Intended for healthcare professionals

Letters Perhaps only degrowth can save us

No, degrowth won’t save us

BMJ 2023; 382 doi: (Published 28 September 2023) Cite this as: BMJ 2023;382:p2245
  1. Wim Naudé, visiting professor of technology, entrepreneurship, and development
  1. RWTH Aachen TIM, RWTH Aachen University, Aachen, Germany
  1. naude{at}

Smith argues that “perhaps only degrowth can save us” from ecological catastrophe.1 It won’t. Degrowth will make the ecological crisis worse. It is ecological iatrogenics2 or, if you will, economic quackery.

The medical profession once fervently believed in bloodletting. Mozart and Beethoven’s deaths, among millions of others, were probably hastened by this treatment. Today, like Florence Nightingale, who rejected it as a …

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