Rethinking Prosperity’s weekly roundup of news on the topic of economy, environment and democracy
Partners in the Fight against Poverty and Inequality: The Relevance of Degrowth for Development — Degrowth (November 28, 2016)
If we take the science of planetary boundaries seriously, then degrowth – in the sense of massive reduction in resource use and recognising that wellbeing is about more than consumption – is urgently needed in the global north. The north needs to make ecological space for the south. If this does not occur, then the message is that countries in the global south must remain content and resigned to lower living standards.
Type/tags: article, environment, economy, global north, global south, degrowth, consumption, wellbeing
The Climate Crisis and Economic Policy Choices — Credo (December 1, 2016)
A major issue in climate economics is whether it is possible to halt the growth in carbon emissions and to achieve, instead, a rapid reduction. It concludes that carbon emissions will never fall at a sufficient rate in a growth economy. Unfortunately, the EU operates a climate policy framework, the EU Emissions Trading System, that was designed by BP and it doesn’t work. Policies that might work were the political will there are described. However, the fossil fuel industry still has a stranglehold on policy.
Type/tags: article, economy, environment, growth, decoupling, climate crisis, European Union
Packaging the Circular Economy: A Holistic Approach to Stuff — Triple Pundit (December 1, 2016)
Linear economic models have clearly-defined beginnings and endings. They are built on a straight line from resource extraction to waste, with an assumption of limitless growth, or at least a lack of concern for any possible limits. And they leave many true costs unaccounted for as “externalities.” A more robust, holistic mindset for a circular economy goes higher up the waste hierarchy. It presents a wider focus on material properties and flow, as well as externalities and social impact.
Type/tags: article, environment, economy, growth, circular economy, consumption, recycling
The Great Deceleration — Countercurrents (December 3, 2016)
It is precisely the increasing scale of economic activity – of ‘the economy’ – that is the heart of the multiple interlocking crises that beset societies and the earth today. The relentlessly expansionist logic of the system is inimical to life, to the world, even to genuine well-being. If we wish to instead honor, defend, and respect life and the world, we must upend that logic, and begin the urgent task of down-scaling economic activity and the system that drives it. We must embark upon the ‘Great Deceleration’.
Type/tags: article, economy, environment, degrowth, movement, deceleration, acceleration
Why the Extinction Crisis Isn’t Just About the Environment, but Social Justice — Alternet (December 3, 2016)
The struggle to preserve global biodiversity must be seen as an integral part of a broader fight to challenge an economic and social system based on feckless, suicidal expansion.
Type/tags: article, environment, economy, social justice, anti-capitalism, biodiversity, sustainability