What next? 10:10
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
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So, what's correct in the the debate over affluence versus reality?
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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
> 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
> -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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