What next? 10:10

james armstrong james36armstrong at hotmail.com
Fri Jan 7 08:31:37 GMT 2011

'Growth in the economy' is a subtle mind game -an ideology.
An example is the offhand remark that precedes a thousand
discussiuons of 'the housing market' (another ideology)  
'when the market recovers....' Another version is "better news for the housing market"
which implies "rising house prices next year." which  can easily be demonstrated to be
bad for many people , especially the most vulnerable and the house-needy. 

Generic 'Growth' is just not possible ad infinity. But how do you introduce this into the dialogue 
when the universal assumption is that "we all take growth for granted, as a good / inevitable thing
like dawn to-morrow."

I seek a coherent  exposition of the alternative to growth. 
A challenge at the ideology level.
Until this exits and is widely debated, the  implications of growth and its destructive effects are difficult to 
show on a case by case basis.  


To: Envlist at yahoogroups.com; climate_change at foe.co.uk; diggers350 at yahoogroups.com
From: mobbsey at gn.apc.org
Date: Thu, 6 Jan 2011 23:56:57 +0000
Subject: [Diggers350] Fwd: Re: What happened next? 10:10




Hash: SHA1


So, what's correct in the the debate over affluence versus reality?


- ----------  Forwarded Message  ----------

Subject: Re: What happened next? 10:10

Date: Thursday, January 06, 2011, 11:49:34 pm

From: Paul Mobbs <mobbsey at gn.apc.org>

To: "10:10" <hello at 1010uk.org>

On Thursday, January 06, 2011 11:38:43 am 10:10 wrote:

> As you are well aware there exists an ongoing and detailed debate in the

> environmental movement about how far we should far we can or should push

> people to change and how we can square with what the science demands is

> necessary to save the planet's ecosystem and climate.

The difficulty is that the debate isn't based upon what constitutes the 

"reality" of our situation, but rather what is considered "acceptable" to say 

within the present political climate/media scenario. Yes, we're all heading to 

the same destination, but the issue is whether our chosen mode of transport is 

capable of getting us there. That's an issue of fact, not of relative debate, 

and my concern is that the whole 10:10 machine is distoring the facts to fit a 

restricted debate.

> 10:10's message is based around the idea that it's possible to engage

> people who either couldn't or wouldn't be interested in an environmental

> message otherwise. Generally, the sorts of people we're trying to reach

> are:

> -affluent, or want to be so

> -want to see themselves as part of a wide movement, and as a leader amongst

> their peers

> -want to see themselves as an early adopter of the latest fashion or trends

> -are generally averse to radical or grand visions, and are put off by

> excessively long term thinking about the world (which is why the 80% cut in

> co2 emissions by 2050 is so hard for most people to accept).

That's the problem. You're watering down reality in order to fit with a 

delusion view of our present situation. The facts say that continued growth, 

let alone the world's "poor" consuming as the "affluent" do today, is not 

possible. Given the clear distinctions between the reality of our situation, 

and the implications of the type of lifestyle that you are seeking to promote, 

is that honest?; and, as a result of that distinction, is that moral?

Is it better to "appeal" to the public by knowingly distorting the reality of 

our predictament, or to be one of those promoting present development patterns 

with (allegedly) a complete oblivion to these facts. As noted in the original 

posting, it's this ontological compromise that makes 10:10 an 'apologist' for 

the present consumption-based economic system; it's that position which makes 

you part of the problem, not part of the solution.

Irrespective of whether people agree or not, we have to represent what the 

available evidence indicates or we are no better than the political-corporate 

"axis of growth" who -- in the same manner -- filter reality in order to fit 

their desires rather than reconciling themselves to their objective situation. 

I meet these people a lot at conferences and seminars; I talk to these people 

at conferences and seminars; what I find interesting is that their flawed 

reality offers so many opportunities for campaigns, but so few 

"environmentalists" bother to try because, I perceive, that means accepting 

the reality themselves. And, by and large, as the present mainstream of 

environmentalism is largely constituted by and of the "affluent", this reality 

sets up contradictions that inevitably neuter the ability of the movement as a 

whole to succeed.

> By breaking up the target to 10% in a year, and dressing it up in fancy

> branding and packaging, appealing to as many celebrities as we can and so

> on we are trying to reach these people and make the carbon cutting message

> that much more palatable.


> I hope this makes sense, and sheds some light on our thinking;

This is what I perceive to be the problem with 10:10. We could eliminate 

carbon emissions tomorrow but it would avoid an ecological collpase within the 

human system if present consumption trends continue. That's reality. The idea 

that we can use efficiency and technological measures to solve climate AND keep 

consuming is deeply flawed, both in terms of the theoretical thermodynamic 

principles and the physical availability of resources. If you are aware of 

this, but you choose to make the message "more palatable" by selectively 

editing what you represent, then you are committing as a grave a deception as 

the political/industrial lobby that prmotes the present growth paradigm 

irrespective of the impact this has on the environment.

If you'd like to know a little more I suggest that you read my latest 

presentation on resources and human ecology --


...and my presentation to Parliament from November 2009 --


...or if you want the potted/simplified version, read my Ecologist article from 

last year --


If you'd like me to come along and talk at one of your events I'd be happy to 

do so. Also, if you send me an address, I'll forward you a copy of my book.

I accept that, in the present political/media climate, this is a tough issue 

to deal with. However, in the words of that wry observation on reality; "the 

truth will set you free, but first it will piss you off".


- -- 


"We are not for names, nor men, nor titles of Government,

nor are we for this party nor against the other but we are

for justice and mercy and truth and peace and true freedom,

that these may be exalted in our nation, and that goodness,

righteousness, meekness, temperance, peace and unity with

God, and with one another, that these things may abound."

(Edward Burrough, 1659 - from 'Quaker Faith and Practice')

Paul's book, "Energy Beyond Oil", is out now!

For details see http://www.fraw.org.uk/ebo/

Read my 'essay' weblog, "Ecolonomics", at:


Paul Mobbs, Mobbs' Environmental Investigations

3 Grosvenor Road, Banbury OX16 5HN, England

tel./fax (+44/0)1295 261864

email - mobbsey at gn.apc.org

website - http://www.fraw.org.uk/mei/index.shtml

public key - http://www.fraw.org.uk/mei/mobbsey-2011.asc


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