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Less of What We Don't Need

Stories about Less of What We Don't Need.

Limits to economic growth?

By: 
Brian Davey

Limits to economic growth? | Feasta

On April 3 in the Guardian there was an article about Christine Lagarde of the IMF concerned that the growth of productivity in many “developed countries” has been falling. There is a problem for the finance sector if growth falls away since additional income is needed for people to be able to service and repay their debts. Without growth the finance sector is destabilised and, indeed, it has been necessary to bring down interest rates to manage the situation.

But the problem is not only a practical one. Growth of production is central to the core ideology of the current economic system, to the idea of “development” and “progress”. It is central to the legitimacy of the people who run the global economy. Without it there is a legitimacy crisis.

Life in a ‘Degrowth’ Economy, And Why You Might Actually Enjoy It

By: 
Samuel Alexander

What does genuine economic progress look like? The orthodox answer is that a bigger economy is always better, but this idea is increasingly strained by the knowledge that, on a finite planet, the economy can’t grow for ever.

But what is a steady-state economy? Why it is it desirable or necessary? And what would it be like to live in?

Life in a ‘Degrowth’ Economy, And Why You Might Actually Enjoy It

By: 
Samuel Alexander

What does genuine economic progress look like? The orthodox answer is that a bigger economy is always better, but this idea is increasingly strained by the knowledge that, on a finite planet, the economy can’t grow for ever.

But what is a steady-state economy? Why it is it desirable or necessary? And what would it be like to live in?

This California couple uses more water than all of the homes in Los Angeles

By: 
Josh Harkinson

Rafaela Tijerina first met la señora at a school in the town of Lost Hills, deep in the farm country of California’s Central Valley. They were both there for a school board meeting, and the superintendent had failed to show up. Tijerina, a 74-year-old former cotton picker and veteran school board member, apologized for the superintendent — he must have had another important meeting — and for the fact that her own voice was faint; she had cancer. “Oh no, you talk great,” the woman replied with a warm smile, before she began handing out copies of her book, Rubies in the Orchard: How to Uncover the Hidden Gems in Your Business. “To my friend with the sweet voice,” she wrote inside Tijerina’s copy.

Why mining and violence are inextricably linked

By: 
Jasper Finkeldey

Last year South Africa's bountiful Wild Coast saw the assassination of Sikhosiphi Rhadebe, activist against proposed dune mining on his homeland. The commemoration of Rhadebe who went by the name Bozooka coincided with this year's Human Rights day. At least 500 people came to stand together in solidarity to call for an end to violence under the glaring sun of the Wild Coast far off the tarred national roads.

Saluting the deceased Rhadebe, leader of the Amadiba Crisis Committee, gun shots were fired in the air giving a vivid demonstration of the sound of death that was heard on the Wild Coast a year ago. Mark Caruso, CEO of the company that applied for a permit for titanium mining on the Wild Coast had (according to local media) previously bragged in an internal email: "I am enlivened by [the] opportunity to grind all resistance to my presence."

The Growing Resistance to Megadams in Bolivia

By: 
Emily Achtenberg

Last November, representatives of 17 indigenous communities held a vigil at the site of two megadams—El Chepete and El Bala—that President Evo Morales plans to build in Bolivia’s Amazonian region. The protesters blocked access to the site by Geodata, the Italian firm hired by the government to study the dams’ feasibility. Twelve days later, Geodata’s engineers withdrew their equipment, announcing, “If there’s no [community] consensus, the conditions don’t exist for us to work.”

The Growing Resistance to Megadams in Bolivia

By: 
Emily Achtenberg

A growing resistance to the Chepete/ El Bala megadam is challenging President Evo Morales’s plan to convert Bolivia into South America’s leading energy powerhouse. 

Last November, representatives of 17 indigenous communities held a vigil at the site of two megadams—El Chepete and El Bala—that President Evo Morales plans to build in Bolivia’s Amazonian region. The protesters blocked access to the site by Geodata, the Italian firm hired by the government to study the dams’ feasibility. Twelve days later, Geodata’s engineers withdrew their equipment, announcing, “If there’s no [community] consensus, the conditions don’t exist for us to work.”

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