Lifeboats and Landfall

Developed economies are intrinsically destructive and because of their size they cannot be greened. They embody a destructive way of life. Our only choice is to evacuate that economy and to live a different way of life.
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De-growing what is destructive is no remedy – it remains destructive.
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A green New Deal for what is destructive may also shrink its ill-effects, but it will remain destructive.
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But anyway, de-growth will fail as a strategy, even towards that limited end because –
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As we’ve seen, de-growth of monetarist economies, will not only diminish their ill effects, it will destroy them. Growth is essential to developed economies. Money-flow must accelerate, but the physical economy of labour and resources is shrinking.
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Sooner, or later, collapse is inevitable.
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If collapse is inevitable, we must choose it as necessary – as an essential step. If (Brian Davey’s metaphor) shipwreck is inevitable tomorrow, we’d be wise to launch the lifeboats today.
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So, my chosen first step is not of collapse and retreat to my bunker, it is to launch the lifeboats and to colonise what we find at landfall, leaving as small a footprint as we can manage. Collapse will loom darkly over us like a prophesy, but a little delay will give us time to settle. As, we’ve seen in our chapter Being, Nothingness, Cumquats and Walter Scott, we must inhabit rather than reside. Our habits must mingle with those of the other species we find. In the past, the word colonial has meant bloody invasion, pillage and the construction of over-seeing residencies. Now it must be different.
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We shall inhabit, which will prove a delight. How do we know the habits of other species, without study and without the physical trial and error of our own habits? Every individual must be involved.
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We shall receive no instruction from the residences.
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When collapse comes – sooner is best for the planet – later is best for our infant plans – we can hope that our colonies are resilient enough to welcome refugees aboard and so expand into new terrain – becoming stronger.
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The farm is the perfect place for learning that habitation. It is also the perfect place (where better?) for moral philosophy. Farmers are currently the luckiest people on Earth. The farm is the core of agricultural economies (towns, roads, cities…). It is the primary source. If we can properly inhabit our farms and also properly inhabit those roads to and from market (both at the farmer’s fingertips) we have a glimmer of a chance for whole societies to healthily inhabit their rations of Earth. Remember that economics is just one branch, though probably the stoutest branch, of moral philosophy.
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A contagious moral philosophy which is rooted in our habitations – our families, skills and terrains – could infuse the common course of things and shrug off the phantasies of those who pillage and reside.
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At their chore (removing the hierarchies) Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism… all say the same.
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As just about every “Green” writer of substance says (it’s a long list), a moral awakening is our final life-belt for rescue from a sea of colonial residencies tossing on waves of their own making – the consumer consumed by the consumed.
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