Saying Farewell to the GDP Growth Cult
As a battle over Green GDP continues to rage within China’s central government, China Daily, the country’s top state-run English language newspaper, issues a clarion call for the death of traditional growth standards:
The good news is in from Qinghai: Two years after the western province dropped GDP growth from its system for evaluating the performance of government officials in two of its prefectures, the ecological deterioration of the source area of China’s three major rivers has begun to ebb.
…Qinghai’s move signals a departure from the “GDP cult”, which sees economic growth as the only yardstick for development, even if it comes at the cost of the environment and people’s welfare.
For years, this cult has dominated China’s development pattern. In the fervor to pursue GDP growth, we have seen our mountains denuded by mining and other construction projects, cropland devastated by factories and urbanization and air and water polluted by heavy industry and human misconduct.