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

C Robb W. 444°

Good points,
I suppose the aim is not to make a huge impact on GhG emissions with one days action but to point out that a life spent living simply is not only possible but preferable. If that message can get across successfully then perhaps it will have an effect on the other 6 days of the week which will begin to have an impact. It is also a statement of protest against the very thing you mentioned in your television comment, we are in the drivers seat, that strategy doesn't have to work. I have a TV but only watch recorded content so I can fast forward through the ads, I do watch BBC news programs live but they are mostly ad free.
As I share my house with others who may or may not participate my fridge will have to stay on. I can choose not to use it however. My current plan is to spend the day walking.

Written in August 2008

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John P. 194°

Hi chaps,

Couldn't have said it better myself. I was really just brain storming.

How about just calling it "Take a Break From Power Day?" or something similar.

Have you thought any more about putting these ideas up as a project or action? I think a lot of people would be interested.

Written in August 2008

C Robb W. 444°

Indeed I have, it's been percolating along as we discuss it and I fully intend to do so.

Written in August 2008

C. A. 10°

I love this thread. All of it. I too have lived during an energy blackout and the quiet and peace is tangible and energizing (oddly enough). I have often challenge myself to use the wisdom of "don't throw the baby out with the bathwater" when considering an issue. Maybe it's not the energy itself that is 'bad', but rather the rote use of email, TV, electrical appliances, etc and that with that perception, a "Break Free" Day is not only about not being tied to the grid, but also about the awareness to discern and be self-disciplined to not engage in the mental activity (sometimes slightly addictive) and to rest.
Rest the mental clutter and be outside in nature. Break free from all the appliances that call us to the grid, but also break free from our own mental draw to even engage in the grid.
Rest. We all need to rest more.
I think the name of the day needs to be catchier. Some words that say a lot with a few words - a play on words... I will see what I can come up with.

Written in August 2008

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John P. 194°

Hi C.A.
Great to hear your ideas.
"rote use of email, TV, electrical appliances, etc"

Couldn't agree more. I like the "outside in nature" theme.

Can't wait to see what you and others come up with.

Written in August 2008

C Robb W. 444°

Yes, a good name is essential.
November 29 is Buy Nothing day in the UK
http://www.buynothingday.co.uk/
and I was pondering whether or not we should tie it in with that or start a new day.
Sep 4 was suggested, as the day Edison fired up the first power plant, and I like it but I also would very much llike to emphasize the positive as CA has suggested. Can anyone think of an event that can symbolize this spirit that would be beneficial to remind people of? Perhaps the signing of the Montreal protocol against CFC's

"The treaty was opened for signature on September 16, 1987 and entered into force on January 1, 1989 " wikipedia

or some populous movement that succeeded and has had lasting benefit.

Written in August 2008

John P. 194°

On the basis that the more events there are the better to raise awareness my vote (if we have votes?) is for a separate day.

Who's to say that this won't lead to some populous movement that will have lasting effects?

Go for it guys.

Written in August 2008

John P. 194°

Getting back to C.A.'s and C Robb W.'s points about the name.

How about simply "Free From Power Day?"

Written in August 2008

C Robb W. 444°

Ok folks,
I've distilled the posts on this action idea down to this.

"Free from Power Day - a monthly holiday in celebration of simplicity.

An opportunity to express your willingness to consume less power in the form of electricity, fossil fuels, and products reliant upon them.
Also, a declaration of independence from the power of consumerism and media.
Thus on the first Saturday of every month:
1. Freedom from the power grid for entire day. Zero personal use of electricity delivered via the national grid.
2. Freedom from the fossil fuel grid. Zero personal use of fossil fuels; no cars, buses, planes or trains fueled by fossil fuels. No cooking using fossil fuels or refridgerated food. No bathing or showering unless from rainwater heated renewably.
3. Freedom from Consumerism and media. No shopping, banking, television, radio, mp3, cell phone, land line phone, computer, or printed media usage."

I think it still needs a mission statement incorporating what CA mentioned "Rest the mental clutter and be outside in nature. Break free from all the appliances that call us to the grid, but also break free from our own mental draw to even engage in the grid. Rest. We all need to rest more." as well as this from myself "one days action to point out that a life spent living simply is not only possible but preferable. " and Charles M's statement "You have to be very careful how you pitch things like this so that they engage people effectively and on an ongoing basis."

Perhaps one of you folks can sythesize a statement encapsulating all that?

Written in August 2008

C Robb W. 444°

I'm posting this as an action. Good work everyone!

Free from Power Day - a monthly holiday in celebration of simplicity

This is an opportunity to express your willingness to consume less power in the form of electricity, fossil fuels, and products reliant upon them.
It is also, a declaration of independence from the power of consumerism and media.
With a simpler life comes time to spend with loved ones, to exercise, to meditate, to work in the garden, to observe the rhythms of nature. With diligence you will discover how preferable is a life uncluttered by the superfluous trappings of the cult of consumerism.
By making this a monthly commitment you are more likely to adopt some level of these changes in everyday life than if it was less frequent, it stands to reason that adopting this action once a week, should you so choose, would be even more effective.
Thus on the first Saturday of every month:
1. Freedom from the power grid for entire day. Zero personal use of electricity delivered via the national grid.
2. Freedom from the fossil fuel use grid. Zero personal use of fossil fuels, no cars, buses, planes or trains fueled by fossil fuels. No cooking using fossil fuels or refridgerated food. No bathing or showering unless from rainwater heated renewably.
3. Freedom from Consumerism and media. No shopping, banking, television, radio, mp3, cell phone, land line phone, computer, or printed media usage.
This action developed out of a group discussion on the celsias thread started by John P. called “Can our economy grow forever?”. Everyone who commented on that thread has contributed to it’s development.

Written in August 2008

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