Posts


Slow is Beautiful: The Need to Decelerate

by Greg Mikkelson

Brian Czech once likened modern economic growth to a runaway train. This metaphor drives home the point that to save nature and humanity from an ecological train wreck, the most important thing is to decelerate the global economy. Unfortunately, much writing on environmental protection neglects this imperative and fixates instead on what we must accelerate.

For example, the must-read Living Planet Report,


Three Senate Races for Steady Staters to Monitor

by Brian Czech

Election Day is almost upon us. Along with the 435 House seats are thirty-five seats for grabs in the Senate. Our focus here is on the Senate races, given their high-profile candidates, substantial policy stakes, and excellent examples of growthmanship gone amuck (literally, in some agricultural cases).

Candidates fall along a spectrum—theoretically at least—from a degrowth to a pro-growth stance. It’s a “theoretical” spectrum because, at this point in the history of the USA,


Emerging Signs of Grassroots Resistance to Growth

by Christy Shaw

There seem to be encouraging signs that more and more average Americans are speaking out and taking action to oppose uncontrolled growth. Concerned citizens are sounding the alarm that too much growth is doing far more harm than good in their towns, cities and communities.

While there does not yet appear to be a coordinated nationwide coalition of activism, there are definitely increasing signs of grassroots efforts to push back against the all-too common,


Prospects for 负增长 Toward a Steady State Economy in China

by Yiran Cheng

China, as the world’s second-largest economy and a rising superpower, is an integral part of the discussion if a steady state economy is ever to be achieved at a global scale. China’s environmental impact grows by the day, yet serious consideration about intentionally slowing economic growth has seldom occurred, let alone the possibility of a sustained 负增长, the Mandarin translation of “degrowth”.

This is not to say China is oblivious to its environmental toll.


Don’t Fence Me In: Exnovation for Degrowth

by Gregory Mikkelson

During recent visits to my family’s woods in northern Wisconsin, I have methodically snipped, pulled out, and recycled a half-mile of long-abandoned barbed wire. By doing so, I hope to help the biotic communities on either side of the old fence line to reconnect. The work is great exercise, and deeply satisfying.

I have not yet figured out who installed the wire or when, but the stuff was invented by Lucien Smith in 1867,


Degrowth: A North American Vision

By Brian Czech

Students and scholars of steady-state economics must have noticed, by now, that the Degrowth movement in Europe has attained far more traction than the steady-state movement has in the USA (or anywhere). Degrowth is the banner under which thousands have assembled at numerous conferences for almost two decades now, demonstrating a durable unity. Major European news outlets such as The Guardian report on Degrowth doings; even prominent American outlets including Bloomberg have taken note.


To Be or Not to Be: Is the European Degrowth Movement Courting an Identity Crisis?

by Brian Czech

 

To be or not to be

for lowering GDP.

Deciding is the fee

for degrowthers to be free!

(Free of confusion, that is, and degrees of self-defeat.)

 

In the heart of the Cold War, John F. Kennedy proclaimed, “Ich bin ein Berliner.” More than halfway to a century later,


The Steady Stater Stance on Renewable Energy: A Clarification

By Brian Czech

Ever since my review of Michael Moore’s Planet of the Humans, some misunderstandings have come to light about the stance of myself, and by extension CASSE, on renewable energy. One such misunderstanding—spread far and wide—is that we are “against renewables.” A clarification is definitely in order.

CASSE and steady staters at large are all for renewable energy. Of course! Along with the steady state economy as the sustainable alternative to growth,


Meaning and Ethics in Ecological Economics

By Haydn Washington

The True Meaning of Ecological Economics

Ecological economics has a problem: Pluralism is out of control, to the extent that “ecological economics” is starting to mean different methods, approaches, and values to different people. We need to know precisely what we mean by “ecological economics,” and to settle upon an ethical framework thereof.

The original thinkers in ecological economics, such as Herman Daly, were clear that ecological economics was an economics that operated within ecological limits.


Degrowth Toward a Steady State Economy: Unifying Non-Growth Movements for Political Impact

by Brian Czech and Riccardo Mastini

No later than the 1960s, scholars wrote in rigorous terms of the limits to economic growth. Europeans such as E.F. Schumacher, Americans including Herman Daly, and European-born Americans (most notably Nicholas Georgescu-Roegen and Kenneth Boulding) set the stage for later studies in ecological economics and sustainability science. Their scholarship, supplemented by the population focus of Paul Ehrlich and the modeling approach of Donella Meadows and coauthors (for the Club of Rome),