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Degrowth isn’t death

When I argue for degrowth the word I prefer to use is “sustainability” since that more clearly indicates that it’s not about mindless destruction; it’s about stewardship of limited resources.

I’m for degrowth if sustainability is what’s meant by it. [I’m glad that people are trying to go to space] but the flimsy house of nothingness that capitalism has built on the lie of fossil fuels is gonna collapse and the only cure is working with sustainability in mind.

I sometimes snipe & jab a li’l at degrowth, but only because I think it’s not enough. It’s necessary. I’m for it. I don’t think it can be the only solution; stopping the emissions is. A cottage by Walden Pond doesn’t stop a factory. Uh, I mean, sure, unbridled consumer frenzy can exacerbate the problem by creating more of a market for the fossil fuel economy which is why I’m also frustrated when the rhetoric is “you can still eat burgers, it’s only the corporations that need to change”, so not-buying is necessary, but not enough, because they can still jevons that burnt energy all the way to the bank. They’ll find ways to spend it. They inherently will since that’s an emergent property of exploitable environmental externalities.

Market growth isn’t life

Growth sounds great. It’s what plants crave.

“Growth” that’s based on pretending that existing limits don’t exist isn’t “life”. It’s reckless and deadly.

In grade school, a lot of the econ lessons were about not getting stuck in borrowing loops and to be careful with credit cards and “buy-now-pay-later” schemes and to only use loans for carefully considered investments. Don’t waste what you don’t have, is the takeaway there.

The under-accounted–for costs of fossil fuel leads to destructive behavior. We think it costs $4 per gallon but when the piper comes it’s gonna be our skies, our waters and our selves. Market capitalism has one job—set prices—and it’s not doing that job properly because of how unregulated these areas are.

It’s like if there was an illusory stairway to heaven. Walking onto those li’l steps might look like a great idea but if it’s only an illusion paved with good intentions you’ll tumble badly.

I had dinner last night with an economics phd. I was like “oh, I write a lot about economics too, although I don’t have a formal degree. I mostly write about how externalities are under-accounted for”. He laughed and said “uh, yeah, definitionally they are. That’s what makes them externalities.”