October 18, 2021

What do we produce, and why? , By Vincent League (Le Monde Diplomatic).

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Sustainable: This farmer makes bread from his flour for sale locally, Brussels, France, August 2016.

Alvaro Canvas Paris Match Getty.

D.Growth Is the subject of global debate. For obvious environmental reasons, some people still believe that unlimited development is possible in our limited world. The ‘always more’ model of our unequal, productive, consumerist society is reaching its limits. Proponents of degradation claim that it provides opportunities for social justice, freedom and enjoyment of life.

He believes that measuring growth in terms of annual value-added growth is a flaw, as it is directly linked to production and consumption. Whether it’s red, green, black, sustainable or comprehensive, continued growth seems ridiculous: 3% annual growth means doubling production (and consumption) every 24 years. And a hundred years from now, we will have 18 times more production than we do today. The intellect understands that we must abandon a struggle that has already erased the benefits of the past in social welfare. Does anyone really believe that we are three times happier today than we were 50 years ago?

Shrinking the economy would be just as meaningless. The idea of ​​degradation is just to avoid the sect of progress. And switch from a limited quantitative analysis (which has turned a blind eye to the purpose of economic activity) to understanding the meaning of that activity and the quality of our lives. Experiment, and ask other questions. To meet our basic needs in a way that is not only sustainable but also pleasant and fair.

Yet, there are still many followers of the growth cult, left and right, and even among environmentalists. In response to a climate emergency, there is a growing argument for ‘decoupling’: continuing to increase the production of goods and services, but reducing their environmental impact and draining resources. However, while regional or sectoral doping is taking place partially or temporarily, we have not yet seen global doping at the scale that is at stake.

The challenge of expulsion.


Full article: 1,503. the words

Vincent Legi.

Vincent Legi is an engineer, co-coordinator of Cargonomia Social Cooperative in Budapest, and co-author (with Anitra Nelson). Development Detection: An Important Guide, Pluto Press, 2020, and (with Isabel Brookman). Reduce, Tana Editions, 2021.

(1.) SeeTimothée Parrique and Giorgos Kallis, ‘Degrowth: Socialism without growth’, New Cold War: Know Better, Geopolitical Economy Research Group, 10 February 2021, newcoldwar.org/.

(2.) See Timothy Pareek et al, ‘Decoupling Debunked: Evidence and Arguments Against Green Growth as a Single Strategy for Sustainability’, European Environment Bureau, Brussels, July 2019.

(3.) Look at Carl Polani, The Great Change: The Political and Economic Beginnings of Our Time Beacon Press, Boston (Mass.), 2002 (first published 1944).

(4.) Jason Heckler, ‘Assessing National Responsibility for Climate Change: An Equitable Attribution Approach to Planetary Excessive Carbon Dioxide Emissions’, Lancet, Volume 4, Number 9, London, September 1, 2020.

(5.) See Zalma Ramirez and Geoffrey Vladin.In the name of roses.‘, The diplomatic world, English edition, March 2020.

(6.) Aminata Tourer, Imaginary rape. (Imaginary Rape), Faird / Acts Sood, Paris / Arles, 2002.

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