The following are two comments I made on Resilience Dot Com. Keep in Mind My REAL Green is realistic and relative and for the individual as an add on to his life system. It is not a religion or a movement but instead a turbo to enhance ones meaning in a time of decline. You will be faced with forces of decline and REAL Green offers you tools for meaning and action. The comments below are to those engaged in the movement of degrowth which is going nowhere. Greens and browns alike are set in a growth process. The comment expresses ways degrowth can succeed for those who are involved with the movement. REAL Green is for individuals and small groups but many of its prescriptions can be applied society wide. The key is behavior and the result is a journey not a destination. A REAL Green becomes a green prepper that downsizes and adapts to decline by using the status to leave it. This is a mental Judo of activity of using and opposing force to your advantage with the planet supporting you. The planet supports you because you are following its pathway instead of resisting it. The two comments bellow includes two reads from resilience on degrowth issues:
First, there needs to be acceptance of proper human scale, physical limitations, and acknowledgment of failure. This can be leveraged by spiritual wealth of meaning. Keep in mind a smaller less equipped force can over take an opposing larger and better equipped force because of morale. The basis of morale is meaning. Understanding scale, limitations, and the bargaining aspect to get to acknowledgment works both ways. Small farms, small communities and old-world craftsmen are vitally needed to mitigate and enhance the journey down the gradient of decline. Yet, the modern status quo cannot be change radically so degrowthers and permaculturist should face acceptance too. The human reality is carbon trapped and path dependent. This human nature is non-negotiable in our current world stop fighting it.
A better approach is to somehow convince modern energetic forces that drive politics and economic forces that the small farm, small community, and simple craftsmen could be a vital and enriching buffer for the status quo on the materializing gradient of decline. This then is a call for a bifurcating of techno greens movement today of pushing renewables and EV’s which is a growth dependent and subject to limits enforced by decline. Instead a concordant push for a human buffer for the techno tendencies of the modern status quo can help mitigate the brick wall techno development is facing. Instead of only the tech buildout of collection and storage devices linked in complex networks these techno greens should also push localism of food, skills, and living arrangements as a human and natural buffer much like is being pushed for with energy storage.
This push would then avoid the current problems the degrowth movement is facing with both green and brown of the negatives of less growth that leads to economic decline. Any good degrowther knows the planetary system is in flux and human civilization is in decline because of this so the forces of decline are established and shaping human events. Instead degrowthers and permaculturist alike should be focusing on how their strategies can buffer and store resilience and sustainability to offer human civilization an asset instead of a threat. IOW degrowthers and permaculturist need to design their approaches around what we can offer growthers instead of fighting growthers.
Growth is a natural self-organizing path tendency of global human civilization mainly because of competitive cooperation of groups and nations. We have to get along to survive but there will still be human competition because of global tribalism. This is innate and nonnegotiable because it is a basic of human nature. Even though degrowth is more competitive in regards to a macro planetary shift over longer time frames it does not compete in the human realm of the current realities of the human instinct of time value of human behavior. It is squashed by this human economic and political reality.
A permaculturist degrowther should instead accept failure of their desire for a dominating movement of societal change and instead seek to be the niche that shapes decline. Degrowthers can instead seek to provide the economic benefits of a buffer to the more technical and energetic of the status quo of growth and techno development. In effect the world will need to proceed in a diverging path with more people moving to the land in permaculture localism living with seasonality and intermittency. People and lifestyles can buffer the status quo that is path dependent on energetic growth.
To do this the status quo must protect and enhance localism of permaculture degrowth mainly because it is less competitive energetically. To do this special laws and rules would need to be set up to allow degrowth to offer economic benefits. A duel world of growth and degrowth can interact in this case as a sane and realistic approach. This requires degrowthers and permaculturist to accept an inevitable decline process that they cannot prevent IOW they will have to accept failure of their ecco solutions at a macro scale not only pointing out the failures of the status quo. They will have to instead choose to be lifeboats of human and physical support for the status quo that is immovable in its destiny of attempting infinite growth.
This is the only way a large scale degrowth and permaculture movement can takeoff. It must be a diverging of lifestyles and economic systems that complement each other instead of competing for the human narrative. Less people in mega cities but more quality of skills and production. There needs to be more people back to the land in the localism of resilient simplicity grounded in seasonality and intermittency. These chosen people of localism can still have simple techno abilities and basic human rights in regards to education, health, and shelter. These people will just by hybrids of growth and degrowth and this will help out that part of civilization that will be 24/7 energetic.
Many things can only be produced with economies of scale that are vital to human survival. Many emergency services have to be energetic. Yet, much of life can be dialed down to a slower pace. This movement has to be foremost about behavior and acceptance but also about forces of decline and deterministic forces that drive human nature. Mostly it must be about adapting instead attempting transcendence.
“Resources for a Better Future: Degrowth”
I am a hybrid who advocates acceptance of reality. This reality is of a carbon trap and path dependencies. My acceptance is of failure. Human complexity is now on a gradient of decline under the influence of planetary realities both organic and non-organic systems. Human complexity is now suffering diminishing returns which are approach nonlinearity. This means the efforts to combat decline with more complexity of networks and tech is quickly being dissolved into waste.
Yet, this is a process and some parts of the process are longer term than human time value can adapt to. Even though this macro gradient of decline on all levels is proceeding some of these processes are slow in relation to the short termism of human time value. The case then becomes for degrowthers the difficulty of finding relevance. It very difficult to gain traction with needed degrowther policy. To increase resilience and sustainability downsizing is a must. Embracing voluntary simplicity should be a human narrative now but the narrative is still more of the same complexity just green. The problem is green is not green and more is less. An awakened realistic degrowther knows this.
A hybrid approach for a realistic degrowther would be acceptance of human failure based upon planetary succession. From this acceptance comes a new approach of enlightened adaptation. Degrowthers should focus on applying policy indirectly with policy the appeals to growthers both green and brown. A new degrowther movement should be a narrative of individuals and small groups choosing to embrace degrowth that offers value to growthers. This does not allow a massive policy shift degrowthers would like to see but it does achieve results.
Traditional degrowthers are still bargaining that human civilization can be reformed and made resilient and sustainable through downsizing and simplicity. The reality is the growth narrative is too strong a human nature response. Degrowthers are not going to break this tendency. In general, the masses are not going to willingly embrace less through downsizing. Nations and groups will compete and any downsizing is equivalent to surrender.
A new degrowth approach should be realistic and targeted within a basis narrative that decline and collpase is inevitable. This includes the honest science that climate is tipped already and cannot be saved. The planetary web is in an extinction process that is now a planetary succession phase. Human civilization is doomed because its self-organization is a growth process of greater affluence through complexity that cannot be sustained. The world’s best and brightest minds who are honest about the science of decline are in denial on the solutions. This is embedded in the human fabric at all levels. Solutions are unrealistic with economics and systematics of a green transition.
A new degrowth approach should be a push to enlist human buffers as low carbon storage and buffers to intermitency. This would be taking individuals and small groups and embedding them in low complexity localism. These nodes would be adapted to seasonality and intermittency. They would serve the same function as is being pushed for by green technos today with things like pumped storage or battery technology. These individuals and groups would be guaranteed security of basic needs and rights and protected like we do with national parks.
These nodes of degrowth would embrace permaculture of raising food and producing goods in a hybrid of the old ways of low carbon capture enhanced by the latest technologies and best practices. This high-tech and knowledge part of the strategy would be limited to robust and simple applications. In other words, simple systems with longevity and efficiency but low performance. These nodes would be grounded in localism and be turbo charged with a spiritual return to the individuals of meaning. These nodes would be embracing poverty of things but would be rewarded with a spiritual return of meaning.
The result would be pockets of resilience and sustainability the energetic growthers both green and brown can draw on to supplement their energetic growth activity symbiotically. Embraced intermittency would mean localized degrowth nodes could export power as needed to energetic areas. Seasonality would mean adapting food and shelter to lower energy needs leaving more to the growthers. This would be an outlet for redundant people in classes being disenfranchised by an unequal growth process. This is a form of rebound because degrowth is supporting growth. Keep in mind this is selling degrowth to growthers and thereby implanting nodes of resilience and sustainability that can be built upon as the decline process accelerates. The status quo will be used to leave it by degrowthers who know longer term growth will end and their polices flourish.
“The Green New Old Deal: a New Industrial Policy When We Need a de-Industrial Policy”
The Green New Old Deal: a New Industrial Policy When We Need a de-Industrial Policy
7 thoughts on “REAL Green Prescriptions”
This is an Excellent piece in all respects, Shoal. A very valuable contribution. As things shift I believe more and more people will come to see the wisdom you have articultaed here and will be motivated to emulate your thinking through practical implementation.
I would like to leave a few of video presentations here which I am currently re-watching. If you haven’t seem them before I think you would appreciate them. The 3rd presetation I think is very important in terms of timelines, as things may come to a head sooner rather than later.
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Excellent sources, I hope you are inspired to write some more. I look forward to your next work. I have been very busy lately. I had cancer surgery and appears succesfully eliminated it. I am also building a shop/barn which is very time consuming. I hope all is well
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Glad you enjoyed them and happy to hear you had succesfull surgery – that’s very good news. I’ll be updating my site with my recent writings soon. I’ve been enjoying yours and will be referring to some of your posts next year when I return to the theme of the physical aspects of the energy transition. Just to let you know that I sent an e-mail when I posted those videos, not you received it. With me all well, will be relocating soon to a more natural setting with direct acces to prestine nature. Here’s another vid by Steve St Angelo, also a good one and is in line with some of your recent posts re tech soltutions:
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I sent you a response to your email finally. Sorry for the delay but with the cancer and the shop I was buring the candle at both ends!
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Thanks! E-mail received.
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