The Club of Rome said it first, in its Limits to Growth report in 1972 - basically, we should start thinking about how to redefine progress (and civilisation?) in terms of limiting growth, or even zero growth.

Zero is the ultimate affordance (see 12.5). Zero growth, zero marginal cost of information and communication, zero population growth, etc. That's when we can really get down to the business of a 'balanced ecology' and a balanced society. Till then, we're just chasing the tails of the financial (futures) markets.

So, what's new?

1. Zero energy cost
Last week, on or around the Summer Solstice, 2014, Queensland experienced a zero, or even negative wholesale price for electricity, in the middle of the day. Giles Parkinson wrote in the Guardian:

“Negative pricing” moves, as they are known, are not uncommon. But they are only supposed to happen at night, when most of the population is mostly asleep, demand is down, and operators of coal fired generators are reluctant to switch off. So they pay others to pick up their output. That's not supposed to happen at lunchtime. Daytime prices are supposed to reflect higher demand, when people are awake, office building are in use, factories are in production. That's when fossil fuel generators would normally be making most of their money".

2. Jobless growth
The alternative - and looming - scenario is what has been called 'jobless growth' - first in the USA, with the UK quick on its heels. Paul Mason writes in the Guardian that the Best of Capitalism is Over (for everyone except the rich):

" One of the upsides of having a global elite is that at least they know what's going on. ... But the elite are supposed to know in real time – and on that basis to make accurate predictions. Just how difficult this has become was shown last week when the OECD released its predictions for the world economy until 2060. These are that growth will slow to around two-thirds its current rate; that inequality will increase massively; and that there is a big risk that climate change will make things worse. Despite all this, says the OECD, the world will be four times richer, more productive, more globalised and more highly educated".

So where's the sustainable social affordance? And how do we measure, value, and manage it?