Saturday, December 12, 2009

Degrowth Time Has Come

In his speech to Klimaforum 09, the People's Climate Conference in Copenhagen:
Degrowth Seminar, Copenhagen Klimaforum09, Miguel Valencia lays bare the basic dichotomy in modern human societies. It is not North vs. South, or East vs. West, it is traditional village life versus modern, centralized, hierarchical, industrial, consumerist society.

"Liberating the social imagination means revitalizing the village by producing for local needs and consuming local produce; organizing micro- cooperatives and micro-syndicates; reducing work-time voluntarily and cutting consumption, and constructing new ecological communities with rigorous rules. It also means growing vegetables by our own dwellings or nearby in the eco-region; to walk and bicycle for everyday mobility; to modify toilets and water facilities; to separate residues for reuse and recycling; to support local money, savings and loans, and to use or produce hand-made products. Abandon the use of automobile, bottled water and red meat consumption."

The purpose of the mainstream Copenhagen climate conference is a desperate attempt to maintain the human economic status quo in the face of clear evidence of its destructive effects on non-industrial societies and the non-human world. The Klimaforum 09 gathering throws the social and environmental contrasts between the industrialized and non-industrialized world into sharp focus and reveals the ultimate futility of attempting to prop up an unsustainable world view.

Valencia's speech should be plastered on the front page of every newspaper in the world, distributed as broadsheets on every street corner, read aloud at peace, environmental and social justice gatherings everywhere. This is the voice of the future and the dying wail of "Civilization" brought to account for its profligate ways.