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The solution both to the economic crisis and to climate change is sustainable economic degrowth

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OKIsItJustMe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-24-10 05:00 PM
Original message
The solution both to the economic crisis and to climate change is sustainable economic degrowth
http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2010-03/uadb-sb0...
Public release date: 24-Mar-2010

Contact: Maria Jesus Delgado
MariaJesus.Delgado@uab.cat
34-935-814-049
Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona

The solution both to the economic crisis and to climate change is sustainable economic degrowth

Thus argues a scientific study coordinated by researchers of the Institute of Environmental Science and Technology, Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona

This month's edition of the periodical Journal of Cleaner Production, a leading international journal on industrial and technological innovation, publishes the results of a coordinated study organized by Giorgos Kallis, Francois Schneider and Joan Martinez-Alier from the ICTA at the Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB). The publication, which involves 15 analytical and empirical articles from distinguished economists, social scientists and environmental scientists, reflects on the idea of "sustainable degrowth", i.e. an equitable downscaling of economic production and consumption that will improve environmental conditions while enhancing human well-being.

The expression, "Beyond GDP", is in fashion in Brussels among some European civil servants and politicians, 40 years after Commission President Sicco Mansholt had already criticized GDP, and proposed zero economic growth in rich countries. The slogan in Brussels is "the greening of the economy: beyond GDP". But "Beyond GDP" should mean not only to devise better indicators to measure human welfare, but also to go beyond the single imperative of economic growth in the rich countries. This was the motivation behind a project coordinated by ICTA, UAB. Distinguished scientists from the fields of ecological economics, sociology and environmental studies, most of them contributors in the 1st International Conference on Economic Degrowth (Paris, 18 and 19 of April 2008) were invited to reflect, in the light of the current economic crisis, on the possibility of a "smooth landing", i.e. a process of economic degrowth that does not have negative social impacts. Among environmentalists, the idea of degrowth has recently gained currency, given disillusion with the lack of political progress in Copenhagen in December 2009 and the realization that improvements in environmental technologies alone will avert neither climate change nor biodiversity loss, if the economy keeps growing at its usual pace. But reasonable concerns about the impacts of degrowth on employment and poverty have always been strong.

Scholars from different fields seem to converge in the view that economic degrowth is not only desirable, but unavoidable, as physicist-economist Nicholas Georgescu-Roegen argued already in the 1970s. The economy cannot grow indefinitely in a finite planet. Financing and debts are used to hide this basic fact, but the underlying inability of the real economy to keep up with unrealistic expectations of growth, is revealed in times of crisis. The question then is how to manage smoothly and socially equitably the process of degrowth and the transition to a "steady-state", where the economy will neither shrink nor grow. Different proposals are put forward in this edited volume, ranging from theoretical explorations on reforms to the social security and pensioning systems and reduction of working hours, to more radical calls for changes in the structures of the economic and political systems and importantly, concrete proposals about low-consumption, shared housing schemes. Together the fifteen articles presented in this issue offer a complex picture of the rich scientific debate about the desirability and possibility of sustainable degrowth, and open a range of important research questions for the future.

The study is published in time for the Second International Conference on Degrowth, which will take place in Barcelona, 26-29 March 2010, under the auspices of ICTA/UAB, the University of Barcelona, Research & Degrowth, and Ecologistas en Accion and with the financial support of the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innnovation and the Generalitat de Catalunya. Some 400 participants from all over the world will participate in the conference, expected to be a landmark event in the development and diffusion of the idea of sustainable degrowth.

###

For more information, please contact Giorgos Kallis (giorgoskallis@gmail.com )

The Special Issue can be downloaded at http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/09596526 .

For more information about the 2nd International Conference on degrowth, please visit: www.degrowth.eu .
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tularetom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-24-10 05:07 PM
Response to Original message
1. These people are a lot smarter than me but
it seems to me that this can only be accomplished in conjunction with world wide, enforceable, population control, where birth rates are managed to track the death rate. And that would bring the battle between science and religion right to the front, where it needs to be.
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truedelphi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-24-10 05:08 PM
Response to Original message
2. And we could simply stop the geo-engineering from the planes that
Edited on Wed Mar-24-10 05:08 PM by truedelphi
Are flying over our heads, spraying gawd knows what, 24/7.

Ed Teller said that the spraying of various particulates could curtail the heat of the solar rays from affecting the planet. Various other groups determined the emissions of spent jet fuel would offset any savings from such a program. This debate started in 1997.

And I can prove it is happening.
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OKIsItJustMe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-24-10 05:25 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. Re: And I can prove it is happening.
Difficult.
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truedelphi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-25-10 01:24 AM
Response to Reply #3
4. Well, I can prove something very odd is happening
I live inside a geographic "bowl" wherein there are hills about eight miles from other hills.

So if you sit at the lake almost any day of the summer, you watch as planes barely make it over the hills to the south, and then the plane careens from that altitude of say, 55000 feet up to 15,000 or more feet, and then careens back down.

This summer, I will be filming it. I will also invoke Freedom Of Information rights and obtain FAA flight patterns for this going on.

What commercial planes would fly like that? Going from 5500 feet to 15,000 or maybe even higher and then come right back down eight miles later? And why would military jets fly like that?

In four hours the sky goes from a pure blue - almost breath taking in how deep a blue it is, to a milky white color. The entire sky over the lake ends up white, rather than blue. it is not mere con trails.

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tama Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-25-10 11:11 PM
Response to Reply #2
7. If we want to fly
let's grow wings like dinosaurs did. Or just fly in dream words where gravity does not apply.
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The2ndWheel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-25-10 09:56 AM
Response to Original message
5. "the transition to a "steady-state", where the economy will neither shrink nor grow"
The amount of time, money, and energy to manage a globally steady-state economy(since nothing, anywhere, could shrink or grow), would be insane. It would require growth to sustain such a system.
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tama Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-25-10 11:19 PM
Response to Reply #5
8. The steady state
Edited on Thu Mar-25-10 11:21 PM by tama
is the sustainable level. Living at sustainable level needs no top-down control. Top-down pyramid scam is what is unsustainable in the first place. The grass roots movement towards local sustainability (horticulturalists) is happening all the time and growing with no aid from states. In fact, states and banks are the biggest obstacle. But thanks for Michelle Obama for listening Gardeners International and doing something exemplary to raise global consciousness with only usefull thing that White House has done in ages.
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starroute Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-25-10 12:37 PM
Response to Original message
6. The biggest stumbling block will be capitalism
Except in cases of genuine innovation, there's not a lot of profit to be made in supplying routine needs. It's only through convincing people they constantly need more and bigger with extra bells on that most industries are able to maintain the level of profits necessary even to pay dividends.

A steady-state economy will mean that most companies will have to be run on what is effectively a non-profit basis, making just enough to cover their costs and meet a payroll and nothing left over.

That's doable, of course. It's just not doable under capitalism.

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tama Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-25-10 11:25 PM
Response to Reply #6
9. The propaganda
to condition humans into consumers (commercial media and addvertizing industry) takes huge effort and even with all those resources and advanced techniques of mass hypnosis, they are not really succeeding.

Drop-outism and refusal to play their game is growing, as is gift economy in many forms (wikipedia etc.).
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