Political debate on economic de-growth

In Catalonia and in the UK politicians are now starting to examine the alternatives to the universal notion of ‘progress’ as maximising the exponential rate of GDP rate of increase given the finite limits of Spaceship Earth’s carrying capacity. Here are the links to these two welcome and long overdue debates:

Catalonia – CUP (Popular Unity List)

UK – All Party Group on Limits to Growth 

US – De-grow US 2018 – new umbrella group created

Critique of ‘growthism’ from Resilience

Post-Brexit opportunity for de-growth – Nov 2018

A call for radical abundance – Jan 2019 de-growth proposition

One thought on “Political debate on economic de-growth”

  1. http://www.growthbiasbusted.org/renewable-pipe-dream/ – this short article “Outing the pipe dream of renewable energy solution” is a review of a new essay that exposes the ‘green cornucopia delusion’ that a business-as-usual future can eventually be sustained on 100% renewable energy sources. The piece is written by Paul and Stan Cox, and is titled “How the World Breaks: Life in Catastrophe’s Path, From the Caribbean to Siberia”. They cite several credible studies indicating our massive, consumption and growth-addicted economy cannot be sustained on 100-percent green energy. This essay is a fairly comprehensive catalog of the flaws in the thinking of those who say we can. If you are under the delusion we can continue business as usual, as long as we power it with the sun and wind, this will be an eye-opener. It is an important read.

    Eventually, the Coxes get around to some high-level reflection on why the climate movement avoids advocating economic degrowth or even a steady state economy; why the movement puts little or no effort into persuading individuals to give up their cars and weekends at the mall, swap their mcmansions for tiny houses, and bring no more than one child into the world:

    “Some in the climate movement believe in the 100-percent dogma and the dream it holds out: that the (affluent) American way of life can keep running forward in time and outward in space without breaking stride.”

    They also propose what I think may be the more likely explanation, at least at the higher levels of climate-focused NGOs:

    “There are others who know that to be an impossibly rosy vision but urge the movement to limit public discussion to such green dreams anyway, because talking about a regulated, low-energy economy would crush hope and enthusiasm at the grassroots.”


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