Growth is over

Most of the blogs in my feed reader are either peak oil blogs or self-sufficiency blogs. I guess I’ve been assuming that people who are working towards self-sufficiency know something about the coming energy decline and that’s why they’re doing it.  Trying to build resilience into their lives in the face of the collapse of industrial civilisation which will follow as the world runs out of oil energy.

I also assume that they also have some biological knowledge about how the world works; the fact that Earth is a finite system and that no organism can grow forever in a finite system, i.e. continuous growth is impossible. Sooner or later an organism whose numbers and consumption of resources is growing will be cut down by what is known is these circles as ‘overshoot and collapse’.

So I was disappointed to read in one of my feeds this morning (I won’t mention the blog, but the writer lives in Australia and not far from me, in fact), this comment on last Saturday’s federal election: “let’s hope everyone will get some confidence back and start generating some economic growth”.

It seemed like a serious comment and not tongue-in-cheek.

Growth is the last thing we need. Growth in human numbers, growth in the consumption of non-renewable resources (many critical ones, like oil and phosphorus, already becoming scarce), increase in CO2 levels in the atmosphere, increase in pollution, loss of the biological diversity that keeps Earth’s temperature and chemistry in homeostasis; I could go on.

Maybe a dose of information via Richard Heinberg’s recent book The End of Growth is needed by this blogger.

Growth in human numbers is killing us and the planet. Growth is the last thing we need. Calling for continued growth is depressing enough when it comes from biologically ignorant politicians and business leaders.

I want something more encouraging and intelligent from the blogs I read. I’ve deleted that blog from my feed.

10 Responses to “Growth is over”

  1. rabidlittlehippy Says:

    The only growth I want to hear about is a huge upturn in CSA’s, home gardens and community gardens. Of eco-villages, permaulture classes and community. Growth in those areas we need. 🙂


    • foodnstuff Says:

      We sure do! It will come, as oil depletes and food becomes more expensive, and then (some items) largely unavailable. People will change because they have to. Those of us already preparing for the changes will be ahead of the crowd and our knowledge will be valuable and respected.


      • rabidlittlehippy Says:

        I was talking with my husband last night about climate change and we came to the conclusion that if it is real (it can be hard to sift the truth from the lies I do admit) then we will be ahead of the game. If it isn’t real (and with the pile of evidence to show that it is) then we will be more self sufficient anyway, will save a fortune not consuming or being on the grid (off grid one day) and we will live a wonderful life with all we do and do little harm. I figure by gardening and living frugally, being Locavores and raising our own meat we win either way.
        Most importantly in the short short term, we are having the time of our lives living a more wholesome life. We’re a closer family and a far more skilled one too. We’re healthier and fitter and stronger (although I don’t seem to be any lighter 😉 ) and and even if CC is a hoax then I would still live the life I am.

        Not sure if this makes sense but I’m on a huge green high after weeding those giant prickly scotch thistles out of my lawn and discovering the purple broccoli I planted last summer which never flowered and I was seconds from pulling out is covered in purple sprouting heads! 😀 guess what is for lunch! 🙂


        • foodnstuff Says:

          It sure does make sense. Eating and living more healthily always does. Even if there was no climate change or peak oil, I would still do what I’m doing.


  2. narf77 Says:

    One thing we aren’t going to get from an Abott government is any kind of positive “growth” and you can be sure about that. The forest deal is in tatters already and he hasn’t even turfed Mr Rudd out of the lodge yet! Looks like we hippies have to take up our banners and head to the streets again…I dare say the Pulp Mill is back on the adgenda…sigh…oh well, gives us a reason to get out of bed in the mornings and I thought the same thing when I read “that comment”…the poster obviously votes Liberal ;).


    • foodnstuff Says:

      We aren’t ever going to get any major beneficial changes from government. Real positive change will come at the grassroots level. People like us doing what we do and showing others the way.


      • narf77 Says:

        I agree Bev, it’s the ONLY way…through community and developing a sense of purpose outside mainstream ideology that appears to be racing towards destruction for the sake of a 99c plastic funnel :(.


  3. greeningofgavin Says:

    Here, here. Degrowth is what we need, and soon. I must have missed that “comment” (and the blog for that matter), but would have said the same. What are they thinking!



    • foodnstuff Says:

      Hi Gav,

      It’s my experience that so many people don’t know how life on Earth really operates and that humans are also subject to the laws that operate in the system.

      Perhaps I am being hard on that particular blogger, but this is the big picture stuff that is so important to know. Otherwise even self-sufficiency, good as it is, gets distorted by ignorance, and other people, reading that blog, don’t get the full picture.


  4. x Says:

    Asking questions are really nice thing if you are not understanding anything totally, but this
    article offers nice understanding yet.


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