The worst of the upcoming financial crisis?

Books, television programs, films, magazines or music to share, counselor to discover ... Talk to news affecting in any way the econology, environment, energy, society, consumption (new laws or standards) ...
posts: 79330
Registration: 10/02/03, 14:06
Location: Greenhouse planet
x 11046

by Christophe » 25/02/13, 14:49

Good analyzes from Remundo (and the others) ... good sorry what follows will not cheer you up ... (good it comes from decreasing therefore to take with a little lightness anyway ...)


We read this in the newspaper “La décroissance” of February 2013:

Former "pope" of Sustainable Development, Dominique Bourg continues to denounce what he now calls a "farce". "It's decay or clash," he warns. A repositioning that interests us all the more since this professor at the University of Lausanne, philosopher, author of numerous works on ecology is very present in governmental and economic institutions and… vice-president of the Board of Directors of the Nicolas Foundation Hulot.

Decrease: Rather than using the ubiquitous term "crisis," you are stressing that we are in a period of collapse. Could you tell us what you mean by this word?

DB: To use the term "crisis" is to assume that we are going out of normality during a transitional period, which can last a few years; then we find a state of normality, even if it can take a different form from the previous situation. Today's period has nothing to do with it. We are facing a continuous degradation of the biosphere, a continuous depletion of resources. All ecosystems are weakening. We are entering a bottleneck, with no possible exit from normal. Crisis is a concept that is perfectly inadequate for defining what we are going through. We have never known such a difficult period in history.

To provide appropriate answers to the difficulties we are going through, we must first use the right words to describe them. For me, it is clear that we are in a situation of pre-collapse, as defined by Jared Diamond in his book Collapse: because if the material base is hidden under our feet, it is the whole social organization that s 'collapses. All our lifestyles, all of society relies on ever-increasing flows of materials and energy. However, these resources are sent from exhaustion and our energy consumption disrupts the biosphere system. Without a decrease in these material and energy flows, we will not be able to do.

What are the indicators of this collapse?

I will first talk about material indicators and the energy-climate relationship. It is a trap on several levels. Today, there is both too much fossil energy in the basement, and not enough. Not enough to meet our growing needs, but too much to disrupt the climate. With the exploitation of unconventional fossil fuels, such as shale gas, we release even more CO2 than with conventional ones, which accelerates the climatic problems that we know.

As for renewable energy sources, they are very greedy in materials: we build wind turbines or, to a lesser extent, solar panels with enormous quantities of minerals, or all the deposits are in the process of exhaustion. We are exploiting increasingly deep veins, with a lower mineral content, which requires more and more energy to extract them.

Add to this the problem of the scarcity of fresh water, the collapse of biotic resources, in particular marine resources, soil erosion, ocean acidification ... One of the major dangers that this tilting of ecosystems is the fall in food production capacities. We have seen this over the past ten years: droughts have caused a reduction in harvests in important agricultural regions, such as Russia or the United States. The possibility of a collapse eventually becomes very clear.

What are the other indicators of the current chaos, socially and morally?

We are reaching levels of inequality never seen in history. Until the industrial revolution, no region of the world was twice as rich as another. Because the energy sources were limited: the muscles of men, animals, wood, wind, rivers ... So there could not be huge differences between societies. But today, to give an example, Qatar is 428 times richer than Zimbabwe. This is an unprecedented situation: wealth has never been so badly distributed, concentrated in the hands of a minority. Never have the gaps been greater.


How do you think the clash could manifest itself in the years to come?

I have studied the issue of ecological democracy: how to revitalize institutions to face the challenges of today. I don't have a ready-made model, I don't know what final form it could take. Institutions depend on our ways of being and vice versa: they influence each other. The material shortage will force us to review our organization, our values, our lifestyles in depth. To start the pump, I propose in my books to impulse institutional modifications. The longer we wait, the more difficult it will be to cope. If the Copenhagen summit had been successful, it was planned to reduce global CO3 emissions by 2% each year, even if that would have been very difficult to achieve. Imagine that the Paris conference would succeed in 2015: the implementation of this agreement from 2021 would require for the same objective to contain the rise in the average temperature of the globe below 2 ° C at the end of the century, a reduction average of 6 to 9%.

I reflect on three scenarios in my research: ecological democracy through institutional change; an ecological democracy which recognizes the vulnerability of global society and which encourages original experiences, alternative lifestyles, marginal local initiatives which could be laboratories of interest for the society of tomorrow; and the third scenario is to think of society after the collapse, because it is likely that we will break our faces. Even if the worst is never certain. My name is not Madame Soleil, but if I wanted to have fun forecasting, I could say that we risk experiencing a mix between the disintegration of Rome, which took decades, and the XNUMXth century, when took place at the same time the Hundred Years War, the Little Ice Age and the black plague which wreaked havoc and killed a third of the hungry population… A mixture of this type hangs in our faces. With the data we have, this is one of the possible scenarios.

You talk about rebuilding society around local initiatives. But that seems difficult today, with a technical system that requires centralized institutions.

Monasteries were looked down upon by the elites of Rome. But these experiences made it possible to set new milestones. The society which has been rebuilt around the monasteries is not a society which has become a large monastery: it would have disappeared and we would not be there to talk about it! Even if these initiatives remain in the minority and do not necessarily generalize, they are important places for experimentation: we are implementing new ways of living, organizing, producing, exchanging. Today with our level of technicality, the organization is decentralized, complex. This is one of the possible black spots: if the collapse is general it will be difficult to make permaculture next to nuclear reactors ...

The continuation in Degrowth N ° 96 - February 2013 ... ondrement/
0 x
Econologue expert
Econologue expert
posts: 19224
Registration: 29/10/10, 13:27
Location: bourgogne
x 3491

by Janic » 25/02/13, 16:49

It reminds us of this situation where we have to announce good news and bad news; hence the subsequent question: "and the good news? but it was the good news!" : Lol:
0 x


  • Similar topics
    Last message

Back to "Media & News: TV shows, reports, books, news ..."

Who is online ?

Users browsing this forum : Google [Bot] and 333 guests