Fine article from the father of real-world economics on the New Economics Foundation Blog. He counters the mainstream faith in ‘endless growth’ by using economic analysis, but applied to the eco-system as a whole rather than just the narrowly economic system.
The new economic question is: are the extra benefits of physically transforming more of the ecosystem into the economy worth the extra opportunity cost of the ecosystem services lost in the transformation? Has the macroeconomy reached, or surpassed, its optimal physical scale relative to its containing and sustaining ecosystem? Is the economy now too big for the ecosystem from the point of view of maximum human welfare?