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Page added on April 24, 2014

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Why Degrowth?

Human and ecological economist Bill Rees recorded in April at the Vancouver Degrowth Event on why degrowth is the only realistic path to sustainability.

Watch the Q&A for this event

9 Comments on "Why Degrowth?"

  1. Davy, Hermann, MO on Thu, 24th Apr 2014 7:57 am 

    The complex interconnected global economy cannot manage degrowth in any other way than collapse. The system functions and is organized through trade, financial intermediation, and confidence. Degrowth is another word for negative returns on investments which IOW is losses. People are not going to trade and exchange if their trade and exchange leaves them worse off.

  2. ghung on Thu, 24th Apr 2014 8:27 am 

    “De-growth is a controlled or planned contraction of human economic activity towards a sustainable, equitable steady state, within the means of Nature.”

    I’m perfectly fine with having this discussion within the bounds of the things humanity, collectively, is absolutely incapable of, but I’m one who always enjoyed science fiction.

    Best to plan and attempt to control one’s own “economic activity towards a sustainable, equitable steady state, within the means of Nature” on a personal or very local scale. The Pied Pipers of growth and progress have the advantage, and have done a fine job promoting division, greed, want, envy,, all of the things that will make planned de-growth impossible.

  3. bobinget on Thu, 24th Apr 2014 9:18 am 

    To manage ‘de-growth’ we need more human spay and neuter programs.

  4. Davey on Thu, 24th Apr 2014 9:50 am 

    Bob, with water and food pollution nature has already taken the initiative!

  5. bobinget on Thu, 24th Apr 2014 10:06 am 

    What’s going to happen is, very soon, we’re going to run out of petroleum, and everything depends on petroleum. And there go the school buses. There go the fire engines. The food trucks will come to a halt. This is the end of the world.

    KURT VONNEGUT, JR., Rolling Stone, Aug. 24, 2006

  6. J-Gav on Thu, 24th Apr 2014 10:30 am 

    I like Rees’s lucid recognition of where we are (ie overshoot) and his clear analysis of how we got there. And I agree that “a controlled contraction” would be a desirable outcome. But, like Ghung, I have my doubts as to how realistic that prospect is. Given how far we’ve overdone it, and the likelihood that our BAU momentum will take us even further down that dead-end road, I concur that the most effective levers of ‘control’ will have to be generated on a local level, not global or national.

  7. GregT on Thu, 24th Apr 2014 10:47 am 

    One more scientist warning us of the dire implications of continuing down the current BAU path. We haven’t listened, and we still aren’t listening. The consequences of our inactions will be dire for every-one, and every living thing, on the Planet Earth.

    “This is a new age of unreason, the 21st Century Endarkenment.”

    So sad, but so true. It is our collective lack of reasoning, and ignorance of reality, that is leading us down the path to our own destruction.

  8. poaecdotcom on Thu, 24th Apr 2014 11:45 am 

    Excellent lecture. Should be a must watch for EVERYONE.

  9. Makati1 on Thu, 24th Apr 2014 8:14 pm 

    Never figured out why the use of ‘degrowth’ is better than ‘contraction’? Is it because it is not a common word that everyone knows the meaning of? That it still provides a small hope for growth in the future by contains the word ‘growth’?

    I suppose the economists are allergic to ‘contraction’ because it means the end of their cushy world. Any comments?

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