Can Our Economy Grow Forever?, 48°

John P. 194°

Over the last twenty years the government where I live (Ireland) has put a lot of emphasis on growing our economy. The economy has grown, but has it benefited the average person? Yes, people have more money, bigger houses and more stuff. However, they also have a lot more stress and I would argue a lower quality of life in some cases.

Twenty years ago I used to walk, or cycle to work. Now, I take a bus or train journey that lasts nearly two hours each way. I work longer hours and have more bills.

With new markets emerging around the world there are also new economies. With all of these economies growing can our economy grow forever?

42 replies

I think you guys are onto something there. Energy independence has to help on both the physical and psychological level. Energy independence can, I think, start without any new kit by just opting out of energy use in the first place from time to time.

At the macro level I suspect that the windfall profits of energy companies is another raw signal of the decline of the intrinsic values of currencies against raw supplies of energy commodities. How many wodgits do you need to trade for a barrel of oil next year? .

Written in August 2008

John P. 194°

"opting out of energy use in the first place from time to time."

We had a power outage recently all over the town that I live in. So it forced us to opt out of all power usage for an entire day and night.

I can't remember it ever being so peaceful at night.

We decided to have a "power free" night again. This time off our own bat. You know it was really nice. Like a break from all the hustle.

Written in August 2008

1 person thinks this is a cool reply

C Robb W. 444°

Perhaps we should start a tradition, Free from Power Day or Simplicity Day.
No grid usage, no banking, no telephones, no shopping, no media, no driving, just breathing, resting, exercising, being with each other, gardening, observing.
Emphasize the benefits of switching off, everything, for 24 hours.
Once a year to start with, then once a month, then once a week? Maybe we should make it an action here on Celsias first.

Written in August 2008

John P. 194°

Hey! Nice Idea,

Why not put it up as an action or project on celsias. I'll join.

Written in August 2008

C Robb W. 444°

I'll give it some thought,
In the meantime perhaps we can bat around a few ideas regarding it on this thread, after all it came about because of this group discussion. Theodore mentioned opting out.
I'd like the name of the action to signify both the freedom from the need to consume needlessly but also the freedom from the demands of consumer culture as delineated by corporate media.

So Free from Power Day is not only about living powerfree, as in fossil fuels, for a day but also an expression of independence from the demands placed on us to participate in the growth at any cost debt economy, free from corporate power.

We'd need to set a date far enough in the future to let people prepare and spread the word but not so far as to be forgotten. It would help if it were significant in some way, perhaps the anniversary of some milestone date in the history of the industrial revolution or corporate control over media and government. Any ideas?

Written in August 2008

John P. 194°

"and on 4th September 1882 Edison lit up lower Manhattan with the worlds first power station."

Too soon perhaps? But being half English I've inherited that nations love of irony.

Written in August 2008

C Robb W. 444°

sounds promising,
So what actions should be part of the "action" here are some thoughts;
1. No use of fossil fuels, energy produced renewably onsite is acceptable.
2. no purchasing of anything not produced and sold locally and procurred without the use of fossil fuels
3. no interaction with any non locally owned and operated business.
This boils down to, no electronic media, no shopping unless strictly local economy, no driving, flying, training or bussing unless powered by locally produced renewable energy, no cooking unless the same is true, no bathing/showering unless the same is true, no banking, electronic bill paying or telephoning......

any more?

Written in August 2008

John P. 194°

I like all those points. Could it have the appeal of a holiday, I wonder?

People are increasingly under pressure to work harder, buy more goods. What if they could have a break from that and help the environment.

"Take a Break From Power Day And Help Save The Planet."

4. Encourage people to take that day as a holiday from work, consumerism.

5. Encourage businesses to make it a firm wide initiative.

6. Don't just stay at home with the T.V. off. Take your family on a nature walk/hike, or cycle to the beach.

7. Help support your local economy. Bring a packed lunch made from local produce.

8. When you get home, don't let the kids turn the T.V. on get them reading a good book.

9. That morning turn off and defrost/clean your fridge. Don't restock it until the following day.

What do you think?

Written in August 2008

C Robb W. 444°

Sounds good.

Written in August 2008

Charles M. 110°

I think the basic ideas are great because they help people think about what they are doing.

But calling events like this: "Take a Break From Power Day And Help Save The Planet." is just greenwashing BS, just like "Drive a Prius and Save the World".

The problem with these slogans is that it makes people feel that by doing this action they have absolution for what they do on the other 6 days of the week. A bit like confession/church: say a few Hail Marys/prayers and all your sins are forgiven.

You have to be very careful how you pitch things like this so that they engage people effectively and on an ongoing basis.

On the technical side:
1) You still have a TV? How do you ever hope to think for yourself if you're getting hammered with ads and product placements and view points every few minutes. These companies and organisations pay huge for the ads etc **BECAUSE THEY WORK**. You might think you're immune but you aren't. What hope do you have against a bunch of psychologists etc who are designing messages that they know to be accepted by the target audience.

2)I would not turn off the fridge for more than a couple of hours. Many modern high efficiency fridges are not designed to work that way and it would probably be more efficient to leave it on.

Written in August 2008

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