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Degrowth Thread Pt. 2

How to save energy through both societal and individual actions.

Re: Degrowth Thread Pt. 2

Unread postby jato0072 » Fri 18 Nov 2022, 12:05:17

Image

Not that I care about CO2 emissions, but it does show no signs of "de-growth". The government lockdowns being a horrible exception.
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Re: Degrowth Thread Pt. 2

Unread postby mousepad » Fri 18 Nov 2022, 18:42:03

Newfie wrote: The USA by immigration.


I know, it's crazy as shit, ain't it?
The West is all about pushing girls into high power careers and preventing pregnancy, and if it does happen, killing the baby. All the while importing 3rd world to pick up the slack. Sure have to wonder if the West still has the head on straight.
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Re: Degrowth Thread Pt. 2

Unread postby yellowcanoe » Fri 18 Nov 2022, 19:00:23

mousepad wrote:
Newfie wrote: The USA by immigration.


I know, it's crazy as shit, ain't it?
The West is all about pushing girls into high power careers and preventing pregnancy, and if it does happen, killing the baby. All the while importing 3rd world to pick up the slack. Sure have to wonder if the West still has the head on straight.


If you think overpopulation is a problem and don't support large scale immigration into first world countries that makes you an eco-fascist. I guess that makes two of us!

I get the point that overconsumption is a bigger problem than overpopulation given that population growth is concentrated mainly in countries like Nigeria that have much lower per capita consumption. However, it sure seems stupid for environmental groups to advocate for further population growth in first world countries via immigration from third world or developing countries that have low per capita consumption.
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Re: Degrowth Thread Pt. 2

Unread postby Newfie » Sat 19 Nov 2022, 10:07:37

People don't think things through. The knee jerk reaction.

When faced with multiple undesirable choices we kind if freak out, can not commit to the analysis, so we just go with out gut. "Screw it, do this!"

It is just the way we are. Not mean or nasty, but limited and overwhelmed.
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Re: Degrowth Thread Pt. 2

Unread postby Newfie » Fri 23 Dec 2022, 17:45:22

Fortune article on degrowth. Why the GDP needs to he augmented.

https://fortune.com/2022/12/22/degrowth ... hei-saito/
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Re: Degrowth Thread Pt. 2

Unread postby careinke » Sat 24 Dec 2022, 03:34:27

Newfie wrote:Fortune article on degrowth. Why the GDP needs to he augmented.

https://fortune.com/2022/12/22/degrowth ... hei-saito/


I'm not casting dispersions on you, but your beginning to make me want to subscribe, so I can actually read what your trying to pass on..

Perhaps you could provide a summary??

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Re: Degrowth Thread Pt. 2

Unread postby Newfie » Sat 24 Dec 2022, 09:52:17

Posting an entire article is frowned upon, but since it is NOT behind a paywall here it is.

In short, degrowth is inevitable but confuses economist. They are struggling with new metrics while ignoring the elephant.

Alternate title:
Drowning men glimpse but can not comprehend their fate.
..................

It’s time to quit capitalism’s obsession with growth. Focus on ‘degrowth’ instead, some economists say

BYDAVID MEYER
December 22, 2022, 12:00 PM UTC
Photo illustration of a downward arrow made of $100 bills that is shrinking toward the center.
Up isn’t the only way to go.
PHOTO ILLUSTRATION BY VICTORIA ELLIS/FORTUNE; ORIGINAL PHOTO BY GETTY IMAGES

Recession looms across the West, as central banks keep raising interest rates to battle inflation. This year, a short-lived British government tanked the U.K. economy in a desperate attempt to boost growth. And the climate crisis—fueled by the effects of economic activity—made its presence undeniably visible across the world. Meanwhile, rising inequality continues to demonstrate how years of economic growth have not delivered higher wages or better living standards for many people.

Little wonder that the debate around “degrowth”—abandoning economic growth as society’s goal—is flaring up these days.

In Japan, the Marxist academic and degrowth advocate Kohei Saito has unexpectedly become a bestselling author with an environmentally driven call for limits on mass production and consumption: With over half a million copies sold in the generally conservative nation, Capital in the Anthropocene will become available in English next year. This year also saw the publication of Limits and Beyond, a 50-years-on update to the seminal and highly controversial report The Limits to Growth, in which MIT scientists predicted societal collapse if growth trends in population and resource depletion are not abated.

“It seems that humanity is thriving and committing suicide at the same time,” noted author Ugo Bardi in the newer book, which argues that the original’s thesis has been broadly vindicated.

While opponents of the growth-is-good mantra are enjoying revived interest in their ideas, they remain on the fringe of mainstream economics. But even among their critics, there is enthusiasm for reevaluating how we approach growth and the importance we place on the all-powerful metric that measures it—gross domestic product, or GDP. (It should be noted that Simon Kuznets, the U.S. economist whose work led to the creation of GDP, argued against using it as a policymaking tool.)

Indeed, there is now a global push to introduce standardized national metrics for things like well-being and environmental degradation, to give decision-makers additional tools. As Diane Coyle, a public policy professor at the University of Cambridge, put it, we “have to count natural capital and human capital as fundamental contributors toward economic progress.”

The costs of economic growth
Tim Jackson, an ecological economist and former government adviser in the U.K., is one of the leading voices calling for an end to growth mania; his Prosperity Without Growth was one of the Financial Times’ books of the year in 2009, and he’s a member of the Club of Rome, the Swiss think tank that commissioned The Limits to Growth back in 1972. Jackson argues that “Trussonomics”—the slash-taxes-to-boost-growth playbook that characterized the brief and disastrous U.K. premiership of Liz Truss this year—was the “endgame” of an obsession that has led to many bad decisions.

“We deregulated financial systems; we’ve over-leveraged companies; we’ve delivered financial instability; we’ve created huge inequity because of the difference between the returns to shareholders and the wages to workers; and we’ve completely failed to invest in environmental protection,” Jackson told Fortune. “All because we all have our eyes on the glittering prize of economic growth.”

Jackson argues for separating our conception of prosperity from the “simple question” of expanding economic output. “From a philosophical point of view, it’s pretty easy to do that, and it’s partly pretty easy to do it because GDP, which is what we measure economic growth by, really isn’t a very good measure, even of the economy, let alone of a broader measure of prosperity,” he said. “That’s a quite well-established argument that goes back to at least 1968 when Robert Kennedy critiqued the GDP and said it ‘measures everything except that which makes life worthwhile.’”

Even though he’s aligned with many of the movement’s principles, Jackson is skittish about the term “degrowth”—as are many others, owing to its negative framing and contested definition. He’s wary of people seeing degrowth as “a strategic decision to go and turn down economic output…It’s rather a decision to say, ‘Be focused on the economic activity that creates well-being in society, wherever that may be,’” he said.

There’s good cause for Jackson’s defensiveness; many economists, Coyle included, are scathing about the idea of treating economic growth as undesirable, or as optional.

“If you don’t have growth, you don’t have innovation,” said Coyle. “We don’t want to undermine the possibility of future prosperity. We need to pay attention to what’s happening with the environment, [but] that says to me that you measure growth in a sustainable way, so we change what we measure, but we certainly don’t throw away the idea that the economy ought to grow.”

Jackson counters that a growthless economy “would have to have all sorts of innovation.” He argues that there’s “good innovation”—such as renewable-energy technologies and health care systems—and “bad innovation,” exemplified by goods that are environmentally harmful to make and that do not last once consumers have bought them. “Things that can contribute to the quality of our lives are not ruled out in any sense by degrowth,” he said.

Another controversial aspect of degrowth is the question of whether it would reduce or boost inequality. Coyle argues that degrowth advocates are being “dishonest” because they are effectively calling for recessions that will make people—particularly the poorest in society—worse off. “If you don’t have a growing economy, you can’t possibly redistribute any income growth to the people who’ve not seen it so far,” she said. And, she added, “the politics of redistribution don’t win elections.”

Jackson says degrowth would need to go hand in hand with measures to tackle inequality. It’s easier to sidestep the issue when an economy is growing and both rich and poor are getting richer, he says, but not in times of deliberate or unintentional economic shrinkage. “You cannot achieve well-being in a society in which you have turgid levels of economic growth or perhaps no levels of economic growth, unless you pay attention to the distribution of income,” he said.

Jackson admits his proposed “stationary, sustainable economy that delivers well-being for people” would probably not be “much like capitalism as we know it,” though he adds that “it isn’t entirely what we’ve learned as socialism or communism” either.

Better metrics than GDP
Whichever economic policies governments choose to follow in the coming years, there’s a good chance that they’ll have more diverse and meaningful information on which to base it. The United Nations will in 2025 release the world’s first new “system of national accounts” since before the 2008–09 financial crisis, in which GDP will for the first time be accompanied by standardized metrics for well-being and environmental sustainability. Some countries have already started producing such metrics—the U.K.’s Office for National Statistics publishes “environmental accounts” alongside GDP figures, for example—but the UN push is an effort to get everyone on the same page.

“GDP will still be there—it’s needed for macroeconomic policy so it’s useful, and you don’t throw away this sort of information—but I think governments will increasingly not use it as their sole measure of success,” said Coyle.

Jackson is cautiously optimistic about the UN process—“It’s a place where we have a chance to reset our direction of travel”—but says it needs to result in more than just new measurements. “It politically has to engage in the process of supplanting the supremacy of the GDP in political decision-making,” he said.

“You’re never going to get a single number that captures what’s happening to monetary activity; the market economy; what’s happening to household activity; what’s happening to the natural environment; what’s happening to distribution—you’d never get all that into a single metric,” said Coyle. “We’re going to have to get our heads around looking at several different things that we care about.”

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Re: Degrowth Thread Pt. 2

Unread postby theluckycountry » Sun 25 Dec 2022, 17:05:49

If de-growth is measured by GDP then it's meaningless to me since GDP is now basically just a measure of how much debt is being created, Loans=product=GDP. I remember the transition back in the 90's when all the little signs appeared in the banks touting their "Products". It was a great way to fudge the collapsing GDP as all the manufacturing went offshore.

De-growth to me is less auto's being sold, less miles driven, less electricity being consumed and less fossil fuels brought to market. I would say Europe is experiencing a nasty bout of de-growth at the moment :P People in white shirts and ties though see GDP and de-growth completely differently. To them all the modern economic accounting is legitimate, but that's only because their lives, their very futures are bound up in the continuance of bullshit statistics.

How many people worked in offices 100 years ago? How many do we think will find employment there in the future when we head back to the horse and plow (so to speak) When the transition was made form horses to autos some people retained their jobs but hundreds of thousands lost theirs and had to retrain, the same when the transition from coal to oil was made. Some boiler stokers were still required but the vast majority lost their livelihood.

In the future, millions of mouse-pushers are going to made redundant when we can no longer afford to feed them while they sit in their cubicles moving pixels around on a screen. They will have to go and find other jobs, plowing fields perhaps?
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Re: Degrowth Thread Pt. 2

Unread postby Newfie » Sun 25 Dec 2022, 17:42:56

I mostly agree, but changing the paradigm sill take time.

Kahanaman (sp?) received a Nobel in Economics for showing the fundamental basis of our economics, that people make logical decisions, is false. Except all the Economists ignored it. It will eventually he proven correct, over their dead policies and much real suffering. You can only ignore reality so long.
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Re: Degrowth Thread Pt. 2

Unread postby theluckycountry » Sat 28 Jan 2023, 13:59:14

Newfie wrote:I mostly agree, but changing the paradigm still takes time.

Kahanaman (sp?) received a Nobel in Economics for showing the fundamental basis of our economics, that people make logical decisions, is false. Except all the Economists ignored it. It will eventually he proven correct, over their dead policies and much real suffering. You can only ignore reality so long.


Mousepad said

... All the while importing 3rd world to pick up the slack. Sure have to wonder if the West still has the head on straight.


Even before birth control this was a trend in wealthy nations. Basically the locals become entitled and don't want to do the shit jobs so they import those who will. Picking vegetables and fruit is a shit job and no one here wants to do it but we tapped into the backpacker trade and they do all that work to fund their stay in Oz. The Japanese do it with Koreans, they come across and do all the work the Japs don't want to do but they don't get citizenship unless they marry, they get sent home when their stint is up.


https://www.hurights.or.jp/archives/foc ... japan.html

In Japan, the number of foreign workers is estimated to be about 1.7 million people... After the Japanese economy became so strong, most Japanese moved into white collar jobs, creating a new demand for labor in the blue collar industries. The construction, manufacturing, and service industries have been employing foreigners in great numbers ever since.

Japan revised the Immigration Control Law in 1989 so that most foreigners who come to Japan to work are not accepted and unwelcome...

Most of them are working illegally in Japan by overstaying their tourist or student visas... They are hardworking members of society providing essential services and labor, yet they are in constant fear of being discovered by the police or immigration authorities. As long as the present laws and immigration policies remain the same, these foreign workers will have to continue living as second-class citizens and outlaws. As a nation, Japan must think about ways of accepting these valuable members of society as human beings, and not simply as foreign laborers.


Yeah right. Like that's gonna happen lol lol. Most nations regard those that "Don't look like them" as subhuman :lol:
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Re: Degrowth Thread Pt. 2

Unread postby Newfie » Sat 28 Jan 2023, 19:23:14

Yeah, human nature sucks.

I have read Japan has somewhat adapted by outsourcing throhe lower levels of manufacturing and production while retaining the higher level positions and intellectual knowledge.

I feel AI and ribotics has the potential to off set some if this demographic collapse for a few countries, such as the USA. This will require a very significant ificant change to our tax codes as machines displace workers.

I question whether this is sufficient to stop demkgraphic collapse but if it simply blunts its impact it will be worthwhile.

China and Russia and some others may already be took far along the demographic collapse curve for AI to make much difference.
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Re: Degrowth Thread Pt. 2

Unread postby theluckycountry » Mon 30 Jan 2023, 17:59:15

Hmmm. I try to keep in mind the underlying premise of peakoil, that our industrialized global system simply cannot function without oil and will begin to fall apart as oil becomes limited. The limits to growth.

Robotics are great, for building cars, for warehouse operations, manufacturing in general, but these a not huge sectors of our respective economies are they. Many tasks don't lend themselves to robotics. On-site construction for one, much of the agricultural sector and food chain too. At some point (wage point) humans become more practical than robots. It's amazing how much manufacturing in China, that could be robotized, is done by simple human labor. Assembling iphones and the like.

The demographic collapse is a Godsend as far I'm I'm concerned. The population of the planet was getting out of hand and needed to stabilize anyway. Just think of the wealth we could all enjoy if there was only 100 million people on the planet! It's probably the main reason Australia has such a high level of prosperity, a large natural resource base coupled with a small population. Look at the US, it had the same back in the 1950's and 60's. It had a population then of 150 million and Australia 10 million. Today the US is 335 million and Australia 25 million.
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Re: Degrowth Thread Pt. 2

Unread postby mousepad » Mon 30 Jan 2023, 19:11:27

theluckycountry wrote:Picking vegetables and fruit is a shit job and no one here wants to do it


Not a matter of "wants". All a matter of pay. Why should you pick vegetables when you can go do an easy job and get paid more? Sometimes even full time mooching pays more than low level work. Stop importing unskilled workers to depress wages. Will result in better paid low level jobs and a fairer society overall. It also avoids loss of cultural identity and loss of societal cohesion. Don't believe me? Take a stroll down any european city. Except the architecture there ain't much europe in europe anymore.

Can't afford to pay more for vegetables? Embrace and promote de-growth. Less consumption, less production, less waste, less population. It's good for the environment. Ain't that what them demwits say they care about? The demwits are them barista type politicians. You know, the ones with limited intellect, but quick to play any victim card they can pull from their ass. The chief demwit, brandon, should be no doubt tried for high treason, destroying the societal fabric of the nation by caring more about importing as much 3. world as possible instead of caring for the american worker. Truly a unique species, them demwits.

In europe political parties come and go, quick to organize, and quick to be successful if they run a platform embraced by the voters. Why can't americans organize some new parties? It's high time, the demwits are running well past their expiration date.
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Re: Degrowth Thread Pt. 2

Unread postby Newfie » Mon 30 Jan 2023, 20:59:46

From various sources I gather the “sustainable” population of high consuming humans is somewheres between 100 and 1,000 millions. Sounds roughly about right.
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Re: Degrowth Thread Pt. 2

Unread postby vtsnowedin » Mon 30 Jan 2023, 21:55:33

Newfie wrote:From various sources I gather the “sustainable” population of high consuming humans is somewheres between 100 and 1,000 millions. Sounds roughly about right.

I wonder about the math in that. The rich can only consume so much food and wear one set of cloths at a time. Yes the very top can waste lots of jet fuel going on vacations to ski resorts etc. But just how much does an affluent middle class person consume compared to a poor person burning wood and cow dung to get by. You build a house and it lasts for perhaps one hundred years. The mud hut has to be replaced every few years or every flood.
Many will say the answers are obvious but I do not know as they are as doing things the Western way has profited the West and given them power over the undeveloped world so perhaps that indicates that way is more efficient even on a energy measurement.
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Re: Degrowth Thread Pt. 2

Unread postby theluckycountry » Tue 31 Jan 2023, 01:23:27

mousepad wrote:
theluckycountry wrote:Picking vegetables and fruit is a shit job and no one here wants to do it


Not a matter of "wants". All a matter of pay. Why should you pick vegetables when you can go do an easy job and get paid more? Sometimes even full time mooching pays more than low level work. Stop importing unskilled workers to depress wages. Will result in better paid low level jobs and a fairer society overall.

In europe political parties come and go, quick to organize, and quick to be successful if they run a platform embraced by the voters. Why can't americans organize some new parties?


Well I believe that most western nations have seen their political systems (all parties) captured by the corporatocracy. It doesn't matter which party is in power, they are bribed off, have been for generations. have you seen that video of a banker leaning over Ronald Reagan's shoulder as he signs a Bill, telling him to "Hurry up"? Reagan was an actor, employed by the Banks and corporations to keep up the illusion that America is a democracy while they made their obscene profits from housing loans and military manufacture.

Reagan's path to power https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vvVAPsn3Fpk

A new party, an honest party, simply doesn't get a show. It will be killed at inception, either by the refusal of the mass media, which is part of the corporatocracy, to give it airtime or by outright character assassination. It was tried here 20 years ago, the One Nation Party. All the others, the 3 major parties and the little ones banded together to condemn it. The media painted it as a Nazi party. It actually did well in the Federal election all the same so they went after the leaders with trumped up charges and put some in jail. Others emerged as independents, I suspect they were bribed off.
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Re: Degrowth Thread Pt. 2

Unread postby theluckycountry » Tue 31 Jan 2023, 01:48:31

vtsnowedin wrote:
Newfie wrote:From various sources I gather the “sustainable” population of high consuming humans is somewheres between 100 and 1,000 millions. Sounds roughly about right.

I wonder about the math in that. The rich can only consume so much food and wear one set of cloths at a time.


It's the law of the empire, always has been. When I read about Easter Island I saw it clearly. A small group of natives found it after a great voyage of discovery, they were probably very similar in caste, so to speak. Withing a few hundred years they had grown into clans of thousands of souls with each clan having its own king and court. That's us, everyone striving to get as big a share of the resources as we can.
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Re: Degrowth Thread Pt. 2

Unread postby Newfie » Tue 31 Jan 2023, 07:08:50

vtsnowedin wrote:
Newfie wrote:From various sources I gather the “sustainable” population of high consuming humans is somewheres between 100 and 1,000 millions. Sounds roughly about right.

I wonder about the math in that. The rich can only consume so much food and wear one set of cloths at a time. Yes the very top can waste lots of jet fuel going on vacations to ski resorts etc. But just how much does an affluent middle class person consume compared to a poor person burning wood and cow dung to get by. You build a house and it lasts for perhaps one hundred years. The mud hut has to be replaced every few years or every flood.
Many will say the answers are obvious but I do not know as they are as doing things the Western way has profited the West and given them power over the undeveloped world so perhaps that indicates that way is more efficient even on a energy measurement.


We are talking past one another here and I’m off on an adventure. I will circle back to this if I can remember.
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Re: Degrowth Thread Pt. 2

Unread postby theluckycountry » Tue 31 Jan 2023, 18:57:48

Newfie wrote:
We are talking past one another here and I’m off on an adventure. I will circle back to this if I can remember.


Have fun and stay safe as they say, I value your input here.
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Re: Degrowth Thread Pt. 2

Unread postby Newfie » Wed 01 Feb 2023, 17:32:34

VT,

Assume for the moment that the agreed purpose of goal of mankind is to understand reality. That requires, as a minimum, some high processing power and the ability to perform complicated experiments. These are only done by a small percent of the population but they require a high degree of development. The society or culture which can support such research must itself be highly evolved and aware and is likely not living in mud huts, and it likely has very cultivated tastes and needs. It has to support an entire industrial system from mining to exquisite manufacturing. Not every bit of the culture requires massive energy and material inputs, but there must be a pool of resources and knowledge to support ongoing intellectual advancement. This likely requires relatively high energy inputs, maybe not like the USA, but perhaps half of say Belgium, what ever that is.

The Earth has finite resources, if we exceed those resources we at least diminish what we can accomplish and if taken to extreme it puts the entire ecosystem at risk of collapse. Think of humanity as a parasite, there there is some limit to how much we can extract without killing the host. Those behind the Global Footprint effort have made a partial effort at quantifying this limit.
To make the math solvable they made an assumption that Earths productive capacity is constant. The truth is; the soil is depleting, wetlands disappearing, the seas have become vast deserts, aquifers are depleting, etc. Earths ability to sustain extraction is far less than that projected by the Global Network.

Trying to square how much we can safely extract while retaining an aggressive progress of knowledge leads to one fairly low max population solution which reflected above, within a broad range. 100 to 1,000 millions.

If our desire is simply to have as many humans as possible, to concentrate all our efforts on maximum population, then the high energy users need to be limited to allow for more people living in mud huts or chicken coops. All that energy and resources that could go to intellectual advancement instead is directed to human population enhancement. Then the answer to the number of people will likely be much larger, maybe 10,000 millions.

There is a third solution. We continue as we are, unfettered growth. Then at some point we totally collapse the ecosystems regenerative ability and the number who can be then supported becomes something between 100 and 0 millions.
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