I watched yesterday’s budget committee meeting at the US senate (which you
It was mildly interesting, and it left me with the impression that
politicians plan on continuing to change nothing while we march toward
It’s worth reading the testimony of David
which is probably the closest we’ll get to a reality check in mainstream
politics. Let me give you the short version: if we, as a species, continue on
our current path of never ending growth for the sake of growth, we will
likely experience a mass extinction event affecting all people on this
planet. And that’s without considering the ongoing mass extinction that’s
happening right now (have you noticed how all the insects are gone?).
One question they never properly answer in the hearing is: what can normal
people do to prevent our own demise? Unfortunately there is no simple answer
because we do not have a economic or political structure that incentivizes
degrowth, and people need to make money so they can eat. However, the
financial independence and early retirement (FIRE) community offers some
pretty good advice that applies here.
The answer is simple: you can just do less. Consume less, buy less, spend
less money, go fewer places, work less, and live as modestly as possible. The
single biggest thing everyone can do is to stop participating in capitalism
as much as possible, especially on the money spending part. Beyond survival,
there’s a lot of unnecessary shit people spend money on, like air travel or
driving around aimlessly, that can pretty much be 100% cut out of our lives.
Degrowth starts with you not spending money.
The other nice effect of doing nothing is that you quickly begin accumulating
wealth, as people over in
will happily explain. While this isn’t sustainable (the stock market Ponzi
requires growth to continue going up), you can perhaps take some time to
learn to grow potatoes and make yourself more self-sufficient before mass
global food shortages become persistent.