… is from pages 268-269 of Matt Ridley’s excellent 2020 book, How Innovation Works: And Why It Flourishes in Freedom:
In the ten years from 2008, America’s economy grew by 15 per cent but its energy use fell by 2 per cent.
This is not because the American economy is generating fewer products; it’s producing more. It is not because there is more recycling – though there is. It’s because of economies and efficiencies created by innovation…. [T]hose who say growth is impossible without using more resources are simply wrong. It will always be possible to raise living standards further by lowering the amount of a resource that is used to produce a given output. Growth is therefore indefinitely ‘sustainable’.