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.
2 thoughts on “Degrowth – Not a Common Topic”
As I sit here in the library in the heart of Zhegagogynak on the shores of Ktthegmik (for the colonialists this is known as Chicago), using stolen words from a more peaceful people, in the midst of a fragmented, shattered community where people have stored up so much hurt and frustration, I am mulling over the words that we need to practice healing and recipricosity and not domination, and I agree with that, but in practicing recipricosity, we are constantly subject to so much painful outbursts and we have to be able to withstand and share the pain of others, and there is so much of it, that I am left mostly with a growing feeling of hopelessness and shattered being with the rest of my growth fall-out victims. I understand the de-growth imperative, but I was hoping we could do this in a coordinated fashion, but I am getting no cooperation from the almost thoroughly corrupt and/or decadent city governance. I think of what Martin Luther King said that he wanted to shape out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope, and then he was assassinated, and the stone of hope is being sucked on and completely enveloped by a trove of vampires. I salute those in the country who have managed to actually materialize the de-growth imperative, but I have no country survival skills, and I feel that I will probably be buried in the fallout of Zhegagogynak when it finally caves in on itself with the dozens of misunderstood and hurt and oppressed people who for too long have been oppressed and hurt and ignored and taken advantage of. We simply cannot go any further forward without more cooperation from people in the community, and there is no substitute for love and caring, which is in very short supply in the streets of Zhegagogynak, where they have completely turned all the signs around and made everything about money and material things and so we are all bracing ourselves for when it all comes toppling down but nobody that has a heart left seems to have any hint of access to the brakes on this growth machine.
Thanks, Paul. I share your feelings of hopelessness.
Chicago is not the only city that is putting on the brakes and not doing anything about the climate crisis. There are some countries that are working at it but very few. This is a global economy, and a few people up at the top are going to just take the whole planet down.
And as far as degrowth materializing anywhere, I don’t see it. Especially here in the US. I don’t see signs of it. I’m on a degrowth Facebook page, and there are people from Australia and other countries, and they say that degrowth is talked about a lot more. Which is a good thing.
And you see so much more struggling than I do because I’m in such a rural area. And you have so much compassion and caring to go and try to help people who are struggling, people who are in the street. I admire you so much for that, Paul.
I do what I can do. I do little things like try to write a Facebook page post on it or spread this to try to sow seeds to get people to think about it. Survival? I don’t know how to do that. Very few people know how to do that. This system has made us very vulnerable. We get all of our things from some other system.
I’m part of another group that I just started training with called Deep Green Resistance, and the main beliefs in that group are radical feminism, which means get rid of the patriarchal system, and deindustrialization.
We keep on keeping on, Paul, that’s all we can do.
Peace, love, and hugs,