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Infinite growth in a finite world?

I really don't understand economics. If I try and think about it for any length of time my brain starts to hurt. (Despite watching Stephanie Flanders' series on Marx, Keynes and...erm...the other one).

But what I really, really don't get is why everyone seems to expect growth to continue forever. Given that we live in a finite world with finite resources (other than the sun's energy, which whilst technically finite, is probably beyond the power of humans to use up. Probably.) it doens't make sense that everything can continue upward, if growth relies on us consumers consuming more.
Apparently, we are already using 1.5 Earths worth of resources- using resources faster than they can be  replaced. (http://www.footprintnetwork.org/en/index.php/GFN/page/world_footprint/  )How is this sustainable?!

And 'the news' tells me that people might have a to face the fact that their standard of living is not better than the standard of living of their parents. I'm pretty sure that I can cope with having the same standard of living as my parents- house, food, water, healthcare, enough spare money for some leisure activities. Why do we have to feel that we can afford more or better stuff than the previous  generation?! Or is this just the noooos telling me things that people are not really thinking?


In case this is getting too serious, here is a gratuitous cat picture:

This is the Merl. He is both serious and solemn. He probably understands economics too.

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