If new economic growth must be prepared for by identifying additional resources and creating the infrastructure to consume them, then existing growth that is proceeding without sufficient resources and infrastructure should ideally cease until such preparation can be completed.
Every group, from families to nations, depends on a basic set of resources and infrastructure which has typically been provided for by Nature and primarily provides life support (air, water, food, and climate). That which cannot be supplied directly by Nature has been provided by institutions in a society (such as governments), and includes both physical necessities (for example, transportation infrastructure such as roads) and support of organized and non-destructive behavior (such as common rules of behavior and education). Built on top of the common infrastructure and using the common resources are the specialized transportation and processing structures that organizations within the population need to provide the variety of complexity they desire (enables consumption).
When activity becomes dysfunctional throughout a population, its most influential causes are likely to be systemic; this is the main reason that people expect their governments to address them. Troubleshooting the problem begins with the question of whether there is a deficiency in common resources, infrastructure, or both. Damage control must also proceed – minimizing the impact of any such deficiencies – which should include cessation of growth which tends to exponentially multiply the effects. The troubleshooting process should also include testing the validity of the society’s assumptions both about itself and the environment in which it operates (ongoing testing of this type is a role of basic research).