We have a problem. There are currently two fundamentally different understandings of the word “degrowth”.
Jason Hickel’s view is that “Degrowth is a planned reduction of energy and resource use designed to bring the economy back into balance with the living world in a way that reduces inequality and improves human well-being.” A planned reduction of energy and resource use which assumes that, otherwise, there will continue to be growth.
Tim Morgan’s view is that: “People have been getting poorer in most Western advanced economies since the early 2000s. With the same fate now starting to overtake emerging market countries too, global prosperity has turned down. One way of describing this process is ‘de-growth‘.”
His view is that a reduction in energy use is already occurring.
Now that it is becoming obvious that the world economy is indeed shrinking, I believe this must be the way to think of degrowth.
Degrowth is the opposite of growth. It is happening now – albeit hidden by government borrowing which creates an impression of growth.
It is no longer necessary to plan a reduction in energy use. It is already happening. More or less out of sight, the restructuring of our economy and society is already happening.
This post first appeared at Orcop.com