I have highlighted two different versions of the left’s eco-solutions. One is the ecomodernism and the other the degrowth movement. They both claim success as the end game. REAL Green claims they are both FAKE Green and the reason is the basis of their argument is faulty behavior of being the solution. REAL Green says failure is the prerequisite of going forth into lifeboat and hospices. Life boats and hospices are just a catchy term for mitigation and adaptation to the collapse process. REAL Green says this is the case because honest science says we are in a carbon trap and path dependent in a late stage capitalism. Path dependency is also present in the competitive cooperative nature of global governance. Global governance may give lip service to planetary problems but its real driving force is self-preservation individually. The degree that all sides recognize planetary problems is directly contingent on survivability individually. This survivability in the path dependence of late stage capitalism is staying economically competitive along with military competitiveness. This then becomes another path dependency trap that is systematic. Globalism itself is a trap that includes the carbon trap and the global governance trap of competitive cooperation.
REAL Green is about acceptance of these traps as existential and beyond transcendence. This means the only alternatives from the red Left for the obvious failures of capitalism is ecomodernism and a degrowth based socialism that are themselves failures. REAL Green says starting from the acceptance of failure we move forward with Capitalism, ecomodernism, and degrowth through a timeline of constructive and destructive change. The destructive change comes from the triage of poor lifestyles and draconian reductions in consumerism staged and staggered. This then becomes a distilling out the critical elements of capitalism that is present in globalism that produces so much wealth efficiently in the beginning to prepare for the departure. Comparative advantage, free movement of capital and knowledge, global movement of components and end products, just in time assembly and transport to end use is itself a resource that must be protected in the beginning of the step down of late stage global capitalism to a degrowthed world. Ecomodernism comes in with the adoption of knowledge, tools, equipment and systems to degrowth with best practices and best hardware. Renewables, conservation practices, and efficiency strategies come to mind. Yet, understanding the diminishing returns found in the equation of cost benefit. Degrowth comes in primarily on the behavioral side with strategies for people to live with less things but more spiritual satisfaction. Degrowth is the basis because that is what collapse means fundamentally but this degrowth will be proactive and intelligent.
This whole effort will recognize that the fundamental effects of degrowth will be the introduction of chaos into the equation so there will have to be a resilience to economic abandonment, irrational policy and behavior, and dysfunctional networks. This means there must be a preparation, departure and journey with failure the ultimate result. The failure is calculated and adapted to in stepping down behavior. It is understood and goal based that these failures offer a rebirth. These will likely be more like a series of rebirths where systematic leveling off of decline occurs with further bifurcations. How long these declines with hopeful leveling occur is then the journey. The journey is in reality uncharted and can only be theoretical.
This degrowth process could begin by taking the enormous power of late stage capitalism to power a return to the land of seeds of the rebirth. This will require a two-tier society of rural back to the land with urban productive elements supplying the necessary resources for this transition. These back to the land people will have to be given basics rights to education, health, and security so they are not consumed by the competitive forces of capitalism. These back to the land people will live with seasonality, intermittency, and frugal living. Much of their enjoyment will be social based with a dramatic decline in modern consumerism. They will live spartan lives dedicated to permaculture and localism. The best equipment including renewables would be employed in a spartan and frugal way to allow sustainability and resilience. This deployment of sustainable locals would be much like the outfitting of fantasy exploration parties to Mars. This means a social narrative of the critical nature of this project to everyone’s wellbeing. The upper tier would be like the bees in the hive that produce next year’s brood. This will mean integrating into planetary cycles of low carbon capture with plants and animals. During this time industrial agriculture will be reduced in a step down with critical food sources maintained and consumeristic industrial food phased out. There is no substitute for global monocultures with industrial practices in the beginning. Food security is vital to the departure. Once departed then this toxic industrial system can be left to wither and die.
Socialism will be the gate keeper for this decline. Socialistic principals will have to be used to control this process. Socialism as used today is a failure because it is just another wealth and power transfer device little different from capitalism. A new socialism that is a method of change not an end game to governance must be employed. The key to this is the wisdom that chooses what technology and consumption is allowed. The wisdom also recognized path dependency trap and the carbon trap have consequences of pain, suffering, and death. There will be winners and loser and no way to get around the failure of fairness. The reality is most everyone will lose something some more than others. Places will have to be depopulated and industries abandoned. This will lower production of needed resources and will force hardship on whole classes and segments of the global civilization. This effort would have to be global or it could not make the preparations for the departure and handle the consequences during the journey. This is an open door to no return. Once departed it proceeds into a calculated and prepped for failure of all that comes before it. It would rely on the principals in nature of succession with extinction with evolution being involved in a rebirth. It would also be understood that extinction may be the result but this is about a journey not the end. Nature will decide not man.
This REAL Green global vision is of course a very broad outline of the principals of the path forward in a world of rational behavior engaged in critical wisdom. This is of course nothing but fiction because man is not completely rational. Man is on overshoot teetering near thresholds of failure everywhere. Our footprint is entirely too large with governance, population, and footprints. REAL Green presented what might work in an alternative world to demonstrate what can work for small communities and with the individual. When we take the REAL Green solution to the micro, we need to include hybridization and relativity. This hybridization means utilizing the modern status quo to leave it into the best practices of the old ways augmented and refined by the modern. This must be done relatively based upon the position of the local in the delocalized greater community. This means the exiting community and significant others that are locked into the status quo must be adapted to as one attempts to negotiate a departure from a way of life with no future. This means walking a tight rope. A persona or a small community will still have to make a living in the status quo. Since all locals are delocalized by globalization products and services will still be needed. This will put pressure on sustainability and resilience that the REAL Green efforts seeks.
There is no escape from failure with REAL Green. This is the prerequisite of honesty and acceptance REAL Green starts with and plans for. REAL Green is about succession with loss but seeking rebirth. REAL Green is a green prepping and dooming strategy that is an addon to one’s local and community. Its primary purpose are ways to give longevity to ones local and significant interpersonal relationships. REAL Green does this by going local and embracing nature as our ancestors did but taking the best of what modernity has to offer to complement and enhance it. This is a type of salvage also because so much has been destroyed in the mad rush to modernity. Both location and lifestyles then become a salvage effort of picking through the clutter to find the best practices and material for the journey into the collapse process. This means triage or the principals of removing deadwood. This means downsizing with dignity beating the rush that everyone will be forced into. The dignity comes from meaning that one will find in the preparation, departure, and the journey. Dignity comes from finding the basics in a greatly reduced life that offer satisfaction and comfort. This also involves empathy and strategies of compassion because as the status quo deteriorates and fails many will be exposes to hardships and premature death.
REAL Green is for everyone because the basics are applicable to all. Advanced REAL Green goes into a kind of eclectic combination of specialization with what one does the best with a backbone of multiple basic skills that is required for a degree of self-sufficing. In other words one must be good at many things with a few specializations. REAL Green demands physical fitness and mental conditioning. One must eliminate poor lifestyles and habits that will distract from this endeavor. So REAL Green in a sense is a way of life within a way of life. It becomes in a sense a hobby because the status quo denies many resilient and sustainable activities due to economic comparative advantage. It is cheaper to get food at Walmart and hardware at Lowes than to do things locally. Fossil fuels are economic and animal power not as examples. REAL Green starts with the idea that at some point this will change but currently it is not the case. Advanced REAL Green then goes to its highest level as a monastery of knowledge and hardware for the journey into the collapse process but also a storehouse of seeds of a rebirth for those who come afterwards. That is if it is the case that your REAL Green local can be reborn. It is likely the collapse process will involve a stair step down with thresholds broke into new stasis.
REAL Green acknowledges all this is relative to the individual, community, and region one is in. This means REAL Green starts out by determining the potential of ones local and if it has no future then REAL Green determines if it can leave. If you can then you emigrate while you can to a local that can offer a future. In effect you become a pilgrim journeying into an unknown land. This may be location based or career based because the journey is really both of the material and the mental. REAL Green never takes its eye off of failure and acceptance as the prerequisite. You may construct a doomstead but that may not save you. So, if you get to the point of a REAL Green monastery with robust sustainability and resilience you then infect your local as best you can with best practices and wisdom. This is done because ultimately all REAL Green monasteries rely on community for survival. REAL Green realizes this thinking must be done subtly and camouflage with status quo ways or you will be disregarded as a nutter. This means both asymmetric and symmetric strategies. Since very few have the knowledge and resource to do this it is recognized by REAL Green that you are special but also empowered to be a provider. REAL Green power comes not from the individual but from nature and the local. REAL Green is supported by the planet because REAL Green embraces the planet first by adding on those principals of nature as the beacon for the journey.
“Why De growth is Essential: A Rejection of Left Ecomodernists Phillips, Sharzer, Bastini, and Parenti.”
“The Ecomodernists recognize the seriousness of the global ecological situation, but they argue that the way to solve it is to crank up technical advance and economic growth to enable the building of a vast quantity of resource-intensive devices that will deal with the problems. These are to include nuclear energy, high rise greenhouses, water desalination. Humans will all move into cities allowing nature to regenerate, agriculture will go into those greenhouses, and the Third World will be liberated from poverty. Thus they scorn the De growth movement seeing it as unnecessary, guaranteeing misery for all, and indeed actually ensuring the end of human progress. By contrast, the recently-emerged De growth movement advances the basic, fifty year old, ”limits to growth” case which has now accumulated a huge supporting literature. Its core point is that there is too much production and consumption going on, that this is the main cause of global problems, that eventually we must have stable or zero-growth economies, and that GDP must be reduced… This is a debate between those who believe that “tech-fixes” can solve the problems without radical change from a system committed to affluence and growth, and those who argue that only radical change to a very different, post consumer-capitalist society can solve the big problems…The core issue here is whether economic growth can be “decoupled” from resource and ecological costs and impacts. That is, can the amount of production, sales and GDP go on increasing while resources availability and ecological damage are kept below unsustainable levels…virtually all of a now huge literature says it can’t… Obviously to deal with this the decoupling would have massive; the Ecomodernists would have to show that by 2050 the resource and environmental impact from the generation of $1 of GDP could be reduced to one-thirtieth of what it is today, even though over past decades no reduction has been achieved. They make no attempt to show that this is possible; their case consists of faith claims about what future technology could do, supported only by pointing to some cases where mostly very small absolute reductions have been achieved. The above arithmetic yields the basic claim underlying the Simpler Way perspective; i.e., that the major global problems now threatening our existence cannot be solved unless we undertake enormous reductions in production, resource use and consumption. This can only be done by transition to mostly local communities which are small, cooperative, highly self-sufficient, driven by needs not market forces …. and by willing acceptance of very frugal lifestyles and systems. This involves scrapping the present taken-for-granted conception of “development” defined in terms of ever-increasing globalisation, complexity, capital-dependence, technical sophistication, and monetary “wealth”. Above all it involves happy acceptance of materially simple lifestyles and systems.”
“This alternative vision does not involve hardship or deprivation; in fact it would be a liberation to a much higher quality of life for all. And it does not threaten universities, modern hospitals, high tech R and D or “progress”. It is about ways which provide all that is needed for delightful relaxed, secure, creative, cooperative, peaceful lives via very low resource and environmental costs. (For the detail see TSW: The Alternative Society.) The key to these achievements lies in the small scale, proximity and integration of the new economies. A recent study of egg supply illustrates this powerfully. The industrial supermarket supply chain involves vast amounts of transport, agribusiness, chemicals, soil damage, steel, computers, petroleum, electricity , packaging, advertising, and waste, especially wasted nutrients. The village cooperative supply path eliminates almost all of these, e.g., because “wastes” can go straight to gardens, methane digesters and fish ponds. The study found that the dollar and energy costs of an egg delivered by the former path is around 50 to 200 times that by the second path. Our limits to growth predicament show that the main goal is not getting rid of capitalism, essential though that is. The goal must be to get those resource and ecological impacts right down. If the eco-socialists only got rid of capitalism but continued to pursue affluence and growth, we would have a more just society…still heading for ecological collapse… They assume that welfare can’t be increased unless there is increase in production of stuff being bought, thus unless there is increase in GDP. (This is the fundamental vicious error built into conventional development theory and practice; poor countries cannot “develop” unless they enable investors to take out their resources cheaply and thus grow the GDP. See TSW: Third World Development.) This is patently ridiculous. Apart from the medical domain, the factors that would most enable a higher quality of life for most rich world people have nothing to do with monetary wealth or property; they are things like having good family and friends, supportive community, security from unemployment, closeness to nature, socially valued work, and peace of mind. These are easily and automatically provided in a poor Third World village or in an Eco-village, as are the basic simple food producing, housing, water, and energy etc. systems enabling very frugal but perfectly sufficient material living standards.”