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View Diary: Bill McKibben on the End of Growth (151 comments)

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  •  I think Bill Moyers' (33+ / 0-)

    second guest this week can help work toward the end McKibben proposes.

    From billmoyers.com

    Just before the Occupy Wall Street movements were launched in 2011, and after five years of research, Ross’ latest book The Leaderless Revolution: How Ordinary People Will Take Power and Change Politics in the 21st Century was published by Penguin (Blue Rider Press). The book argues that current forms of politics, led by governments and international institutions, are failing to manage the problems that most concern us, including economic volatility, climate change and mounting inequality. Instead, [Carne] Ross proposes a new form of politics, fired by our own convictions, taking action directly to address our political concerns. As part of Occupy, Ross has put these ideas into practice in a working group seeking to establish a new bank, embodying principles of democracy and equality in its very structure.

    "The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

    by Lily O Lady on Sun Apr 08, 2012 at 10:37:29 AM PDT

    •  Hmm... (10+ / 0-)

      Sounds interesting.  Do you know whether Ross addresses growth as a fundamental bad idea that can't continue anyway, or just suggests (unfortunately as many OWS folks have) that we should pursue growth in a way that benefits the 99%?

      contraposition.org - thoughts on energy, the environment, and society.

      by barath on Sun Apr 08, 2012 at 10:39:16 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Not all of Occupy (32+ / 0-)

        sees it this way:

        ...just suggests (unfortunately as many OWS folks have) that we should pursue growth in a way that benefits the 99%?
        I acknowledge that every Occupy group is different in their emphasis and that is probably reflected of the conditions in their locations.  But behind the 99% slogans, almost every person I have met in the Occupy Movement is painfully aware and terrified of the environment havoc we have wreaked upon this planet. For example, my local Occupy Movement has taken a huge interest in food issues and in creating more sustainable and locally oriented food sources, including utilizing public spaces for public gardens.  They are also continuing on working with the folks in the Transition Towns program.

        On a personal note, as a retired land use planner who worked over 30 years in the public sector, I cannot begin to tell you how many times I and my fellow planners butted heads with the elected officials over growth.  Many elected officials feel that in order for a community to continue the flow of tax dollars, they must continue to grow.  In the minds of the decision makers, growth = economic development.

        "Growing up is for those who don't have the guts not to. Grow wise, grow loving, grow compassionate, but why grow up?" - Fiddlegirl

        by gulfgal98 on Sun Apr 08, 2012 at 11:02:50 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Good to hear (10+ / 0-)

          I guess my impression was largely from interactions I learned of at the main OWS encampment in Manhattan---a number of people who advocate moving away from growth, to make living within ecological limits the central guiding principle, etc. gave talks there, and weren't that well received.  Could be in part that OWS was a movement again malformed growth-based industrialism, rather than growth-based industrialism itself.

          contraposition.org - thoughts on energy, the environment, and society.

          by barath on Sun Apr 08, 2012 at 11:06:14 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  OWS is generally... (0+ / 0-)

            ...about 'good jobs for everyone'. In my view that's their fundamental reason for existing. MoT's diaries, for example, are basically about how it sucks to be poor.

            I don't generally get the impression that OWS cares about much else. They say that environmentalism is a big deal for them, but again they think of it in terms of pollution and C02 being things that large corporations should be forced to pay for, not things that are the natural result of excessive growth even under a proper regulatory regime.

            So yeah, my impression is that it's "good jobs über alles" over there and any other issue is mostly peripheral (especially issues that might conflict with "good jobs über alles"). But again, it's just my opinion via media reports.

            (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
            Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

            by Sparhawk on Mon Apr 09, 2012 at 05:08:47 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I get just the opposite impression.... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              NoMoreLies

              so guess this is a subjective call :)

              But seems to me that the core activists are very much aware of the climate issue, even if MOT doesn't write much about it.

              Just as a for instance:  while both Cris Hedges and Naomi Klein, both well known supporters of OWS, focus on political and economic matters, they both have stated that the single most important issue facing us today is climate change.

              It seems to me that their focus, however, is on the political challenge of getting power to address the issue.

              A second for instance:  the early organizers are Anarchists, most of whom have no problem with the idea of lots of people not working at all, and still having their basic needs met.  Their not adherents to the Protestant work ethic which basically says your moral worth shall be measured in how hard you work in the ways authority dictates.

              There are other for instances too, bur think this shoul at least indicate that maybe your impression isn't quite accurate.

        •  gulfgal98, you wrote.... (22+ / 0-)
          On a personal note, as a retired land use planner who worked over 30 years in the public sector, I cannot begin to tell you how many times I and my fellow planners butted heads with the elected officials over growth.  Many elected officials feel that in order for a community to continue the flow of tax dollars, they must continue to grow.  In the minds of the decision makers, growth = economic development.
          I too question this mindset. I live in a city in Ontario OBSESSED with growth. And yet the city can barely keep up with the maintenance of what they already have.

          We have homes in one area that if it rains hard basements flood with sewage...We have 100 year old water pipes that are always breaking down. We have roads that may as well be gravel.

          And yet the City Counsel is constantly wanting to do things like build new statiums, yet we have a lot of people on waiting lists for affordable housing...those wait lists are anywere from 5 - 10 YEARS....

          It's nuts... Let's take care of what we already have rather than add more and more to our plate.

           

          "Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell." ~ Edward Abby

          by SaraBeth on Sun Apr 08, 2012 at 12:05:09 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  As marketing manager for a very successful (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          zett, NoMoreLies

          multi-national corporation, I read Limits To Growth when it was first published.  Like most large corporations, we had a framework of objectives that guided our work.  One was a "5% annual rate of growth".  So I, being of a type who passes up every opportunity to keep my mouth shut, began spouting all kinds of stats from the book to my colleagues.  Didn't win many friends with that.  Was eventually fired.

      •  No matter what Ross believes, he's (7+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        srkp23, barath, SaraBeth, SolarMom, elwior, DawnN, zett

        calling for a new paradigm that puts the little guy back in charge. In such a political reality, limiting or even reversing growth is much more possible.

        "The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

        by Lily O Lady on Sun Apr 08, 2012 at 11:25:11 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Doubtful (0+ / 0-)

          I am not sure at all that I buy this.

          (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
          Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

          by Sparhawk on Mon Apr 09, 2012 at 05:12:17 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Do you think that the situation (0+ / 0-)

            is hopeless for the little guy or do you not trust Ross's intent or philosophy?

            "The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

            by Lily O Lady on Mon Apr 09, 2012 at 01:48:06 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I do not believe that empowering the... (0+ / 0-)

              ...little guy will address resource depletion issues, in all likelihood it will either do nothing or exacerbate them.

              Not that it may not be a good idea for other reasons.

              (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
              Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

              by Sparhawk on Mon Apr 09, 2012 at 05:19:09 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  People became environmentally concious (0+ / 0-)

                in the 60s and as a result the EPA was born. Horribly polluted rivers, streams and lakes were cleaned up as a result and air pollution was greatly reduced. If we can raise public conciousness again, then empowing the little guy can work! Right now we're being innundated by propaganda courtesy of the Kochs and others. If we can find a way to counter that, then I believe there is hope.

                "The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

                by Lily O Lady on Mon Apr 09, 2012 at 06:26:32 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

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