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Published on Dec 13, 2010
www.signsofchange.org.nz Presented at Signs of Change National e-Conference, 15-16 November 2010, NEW ZEALAND
Modern industrial culture operates on the premise of perpetual material growth, yet it is abundantly clear to many that there are physical limits to both the Earth's resources and to its capacity to absorb our waste. Unless current growth trends can be curbed, therefore, we will reach crucial limits, with potentially catastrophic consequences for most life on earth. A rapidly degrading environment and severe species loss are two indicators that such limits may be looming.
Our government firmly believes that endless pursuit of maximum economic growth is good for us and sustainable. So, why not try confronting this delusion at the mindset level? If we can change an idea couldn't a cascade effect occur through the entire system? Thus the idea of the Hampden Union Challenge Debate was born.
The idea of the debate is to get the highest government MPs possible to defend their beliefs against an intellectually robust opposition. Publicity from our first debate secured us a second debate with National Party MPs early in 2011.
Our hope is that asking this simple yet immensely important question will encourage more NZers to demand that our leaders confront this crucial contradiction.