Or can we plan our way back down, through power-down, simplification, localization?
You have heard the big banks, in Europe, America and Japan are actually bankrupt. They still value their real estate collateral at the high points before the crash.
Most National governments are also bankrupt. Not just Greece, but Japan, Britain, and America too. They have borrowed more than they can ever repay.
We are also past peak oil. Even the International Energy Agency admits this. Oil is the basis of our lives, even our food supply.
The atmosphere has become dangerously overloaded, the ocean acidic, the species endangered or dying.
It’s all a big Ponzi scheme, grown wildly beyond what the planet can support. So why does every politician and corporate CEO keep talking about more and more “growth”?
GROWTH IS OVER
What we need to survive, a growing chorus of experts and scientists say, is “De-Growth”. We need to shrink our imprint on the planet, and live within our means, sustainably.
De-drowth is still a heresy in most government halls. Corporations fire people for talking like that. So they prefer a “hard landing” – profit until we die.
In this radio segment from Radio Ecoshock you will hear something completely different from every political promise and every business plan. Scientists, peak oil specialists, environmentalists, and a new breed of financial realists all say the same thing: the age of economic growth is over.
To cope with declining resources, and an eco-system tilting toward a death-spiral, we don’t need more growth. We need to shrink our economies. They call it “de-growth.”
Only on Radio Ecoshock, you will hear two panelists from a recent De-Growth conference in Vancouver, Canada. Our speakers areConrad Schmidt from the Work-Less-Party, and Dr. Bill Rees, the co-inventor of the ecological footprint concept. What your mainstream media won’t tell you.
Both of these men are annoying. Professor Rees listens and looks at all the schemes offered as solutions. Then he measures the actual results. Sometimes that isn’t so pleasing, especially when we had such good intentions. Right now, Rees cuts through all the green talk to point out our record carbon emissions in 2010, the path toward climate disaster.
Conrad Schmidt can look a paradox in the eye. Does a hybrid car really save any energy? Is cheaper alternative energy really good for the planet? Rude questions.
Schmidt keeps us facing into the wind of the “Jevons Paradox“. Famously, as coal engines became more efficient, Jevons said industry would use MORE coal not less, now that it was more efficient. Schmidt applies this to different aspects of alternative energy, preferring solar power – because it is more expensive!
Professor William Rees (“Bill”) has a crew of people who measure what actually happens. Not the press announcements, or the good intentions. What is the hard result? They calculate the “ecological footprint” of a wide range of human activity. The reality is not anywhere near as nice as our talk about it.
Bill is always an eye-opener, and he’s in good form in this De-growth panel discussion, explaining what it is, and why we need it so desperately starting yesterday.
Enjoy, and please spread this audio to your friends. Here is a permanent download link for this 29 minute selection from theVancouver Degrowth Conference June 3, 2011:
POSTED BY ALEX SMITH AT 9:19 AM
- William Rees on disconnection (learningfromdogs.com)
- Well, if CERA says There Will Be Oil, We Can Just Stop Worrying, Right? [Casaubon's Book] (scienceblogs.com)
- A pleasant and benevolent degrowth and downshift ? (postoil.wordpress.com)
- Peak Oil, Peak Debt, And The Concentration Of Power (businessinsider.com)
- Love Your Planet, Love Your Self (holisticunderground.wordpress.com)
- Google’s Senate Hearing This Week: What’s at Stake for You (pcworld.com)
- When the past catches up with you, it never goes away. The planet like an elephant-never forgets (ikners.com)
- Family Dollar: Five Years of Growth (asentinelinsider.wordpress.com)
- US EIA: Sees Oil Prices At $95/Barrel By 2015, $108 By 2020 (forexlive.com)
- Google CEO Schmidt Admits It’s DEMAND That Creates Jobs (crooksandliars.com)