H. Thomas Johnson, a long standing accounting historian, reflects on how current business practices, which predominantly utilise accounting as their language, are hastening the planet’s decline. His latest article, “The tragedy of modern economic growth: A call to business to radically change its purpose and practices,” is recently published in Accounting History, and is currently free to read.
Johnson argues that modern growth-oriented economies consume resources at a rate faster than the Earth’s ecosystems can presently regenerate, threatening the sustainability of all life. Johnson elucidates how fundamentally new thinking is required to change business practices in ways that protect the Earth. As a solution, this article proposes that the tangible ecological principles that underpin Earth’s life-restorative natural ecosystems provide a more suitable language for materialising a sustainable human economy than the abstract language drawn from accounting and finance.
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