Up Sucker Creek

Up Sucker Creek
Photo Courtesy of the Lake Oswego Library

Monday, August 17, 2015


"Post-development" thought

I have heard some extreme ideas associated with the environmental and sustainable movements, but I had never heard about DEGROWTH and DEGROWTHERS.  The movement is anti-sustainable development, because anything with the word develooment in it smacks of economic growth and consumption, the very things degrowthers hate.

In order to get a better idea what this movement is all about, I suggest visiting these 3 websites, all devoted to the cause.  I couldn't have made this up.  It's the Communist Manifesto dressed up in eco-theology for today's counter culture.  Let's all hate capitalism!  And the industrial revolution!  The 70s are calling, they want their causes back.  All the degrowthers need is a yurt and 20 acres to cool their jets.

Demonstration at the fourth International Conference on Degrowth in Germany on 9/26/2014, http://leipzig.degrowth.org

Common Dreams  
Breaking News and Views for the Progressive Community
Down With Sustainable Development! Long Live Convivial Degrowth!
By Justin Hyatt, November 22, 2014

Development is indeed a dirty word in degrowth circles. From the vantage point of economic realism, development is inextricably connected to economic growth. However, degrowthers carry the deeply-held belief that economic growth simply does not deliver what it promises: increased human welfare.

Perhaps Francois Schneider, another of the degrowth pioneers, put it best when he defined degrowth as: “equitable downscaling of production and consumption that will reduce societies’ throughput of energy and raw materials.”

The goal in all of this, according to the authors of the new book, is not simply to have a society that 
can manage with less, but to have different arrangements and a different quality.
Nowadays, surplus time and energy is often re-invested in new production or used in an individualistic manner.
 D├ępense signifies the collective consumption of ‘surplus’ in a society.

Demaria and others also hope that one specific effect of the Leipzig conference, as well as the brand new volume on degrowth, will be to re-politicise environmentalism.

The Guardian
Sustainable development is failing but there are alternatives to capiltalism 
All over the world, environmental justice movements are challenging growth-oriented development and neoliberal capitalism.
By Ashish Kothare, Federico Demaria and Alberto Acosta. July 2, 2015

In the face of worsening ecological and economic crises and continuing social deprivation, the last two decades have seen two broad trends emerge among those seeking sustainability, equality and justice. 

Degrowth in action

 Understood as a critical concept not restricted to moralistic appeals to individual consumer behavior, but also envisioning political and economic structures, sufficiency defines both a floor and a ceiling to appropriate material standards of living. By recognizing not only what is “too much” but also what is “too little,” it contains an important claim to (global) social justice. Ascesis iconsidered just as undesirable as waste and excess. Such orientation towards a sufficient material standard of living leaves enough room for other aspects of human well-being.

And one more that is more general - from Aistralia:
SHIFT Magazine
The globe change-makers magazine

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