We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore LappĂ©, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Friday, March 20, 2015

Renewables cannot sustain the globalized growth-economy

Click here to access article by Almuth Ernsting from degrowth (Germany).

Ernsting examines the most advanced uses of renewable energy as practiced in Scotland and Denmark and reaches the following conclusion:
Any meaningful response to climate change must involve rapidly phasing out fossil fuel use while protecting remaining ecosystems, including healthy soils, and restoring and allowing as many damaged ecosystems as possible to regenerate. Wind and solar power, depending on where they are sited, can be amongst the ‘lowest-impact’ and ‘lowest-carbon’ forms of energy, so their expansion will indeed need to be supported. But ‘lowest-impact’ is far from ‘low impact’, and lower carbon is nowhere near ‘zero carbon’. Nor, as we have seen, is it realistic to expect such forms of energy to replace current fossil fuel use, and certainly not in the time necessary to prevent the most disastrous effects of climate change. Moving towards a low-energy society remains the only path for avoiding a climate catastrophe. [my emphasis]
This conclusion obviously means that we must end capitalism and move immediately to a sustainable social system if we as humans are to have any hope of survival.