Never heard of it? You are not alone. It is anything but Mainstream. Google doesn’t even send me anything on it, and it is really good at sending me climate crisis news. Well, and, it is a pretty radical solution to the climate crisis, but . . . the most realistic. I have written about it before . . . but let’s go here again.
Degrowth needs some serious PR right now. People need to be talking about this. It won’t be an easy transition but it is doable. And, did I mention, we will need some new kind of economy . . . or maybe no economy. The people up at the top, the corporations and politicians, well, and also small businesses, are not going to go for this. They are not addressing the climate crisis at all now, anyway. They are too busy taking humanity off the cliff.
Yes, everyone can switch to renewable energy, but . . . I am sorry to tell you, that has its own issues environmentally. Right now, we are basically focusing on our own energy needs and forgetting about the big emission producer, and, that is . . . what we consume in the way of products and FOOD every day!
So what is Degrowth all about? When you start counting all the CO2 a product produces, meaning all the embodied energy, you are on your way to understanding why Degrowth makes sense. By that time, when you go into the Big Box Grocery store, your head will want to explode seeing all that CO2 on the shelf.
If you are not quite there yet, let’s take a walk through the cereal aisle. That innocent raisin bran sitting on the shelf had a big diesel tractor plant the wheat and harvest it, took it to a flour mill, trees were cut down for the box, oil was extracted for the plastic sleeve, raisins were grown and harvested, the box went to a printer to have the graphics printed, and all of it ended up at the raisin bran factory so it could be shipped to your local store. That took a lot of CO2.
Now, look at every product on the shelf and go through that same process. It takes oil to transport and electricity, heat, and AC for those manufacturing plants. Do we really need 40 different cereals? How about oatmeal for breakfast out of a bin reusing your own bag. Ah, now, we are getting somewhere. Remember, when you pick a tomato from your garden, there is no CO2 emitted. Don’t have a garden? Get a garden plot.
Maybe you are thinking about all the jobs that will have to go. I don’t know about you, but I want to live. That is what this whole thing is about . . . surviving. And, at this point, if you are watching the game, we are very close to losing. Maybe we will just reduce the suffering that is headed our way.
A debt jubilee, universal income, not to mention garden plots everywhere, are all many of the ways we can do Degrowth. Just think of all the things that emit CO2 or use lots of water that we can live without and still be happy. Think about it . . . talk about it at the dinner table . . . and, pass it on. Degrowth.