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Degrowth Thread

How to save energy through both societal and individual actions.

Re: Degrowth Thread

Unread postby theluckycountry » Mon 27 Sep 2021, 16:28:38

In the small town I live in I can see the effects of degrowth just in the collapsing back roads. These once well maintained bitumen roads are 'withering' so to speak, dying, which is the opposite of growth. Growth actually stopped roughly 25 years ago when the endless conversion from gravel to blacktop stopped abruptly. It's interesting to drive around the hills and note the number of bitumen roads that begin at one end, off some major road, run for say 12km to another major road, but in the middle is a 2 or 3 km section of gravel. Like an unfinished project, which is what they are basically. And they are everywhere out here.

When people in planning circles or green towns movements speak of Degrowth it's always on the basis of a controlled return to something more sustainable, but that is never how it works in the real world. In the real world money, or access to resources, stops flowing and you get a collapse of whatever was built. Just like a person who gets old and starts to have health issues, the doctors continually patch them up but they know in the end that old person will be dead soon. This is how I view global road networks.

Unfortunately they are still building new highways, and housing developments based on the previous investment trap mentality. By the time they admit we need to switch to a gravel road system, perhaps with some new plant based additive to make them more resilient (a dream) there will be very little energy left in the ground to accomplish this. Ie: building the fleets of graders needed for maintenance, ripping up all the problematic concrete and bitumen roads.

Perhaps this current collapse in the industrial system we built up over the past 100 years will remove the need for many roads, if it continues at the pace it has been over the past 2 years there will be a lot less cars driving, and that's oil saved as well. I see it already on my roads, less traffic because of the increased unemployment and the work from home transition. Poor people don't drive cars except for essential trips. poor people don't have plumbers, and lawnmowing contractors, and delivery drivers visiting all the year long.
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Re: Degrowth Thread

Unread postby Outcast_Searcher » Wed 29 Sep 2021, 17:19:04

theluckycountry wrote:In the small town I live in I can see the effects of degrowth just in the collapsing back roads. These once well maintained bitumen roads are 'withering' so to speak, dying, which is the opposite of growth. Growth actually stopped roughly 25 years ago when the endless conversion from gravel to blacktop stopped abruptly. It's interesting to drive around the hills and note the number of bitumen roads that begin at one end, off some major road, run for say 12km to another major road, but in the middle is a 2 or 3 km section of gravel. Like an unfinished project, which is what they are basically. And they are everywhere out here.


OTOH, life expentencies, living standards on average, and the amount of roads and housing available continue to improve rather consistently, over time.

So there's that.

But I know, you have doom to sell, whether backed by credible facts or not. :idea:
Given the track record of the perma-doomer blogs, I wouldn't bet a fast crash doomer's money on their predictions.
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Re: Degrowth Thread

Unread postby Newfie » Wed 29 Sep 2021, 18:17:25

Out,

It is the difference between looking backward and looking forward.

The standard disclaimer: past return are no guarantee of future performance.

Just one example; China has a coal crunch. They did. Not have a crunch until they did, and now the do.
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