Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Jason Hickel - 'Mindless growth': Robust scientific case for degrowth is stronger every day

'Mindless growth': Robust scientific case for degrowth is stronger every day

This is my kind of article. We can save energy by making things last longer, and then we cut the working week. Our standard of living will hardly change as most of the wealth from growth goes to the elite anyway. A job guarantee and the Basic Income is mentioned. 

If we reduce working hours we can redistribute necessary labour without any loss of total jobs

One way to do this is to stop allowing companies to bloat their profits with planned obsolescence, selling products that are designed to break down simply to increase turnover. In fact, we could even roll out legislation to require longer product lifespans. If fridges and washing machines last twice as long, we will use half as many. Better yet, we can also introduce rights to repair, so we can get our phones and microwaves fixed for cheap instead of having to replace them when they break. We can shift from private cars to public transportation. And we can limit advertising in public spaces to liberate people from the psychological pressure for needless consumption.

Perhaps even more importantly, we can choose to actively scale down energy-intensive industries and wasteful luxury consumption: like the arms trade, SUVs and McMansions.

The good news is that we can do all of this without any negative impact on people’s health, happiness or well-being. The evidence is clear: we can thrive in an economy that uses less.

The Irish Times

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