In November, following the publication of the warning to humanity by 15,000 scientists, a discussion between proponents of degrowth was initiated. It was then decided to launch an appeal for the convergence of ecological and social justice networks. This appeal was quickly signed by more than a hundred influential thinkers, activists, artists, and decision makers. We invite you to discover this proposal and pledge your support.
We have heard the call of more than 15,000 scientists from 184 countries, published on November 13, 2017, in which they sound the alarm bells on the disastrous state of our planet. We accept that this is the last warning, because if we do not take appropriate measures “soon it will be too late”.
We, ecologists, alter-globalists, growth objectors and degrowthers, want to draw practical conclusions from this call, given that “too late” is now, and now is the time to act. No one has ready-made answers today, but we know that we need to upend dominant paradigms. The solution is not austerity and growth, but rather a break with productivism, extractivism, blissful faith in techno-science, authoritarianism and capitalism.
We need to reimagine our modes of production and existence, because they are at the root of the current situation, and the collapse of resources could lead us to barbarism. In this quest we are not starting from nothing, we know that functioning alternatives already exist around the world. Resilient alternatives must be united; and we know that the dream of the 99% is not to emulate the 1%, contrary to what the majority of people would want us to believe.
We must change our ways of living, exchanging and interacting in accordance with the belief that tomorrow will have to be better than today, by immediately reducing our greenhouse gas emissions threefold and fighting to preserve ecosystems. The planet is rich enough to allow ten billion people to prosper if we preserve its biodiversity and acknowledge how to live in harmony together with other species.
Our struggles today must bring us closer to tomorrow’s society.
If global warming is not curbed drastically, it will lead to massive droughts and global famines. To ensure that humanity does not disappear like a bankrupt company, we invite you to sign this appeal and have it signed by others so as to put a new date on saying that the medium and long term solutions are on the side of empathetic society, emancipated from the constraints of pursuits of “ever more” economic wealth and power over other humans, living beings and the planet.
So, we invite you to sign and have this appeal signed by others in order to demand, from now on, the end of the imposed Unnecessary and Unwanted Development Projects (like Notre Dame Des Landes airport project which represent a symbolic example), a drastic reduction in working time (work less so we can all work better together), secure and free access to public commons (public transportation, canteens, cultural events, funerary services, etc.).
Everything must be rethought in the context of growth critique, because the degrowth framework we are supporting is not striving to do more of the same with less, as it is not about sacrifice, it is oriented to build an ecology of decent minimum income and a realistic acceptable maximum gap, and returning to rates natural resource consumption that are bearable, offering a future in a world that no longer offers it.
We, ecologists, alter-globalists,proponents of degrowth, objectors of growth, loving the good life, call for a common approach to build a project of transition towards a society of a-growth*, fair and democratic. To do so, we will have to express our willingness to come together, to create a rich movement of diverse ideas and communities, to network our skills and alternatives, to take initiative, to support resistance, and to prepare unions with all those who oppose the barbarity that pervades.
The Degrowth Collective initiating the Appeal, January 25, 2018
Paul Ariès, Vincent Bruyère, Thierry Brugvin, Vincent Liegey, Stéphane Madelaine, Jean-Luc Pasquinet, Anne-Isabelle Veillot, Christophe Ondet, Michel Simonin, Christian Sunt
* in the sense in which we speak of a–theism, so to abandon the faith in the market economy, progress and development and get rid of the irrational and quasi–idolatrous cult of growth for growth’s sake.