Joanna Pope zu Degrowth & Akzelerationismus

Wissenschaftlicher Podcast zu Degrowth und Akzelerationismus

“Kann es so etwas geben wie nachhaltiges Wachstum? Oder sollten wir uns nicht vielmehr vom Prinzip des Wachstums an sich trennen und stattdessen andere Vorstellungen des guten Lebens entwickeln?”

Celebrating Economies of Change: Brave Visions for Inclusive Futures

Climate chaos and worsening income disparities (both local and global) make it more important than ever to forge respectful alliances between academics and front line community activists –the majority of whom are women. Information-sharing of many varieties, and mobilizing this knowledge for local grass-roots action as well as policy formation (and removing perverse policies!), should happen hand-in-hand. This issue of Women and Environments International magazine explores promising ways to facilitate such communication –the processes, challenges, and how to overcome barriers.

Rivers of empire : water, aridity, and the growth of the American West

The American West, blessed with an abundance of earth and sky but cursed with a scarcity of life’s most fundamental need, has long dreamed of harnessing all its rivers to produce unlimited wealth and power. In Rivers of Empire, award-winning historian Donald Worster tells the story of this dream and its outcome. He shows how, beginning in the mid-nineteenth century, Mormons were the first attempting to make that dream a reality, damming and diverting rivers to irrigate their land. He follows this intriguing history through the 1930s, when the federal government built hundreds of dams on every major western river, thereby laying the foundation for the cities and farms, money and power of today’s West. Yet while these cities have become paradigms of modern American urban centers, and the farms successful high-tech enterprises, Worster reminds us that the costs have been extremely high. Along with the wealth has come massive ecological damage, a redistribution of power to bureaucratic and economic elites, and a class conflict still on the upswing. As a result, the future of this “hydraulic West” is increasingly uncertain, as water continues to be a scarce resource, inadequate to the demand, and declining in quality.

Rivers of Empire represents a radically new vision of the American West and its historical significance. Showing how ecological change is inextricably intertwined with social evolution, and reevaluating the old mythic and celebratory approach to the development of the West, Worster offers the most probing, critical analysis of the region to date. He shows how the vast region encompassing our western states, while founded essentially as colonies, have since become the true seat of the American “Empire.” How this imperial West rose out of desert, how it altered the course of nature there, and what it has meant for Thoreau’s (and our own) mythic search for freedom and the American Dream, are the central themes of this eloquent and thought-provoking story–a story that begins and ends with water.

When Environmental Issues Collide: Climate Change and the Shifting Political Ecology of Hydroelectric Power

Abstract: While the global focus on climate change may substantially increase attention and funding for sustainable development initiatives in general, it may also create newfound conflicts among divergent conservation and development agendas. For instance, climate change appears to be altering the terms of debate concerning the costs and benefits of constructing large dams in ways that remain little analyzed. This issue can be observed in Costa Rica, which recently initiated a major new wave of dam-building, including a large project on the Río Pacuare—an important ecotourism destination and site of substantial biodiversity—in the interest of expanding the capacity of a sector supplying nearly 80% of the nation’s power and widely considered a “clean,” renewable energy source. In response to growing climate change concern, the Costa Rican government has vowed to achieve carbon neutrality by 2021 and reducing emissions is a key component of this plan. On the other hand, ecotourism operators contest the governments’ assertions of the proposed dam’s importance by emphasizing the economic and conservation benefits of a free-flowing river via ecotourism. An increasing critique of ecotourism as a conservation strategy, however, concerns its contribution to climate change through air travel. Thus, in the conflict over the Pacuare River, different models of both conservation and development appear to collide, with biodiversity and climate change on the one hand, and modern and postmodern forms of capitalist development on the other, all competing to define appropriate resource use in the valley.

Peace & Conflict Review, Volume 5, Issue 1

Life within Planetary Boundaries, Agroforestry (Part 2)

Original title: Leva inom planetgränserna del 2, Agroforestry

How can we meet our basic human needs, while improving the health of the ecosystems that we are part of? In this part 2 of the film, some of Sweden’s and England’s leading pioneers in Agroforestry explain how we, through our food production, can play a key role in healing ecosystems, creating food security, new jobs and an improved quality of life. In fact – we are the ones that we have been waiting for! A huge THANK YOU for your contribution to the film: Phlipp Weiss, Johanna Björklund, Martin Wolfe, Martin Crawford, Sanya Falkenstrand, Dante Hellström and others.

Said about the film, “I love the idea that humans are NOT just hopeless parasites but could also be the agent of change for good … It’s a great movie, I really enjoyed it – and it’s so full of hope.” – Jeremy Gugenheim, Outhouse Filmworks.

Hur kan vi tillgodose våra mänskliga grundbehov samtidigt som vi stärker hälsan i de ekosystem som vi är en del av? I denna del 2 av filmen berättar några av Sveriges och Englands främsta pionjärer inom Agroforestry hur vi genom vår maproduktion kan få en nyckelroll i att läka ekosystem, skapa matsäkerhet, jobb och ökad livskvalité. Vi är helt enkelt de vi har väntat på! Ett gigantiskt TACK för er medverkan: Phlipp Weiss, Johanna Björklund, Martin Wolfe, Martin Crawford, Sanya Falkenstrand, Dante Hellström med flera.

Sagt om filmen, “I love the idea that humans are NOT just hopeless parasites but could also be the agent of change for good…It is a great film, I really enjoyed it – and it is so full of hope” – Jeremy Gugenheim, Outhouse Filmworks.

Life within Planetary Boundaries, Down to Earth (Part 1)

Original title: Leva inom planetgränserna, Ett jordat liv.

The film is based on interviews with author and journalist David Jonstad and agronomist and research leader Johanna Björklund, who guides us away from the utopia of eco-modernism: that with new technology we could live on as today, but in a sustainable way. Together they explain how we can “democratize survival” through sharing the land more equally, with a relocalization to the country side and with a food production system based on Agroforestry, and how that could put us in a position where we actively improve and restore the ecosystem’s health, build resilience to extreme weather and deal with declining natural resources.

Oljeepokens slut är en påminnelse om att det inte är vi människor som sätter gränserna. Naturen gör det åt oss. Utan att vi märker det, upptagna som vi är, med att komma överens om hur långt vi kan sträcka oss, för klimatets skull. Hur kan vi anpassa oss? Istället för att hålla krampaktigt kvar vid det som har varit?

Director, editing, production: Maja Lindström, Drone photography: Lars Nordén. Photo, interviews: Jonas Embring. Environmental photography: J. Embring, M. Lindström, PH. Mäenpää. Sound: M. Lindström, L. Nordén. Music: Jessica Pehrson, Claes Nygren, Jenny Säflund etc. With support from the Swedish Arts Grants Committee.

The Conservation Revolution: Radical Ideas for Saving Nature Beyond the Anthropocene

A post-capitalist manifesto for conservation

Conservation needs a revolution. This is the only way it can contribute to the drastic transformations needed to come to a truly sustainable model of development. The good news is that conservation is ready for revolution. Heated debates about the rise of the Anthropocene and the current ‘sixth extinction’ crisis demonstrate an urgent need and desire to move beyond mainstream approaches. Yet the conservation community is deeply divided over where to go from here. Some want to place ‘half earth’ into protected areas. Others want to move away from parks to focus on unexpected and ‘new’ natures. Many believe conservation requires full integration into capitalist production processes.

Building a razor-sharp critique of current conservation proposals and their contradictions, Büscher and Fletcher argue that the Anthropocene challenge demands something bigger, better and bolder. Something truly revolutionary. They propose convivial conservation as the way forward. This approach goes beyond protected areas and faith in markets to incorporate the needs of humans and nonhumans within integrated and just landscapes. Theoretically astute and practically relevant, The Conservation Revolution offers a manifesto for conservation in the twenty-first century — a clarion call that cannot be ignored.

Degrowth in Tourism

Conceptual, Theoretical and Philosophical Issues

Degrowth in Tourism explores newly-emerging development and philosophical approaches that provide more equity for host communities and offer a low-carbon future by looking at alternatives to the classic models of development and applying the concept of degrowth in a tourism context.

Degrowth Conference Budapest, 2016 – How to stop monetary growth pressure?

Presentation by Mark Joób

Generally, there is not enough awareness of the central role the monetary system plays with regard to sustainability. One of the main reasons is that for several decades economics has been dominated by a monetary theory that gives a false description of the monetary system and the role of money in the economy. Assuming that money on the macroeconomic level is basically neutral, traditional monetary theory does not recognize the negative impacts of the current money and banking system on society and the environment.

In reality, money created as debt carries interest and thereby contributes to a twofold growth pressure on the monetary system and on the real economy. Debtors need more money than they have borrowed because they also have to pay interest on their loans. In addition, business on the whole cannot be profitable unless the quantity of money continuously increases. This leads to the dynamics of growth which is a core characteristic of our economic system. The increase in the quantity of interest-bearing money exerts a monetary growth pressure on the real economy and the growth of the real economy simultaneously exerts an anti-deflationary growth pressure on the money supply. The growth of the real economy, which is to a great extent forced by the monetary system, involves an excessive exploitation of natural resources and is a hindrance to sustainable development. Financial indebtedness thus leads to ecological indebtedness towards nature, which impoverishes mankind.

Entropy, environment, and endogenous economic growth

This paper investigates the proper modeling of the interaction between economic growth and environmental problems, summarizes under which conditions unlimited economic growth with limited natural resources is feasible, and describes how sustainable growth can be achieved. It synthesizes the results from various environmental endogenous growth models.

The physical dimension and the value dimension of economic activity have to be treated as conceptually distinct. Accumulation of natural variables is bounded due to biophysical laws (notably, the entropy law). However, economic value may grow through the substitution of reproducible human inputs for natural inputs. The properties of knowledge, which is the primary human input, do not contradict unlimited new knowledge creation.

International Tax and Public Finance, Vol. 2, pp. 319–340 (1995)

Post-Growth Conference, Brussels 2018 – Workshop Trade & Environment

Chair: Kathleen Van Brempt, MEP (S&D)
Panellists: Fritz Hinterberger (Founding President of Sustainable Europe Research Institute (SERI)), Olivier de Schutter (Professor at the University of Louvain (Belgium) and at SciencesPo (Paris), former UN Special Rapporteur on the right to food (2008-2014)), Patrizia Heidegger (Global Policies Director at the EEB), Luisa Santos (Business Europe)

Unlocking wise digital techno-futures: Contributions from the Degrowth community

Many of the benefits anticipated from technology in the 1960s remain unrealized today. Alongside the optimism that drives technological development, more sceptical views that regard the promises of technology with reflection, mistrust, and even hostility, have emerged within Western societies. One such group is the Degrowth community, a heterogenous group of researchers and activists who question technological advancements that contribute to environmentally and socially harmful economic growth. In this vein, the movement critically observes the current hype surrounding digital technology, which seems to reflect a mantra of “the more digital technology, the better”. This paper presents perspectives that emerged from a dialogue among members of the Degrowth community, who were asked to imagine wise and unwise futures of digitalisation in 2068. Key concerns of unwise futures include increasing disconnection of humans from the natural environment and from one another as individuals, the use of digital technology for optimising the allocation of scarce resources to the benefit of the wealthy few, and authoritarian governance of technologies and life itself. Wise technological futures, in turn, allow people to freely access digital technologies that are convivial, just, environmentally sustainable, and guided by democratic deliberation. It remains controversial how far digital technologies and the interests and skills surrounding them can facilitate the principles of Degrowth, and the extent to which the harmful effects of digital technologies are already shaping social, ecological and technological futures. However, the dialogue clearly emphasised the need to develop more detailed socio-technological imaginaries that provide practically feasible alternatives.

Futures, vol. 114, December 2019

Desacoplamiento de la realidad

La validez de la narrativa del crecimiento verde queda muy tocada tras la publicación de un nuevo detallado y riguroso informe científico. El tiempo se agota y la piedra angular de la propuesta del establishment no se ha demostrado como viable en ninguna circunstancia de forma relevante.

El Diario, July 8th 2019, Opinión y Blogs

When green growth is not enough

In recent years, the concept of green economic growth, i.e. the expansion of the economy without an accompanying increase in environmental harm, has gained political acceptance. However, the idea that this policy alone is enough to deal with the environmental challenges we face appears to be founded on little to no scientific basis.

META, the news channel of the European Environmental Bureau