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Degrowth Thread

How to save energy through both societal and individual actions.

Re: Degrowth Thread

Unread postby Newfie » Fri 01 Feb 2019, 13:22:34

Zarquon wrote:
Newfie wrote:This repair was done without mast steps, he had to pull himself up in a bosuns chair, it was done mid-ocean approaching Patagonia, he was alone, he won the race, he is 74 years old.

There is someone who is in touch with their environment in a very special and intimate way. Someone with a tremendous willl to live.

I am in awe.


Have you seen All Is Lost?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/All_Is_Lost


Yeah, we went with another live aboard couple. Our reactions were completly different from the rest of the audience. He would be doing some stupid shit and the audience would be ohhhing and ahhhing and we would be laughing our asses off. Maybe a good movie, just not for sailors. Universially panned within the community.

I just read Steve Callahan’s “Adrift”. True story, far better. I got the idea Redford was trying to do a riff on Callahan’s story, don’t know. If he was much was lost in the translation.
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Re: Degrowth Thread

Unread postby vtsnowedin » Fri 01 Feb 2019, 14:30:04

Newfie wrote:I just read Steve Callahan’s “Adrift”. True story, far better. I got the idea Redford was trying to do a riff on Callahan’s story, don’t know. If he was much was lost in the translation.

Just saw the movie on pay per view. Tough woman. Tough boat. They should have been watching the weather a lot closer. Fatal mistake.
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Re: Degrowth Thread

Unread postby Newfie » Fri 01 Feb 2019, 20:16:07

Ah, MOVIE. Fantasy. No, BOOK. Reality.

Steven Callahan’s 27’ boat suddenly sank on an Atlantic Crossing, apparently he hit a container or something that holed the boat badly. He got off in a life raft with minimal supplies. He drifted for 76 days before being picked up by a small boat of fisherman off Marie Gallant. I think he saw 9 ships but none saw him.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steven_Callahan
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Re: Degrowth Thread

Unread postby vtsnowedin » Sat 02 Feb 2019, 02:44:54

Newfie wrote:Ah, MOVIE. Fantasy. No, BOOK. Reality.

Steven Callahan’s 27’ boat suddenly sank on an Atlantic Crossing, apparently he hit a container or something that holed the boat badly. He got off in a life raft with minimal supplies. He drifted for 76 days before being picked up by a small boat of fisherman off Marie Gallant. I think he saw 9 ships but none saw him.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steven_Callahan

Perhaps we are talking about different movies. The one I just saw is based on real events in the Pacific.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sFnEZG3Xqrk
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Re: Degrowth Thread

Unread postby Newfie » Sat 02 Feb 2019, 10:50:55

OK now I see the problem. Book and movie about different events with same title.

ADRIFT the BOOK is Steve Callahan telling about his 76 day ordeal in in a life raft adrift in the Atlantic

ADRIFT the MOVIE is an adaptation about a couple on a yacht BASED on a true story. In the actual event the lady is below when the man is swept overboard. Then alone she has to make repairs and sail the boat to Hawaii. No small feat in itself. Sailors who have seen it say it’s not terrible, pretty good. Apparently there was also a 1989 version of that same tale.

https://www.cosmopolitan.com/entertainm ... rue-story/
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Re: Degrowth Thread

Unread postby Newfie » Fri 08 Mar 2019, 16:20:31

Found the below article today, seems like a lot of European countries are having pretty flat population growth, not counting immigration.


. According to Eurostat data, one-in-five people in Finland are aged 65 or over, the fourth highest in Europe after Germany, Portugal, Greece, and Italy, the BBC reported.

Due to the structure of the Finnish welfare state, the aging population is putting a strain on the system as provisions and benefits are paid by the working-age population.


https://www.foxnews.com/world/finlands- ... ate-reform

But also China.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.cnn.co ... index.html

And Japan

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aging_o ... expectancy

IIRC correctly USA growth would be flat if not for immigration.

So this begs the question, how so we adapt for a decreasing population?

But also, I’ve been think along some different lines. IF we were really and truly to start dealing with AGW, the solutions (NOT GND stuff) would revolve around Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. If effective that would hammer our economy. There would be some initial offsetting workforce increase as nuclear plants were built and our electrical grid modernized. But they are not lifetime production jobs.

On the other hand Japan has 125 jobs for every 100 applicants. This sounds like a problem screaming for AI. Perhaps there is some covbergencen fo demographics and technology that works.

So it strikes me we have a convergence of events that will likely force out our current economic model of Consumerisim and eternal growth. But I’m not hearing anyone talk about that, bring the argument to the public’s attention, making it a talking point around the dinner table. It’s gonna happen, either by planner transition or by fiat.

It would be interesting to know what, if anything, the above governments are doing.
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Re: Degrowth Thread

Unread postby dolanbaker » Fri 08 Mar 2019, 17:04:20

Well it seems that the short term solution to lack of population growth is simply to import people, I find that any conversations about planned obsolescence or forcing growth when there is no real point in having it, usually falls flat.

There is another thread on this site that is predicting an end to the economy "stock market crash" but in reality if there ever is to be an economy based on things remaining level or slowly declining as it would do in the west without the imported people "steroid injection", we would probably be in a far better place than we currently are. People can be very schizophrenic about the market economy saying that any decline is a "disaster" while ignoring the fact that it may be the best thing to actually happen.
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Re: Degrowth Thread

Unread postby vtsnowedin » Sat 09 Mar 2019, 07:35:44

I expect we will get more sophisticated about how we measure success. After all GDP is "Gross domestic product with gross being the key word.
With a stable population I see nothing wrong in a company that produces say a thousand units one year at a profit of $10 per unit producing the same thousand units the next year at a profit of $12 per unit being quite content with their results.
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Re: Degrowth Thread

Unread postby Ibon » Sat 09 Mar 2019, 07:56:21

vtsnowedin wrote: With a stable population I see nothing wrong in a company that produces say a thousand units one year at a profit of $10 per unit producing the same thousand units the next year at a profit of $12 per unit being quite content with their results.


When a culture starts to place more value on stability over growth that has repercussions across a whole suite of issues we discuss here.

Through the years we always return to this topic about cultural evolution going forward with many folks here believing that we cannot exit this position of being a rogue virus on the planet, that human nature will always dominate cultural trends toward maximizing exploitation. The last couple of centuries the dominant cultural orientation was growth over stability and this appears on the surface to reflect somehow this innate human flaw that so many believe is a fixed part of Kudzu Ape's nature.

There are external forces coming our way that will flip what has been this dominant orientation of growth over stability.

Stability having more value than growth is not hard to understand in a world of tightening constraints and destabilizing environmental feedbacks.

It's quite profound common sense actually.
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Re: Degrowth Thread

Unread postby vtsnowedin » Sat 09 Mar 2019, 09:47:19

With the rapidly rising world population we have experienced over the last two centuries the need to supply resources to new people each year has made the pro growth argument the winner by default. Only if, and when, we reach a stable or declining population can non growth strategies work without spreading hardship.
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Re: Degrowth Thread

Unread postby Ibon » Sat 09 Mar 2019, 11:57:54

vtsnowedin wrote:With the rapidly rising world population we have experienced over the last two centuries the need to supply resources to new people each year has made the pro growth argument the winner by default. Only if, and when, we reach a stable or declining population can non growth strategies work without spreading hardship.


Good point. Until then it is actually putting the cart before the horse. It's not only declining population but the need to conserve that will coincide with this as a result of a declining resource base. Add to that the prospect of an increasingly unstable environment as in climate change disruptions and you can clearly see how this will move the culture toward placing greater value on stability.
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Re: Degrowth Thread

Unread postby Ibon » Sat 09 Mar 2019, 12:01:24

For the past two hundred years a stable environment was an invisible phenomenon and thus exerted no force of resistance to our cultural projection of growth.
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Re: Degrowth Thread

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Sat 09 Mar 2019, 13:31:29

WHAT stability? Chaos rules with Climate and Weather and Economics and en masse human behaviors. I find no clear distinction between present times and centuries past.

I mean, I know most people here at Peak Oil love to wallow in various Doom scenarios. But that too has always been the case, there are many prophesies of many different Dooms in the Christian Bible written two millenia ago, followed by a continuous history of such up to and including all of you here today.

I just can't remember the last time TEOTWAWKI happened. I think the World hasn't actually ended so far, in fact. Seems unlikely for that matter.
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Re: Degrowth Thread

Unread postby Ibon » Sat 09 Mar 2019, 13:43:08

KaiserJeep wrote:
I just can't remember the last time TEOTWAWKI happened. I think the World hasn't actually ended so far, in fact. Seems unlikely for that matter.


Forget about collapse and doom. That is not the current thread of this conversation. We are talking here about shifting cultural priorities imposed by a shifting reality. We are leaving behind a set of parameters that allowed growth to trump stability as a cultural value and moving toward a set of parameters that will shift cultural priorities toward valuing stability over growth.

That is my contention by focusing solely on reality events, constraints, increasing climate disruptions, the back side of the peak of global human population, etc etc. These are real concrete reality phenomena, not political ideology or opinion.
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Re: Degrowth Thread

Unread postby Ibon » Sat 09 Mar 2019, 14:00:09

Actually, let's repost what VTsnowdin posted above to make a point regarding stability and or vs growth.

vtsnowedin wrote:With the rapidly rising world population we have experienced over the last two centuries the need to supply resources to new people each year has made the pro growth argument the winner by default. Only if, and when, we reach a stable or declining population can non growth strategies work without spreading hardship.


As he points out, the last two centuries growth actually meant stability as this was the indisputable argument for increasing the standard of living and for fighting poverty and disease. Growth enhanced stability during this time of abundant resources and a stable climate and a growing population.

Those parameters shift and so does the cultural orientation and value system when resources become constrained, when climate events become increasingly unstable, when we tip over the peak of human population.

That shift will be toward placing a greater cultural value on stability over growth.

There is an aspect to this which should be common sense. If your not getting it then your bias is clouding your ability to see. Reality leads, ideology follows.
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Re: Degrowth Thread

Unread postby onlooker » Sat 09 Mar 2019, 14:50:47

Yes, the reality is even if we wanted to, we cannit grow economcally more. But the more daunting reality is the Biosphere is reeling from our collective impact, mass insect dieoffs, fish dieoffs, anoexic oceans, demise of key ecological bastions like the Amazon, the Arctic, the Great Barrier reef etc. And this daunting reality almost inexorably must lead to a large human dieoff. But as you say Ibon consequences are the solution. I am not optimistic that we can have much control over future events and outcomes. So, stability yes will be at a premium. But the overriding need amid this turbulence will be survival. So, this stability in human affairs may only come after an unsavory, violent period , a survival of the fittest period
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Re: Degrowth Thread

Unread postby vtsnowedin » Sat 09 Mar 2019, 15:05:18

onlooker wrote:Yes, the reality is even if we wanted to, we cannot grow economically more.

I don't see that we are clearly at that limit just yet. Many of the third world economies could double if they could drive out the corruption in their systems with little more use of natural resources. Even the USA might gain ten to twenty five percent if we successfully tackled our own corruption and structural problems.
The trick would be to use that increased productivity to preserve species and habitat instead of just increasing peoples food budget and leisure time.
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Re: Degrowth Thread

Unread postby onlooker » Sat 09 Mar 2019, 15:31:05

Another point I think we should stress is how soon can the environment recover. Ibon, I defer to you because of your expertise in these matters. However, related to what Vts stated, maintaining this worldwude industrial civilization going just like maintaining our huge population is impacting adversely our Biosphere. So, Degrowth as a proactive strategy makes sense, especially if the recovery period for the environment takes generations. Because a totally denuded Earth does not augur favorably for future potential societies
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Re: Degrowth Thread

Unread postby Ibon » Sat 09 Mar 2019, 15:46:14

I think you do have to recognize the importance of China in this discussion along with of course the USA which may not any longer be the only dominant player but still holds a lot of cultural clout globally. China resisted the democracy movement back in the late 80's and opted instead for a much more planned and regulated political and economic system. One by the way that is overwhelmingly supported today by their citizens. The capitalism part of the China story is no difference than the USA where entrepreneurship and the quest for wealth captivates the population. But parallel to this is the reason behind the rejection of the democracy movement. And that reason was the choice for stability. So you have in China today a citizenry willing to submit to a strong handed government regulating many aspects of life as long as the prospect for economic gain is there for the individual. So what happens when the economic growth engine slows down? Can the government convince their citizens that stability and security is worth the price of increased government regulation and control?

The USA comes from the legacy of unbridled and unrestricted personal freedom from the days of wide open plains and a pioneer spirit. That which is also embedded in the constitution. For me the verdict is out whether this legacy will one day be a handicap or an asset when reality imposes events that force the cultural direction toward putting a greater value on stability and less value on growth.
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Re: Degrowth Thread

Unread postby Ibon » Sat 09 Mar 2019, 15:57:14

onlooker wrote:Another point I think we should stress is how soon can the environment recover. Ibon, I defer to you because of your expertise in these matters. However, related to what Vts stated, maintaining this worldwude industrial civilization going just like maintaining our huge population is impacting adversely our Biosphere. So, Degrowth as a proactive strategy makes sense, especially if the recovery period for the environment takes generations. Because a totally denuded Earth does not augur favorably for future potential societies


There is no avoiding major harm to our environment as we go through this process. On the other hand, I shy away from using terms like "Denuded Earth". There is an incredible dynamic at play, incredible resiliency. I stand before 1.5 million acres of montane tropical forest and I know about many such places that I have visited in the past and that I hear from many of our guests.

Mixed bag. Places like India, SE Asia, Philippines will suffer enormously. Places like equatorial Africa and huge swaths of the Amazon and American tropics will do just fine. Temperate areas like North America will still have their biodiversity glass more than half full.

As much as you despair the thoughtless damage you see unfolding you have to correct your narrative that our biosphere is this fragile place. It just isn't so. There is so much resiliency and so much biodiversity. Humans for all their rogue virus attributes will not blanket the planet with their filth. There are huge areas untouched.

Boreal forests circumpolar above 45 degrees for example. Look at a map of canada, russia, siberia, finland. Huge huge vast areas of low human population density.

We are not all that powerful a presence on the planet even if we are fucking things up royally.

Onlooker, sacrifice a bit of your carbon footprint and drive to a trail head on the Appalachain Trail and take a 20km hike. Or go to Santa Clara Colombia and visit some of the national parks of your country of birth. Colombia has enormous areas of protected parks and rain forests.
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