REAL Green Beacon

The idea of decline initiating a positive change is an important part of Real Green Deep Adaptation.  These principals need to be applied to global governance but they can’t.  This does not mean the what-ifs of Real Green Deep Adaptation principals applied to governance should not be discussed.   The purpose becomes understanding the predicament of human behavior we are in that points back to Real Green Deep Adaptation.   Responding accordingly leads to an individual response to center on restoration, relinquishment, and resilience which are the core of Real Green Deep Adaptation.

Restoration calls for honesty as the basis of human behavior as well as the restoration of scale through an individual’s local environment.  If this is projected to global governance then honestly acknowledging decline means more modest policy.  Spending and even talking about spending what you really don’t have is a failed policy longer term.  If all sides acknowledge decline then all those radical ideas on all sides that promote a false view of increasing prosperity will evaporate.  The results are a distilling out of better policy that will involve less but offer more value.  So honesty is the paramount policy but these days paradoxically honesty is a handicap.  Until the collective behavior acknowledges dishonesty both within and outside there can be no good policy.  Honesty applies to science and academia today with environmental policy since this is such a new and important force.

Another important point is a mixed economy based on decline.  What is in the public good and what is in the interest of individual good?  There must be a balance to the individual and the public.  The public good in a time of decline must focus on social harmony and good longer term fundable investments.  The individual good must be protected to promote productive individual effort.  A mixed economy based upon the better of each approach needs to be addressed to avoid extreme of either.  This points to “less” starting with those who govern.  Currently governing has become a springboard to affluence instead of service.  As long as those who govern now seek to get wealthy then our governing bodies will be corrupted.  This includes the corporate governance which today is blurred in arrangements of oligarchy and dictatorship. 

A second aspect of a mixed economy concern the planetary side of the equation.  We cannot fix what is broken especially when it is human behavior to begin with.  You can’t make a culture green that is based on growth in a time of decline you can only reduce the bad of it with adaptation and mitigation.  You can’t promote affluence with a green lipstick.  The only way to increase green is to lower affluence with less choices and less goods.  There are consequences to less with a system that requires growth and that is further systematic decay.  Honesty acknowledges degrowth and its nasty consequences both intended and unintended.  No pain no gain plays a part.  At the individual level less can increase resilience by an orderly downsizing of what is a macro trend of decline.   What is worse honest decline or dishonest affluence that is decline?  Honesty is always better this is especially critical for the individual.

Resilience starts with the restoration of honesty and in a time of declining prosperity involves relinquishment.   This then points to a key reality of Real Green Deep Adaptation.  The system is beyond this kind of proactive change and in tandem the public is without the capacity for this kind of change.   A crisis point changes this equation.  The crisis point of public change increasingly is likely at a systematic bifurcation point.  The short term benefits will always trump the longer term good when the local meets the global in a time of decline.  Individual success through wealth creation and accumulation will always trump better individual behavior in support of the public good in decline.  The important point is in a time of declining prosperity then we can expect dishonesty as human nature.  When prosperity is increasing the public good can be funded with an easy honesty.  We are in a time of difficult honesty.  This is called survival and it is an instinct of life. 

This human predicament then becomes call to be a beacon.  The Real Green Deep Adaptation beacon focuses locally and with your significant others.  This realization of decline then offers you a radar to yield to destructive forces.  It also offers you stealth by using the system to leave it.  Actually advancing your local through the principals of Real Green Deep Adaptation makes the overall system better.  Multiple grass root efforts at restoration, relinquishment, and resilience makes the entire planetary system including the human system better.  The top is hopelessly corrupt so if you are seeking meaning then you will stop looking outside your local for answers.  This does not mean abandoning your responsibility as a citizen it just means rejecting those parts of the process that impact your personal efforts at Real Green Deep Adaptation.  You remain an active citizen that calls into question the entirety of the status quo in regards to increasing affluence at the same time you use the status quo to improve your local.  This activity is then about triage of the bad and a hybrid of the old ways and utilization of the best of the modern.  Our destruction of the planet in the pursuit of growth and knowledge has found many best practices.  Not all is bad.  Take these hard-won truths and apply it to the old human ways that humans used to survive for centuries.


“The management of hardship”    surplus energy

“GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS IN AN AGE OF DETERIORATING PROSPERITY…The first of these is the insanity which says that no amount of financial recklessness is ever going to drive us over a cliff, because creating new money out of thin air is our “get out of gaol free card” in all circumstances…The second subject is the very real threat posed by environmental degradation, where politicians are busy assuring the public that the problem can be fixed without subjecting voters to any meaningful inconvenience – and, after all, anyone who can persuade the public that electric vehicles are “zero emissions” could probably sell sand to the Saudis…the third issue, the tragicomedy that it is contemporary politics – indeed, it might reasonably be said that, between them, the Élysée and Westminster, in particular, offer combinations of tragedy, comedy and farce that even the most daring of theatre directors would blush to present.”

“The first is that prosperity issues have risen higher on the political agenda, and will go on doing so, pushing other issues down the scale of importance.  The second conclusion, which carries with it what is probably the single most obvious policy implication, is that redistribution is becoming an ever more important issue. There are two very good reasons for this hardening in sentiment…The need for redistribution is reinforced by realistic appraisal of the fiscal outlook. Anyone who is aware of deteriorating prosperity has to be aware that this has adverse implications for forward revenues. By definition, only prosperity can be taxed, because taxing incomes below the level of prosperity simply drives people into hardships whose alleviation increases public expenditures.”

“With prosperity – and, with it, the tax base – shrinking, promising anything that looks like “tax and spend” has become a recipe for policy failure and voter disillusionment. This said, so profound has been the failure of the centre-Right ascendancy that opportunities necessarily exist for anyone on the Left who is able to recast his or her agenda on the basis of economic reality.  Tactically, the best way forward for the Left is to shift the debate on equality back to the material, restoring the primacy of the Left’s traditional concentration on the differences and inequities between rich and poor.”

“This, it is to be hoped, can lead to a renaissance in the idea of the mixed economy, which seeks to get the best out of private and public provision, without pandering to the excesses of either. Restoration of this balance, from the position where we are now, means rolling back much of the privatization and outsourcing undertaken, often recklessly, over the last three decades.  Both the private and the public sectors will need to undergo extensive reforms if governments are to craft effective agendas for using the mixed economy to mitigate the worst effects of deteriorating prosperity.”

“First, a useful opening step in the crafting of new politics would be the introduction of “clean hands” principles, designed to prove that government isn’t, as it can so often appear, something conducted “by the rich, for the rich”.  Second, it would be helpful if governments rolled back their inclinations towards macho posturing and intimidation.”

“We cannot escape the conclusion that the task of government, always a thankless one even when confined to sharing out the benefits of growth, is going to become very difficult indeed as prosperity continues to deteriorate.  There might, though, be positives to be found in a process which ditches ideological extremes, uses the mixed economy as the basis for the equitable mitigation of decline, and seeks to rebuild relationships between discredited governments and frustrated citizens.”

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