Note — Jun 16, 2019

The Radical Plan to Save the Planet by Working Less

On degrowth, how it’s not the best way to cut carbon emissions but a good way to start rethinking what we value in society, and how the current system doesn’t deliver a better quality of life.

[D]esigning a social upheaval that disentangles the idea of progress and economic growth once and for all. This new accounting of economic success would instead focus on access to public services, a shorter work week, and an increase in leisure time. Their approach, they say, will not only combat climate change, but free us from a workaholic culture in which so many struggle to make ends meet. […]

In the midst of this, degrowth offers a world in which the noise of commoditization quiets down, where self-worth isn’t rooted in monetary value, and where you don’t have to work to utter exhaustion to access basic necessities. […]

That doesn’t mean degrowth is necessarily the most effective strategy to curtail our carbon emissions by a strict deadline, but the movement itself raises important issues about how we measure our success as a society and country. […]

We’ve associated growth with being able to solve social problems like eradicating poverty, improving livelihoods, and ensuring jobs for all, Hickel said, but it’s not working. […]

Pairs well with I’m not Extreme, Consumerism Is, which includes a good example of what some consider extreme behaviour; a woman who just lives a simpler life. Have a look at the rental article below for contrast.

I find it extreme that our consumer culture has reeled so far off the rails that someone who leads a simple lifestyle appears extreme when compared to the norm. Not that long ago, we all lived without plastic, ate unrefined foods, dwelled in small homes and made do. Today, these are acts of defiance. […]

Overhauling that system isn’t extreme.
Accepting the end of civilization is.