Although eternal growth is one of the central foundations to the global capitalist system and our economy, our land is finite. Like trust fund babies, we inherited a vast “savings deposit” of natural resources built up over millennia. This savings deposit only produces so much a year; if we withdraw too much of the resources without putting anything back in, we begin chipping away at the capital. If this continues, one day we’ll find the planet has gone bankrupt.
In the past, farmers were careful with their land. They lived on it, and often it had been in their family for ages, so they were sure to sustain it for future generations by nourishing the soil and not depleting it.
This sustainable agriculture largely ended with the modernisation of farms and industry. Once we no longer lived on the farms or in the forests, we lost the incentive to preserve them, and a once-in-a-billion-years spending spree on natural resources began which continues to this day. Our capital dwindles daily, and the need for sustainable agriculture grows.