Getting Along With the End of Growth
Okay, I get that we are at the end of growth. What should I do with that information?
Yesterday I had a nice conversation on the air with the hosts of Spread Peace Radio. You can hear our discussion here (the 1/19/13 episode), which was wide-ranging, but did touch on what we can or should be doing to embrace the end of growth.
While it is challenging to get past our addiction to growth, living sustainably doesn’t mean a dismal, uncomfortable existence. In fact, it frees us to enjoy the good things in life!
There wasn’t time to fully explore that subject, so I promised the listeners I’d blog about it today. If you came to the blog after listening to that show, welcome. I hope you’ll subscribe to the blog (right side of this page) and I invite you to participate in the conversation by adding your comments below. This to-do list is not comprehensive, so I hope you’ll add your suggestions here.
1. Eliminate growth subsidies; insist that the costs of growth be built into the behavior (locally, regionally, nationally).
2. Call out any prosperity strategy that depends on increasing population or consumption for what it is – unsustainable. Insist on prosperity strategies that are possible and not suicidal. (Here is an example of what you can do.)
3. Support funding for family planning
4. Don’t’ shy from population discussion; share what you know, make it okay to discuss and make small families popular
5. Limit the size of your own family. If you already have three or more children, sell a few to a couple who needs some.
6. Laugh about #5. I am just joking about cutting back if it’s too late. But if it’s not too late, please stop at one or two. If you want more, adopt.
7. Point out pro-growth bias in media and encourage balance.
6. Let elected officials know you won’t fire them if the economy is stable or contracts. (Let them know you’ll fire them if they sacrifice your children’s future in order to get re-elected)
7. Support efforts to eliminate fractional reserve banking. This is a basic part of the system that requires growth. Learn about this here from GrowthBusters interviewee Chris Martenson.
8. Get unplugged from the system; get out of debt and downscale your life so you can afford to work half-time, then share your job with someone else. Spend the time that frees up doing things that really matter to you (could be volunteering, spending more time with loved ones, fishing, hiking, reading, exercising, writing, etc.).
9. Champion a job-sharing initiative at your employer or in your town.
10. Get off the treadmill in service to a dehumanizing, growth-obsessed economy, and enjoy life! Enjoying life is inherently low-impact. Pursue the 3 L’s: Loving, learning and laughing.
11. Reduce, reuse, recycle.
12. Conserve energy.
13. Buy local.
14. Loan and borrow items.
15. Buy durable goods, not disposable and not short-lived. Repair, don’t replace.
16. Consider the energy implications of every decision and action. Combine auto trips, car-pool, walk or bike.
17. Wear your clothes till they wear out. Buy them at a thrift shop.
18. I’d be remiss if I didn’t add:
Order copies of GrowthBusters and pass it around. Organize screenings or house parties. Send it to elected officials, journalists and mothers-in-law. And contribute your time and money to the non–profit GrowthBusters project so we can promote this film and produce others!
Thank you for listening, reading, and changing your life so our children will have a world worth inheriting,
(Photo credit: Creative Commons – by SA)
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