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At our Transition Town meeting today at Bill Quay Farm we were discussing how to get across the issues around peak oil – the end of cheap and easy oil. We came up with the idea of creating an interactive installation – a display of the huge range of stuff that we use that is made from oil and asking people to prioritise what are the most important things that we want to continue to use this precious resource for – in a future where it will be a lot scarcer. This will be at our mini green festival next year we are planning for Jarrow.

Then I find someone on the Green Left discussion list has recommended a piece on the Guardian website which, although titled Climate Change v Capitalism: The feast is almost over, clearly gets across that it is not just tackling climate change which is incompatible with economic growth. Jerry Mander pulls no punches:

But there’s a missing link in the discussion, ignored by nearly everyone in the mainstream debate: nature. They speak about our economy as if it were a separate entity, its own ever-expanding universe, unconnected to any realities outside itself, not embodied within a larger system from which, actually, it emerged and can’t escape. Nature cannot be left out of the discussion. It may be the most important detail of the entire conversation. Leaving it out of consideration is, well, suicidal. Here’s the point: never-ending growth on a small planet with finite resources is a profound impossibility. It’s an absurdity. A fantasy. It’s time to wake up.

We will have Jonathon Porritt advancing the same argument in a debate in Newcastle on Tuesday (sold out now) – Economic Growth: Bane or Boon, against an economist Daniel Ben-Ami, who argues we should celebrate growth and is author of a book called “Ferraris for all”.

It’s time the “mainstream” listened to Green voices so we can move to a steady state economy with sufficiency and equity.


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