Thanks to Janet Eaton for bringing the toxic 5G issue to my attention. In addition to these health impacts, this should be read along with the articles on population and media linked below. These histories of technology, population, social media vs mainstream media, and growth, not to mention climate change, will have significant impacts and implications for the need to degrow our industrial and societal metabolism to the point where it is sustainable. One could even factor in Canada’s detention of the CEO of Huawei, one the foremost sellers of 5G technology, into these geo-technico-politico scenarios!
To the UN, WHO, EU, Council of Europe and governments of all nations
We the undersigned scientists, doctors, environmental organizations and citizens from (__) countries, urgently call for a halt to the deployment of the 5G (fifth generation) wireless network, including 5G from space satellites. 5G will massively increase exposure to radio frequency (RF) radiation on top of the 2G, 3G and 4G networks for telecommunications already in place. RF radiation has been proven harmful for humans and the environment. The deployment of 5G constitutes an experiment on humanity and the environment that is defined as a crime under international law.
The United States appears to be facing a possible population crisis. Statistics from the National Institutes for Health show that the U.S. birthrate has declined to the extent that it cannot sustain the current population level. Conventional wisdom suggests that countries experiencing population decline – largely industrialized nations – face serious problems. Yet in the latter half of the 20th century, we feared the threat of an exploding population. There are some subjects for which any outcome appears dangerous: a growing population because it outstrips resources and a declining population because it threatens to slow the economy. Are warnings of a new crisis valid?
Gregory M. Mikkelson <gregory.mikkelson>
Department of Philosophy and School of Environment, McGill University
19 December 2016
Abstract: Recent social science indicates that the public at large behave more ethically, and favor environmental protection more strongly, than do the wealthiest minority. Yet the latter group exerts predominant control over the economy. This suggests that shifting power away from this minority and onto the majority would yield a better ecology. In this paper I spell out the implications of these considerations for “economic democracy” (ED), a well-developed alternative to capitalism that shifts power from wealthy shareholders onto ordinary citizens and workers. I contrast this rationale for ED with some thinkers’ defense of “sustainable capitalism”, and with others’ ecological arguments for ED based on economic stability and self-interest, rather than ethical behavior per se.
Not your “classic” degrowth article, but something to think about resulting from growth.
Because insects are legion, inconspicuous and hard to meaningfully track, the fear that there might be far fewer than before was more felt than documented. People noticed it by canals or in backyards or under streetlights at night — familiar places that had become unfamiliarly empty. The feeling was so common that entomologists developed a shorthand for it, named for the way many people first began to notice that they weren’t seeing as many bugs. They called it the windshield phenomenon.
The degrowth hypothesis posits that a radical, multiscalar reorganization of society is needed in order to achieve a drastic reduction in resource and energy consumption and therefore remain within the planetary boundaries. Degrowth now operates as starting point for envisaging new worlds that can provide better lives with less, in which sustainability goes hand in hand with equity and a pluriverse of alternatives substitutes the growth “machine” that characterizes contemporary society. Against this background, a series of innovative research agendas have been developed to support this hypothesis. However, in a world that has been and is still being increasingly urbanized, degrowth has largely neglected the topic of urbanization. Against this background the following questions are crucial:
How can urbanization be compatible with degrowth?
How can cities become places of experimentation that challenge and transcend the growth imperative? What is the role of architecture and urban planning in this process?
How can urban dwellers contribute?
This video from IASC COMMONS covers the evolution of the commons through history, and the role of the commons in the current shift from labor-based capitalism to contribution-based capitalism and the potential for post-capitalist developments in this particular context
When orthodox economists first encounter the idea of degrowth, they often jump to the conclusion that the objective is to reduce GDP. And because they see GDP as equivalent to social wealth, this makes them very upset.
Nothing could be further from the truth.