One of the ways that Saturn in Sagittarius will help us re-order our world-view is to recognize both simplicity and degrowth as of enormous value. In that vein, I received an email from reader Rose today that interested me greatly. She referred me to the Australian —
— which includes both David Holmgren (one of the co-founders of permaculture) and Richard Heinberg (well known peak oil theorist), as two of its contributing authors.
The tagline itself —
Envisioning A Prosperous Descent
— speaks volumes. I imagine that putting those two words together, “descent” and “prosperous,” feels like an oxymoron to most people. In a world where the entire life cycle of anything is not acknowledged, in a world where only growth is good, how can descent ever be rendered prosperous!
The point is, just as with a human life, more and more experience, and thus, more and more possible wisdom, can accrue with the passing years, so descent in human life can be prosperous — not in terms of money, but in terms of the ever-widening and deepening perspective one can gift to any situation.
Likewise, for the Simplicity Institute:
Some of the defining perspectives that inform our work are:
1. ‘Green growth’ is a dangerous myth that merely entrenches the status quo. Technological progress and efficiency gains in production (valuable though they can be) will never ‘decouple’ economic growth from ecological impact sufficiently to produce a sustainable way of life.
2. It follows that ‘degrowth’ (i.e. planned economic contraction) is necessary in the overdeveloped nations in order to move toward a just and sustainable economy that operates within safe biophysical limits.
3. A degrowth economy implies radically reducing energy and resource requirements compared to overdeveloped nations. Among other things, this means giving up affluent, consumer lifestyles and embracing ‘simpler ways’ of living that provide for mostly local needs using mostly local resources.
4. But it is not enough to live more simply within existing structures and systems. The challenge is to begin building new systems and structures that support and encourage ‘simpler ways’ of life. We cannot wait for governments to do this for us. We must organise and network at the grassroots level and begin to build the new world within the shell of the old.
5. A swift transition to renewable energy is necessary to respond to climate change and peak oil but renewable energy will be unable to sustain a growth-orientated, consumerist society. A society based on renewable energy is a moderate energy society.
6. Material sufficiency in a free society provides the conditions for an infinite variety of meaningful, happy, and fulfilling lives.
7. Please read our ‘Charter of Sufficiency’.
And, in case, you missed the point about the utter necessity for descent and degrowth in a world of limits, check this out, a zerohedge post posted today.