New Internationalist

How To Catch A Monkey

Issue 329

Click here to subscribe to the print edition. [image, unknown] New Internationalist 329[image, unknown] [image, unknown] [image, unknown] November 2000[image, unknown] Click here to search the mega index.

Sustainability / PARABLE

How to catch a monkey
A parable of growth and sustainability...

Illustration by Chum McLeod / i2i Art 1 Hollow out a coconut.
2 Carve a hole in the top and fill the nut with rice.
3 Find a likely location and wedge it firmly between two large boulders so the top half is clearly visible.
4 Fasten the nut with a chain to a stake in the ground.
5 The hole should be just large enough to allow a monkey to put an extended hand inside but not big enough to withdraw its fist when full of rice.
6 If it refuses to let go of the rice the monkey is trapped.
7 If it relaxes its grip and takes less it will be free and fed.
8 Can our species relax its grip and take only what we need?

Adapted from 'Developing Economies and the Steady State' by Herman Daly
in his Steady-State Economics, Earthscan, London, 1992

Previous page.
Choose another issue of NI.
Go to the contents page.
Go to the NI home page.
Next page.

This first appeared in our award-winning magazine - to read more, subscribe from just £7

Comments on How To Catch A Monkey

Leave your comment


  • Maximum characters allowed: 5000
  • Simple HTML allowed: bold, italic, and links

Registration is quick and easy. Plus you won’t have to re-type the blurry words to comment!
Register | Login

...And all is quiet.

Subscribe to Comments for this articleArticle Comment Feed RSS 2.0

Guidelines: Please be respectful of others when posting your reply.

This article was originally published in issue 329

New Internationalist Magazine issue 329
Issue 329

More articles from this issue

New Internationalist Magazine Issue 436

If you would like to know something about what's actually going on, rather than what people would like you to think was going on, then read the New Internationalist.

– Emma Thompson –

A subscription to suit you

Save money with a digital subscription. Give a gift subscription that will last all year. Or get yourself a free trial to New Internationalist. See our choice of offers.