Climate After Growth: Why Environmentalists Must Embrace Post-Growth Economics and Community Resilience

October 23, 2013 • United States, Daily Email Recap

Climate After Growth: Why Environmentalists Must Embrace Post-Growth Economics and Community Resilience
By Asher Miller and Rob Hopkins 
To access the full report, please click here: http://www.scribd.com/doc/171718124/Climate-After-Growth

The nearly ubiquitous belief of our elected officials is that addressing the climate crisis must come second to ensuring economic growth. This is wrongheaded-both because it underestimates the severity of the climate crisis, and because it presupposes that the old economic “normal” of robust growth can be revived. It can’t. In fact, we have entered an era of “new normals”-not only in our economy, but in our energy and climate systems, as well. The implications are profound:

The New Energy Normal.
The era of cheap and easy fossil fuels is over, leading the industry to resort to extreme fossil fuel resources (tar sands, mountaintop removal coal mining, shale gas, tight oil, and deepwater oil) to meet demand. Unfortunately, these resources come with enormous environmental and economic costs, and in most instances provide far less net energy to the rest of society. They also require much higher prices to make production worthwhile, creating a drag effect on the economy. As a result, high energy prices and economic contraction are likely to continue a back-and-forth dance in the coming years.

The New Climate Normal.
Climate stability is now a thing of the past. As extreme weather events grow in severity, communities are increasingly adopting strategies that build resilience against the effect of these and other climate shocks. At the same time, we must take dramatic steps if we hope to avoid raising global temperatures more than 2°C above pre-industrial levels. According to Kevin Anderson of the Tyndall Centre, this would require a 10% reduction in CO2 emissions per year, starting now -a rate so significant that it can only be achieved through dramatic reductions in energy use.

The New Economic Normal.
We’ve reached the end of economic growth as we’ve known it in the US. Despite unprecedented interventions on the part of central banks and governments, the so-called economic recovery in the US and Europe has been anemic and has failed to benefit the majority of citizens. The debate between stimulus and austerity is a distraction, as neither can fully address the factors that spell the end of economic growth-the end of the age of cheap oil, the vast mountains of debt that we have incurred, the diminishing economic impacts of new technologies, and the snowballing costs of climate change impacts.

To read the full report, please click here: http://www.scribd.com/doc/171718124/Climate-After-Growth


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