In the midst of this sweltering, record-shattering summer, don’t we wish that the world had responded responsibly when Limits to Growth was published? That was a half century ago! The dots were connected to global heating by then, too. If only we’d taken our foot off the GDP gas pedal, we’d have bought a lot more time to wean ourselves from fossil fuels. We’d also have conserved the rest of our resources (GDP uses them all) and left more space for Nature. Cities would be less congested, and resource wars would be less certain.
But no, stern warnings on limits to growth were replaced by the win-win rhetoric that “there is no conflict between growing the economy and protecting the environment.”
CASSE, at least, has rung the alarm relentlessly about the perils of economic bloating, despite all the rhetoric. Here’s another chance to join us (or renew your membership). Short of becoming a CASSE member, you can support us with a donation online. If you prefer to mail a check, please note that our address has changed:
1100 North Glebe Road, Suite 1010
Arlington, VA 22201
How do we ring the alarm? Consider our website, blog, podcast, presentations, videos, and books. Such communications take time, preparation, effort, and coordination. If that’s all we did, we’d probably still be doing more than any other organization in North America to raise awareness of limits to growth. But we take on projects far beyond pure communications.
Every project we get involved in—and there have been dozens—must contribute to our mission of advancing the steady state economy as the sustainable alternative to growth. Our involvement with projects also reflects the fundraising terrain, political developments, and the news cycle. That said, we’ve prioritized two big projects for the long haul: the Steady State Economy Act and the Keep Our Counties Great campaign.
The Steady State Economy Act—our offering of federal legislation—already has a preamble and an analysis of the U.S. Code behind it, plus a pending assessment of case law. (You’ve got to know precisely what’s broken before you can fix it.) We’ve developed a couple of “feeder bills” and we are developing a political strategy for allies less constrained by non-profit status. Daniel Wortel-London, CASSE policy specialist, is hard at work every day on the Steady State Economy Act.
Meanwhile, the Keep Our Counties Great campaign is all about steering the growth debates at the county level. While the win-win hyperbole of distant politicians might still work at the 40,000-foot level, residents of rural counties can see right through the rhetoric. They see, hear, and even smell the impacts of growth all around them, threatening long-cherished landscapes and communities. More and more citizens want to keep their counties great, not by “making” America great “again,” but by maintaining the majesty already bestowed. The comprehensive plan is a key instrument in keeping a county great.
We’ll be revealing a major hire in the next Steady Stater: an accomplished local government specialist to lead the Keep Our Counties Great campaign. Stay tuned.
So, let’s all make it through the heat waves this summer without going hopeless. There’s plenty of greatness to protect yet; locally, nationally, and globally. More and more, it’s looking like greatness is a steady state economy. So, join CASSE now!
Brian Czech, Executive Director
Meet Our New Staff
CASSE has a new Executive Assistant! Julia Epstein started up on May 31. A native of Walnut Creek, California, she has a bachelor’s degree in Psychological Sciences (with Sociology and French minors) from the University of Vermont. She previously served as a clinical coordinator at a mental health clinic, where she enjoyed connecting patients to community resources and offered on-demand phone support. She recognized that the threat of an unsustainable future causes fear and malaise for many. She is excited to be with an organization that promotes a sustainable future, harmony with nature, and well-being for all. Julia is stationed at CASSE headquarters in Arlington, Virginia.
Brian Czech delivered a stimulating address, “Green is a Steady State Economy” to the American Solidarity Party national convention, proving that the CASSE message works well in political oratory:
Paris Chapter Director Mark Cramer worked to get the CASSE Position (Position sur la Croissance Économique) accepted for publication in the quarterly newsletter of Attac92, an independent local affiliate of Attac (Association for the Taxation of Financial Transactions Citizens Action), a leading advocacy group for environmental justice.
He also helped to place a brief reference to CASSE in the paper-only La Décroissance: Journal de la joie de vivre, which is distributed in kiosks across France.
Peter Sonski, Presidential Candidate
American Solidarity Party
Environmental activist and urban strategist Ibrahim Abdul-Matin passed away in June. He was a Senior Fellow with Interfaith America and New Yorkers for Clean Power, as well as a NYS Advisory Board member of the Trust for Public Land. Abdul-Matin authored the book Green Deen: What Islam Teaches About Protecting the Planet, in which he wrote, “Our economic system is partly to blame for this injustice. For far too long it has been based on a model of economic growth by any means necessary.”
I’m relieved to discover that I’m not alone in holding the heretical notion that the economic ideology of endess growth is quite insane in a finite world that is suffering badly from too much economic growth.
Thank you for all your work. Keep it up!
—Juan Pablo Arellano
Economic growth is accelerating humanity toward our doom! I do not want my grandchildren to be among the last generation of humans to live on Spaceship Earth. I want my grandchildren to die of great old age and to have their own great-grandchildren alive and thriving in order to celebrate their long, happy, and healthy lives.
We’re looking for a Communications Specialist with skills in podcast production, shooting and editing videos, maintaining social media accounts, and issuing press releases. Interested? Please send resumes to firstname.lastname@example.org with “Communications Specialist application” in the subject line.
Center for the Advancement of the Steady State Economy