupid measure of economic growth (confusing extraction and destruction with growth)…
When seeds from a previous crop don't count for GDP, but copyrighted Mosanto seeds do count for GDP…
When water from the natural water cycle doesn't count for GDP, but bottled water does count for GDP (regardless the pollution associated with its extraction)…
…the pursuit of higher GDP is a dangerous mental fabrication.
I'm very mindful not to keep pushing long videos your way, but please take the time to watch this Festival of Dangerous Ideas 2013: Vandana Shiva - Growth = Poverty (59'13'': 40' + Q&A) (h/t via )