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Less of What We Don't Need

Stories about Less of What We Don't Need.

Decolonisation and Degrowth

By: 
Claire Deschner and Elliot Hurst

Why do degrowth scholars use the word “decolonise” to discuss the process of changing the growth imaginary? Isn’t decolonisation about undoing the historical colonisation of land, languages and minds? How do these two uses of the word relate?

This blog post is the result from a discussion held between some participants at a Degrowth Summer School in August 2017. While some parts of this blog post are written to confront degrowth theory, we took the time to write up the discussions around the word “decolonise” because we think of degrowth as a project worth supporting and a community who is open to reflection. We recognise degrowth is an important academic and activist movement, which correctly diagnoses economic growth as a root cause of social and ecological crisis. We would like to see degrowth concepts spread. However, we have a problem with the use of the term decolonisation within degrowth literature.

Paint Companies Brazen Scheme to Get Californians to Pay for their Crimes

By: 
Mark Allen

Three California courts have ruled three giant paint companies knowingly promoted a toxic product that has poisoned thousands of children and ordered them to clean it up. The paint companies have a cynical scheme to get Californians to pay the bill.

On February 14, the Supreme Court of California declined to review a multimillion-dollar state appeals court ruling against three of this country’s largest paint manufacturers and, predictably, their attorneys immediately pledged to take their case to the U.S. Supreme Court. But, the giant paint companies had already launched a plan to get much quicker relief; they are going to purchase an election.

Yes we can – feed 9 billion with organic agriculture

By: 
Gunnar Rundgren
It is possible to feed more than 9 billion people with organic production methods with a small increase in the required crop acreage and with decreased greenhouse gas emission. But this assumes considerable reduction in food wastage and in the quantities of feed grown to animals.
Picture: Ann-Helen Meyer von Bremen
That is the conclusion in the paper Strategies for feeding the world more sustainably with organic agriculture in Nature communications by researchers from the Research Institute of Organic Agriculture in Switzerland, the Institute of Environmental Decisions in Switzerland. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in Italy, Institute of Social Ecology Vienna in Austria and the Institute of Biological and Environmental Sciences in the UK.

Dutch fight to shut down EU’s largest gas field after earthquake

By: 
Bryan Miranda

A march against Shell and Exxon’s gas drilling drew thousands in the northern Dutch city of Groningen on Jan. 19, after a heavy earthquake rocked the region earlier this month.

Ten thousand people — a record number for Groningen — marched through the city with torches and chanted slogans scolding the government, as well as its partners Shell and Exxon, for the gas operations they say are responsible for the 3.4 magnitude earthquake felt throughout the province on Jan. 8.

Why Are Young People Joining Cooperatives? 3 Youth Leaders Share Their Views

By: 
Nithin Coca

For many, cooperatives represent the past, not the future. But young people around the globe are challenging that notion. At the International Cooperative Alliance Conference, held in November in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, members of the Youth Network, a multilingual, diverse, global initiative to connect and empower youth to join and create cooperatives around the world, spoke passionately about why it is imperative to invest in a youth-driven cooperative future. The role of young people is crucial to the future of cooperatives, which are being increasingly seen as critical to not only addressing income inequality, but meeting sustainable development goals.

Ugandans Resist Land Grabbing and US-backed Dictatorship: an Interview with Phil Wilmot

By: 
Ann Garrison

Eighty-four percent of the population of Uganda are rural subsistence farmers. They are resisting both rampant land grabbing and US ally General Yoweri Museveni’s attempt to rule for life. I spoke to Phil Wilmot, an American-born activist who now lives in rural Uganda.

Ann Garrison: Could you tell us how you came to live in northern Uganda?

China’s Ban on Plastic Waste Imports Is a Wake-Up Call

By: 
Claire Arkin

As of January 1, China effectively banned imports of plastic recyclables from other countries. The change represents a major policy shift: In 2016, China took 51 percent of the 15 million tons of plastic recyclables in trade globally, including a whopping 40 percent of US citizens’ plastic recycling. So when China announced that it was shutting its doors to our plastic, it was a wake up call for the US recycling industry.

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