Degrowth

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Vancouver Degrowth series by William Rees is an intro for those not already aware of the concept. We've covered it before but this one seems worth a look.

btw, on my recent trip to the states I shopped at a co-op grocery, stayed in a co-op Gunilla and I bought 25 years ago, and still use only a credit union (aka a co-op bank). Co-ops are key to some degrowth concepts, sustainability without growth. President Bernie might support a tax credit for co-ops , they are small businesses and eco-friendly.

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douglaslee
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@18:00+/- Rees references Joseph Tainter's "Collapse of Complex Societies" along with another tome 'Collapse' and an anthropologist's work.

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douglaslee
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Two choices are offered, one being staus quo which will lead to the unrest now in Syria being global. Chris Hedges compares the recent US actions to all failed empires before it. Police states always precede final collapse.

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lets_get_this_class_war_started_- Hedges

We Americans are not usually thought to be a submissive people, but of course we are,” Wendell Berry writes. “Why else would we allow our country to be destroyed? Why else would we be rewarding its destroyers? Why else would we all—by proxies we have given to greedy corporations and corrupt politicians—be participating in its destruction? Most of us are still too sane to piss in our own cistern, but we allow others to do so and we reward them for it. We reward them so well, in fact, that those who piss in our cistern are wealthier than the rest of us. How do we submit? By not being radical enough. Or by not being thorough enough, which is the same thing.”

The rise of an oligarchic state offers a nation two routes, according to Aristotle. The impoverished masses either revolt to rectify the imbalance of wealth and power or the oligarchs establish a brutal tyranny to keep the masses forcibly enslaved. We have chosen the second of Aristotle’s options. The slow advances we made in the early 20th century through unions, government regulation, the New Deal, the courts, an alternative press and mass movements have been reversed. The oligarchs are turning us—as they did in the 19th century steel and textile factories—into disposable human beings. They are building the most pervasive security and surveillance apparatus in human history to keep us submissive.

This imbalance would not have disturbed most of our Founding Fathers. The Founding Fathers, largely wealthy slaveholders, feared direct democracy. They rigged our political process to thwart popular rule and protect the property rights of the native aristocracy. The masses were to be kept at bay. The Electoral College, the original power of the states to appoint senators, the disenfranchisement of women, Native Americans, African-Americans and men without property locked most people out of the democratic process at the beginning of the republic. We had to fight for our voice. Hundreds of workers were killed and thousands were wounded in our labor wars. The violence dwarfed the labor battles in any other industrialized nation. The democratic openings we achieved were fought for and paid for with the blood of abolitionists, African-Americans, suffragists, workers and those in the anti-war and civil rights movements. Our radical movements, repressed and ruthlessly dismantled in the name of anti-communism, were the real engines of equality and social justice. The squalor and suffering inflicted on workers by the oligarchic class in the 19th century is mirrored in the present, now that we have been stripped of protection. Dissent is once again a criminal act. The Mellons, Rockefellers and Carnegies at the turn of the last century sought to create a nation of masters and serfs. The modern corporate incarnation of this 19th century oligarchic elite has created a worldwide neofeudalism, where workers across the planet toil in misery while corporate oligarchs amass hundreds of millions in personal wealth.

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tPathology of the super rich

is a Hedges interview paired with the post above.

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What is a co-op Gunilla? Also Employee owned companies should be supported. My favorite local Brewery, New Belgium, is employee owned.

Legend
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Nov. 27, 2012 6:46 am

This is an important discussion, imho, and one I've tried to raise over and over. But it is antithetical to our current culture, as Rees points out early in the first of the three presentations you've linked.

To fully take part in the discussion, a prerequisite introduction to the physics of sustainability of some sort is necessary. Otherwise the embedded tautology of infinite growth with expected technological fixes to keep that happening will pervade the minds of those who doubt we need to do a conscious and managed degrowth immediately to avoid repeating, once again, Tainter's historical overview and implicit warning of recurring societal collapse in his Collapse of Complex Societies, warnings that invoke a logical concept that we have, by most of our best scientific measurements, already dangerously overshot the carrying capacity of this planet.

The alternative to a conscious process of bringing ourselves back in balance with the energy inputs available to our species on this planet are not pretty, and a number of people have warned us of very dire impacts of this alternative. Some of those warnings are being performed through the arts bringing us chilling views of future apocalyptic scenarios. I'm sure you can come up with fine examples of your own.

I found an interview with William Rees through a Wiki article about him. His answer to the interviewer's question reminds me of my own personal experience growing up on a family farm that brought me, as well, to this notion that we may have created a very serious problem for ourselves with a recent, industrial civilization's practice of unsustainable growth. As he covers in this basic introduction you've shared, doug, unsustainable growth is now represented by billions of people consuming so much from somewhere else that they no longer have any direct hand in the local sustainability factors that once governed the limits to our population size, and therefore too many of us are able to exist in a world that is, in many ways, fictional in concept, while implicitly dangerous in a long term perspective:

Quote Aurora Online with William Rees:

Rees: I suppose you could say that the whole idea of the ecological footprints started when I was eight years old, or nine years old. I was a farm boy in southern Ontario, at least on my mother's side we had a family farm. About eight of us cousins were used as, well, cheap labour. This was back in the pre-tractor days, we didn't even have electricity in the late forties and early fifties. One wonderful warm July summer in about 1952 or 53, I was nine or ten years old, we were in my grandmother's country porch, thirteen of us or so, having lunch after a hard morning's work in the field. I happened to glance down at my plate full of young new carrots, little potatoes, fresh lettuce, and so on, and to make a long story short, I realized that there wasn't a single thing on the plate that I hadn't had a hand in growing. That thought hit me like a rush of cold water being poured down my back. I was riveted. I suppose it was like an epiphany kind of experience. I was so excited by that notion, I don't think I was able to eat my lunch. At any rate, years later this thing just kept popping up over and over again, it was what made me want to go into zoology and biology at university. I went all the way through in population ecology to my Ph.D. So, it has very deep roots, being interested in that connection to the Earth, or the environment.

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.ren
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Gunilla is my wife, my sentence structure was weak. New Belgium is great!! They are getting bought by a conglomerate but the employees will be millionaires and can retire and take up home brewing. I used to brew my own.

Ren, I am pursuing this topic from a few directions and hope to have some euro sources to go with the Canadian one. Tainter, Hedges, and Wolin are popping up too.

I think a regional or local move could work. Some communities have printed their own scrip (currency) that local merchants and residents accept. Bartering is also tried in some places.

I was reading up on Scottish single malts and their reliance on peat accumulated over 10 to 20,000 years. It was a fuel source before coal and smokes the malt as it roasts it and has for centuries. Peat cliffs over 12 feet deep of degrading organic vegetation and little civilization in sight to tear it up were a sight to see. The Scots torpedoed Trump's attempt at a golf resort on the highland coasts where much of the peat is still untouched since no developers are welcome. Distilleries and Scotch Ale breweries from the 17th century are cherished.

Rees was part 1 of 3 parts so two more are coming soon. He expressed his dismay about the 20,000 year old agricultural soil richness Canada enjoyed but destroyed in under 60 years replaced with petroleum byproducts of fertilizer and insecticide. Everything in homes or fridges or garages has a percentage of it's DNA from petroleum/fossil fuels. Chairs and clothes are petroleum linked.

Stockholm has an Environmental Institute that is worth a look, and I have a university library about 300 meters away.

Some degrowth models have 4 day work weeks of 30 some hours. The young folks at Bernie's events might get this.

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Part 2

Part 3 covers forest management and OECD GINI coefficient comparisons

Less income disparity offers longer life expectancy. The US is the only OECD country where kids are going to die at a younger age than their parents. But there are more billionaires.

Degrowth Paradigm- Eisenstadt

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douglaslee
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The problem is not growth, and so-called "Degrowth" will not solve anything. The problem is corruption. As long as our political systems, monetary sytem, media, institutions, NGOs & Foundations are bought, owned and controlled by globalist elites with unlimited wealth, real progress at correcting environmental & social problems is difficult if not impossible.

Growth is not stoppable, population will continue to grow, hopefully we can get it to level off around 2050 at ~11 billion, as the UN estimates. And most of that population lacks the basic needs of pensions, refrigeration, ample electricity, sufficient food & shelter, health care, education, military & police protection, basic infrastructure: roads, communication, public transport, internet, television, books/libraries. All of those require major increases in energy & materials consumption. And that is happening at an increasing rate.

There is no difficulty achieving this technologically, energy (nuclear power) is easily capable of that, materials, water are more than adequate with rational management of the economy - i.e. non corrupt management.

Some people seem to confuse "Degrowth" with environmentalism or social reform. You can do both those things very well and still have - indeed must have - growth.

A practical & realistic solution is to look at movements for political & economic reform such as Richard Wolff's Economic Democracy:

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2012/jun/24/alternative-capital...

And the Zeitgeist Movement:

http://www.thezeitgeistmovement.com/

Advocating nutty scams like "Degrowth" is a guaranteed way to ensure the status quo. The ultra-rich - the obscenely wealthy - love scams because they know very well it will misdirect energy, resources and effort from realistic solutions. And addressing the central issue of how we can allow 62 parasites to have more wealth than the bottom 3.5 billion persons.

Instant-RunOff-...
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GDP does not reflect the true cost of carbon nor the benefits of volunteerism and non-profits.

Degrowth is not a scam, it's data based projections. Syria today will be seen all over the globe by 2050 and non-carbon, aka sustainable economy, is not expected until 2080.

The refugees from W's and Cheney's adventurism are increasing and even though the US caused them, will not offer asylum or help. Trump might offer internment camps with a big Trump logo on all of them-

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I recently bought a Southerland mattress, an employee owned company. Try to do grocery shopping at an employee owned market like Woodman's or Harp. New Era makes windows and doors. Others?

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Combad57
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Syria may well be seen in many places around the globe due to corruption of our governments, specifically the influence of the ruling Cabal of mostly International Banksters. who are foisting this Globalist, One-world-government nightmare down our throats.

I advocate a world of free and independent nations, each with their own publicly owned monetary system, not bound by destructive International so-called Trade Agreements. Nations who will be free to individually pursue their own independent development in a way that fits best with the aspirations of their people.

Some may choose traditional socialism, some communism, some free market, some capitalism, some with workplace democracy and others with Israeli style Kibbutz. Some may emphasize a local based economy based on locally produced goods & services. Some more dependent on foreign trade. Some may expand outward into the industrialization and colonization of space. These experiments are the best way to evolve human civilization to an optimal socio-economic system. Experiments being blocked by the greed-crazed, power-hungry demons of the ruling elites, who demand every single nation suborn to a cookie-cutter, corrupt, ultra-capitalist, private debt-currency, globalist, neoliberal model.

There is a whole lot more to a sustainable economy than non-carbon. Solar and Wind are low carbon energy sources, but they are not sustainable energy sources. Low carbon is just one component. And it is not expected ever if we don't expel corruption from our governments.

So yes degrowth may well happen due to the collapse of the idiotic, globalist one-world economic system, we are being forced into. But that type of degrowth doesn't sound like "Degrowth" as some sort of a desirable type of alternative socio-economic system that seems to be advocated here. The former will not be pretty, and is not desirable, and ultimately will just be part of a cycle of collapse & expansion, and will be followed by a cycle of very rapid growth.

Instant-RunOff-...
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Good on ya!

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The Euro is a mess, but Iceland stood up to the bankers and told them to get the hell out while they began prosecuting them for fraud. Norway, Denmark, and Sweden did not adopt the Euro currency. Iceland learned to avoid American advice, they don't believe in fraud while the US celebrates it.

Central America was doing well adopting the Christian Liberty doctrine (name might be wrong, but it was Christianity according to Jesus, a radical concept). Priests and Nuns were adoptind a communal/semi-socialist system that works for poor agricultural based economies. The locals owned and farmed their own natural resources. Reagan trained death squads and slaughtered Nuns, Priests, teachers, village elders, and committed genocide in Guatemala killing the indigenous indian population, similar to Chile, Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and more. Harold Pinter explains. (2 parts)

John Perkins, "Confessions of a Corporate Hitman" is doing speeches for the right side now, while the Vulture, aka Paul Singer just underwrote Rubio. Addelsson and the Kochs are behind him too. Greg Palast has a movie coming out soon highlighting all the fraud in US elections. Thom Hartmann had him on the Big Picture in fall of '15 after Harvard ranked USA 26th worldwide for election integrity. On the bright side, it beat Mexico.

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Quote douglaslee:

Ren, I am pursuing this topic from a few directions and hope to have some euro sources to go with the Canadian one. Tainter, Hedges, and Wolin are popping up too.

I'll try to keep up, but it's difficult for my style of thinking. My style is to plant roots and look for core concepts and try to develop from there, linking other parts that come up in my process to those cores if I can. It's Zennish in that I start from a vision where I see that everything is connected.

Quote douglaslee:

Rees was part 1 of 3 parts so two more are coming soon. He expressed his dismay about the 20,000 year old agricultural soil richness Canada enjoyed but destroyed in under 60 years replaced with petroleum byproducts of fertilizer and insecticide. Everything in homes or fridges or garages has a percentage of it's DNA from petroleum/fossil fuels. Chairs and clothes are petroleum linked.

Yes, petroleum is far more embedded in this economy than creating electricity. That's an important concept to integrate into this discussion.

Rees mentioned he was using Canada's soil as a reference. It's my impression that he was talking to a Canadian audience. It's much like an American talking to an American audience, the references are generally going to be couched in familiar American-contained geography terminology, rather than regional ecosystem geography. But it was clear as he went on he was talking about the entire Great Plains ecosystems built on those loess soils, that stretch clear down to northern Texas and eastern New Mexico. He mentioned the Ogallala Aquifer (which, as anyone can see in this picture courtesy of Wiki, is entirely in the U.S.) in his discussion of the now dwindling water resources that first gave rise to, but are now a result of that 60 year period of industrial agricultural resource extraction that, as he so eloquently puts it, mines that soil. This is also part of his discussion of the rapid rise of the global population that has led to the overshoot of the total biosphere as a resource, and no amount of nuclear energy is going to fix that. So that too must be included in this discussion.

The European plow turned upside down the integrally held in place root structures of the surface of that Great Plains ecosystem, therebyr killing off huge sections of that massive root structure that held the earth in place so that our industrial agriculture monocultures can have a place to, ahem, survive. This is a very human species-related process we see going on all over the world now. Humans take high levels of ecological succession that have become stabilized, destroy them including with all the species involved, and turns them back into low levels of succession, ie, monocultures, to serve the needs of humans. This is part of a now increasingly recognized Anthropocene Sixth Mass Extinction event taking place. It also has some of the same characteristics of a virus, like a cancer, that takes over a body and kills it. Before that, that root structure and its plant life gave all the life that flourished and moved over it a stable environment.

Quote Wiki, Great Plains:

The Great Plains is the broad expanse of flat land, much of it covered in prairie, steppe and grassland, that lies west of the Mississippi River tallgrass prairie states and east of the Rocky Mountains in the United States and Canada. This area covers parts, but not all, of the states of Colorado, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, and Wyoming, and the Canadian provinces of Alberta, Manitoba and Saskatchewan. The region is known for supporting extensive cattle ranching and dry farming.

The Canadian portion of the Plains is known as the Prairies. Some geographers include some territory of northern Mexico in the Plains, but many stop at the Rio Grande.

When indigenous groups like the Sioux got their hands on those horses, recently introduced by the Spaniards, they developed a horse-based technology for living off that ecosystem.

Then came the Europeans and the European plow.

One of the first and perhaps still one of the greatest (according to Ken Burns anyway) man-made ecological disasters to come from that European plow was the famous Dust Bowl. A new industry that sprouted from petroleum-based energy, industrial agriculture, solved the problem that caused the Dust Bowl by mining the water from the earth and thereby mitigating the problem of that bio-region's perpetual climate-related intermittent dry years with irrigation. It "solved" more than that; those soils soon became a vast resource that could provide food for growing human population. American "ingenuity" would give rise to the Green Revolution with soaring hopes of solving all the world's hunger problems.

Meanwhile, as an industry was being born, the "exodusters" who lost the basis for their livelihood during an extended drought in the thirties, migrated, fleeing in despair, to find work elsewhere, many in the agricultural fields of California, many eventually in cities. These independents, as I'm sure many thought of themselves, were the first wave of the small, independent farmers to be displaced by industrial agriculture. My own family in Michigan was part of another wave, which would follow shortly after William Rees's own as he recounts in that interview I used for that quote earlier.

Rees was born in 1942, the Dust Bowl much further south from his farm had already occurred.

These are not irrelevant factors in the make up of any (probable) upcoming collapse of industrial civilization. The "solution" to replace the natural complex and stable level of succession ecosystem of the Great Plains with monocultural cropping that must be fed with petroleum-based fertilizer and pest control products, and watered with mined energy-pumped water from such sources, as the Ogallala Aquifer, is clearly not a long term sustainable solution, especially when coupled with the Great American Exceptionalist, infinite growth economic paradigm. People who do not forget our history look at what might be coming, caused by our short sighted belief in our ability to solve problems with technology, and think in terms of what can be done to prepare, and perhaps lessen the catastrophe of a potentially sudden systemic collapse.

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.ren
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the-power-of-community-how-cuba-survived-peak-oil/

The Power of Community: How Cuba Survived Peak OilEugene Murphy, Faith Morgan, Megan Quinn 2006 53:05

With the fall of the Soviet Union in 1990, Cuba’s economy collapsed. Imports of oil were cut by more than half and food by 80 percent. The Power Of Community tells of the hardships and struggles as well as the response during the collapse, explaining how the country transitioned from a highly mechanized, industrial agricultural system to one using organic methods of farming and local, urban gardens…

Maybe one reason the GOP didn't want normalized relations is because of the lessons Cuban communities might offer devastated American communities. The Central American massacres complements of fort benning GA and Ronald Reagan were based on that premise. People seeking human rights need to be crushed.

The success of FDR's middleclass and new deal must never be allowed to happen again. Only feudalism is allowed in the US model.

http://thoughtmaybe.com/the-power-of-community-how-cuba-survived-peak-oil/ in case the first link doesn't work. Cuba had peak oil scenario imposed on it with the USSR collapse.

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I don't recall seeing you in our discussions of rhizome community strategies back around 1985, but if you do remember any of that discussion, it might pertain to the Cuba solution. Rhizome would fit in this category of thought regarding an imperative for degrowth. Here's a site that outlines the topic: What is Rhizome?

Jeff Vail was an important idea contributor to that discussion. Here's something he wrote that Chomsky reviewed, favorably I might add: A Theory of Power

I don't like to waste my time speculating on the motivations in the GOP, which I find must include the Democratic Party's motivations as well. It all falls into a kind of neoliberal globalization systems packet; and yes, the powers that be in that largely institutional and closely managed process would not want to see large segments of the population that buys the products of that system shifting to a self actuated, self sustaining form of economics. It's not rocket science to figure their motivations.

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.ren
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I remember Jeff and the Rhizome concept and agreed with him. I downloaded his book on another laptop.

A Danish island is self sufficient with renewable energy, and even has a surplus. Islands and mountain communities because of inherent geographic restrictions to open borders trade might be the precursors of Rhizomes. Another successful model is some Kurdish communities. Atheist, Marxist, Heterarchies like the Kurds, shed some of the institutions Americans are gradually abandoning due to mistrust, or false promises, or an individual's ability to see successful alternatives. Authoritarian hierarchical communities are not easily changed, but scandals appear to offer cracks in their exceptionalist armor .

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douglaslee
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Correction to the date mis-typed in the above post. I meant to type 2005, not 1985. I don't know what scrambled neurons produced that!

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.ren
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If one can imagine that we have replaced local communities with networks of hierarchical institutions, and people in them are adapted to those hierarchies, then I think it easily follows that hierararchical communities are not easily changed, especially from within by a democratic, grass roots process. This, I would argue, is the formidable challenge that progressives who support Bernie face at this juncture. The pervasive, deeply entrenched and thus knee jerk authoritarian programming is nearly invulnerable to a worker-influenced process. And this is just another reason to support worker owned and operated co-ops. It can only enhance any larger grass roots (rhyzomic) process of cultural change.

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.ren
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douglasslee: "...A Danish island is self sufficient with renewable energy, and even has a surplus..."

You are talking about Samso, which won a competition to be a showcase (as in heavily subsidized by the mainland) for so-called self-sufficiency in renewable energy. This is a version of the "Net Energy Zero Home" Scam. They credit non-renewable energy imports against their renewable energy exports, entirely from their large offshore wind farm and smaller onshore wind turbines. And even by that phony accounting trick they are not self-sufficient, they are 100% electricity, 75% heat and import almost all their transportation/vehicle/heavy equipment fuel.

They are a rural farming community with a lot of biomass waste, largely straw which they burn in an expensive district heating system to supply most of their building heat. This is not feasible for most populated regions. There just isn't enough waste biomass to achieve that.

That is not how real self-sufficiency works. To be truly self sufficient they would have to store their wind energy in batteries to be used for the most of the time when the wind is below 7 m/sec or 25 km/hr. That is feasible for one days storage of low wind but not even remotely feasible for the long periods of wind lulls, which may be weeks, and seasonal variation which may be months long. You pretty much have to convert the wind electricity into hydrogen, store the hydrogen in giant cylinders at high pressure, then burn the hydrogen in fuel cells or generators back to electricity. Round trip losses for battery storage are ~ 20%. Round trip losses for hydrogen storage are ~80%. That pushes costs up by 4X plus the high cost of batteries, hydrogen production, storage & conversion. Not even close to being feasible economically or from the fundamental physical requirement of Energy Return on Invested.

Just another pipe dream. Pipe dreams do not solve the world's problems.

Instant-RunOff-...
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@ .ren, which you give up on your silly claim about "the upcoming collapse of industrial civilization". It ain't gonna happen. In fact that is quite impossible, except for the total extermination of the human species. Industrial civilization is unstoppable. You sound like some kind of neolithic, anarcho-primitivist. Just more pipe dreams & fantasies.

And you seem to be entrapped in the archaic 70's notion that there is only one type of industrial civilization feasible, and that is our ultra-capitalist, top-down controlled plutocracy of the super-rich. You might want to read up on the Zietgeist Movement for an example of how industrial civilization can be environmentally friendly, socially egalitarian, bottom-up managed, sustainable and exist in harmony with nature.

Just because our current version is entirely determined by the insatiable greed of a Cabal of obscenely wealthy Banksters & Plutocrats, doesn't mean it has to be that way.

Conceivably our corrupted poltical system might lead to global nuclear war or other such calamaties, but that will only cause even more industrialization of the surviving populations. A more likely scenario is the virtually total industrialization of our economy from food, to shelter, to medicine, to transportation & energy due to complete automation, robotics and even Artificial Intelligence. Possibly even Transhumanism.

So you think you know industrialization? Well let me tell you, you ain't seen nothing yet.

Instant-RunOff-...
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You obviously didn't watch the Rees video re:peak oil and 4 degree temperature rise. FL will either be on stilts or under water. Island nations will be under water or become refugees like the jews in WW2 that America rejected and sent to die. Or refugees overwhelming countries like European, that are against genocide.

Trump will redo the Statue "Give us your tired whites", "your rich people of color yearning for a 3% guaranteed return"

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douglaslee
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Peak oil will increase industrialization. It will necessitate a switch to Nuclear Energy, synthetic fuels & coal to liquids. Increased sea levels will again require increased industrialization to mitigate the problems caused by that. More refugees again will require higher levels of industrialization.

There will be hardship and economic costs associated with all of the above but it will hardly lead to "the collapse of industrial civilization". Just the opposite. it is due to corruption that we are letting these events progress unnecessarily. Although we will be able to mitigate the problems created, it would be far cheaper, far easier and far more humane if we would work these problems right now before they get out of hand. Again corruption is what is holding us back.

Instant-RunOff-...
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Read kunstler's "too much magic." Technology will not save capitalism. Capitalism is based upon infinite compound growth. Boulding knew this was impossible. Socialist or co-op based systems sound nice but must have growth. They deny it but foley lays out the problem in "Adam's fallacy: a guide to economic theology." The concept of profit lies at the bottom along with an industrialized system that even with nukes, hydroelectric, geothermal et al still has fossil fuels as a part of construction and maintenance platforms. The monetization of everything means that those who wield power will seek more power to control the monetized commodities including especially time and life. To think that this form of civilization will skate through upheaval with little to no change is definitely eyes wide shut.

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big bird
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Once again someone confuses industrial civilization or technology with our totally corrupted, ultra-capitalist, someone would say fascist, top-down, Bankster led socio-economic system.

You should read up on the Zeitgeist Movement, as an example of how the exact opposite is entirely possible, indeed totally desireable:

http://www.thezeitgeistmovement.com/

Technology has driven human civilization since the origin of homo sapiens, and even before that. Fire is technology, spear, bows and arrows, agriculture, communication systems, light, livestock are all technology.

And nuclear, hydro, geothermal have no need of fossil fuels. Full lifecycle carbon emissions are tiny compared to fossil. You can easily use synthetic fuels to replace the tiny bit of fossil used. Read the Methanol Economy by Dr. George Olah - the Nobel Prize winning chemist. You don't need fossil.

Instant-RunOff-...
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and technology has always grown when new energy sources come into economically viable and technically viable use. every major advancement since smith wrote the wealth of nations can point to one particular event which allowed technology and economy to expand exponentially. that event was the development of the steam engine which led to the industrial revolution by harnassing fossil fuels which had/have enormous er/ei ratios.

as for methanol...

http://www.methanol.org/methanol-basics/overview/how-is-methanol-made-.aspx

http://www.methanol.org/getattachment/Health-And-Safety/Technical-Bulletins/AtmosphericAboveGroundTankStorageMethanol-(1).pdf.aspx

where will we get the feedstock? biomass perhaps? and where will you create the industrail scale biomass generation facilities? how will you build them? without fossil fuels? not going to happen.

and what about nuclear? the permitting processes and construction costs are enormous. not to mention, along with methanol, nimby issues. and the same applies regarding building a nuke plant without fossil fuels. you won't do it without fossil fuels.

energy systems and capital development systems go hand in hand. to think otherwise is unrealistic. it costs money, a lot of money, to restructure the energy systems of society small or planet scale.

do not misunderstand, i do not disagree that changes must occur. they will not be simple nor simply implemented. you can expect massive push back from vested interests as well as people influenced by agitprop from those vested interests. you can also expect demands for profit from those who will implement the changes. not to mention how will wages for the workers doing the labor for those changes be established? the owners of the means of production will seek to keep those wgaes low. and what of the wages of everyday people during and after these changes? will a service worker be paid in a manner that compensates for the extremely likely higher costs of living associated with the changes? or are we expecting that a sudden rise of communitarian feeling will grip the world's populace and such mundane matters as money and costs associated with production of goods including food will suddenly vanish? no, that is beyond unrealistic. to ignore the economics of such a massive change is to doom said change to failure unless it is imposed by an authoritarian system. and that is just as unlikely.

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Methanol feedstock? Lot's of that. Plenty of coal. China makes methanol from Coal for 13 cents per liter & the DOE built an IGCC coal power plant that coproduces Methanol for 50 cents per gal. You can easily make Methanol in portable processing plants, railcar of tractor-trailer sized from Biomass, like wood waste & culled forest fire prevention trees or agricultural waste. Lurgi Megamethanol plants can make it for 5.2 cents per liter from stranded or flared gas. You can use Nuclear energy to process flue gas into methanol. Even atmospheric CO2, at ~ double the cost.

Nuclear has no need of fossil, I don't know how you come up with that absurd notion. And rapid replacement of Fossil with Nuclear has already happened, France went from 0-70% nuclear in 25 yrs electricity sector. That's without factory construction, robotics or assembly line production.

So the only problem with peak oil is our corrupted politicians, media, ENGOs & bureacracies don't want to do anything about it because it is too profitable.

Instant-RunOff-...
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Jun. 17, 2015 11:41 am

Try building a nuclear power plant without any fossil fuel inputs. Excavation equipment, road building equipment, construction of parts, transportation et al. These ALL have fossil fuels as their base.

How are you going to mine coal? What of methane pockets freed by the mining of coal?

Technology will not save the underlying system. You are simply changing one system for another which is dependent upon capitalism which is dependent upon infinite growth. Do you think China isn't dependent upon infinite growth? The party values social stability and knows that having gone down the road of the death style they must maintain growth.

Radical upheaval will be required in order to shift to some non-growth/degrowth scenario. That is not about to happen with the social political economy as it is worldwide.

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big bird
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Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

The three part videos douglaslee introduced as part of the argument for degrowth provide their arguments for a need to back off from our infinite growth economic paradigm based on science -- primarily ecological sciences that look at humans as just another of the many species of this biosphere -- as well as a variant of economics that has only recently begun to get noticed as a potentially detrimentally overlooked aspect of the study of human economic behavior.

In 2009, Elinor Ostrom received a Nobel Prize for her work in economics related to sustainability considerations. At the time the generally liberal economist Paul Krugman noted he had never encountered her work, which is probably the rule rather than the exception in his field.

It's therefore not uncommon to see any effort to bring these issues and their dire potential to public attention ridiculed. The status quo taking us towards a now increasingly studied and documented 6th mass extinction event would likely be resistant to any threat to their perch in the human food chain.

Your reference to the problem of addressing the underlying system with a technological fix brings us back to that original problem.

Here's William Rees again, this time describing The Dangerous Disconnect Between Economics and Ecology.

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.ren
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Apr. 1, 2010 6:50 am

Dude, I already explained how you can EASILY build a nuclear power plant without any fossil fuel inputs. Can't you read? The Methanol Economy? George Olah? All construction equipment will run just fine on Methanol or DME which can readily be made from a vast abundance of carbon sources. And even if you wanted to use fossil for those inputs the magnitude required would be so trivial as to be insignificant. Fossil inputs to Nuclear energy are typically about 100X lower than for comparable fossil energy sources. 1% is really for all intents and purposes zero.

Methane pockets from coal?!? Trivial.

"...Technology will not save the underlying system. You are simply changing one system for another which is dependent upon capitalism which is dependent upon infinite growth..."

What underlying system is that? And who said anything about capitalism? We don't need that. Didn't I tell you about the Zeitgeist Movement? You seem to have zero reading comprehension since you have completely ignored everything I have said.

And again with this idiotic notion of "infinite growth". I will cover that in the next post.

Instant-RunOff-...
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Jun. 17, 2015 11:41 am

Here again this nutty idea of infinite growth. Do you know the meaning of the world infinite?

In actual fact growth in western nations has stagnated and declined. Just take a look at the primary energy supply of OECD Europe, graph 1971 to 2013. As you see energy consumption peaked in 2007 and has declined since. As has population.

https://www.iea.org/stats/WebGraphs/OECDEUR5.pdf

Same with USA & Canada, except population, due to imigration, but UN predicts will soon stabilize and then decline. Canada was 15 kw per capita energy consumption in 2006 now it is down to 11 kw.

https://www.iea.org/stats/WebGraphs/USA5.pdf

So where is this "infinite growth"?

The developing world is rapid growth, increasing population and increasing per capita energy & resource consumption but that will certainly level off as the UN predicts by 2050 to 2100.

So much for "infinite growth". More like stability, sustainability and even contraction. Some people like to believe in impressive sounding notions like "infinite growth" but could care less what the hard data shows. Of course we will run out of fossil fuels, the driving force of our economy, and we definitely should replace them ASAP, which is quite simple-minded. Nuclear power is essentially unlimited, easily a billion years worth of energy right on this planet, just fission never mind fusion. So No Growth, sustainability is quite feasible, will take a century or so to achieve, only problem is political corruption.

And this 6th mass extinction event is mostly crap. We can easily prevent the bulk of the problem which is Climate Change if we can fix our political systems. And our GHG emissions will and have prevented the next Ice Age which would be far, far more severe to the environment than any damage human activity has done. We certainly don't want to cause runaway global warming, but that is easy, just get rid of corrupt politicians.

This malthusian ideology or some would call it a religion is really just cowardly & defeatist. I'm afraid you guys should just come out and say the truth: you really want to see the collapse of human civilization, mass genocide, immense suffering, the destuction of Earth's ecosystems - you love that scenario. So you have no interest in solving problems - you just want everything to fail.

Instant-RunOff-...
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Jun. 17, 2015 11:41 am

Zeitgeist? Oh my. I didn't realize that conspiracy-driven, new agey cult still had members. I don't suppose it will do any good, but I suggest reading this: A Critical Analysis of Peter Joseph's Zeitgeist

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Garrett78
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Sep. 3, 2010 8:20 am

Yeah, when I saw that reference to the Zeitgeist movement, everything coming at us here in this somewhat schizoid fashion finally made some sense.

The movement's guru and his followers are very clever or perhaps very schizophrenic as that critical analysis point out.

Quote Nathan Dickey: A Critical Analysis of Peter Joseph’s Zeitgeist:

Conspiracy theorists constantly tell us that we cannot trust mainstream news sources, but then attempt to back up their claims with clips from mainstream news media sources. They trust the mainstream news when it appears to validate their fears and distrust the mainstream news when it shows information contradicting their claims. When one looks at the source of conspiratorial claims, he or she may also discover exactly why the conspiracy theorists making the claims harbor their various agendas. It is usually the case that uninformed people who spread unfounded conspiracy theories on social networking sites have good intentions in mind; they want to notify people of what they have been led to believe is really transpiring. But those who initially start spreading conspiracy theories and claims usually have in mind monetary interests, political gain, or simply a desire for fame as they use their imaginations to invent myths.

You can also apply the above phrase about their selective habits in distrust and trust of the mainstream news sources to science. This seemingly schizophrenic selectivity is also noticed in all forms of cult and authoritarian derived movements, including those that arise on a national scale, such as the Nazi movement that led to WWII.

The main issue concerns seeking understanding of how an agenda transforms the mind of the acolyte so that they join the "zeitgeist" of the movement. And if you read the movement's Mission Statement, and then go further into their openly presented TZM Structure, key elements in their agenda begins to emerge. Those elements are unabashedly anti democratic and Machiavellian. That's a very authoritarian formula. As evidence, read what the group says about its goals of achieving Rational Consensus under the Structure heading:

Quote TZM Structure:

Rational Consensus is not to be confused with the historically failed traditional Mob Rule Democratic Process of "one person - one vote". TZM does not condone total, open mob rule democracy as it is based on the faulty assumption that each participating party is educated enough to make the most intellectually appropriate, unbiased decision. Proper Decision Making has nothing to do with the interests of a group of people, nor the interests of a single person. Proper Decision Making is a purely technical process of logical assessment of a given set of variables and hence can only be based on upon tangible, technical referents - not abject, unsupported mass value opinion, which is what the pure democratic theory erroneously assumes holds integrity. In other words, each argument of a given member must be logically supported by an external referent/set of external referents – clearly reasoned in communication to support the conclusion given. The manifestation of this reasoning could be called a "Case".

Using the example of a Chapter scenario: When a conflict of agreement occurs between the group, the process of Rational Consensus is commenced which requires each conflicting party to present their Case to everyone else. This Case must consist of technically reasoned factors/instances/examples which can be evaluated outside of the expression of the person who is presenting the problem. In other words, insinuation, assumptions and predispositions have no value. If the argument cannot be quantified in some manner - it isn't valid as an argument.

Let's assume a Member has a problem with a Coordinator's actions and would like to see the removal of that Coordinator. Let's assume the Case reasoning is that the Coordinator is not properly representing the interests/ideas of the majority of the group.

In this scenario, a set of technical examples would need to be provided by which the group itself can review. Then a rational "democratic" consensus is made within that group based solely upon the evidence presented - not the expression of any persons themselves. Now, while this process is simple and direct enough - resembling traditional democracy - the decision can still be overridden in the event the conclusions made are suspect as to their technical reasoning by the next tier degree in the Chapter Structure. This extended evaluation is there to protect from erroneous conclusions made by a possibly un-knowledgeable or biased Chapter Membership.

In other words, for example, the removal of a State Chapter Coordinator, while meeting Rational Consensus in the respective Chapter, might still need to meet Rational Consensus on the State Tier on the Structure. [ie. Consensus by all 50 states] to protect against erroneous or biased group decisions or even infiltrations by 3rd parties with the intent of problem generation. Since these situations are very rare and occur usually within very small, lower tier Chapters, the factors which comprise such an intervention naturally exist on a per case basis.

As an aside, it is important to point out that there is nothing to gain personally by being a Coordinator of any Chapter or Team in and of itself. Abuse of this position offers nothing in self-interest return, except perhaps Ego Satisfaction. There is no pay and typically it is a higher stress position due to the responsibility inherent. Many who come from the hyper-democratic conditioning assume that mass consensus is the only thing we can trust while the individual is not trust worthy at all. This cynical view needs to be adjusted to understand that in an environment where a person cannot find reward for their narrow self-interest, they will have no reason typically to perpetuate that narrow self-interest. This is one of the core reasons, as an aside, The Movement operates without money overall - as money always sets the stage for corruption on a basic level, as history has shown.

That very presentation of structure implies organizational levels of hierarchy informed by expertise. The appeal is of course to the current god of reason that plays an integral role in industrial civilization. Forget you or me, the ordinary human being.

If you look at their materials, it can be both appealing and somewhat confusing. For instance, they present "new agey" lectures that appeal to a range of disenfranchised people, like this one that an acquaintance of mine thought "made some sense" from 2010. It begins with an introduction of a topic that is currently in the news, distrust of the water that our municipal water system infrastructures provide:

Peter Joseph Radio Lecture "A Profile of Collapse" [The Zeitgeist Movement]

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.ren
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Apr. 1, 2010 6:50 am

I won't debate the efficacy of the Zeitgeist Movement to solve our economic, social & environmental woes, since I don't know much about it. I bought the book but haven't read it yet. I only brought it up as an example of the fact that alternatives exist to our ultra-capitalist model of a socio-economic system. And those alternatives don't mean "the collapse of industrial civilization".

And any critique that consists of "new-agey" and "conspiracy theorists... blah, blah,...conspiracy.... blah, blah,...conspiracy theorists.... blah blah.... conspiracy..." is too fucking stupid and worthless to even bother reading. The idiot doesn't even have a clue as to how our modern day government operates.

Instant-RunOff-...
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Jun. 17, 2015 11:41 am

One thing I would add is that for growth, technologically there is no problem achieving a stable, sustainable, eco-friendly economic system. Economically there is the problem of our idiotic privately owned, privately controlled debt-money system. Since virtually all our money supply is created as a debt, debt with interest, than the only way to pay that interest is with increasing debt. Which means a growing economy. It wouldn't be correct to call that "infinite growth". You can solve that with debt jubilees which some uncorrupted economists recommend. Or better yet just replace our debt money system with a debt-free monetary system.

Other than that we need to stabilize our population as the UN predicts will happen by 2050, and then will start to decline. Maybe sooner than that if the fears about the ZIKA virus are true:

http://www.thomhartmann.com/users/telliottmbamsc/blog/2016/02/reality-ch...

Instant-RunOff-...
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Jun. 17, 2015 11:41 am
Quote Instant-RunOff-Voting:

I won't debate the efficacy of the Zeitgeist Movement to solve our economic, social & environmental woes, since I don't know much about it.

LOL. You've sure been pushing it as the cure for what ails us throughout this thread. Similar to Thrive, Zeitgeist is based on conspiratorial and new age nonsense. You can't be taken seriously if you'll fall for such utter BS.

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Garrett78
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Sep. 3, 2010 8:20 am

"...You've sure been pushing it as the cure for what ails us throughout this thread..."

No I haven't. You're lying. In fact I stated:

"...some may choose traditional socialism, some communism, some free market, some capitalism, some with workplace democracy and others with Israeli style Kibbutz. Some may emphasize a local based economy based on locally produced goods & services. Some more dependent on foreign trade. Some may expand outward into the industrialization and colonization of space..."

TZM is another idea along with those. I also mentioned Richard Wolff's worker owned enterprise concept.

"...Similar to Thrive, Zeitgeist is based on conspiratorial and new age nonsense..."

No it ain't. That is a ridiculous & totally untrue statement. Thrive isn't even remotely close to TZM.

"...You can't be taken seriously if you'll fall for such utter BS...."

You can't be taken seriously if all you do is utter BS.

Instant-RunOff-...
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Jun. 17, 2015 11:41 am

It's now apparent that yet another topical discussion will not be a reasonable dialog about the initial topical three part presentation on degrowth offered. A video series offering potential for putting together a reasoned discussion that will open up pathways for a planned degrowth. This is nothing new. In the twelve plus years I've been posting on Thom's various boards, I've noticed it's always been difficult to have thoroughly respectful dialogs. But in the past there have been enough of those with a reasonable mind present to get past the few who seek to talk down to us and to derail a thread with subjectively derived personal invectives. I'm not sure if that's the case anymore.

Interestingly, around the 30 minutes into the first part, William Rees begins to discuss potential reasons why we can't talk in reasonable and respectful tones with each other. In theory, he proposes, if the science (that he's presented to this point in his talk) is telling us the truth about our world and our effects on it, we humans appear to have the capacity to plan for a future scenario that would involve socially organizing ourselves so that we will return ourselves to a balanced relationship with our planet. Rees then recalls his earlier discussion about the concepts in the following slide (31:00):

In theory, H.Sapiens has unique potential to escape our predicament

  • Unparalleled capacity for evidence-based reasoning and logical analysis;
  • Unique ability to plan ahead;
  • The capacity to exercise moral judgment;
  • Unique diversity of mechanisms for cooperative engagement;
  • Compassion for other individuals and other species.

On the 'however hand', he then introduces some reasons why we as a global body politic don't appear to want to bother to try. While I think his offerings are only a partial list, and certainly speculative, in a reasoned discussions they are worth some contemplation, especially in light of the difficulties I keep seeing right here at Thom's in carrying out a reasonable and respectful discussion with one another on various topics.

Rees points out that the language we are using regarding a need for degrowth, i.e., steady-state economies (a legacy of Herman Daly's sustainable economics work, which arises from an interpretation of the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics - the Entropy law), the de-growth movement that's working towards a more equitable and cooperative society to ensure ecological sustainability and human wellbeing, is up against some other very powerful human forces in today's geopolitical climate that can counteract our species' above noted unique capacities.

Slide:

Why No Action?

  • Humans are spatial and temporal 'discounters', we favor the here and the now over other places and future generations.
  • Humans are behaviourally conservative. Worse:
  • This is a new age of unreason, the 21st Century Endarkenment

In relation to his proposition that the 21st Century is a new age of Endarkenment (and if you search you will find a variety of people proposing that these days) he cites that hundreds of millions of dollars are being spent every year to deny climate change, to deny evolution, to deny science; he notes that governments are shutting down libraries, muzzling scientists, firing half the scientific capacities of our major educational institutions. We've talked about some of that here, and Thom himself wrote a book -- Cracking the Code -- about how that manipulation is being engineered. Part of our challenge in having a reasonable discussion is decoding the efforts that may be involved in persuading us to a point of view, or a cause, by modern day P.T. Barnums, Eddie Bernays and the like, right here on this board. It's quite a challenge to our above-noted "unique potential".

He then presents another cartoon that depicts a long line of people filing into a theater with the billboard: A Reassuring Lie, with no one going into the theater next door, with a billboard: An Inconvenient Truth. At the top of the cartoon is the title:

"A whole generation has been socially engineered to ignore reality"

Well, after all, it's a cartoon.

He then asserts that human beings are programmed to prefer and act upon a reassuring lie rather than to understand an inconvenient truth.

That's an assertion I find worth some contemplation. And maybe it's good not to jump to conclusions, just hold it open and look at what's taking place. For instance, if I find that someone stridently talks down to me in a discussion, asserts that my efforts to present factual evidence is mere silliness, and that I, therefore am silly for even considering it for open discussion, what does that say about the potential to engage in a reasonable discussion with that person about what we as a democratic body politic might want to do about an uncertain, and even potentially dangerously decaying future? Is such a discussion even possible? I've been exploring that question most of my life. I don't really expect I'll have THE answer before I die.

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.ren
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Apr. 1, 2010 6:50 am

I was reading the review here: http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/02/19/the-mad-violence-of-casino-capitalism/ and thought it complements the degrowth outlook.

For Yates, the capitalist system is corrupt, malicious, and needs to be replaced. Capitalism leaves no room for the language of justice, the social, or, for that matter, democracy itself. In fact, one of its major attributes is to hide its effects of power, racial injustice, militarized state violence, domestic terrorism, and new forms of disposability, especially regarding those marginalized by class and race. The grotesque inequalities produced by capitalism are too powerful, deeply rooted in the social and economic fabric, and unamenable to liberal reforms. Class disparities constitute a machinery of social death, a kind of zombie-like machine that drains life out of most of the population poisoning both existing and future generations.
Zombies are the new slaves, and the plantation system's revival under neoliberal policies are counter to degrowth. No profit means no life for a small sector, and half of the Koch sons think so, while the other half don't. Why can't they just sit back like the Windsors and play with the tabloids?

Great-Inequality-Critical-Interventions-ebook is the book mentioned above.

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douglaslee
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Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

Environmental Science and Sustainability Sciences is now a post graduate field. Some people take it seriously.

http://www.mastersportal.eu/studies/32373/environmental-science.html is environment science, sustainability science might be in there, too.

There's a free personality test to identify your best masters goal, if anyone's curious.

The Netherlands has an entry for Environment and Earth Sciences.

Treaties are the only way the US will change, they have to be forced to join the global community of educated folks. Maybe one day the PR blitzes will be FOR sustainability sciences, banners trailing behind the flying pigs could change public opinion.

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douglaslee
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Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

cont'd:

Do you want to work with complex sustainability challenges (e.g., climate change, food security, biodiversity loss) from local to global levels. Then the LUMES programme is what you are looking for. Building on the knowledge and experience students already possess, emphasis is placed on understanding present societal development patterns and the environmental problems they create, as well as approaches for formulating strategies for future sustainable pathways. LUMES does not concentrate on training practitioners; the foundation of the programme is rather an interdisciplinary and holistic perspective for comprehending the interactions between social, economic, and environmental systems across a variety of spatial and temporal scales.

Unique programme qualities

The LUMES programme is set in a unique interdisciplinary and international educational milieu, creating a setting that challenges students to broaden personal outlooks and sharpen critical thinking skills. Courses are taught in English by individuals from both the human and natural sciences with the aims of creating graduates that are able to grasp, analyse and formulate governance strategies for complex sustainability challenges. In addition, interpersonal and academic skills are developed through strong emphasis on group work, presentations and academic writing.

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douglaslee
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Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

cont'd: Yes ther is an EPA, but not a cabinet level authority. Dept of Interior, Commerce, Agriculture, and State would all be involved in negotiation and implementation of treaty agreements. Currently, Sec'y. Jewel of Interior is a former Mobil executive. Corralling all the parties to be effected via disparate agencies and cabinet officers would take quite a manager, but not impossible. EPA ought to be a Cabinet level entity with treaty authority.

Sustainability just might require punching Big Ag in the nose. Interior might have to be intermediary in east vs west disputes, requiring sec of state skills to prevent a civil war. Commerce could work with treasury to make the changes required profitable (on paper).

To gin up awareness, Dept of Education could underwrite game developments, putting real simulation results into a public format, that young people are familiar with.

I'm just spitballing, but resources are being cultivated and harvested (in Europe).

More videos are to come, I just got excited about Sustainability Sciences. I am dropping hints at my daughter's door. I'd love to see one of them explore the field. Of course I would offer assistance if they share their texts, I read their curriculum anyhow.

douglaslee's picture
douglaslee
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Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm
Quote Instant-RunOff-Voting:

One thing I would add is that for growth, technologically there is no problem achieving a stable, sustainable, eco-friendly economic system. Economically there is the problem of our idiotic privately owned, privately controlled debt-money system. Since virtually all our money supply is created as a debt, debt with interest, than the only way to pay that interest is with increasing debt. Which means a growing economy. It wouldn't be correct to call that "infinite growth". You can solve that with debt jubilees which some uncorrupted economists recommend. Or better yet just replace our debt money system with a debt-free monetary system.

Other than that we need to stabilize our population as the UN predicts will happen by 2050, and then will start to decline. Maybe sooner than that if the fears about the ZIKA virus are true:

http://www.thomhartmann.com/users/telliottmbamsc/blog/2016/02/reality-ch...

perhaps the uncorrupted economists can tell us who would lend money knowing they would not only lose the interest/return they expect but their principle as well when a jubilee is declared? Oh, so sorry, we had to declare a jubilee so you lose.

And just what would a debt-free monetary system look like? How would you control prices? What would currency be based upon?

And as for stabilizing population how would you achieve that? We aren't talking about the United States alone. This isn't Malthus we are talking about. It is a world-wide system that would require humans to be forced (perhaps at gunpoint?) to adopt a system that they have been conditioned against.

Btw look into how much energy is released by burning methanol vs gasoline.

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big bird
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Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

Rees in more detail

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douglaslee
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Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

@Big Bird:

"...who would lend money knowing they would not only lose the interest/return they expect but their principle as well when a jubilee is declared..."

All the Banks would, they create the money, and lend it to profit. They've already had a massive debt jubilee for mostly the Big Banks, the FED has bought up or effectively cancelled $16T of their bad debts and the ECB is doing similar. A debt jubilee would be much smaller in scale than that and probably a rare event. In the EU they are now paying negative interest rates on deposits and are taking "haircuts" on deposits of up to 40%. Could happen here.

"...what would a debt-free monetary system look like? How would you control prices? What would currency be based upon?..."

That is simple-minded. Just as it is now, currency is just numbers in bank databases. Banks would have to maintain 100% reserves just as Credit Unions are required to do. A Monetary Creation Committee would expand credit according to the total goods & services produced. Price control would be much easier than it is now, whereby all the Central Bank controls is interest rates & reserve requirements. Very ineffective. And the currency would be based on the total goods & services of the economy just as it is now. But directly rather than indirectly.

"..how much energy is released by burning methanol vs gasoline..."

Yes, methanol has half the volumetric energy density of gasoline but burns at double the efficiency of gasoline in a methanol optimized engine, which is even more efficient than a diesel engine. So same mpg for methanol as gasoline.

In addition methanol has double the energy density of CNG (ever hear of CNG vehicles?), almost double that of liquid Hydrogen and slightly less than propane. And is the easiest fuel to store. And can be used at even higher efficiencies in a Direct Methanol Fuel Cell. Energy density for methanol is not a significant issue.

Instant-RunOff-...
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Impeachment: The Difference Between Nixon & Trump

Thom plus logo There is a very simple reason why some Republicans participated in the impeachment proceedings against Richard Nixon, but none have so far broken ranks against Trump. That reason is the US Supreme Court.
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