Economics has been called the gloomy science, but it is not a science at all. If it were, it would more freely call on the methods and measuring units of the real sciences and, of course, be the origin of goods and services to keep the economic system going. But economics does none of these things.
If economics were a science it would also make sure that it understands more about energy because this is the stuff that pushes material around and accounts for everything else that science investigates. Economists are aware of energy, of course, and, as it happens, spend a lot of time talking about it at the present time. But they only talk of energy — in the form of oil, coal, gas, kilowatt-hours, etc — as though they were mere commodities — such as copper or iron — that can be bought or sold and not as something rather more special — indeed, fundamental — as all the real sciences do.
If economists did that, they would realise that it’s energy that keeps the world trading system going. Thus the basic laws of thermodynamics pervades economics — or ought to — just as much as in the real sciences. If economists realised this then they would know that the economic system would automatically adjust to a steady-state, depending on the amount of energy that is inputted. It could be that, at present, the world’s economic system is already close to stabilisation.
Common sense — that is, the opinion of most conventional economists — says that stabilisation is nonsense and that the world system could grow plentifully yet for a long time to come. Science says that we don’t know, and won’t be able to give an opinion, until the present post-2008 recession has been going on long enough.