Sustainability is a euphemism for Degrowth. Degrowth is a euphemism for De-Human.

Less human prosperity, freedom, and less humans, period.

In short, Degrowth calls for an end to the pursuit of endless “unsustainable” economic growth. It emerged in the early 1970’s as a critique against the material successes of “capitalism,” arguing that the world is being stripped of resources, polluted and existentially imperiled by human driven pursuits of economic growth.

By the early 1990’s, the fringe movement began to coalesce around its main justification and tool to instigate change: global warming.

Degrowth can explain a lot of what otherwise seems like economically incompetent, fiscally derelict, socially destructive, and just plain bizarre policies and agendas:

  • Wars on farmers, including bans on nitrogen fertilizers, confiscations of farmlands, and pressures and incentives to reduce production of “unsustainable” food sources like beef and even rice 
  • Bans on incandescent light bulbs, gas stoves, combustion engine vehicles, and perhaps soon, air conditioners
  • Phase outs of meat from public school and hospital menus, and tracking of food choices in places like NYC
  • Introducing individual carbon tracking, including monitoring activities and purchases
  • Introduction of AI to obsolete skilled workers
  • Economic policies aimed to lower consumption, diminish purchasing power, and reduce the value of savings and investments
  • Flooding formerly stable democracies filled with solid middle classes with unskilled immigrants who are already conditioned to expect comparatively, and who have no stake or understanding in what made the societies they’re migrating to successful
  • Suppression and attacks on depictions or justifications of normative sexual and family relationships in education, media and entertainment 
  • Relentless promotion of abortion in societies which already are demographically imploding
  • Transgender promotion to sexually confuse and physically destroy the ability of young people to conceive children
  • The entire COVID War

All of these policies and social phenomena can be considered manifestations of a Degrowth—and deeply De-Human—agenda. 

From Hiding In Plain Sight, to Growing Mainstream Acknowledgement

As for supposing that Degrowth is a far fringe idea or conspiracy theory, consider this 8 August Reuters story extolling its virtues and advances into the mainstream:

But, as climate change accelerates and supply chain disruptions offer rich-world consumers an unaccustomed taste of scarcity, the theory is becoming less taboo and some have started to ponder what a degrowth world might look like.

After the U.N. climate science agency this year called for cuts in consumer demand – a core degrowth premise – the think tank that runs the Davos forum published a degrowth primer in June and the issue has even begun to crop up in investment notes.

(Analysis: Climate change, scarcity chip away at degrowth taboo,” 8 Aug 2022.)

The Reuters piece noted how Degrowth is a major component of ESG investment strategies, quoting Aniket Shah, Global Head of ESG and Sustainability Strategy at NY based Jefferies, a major international investment bank:

“It is a provocative term. But it’s not about going to a low-income country saying ‘You can’t grow anymore.’  It’s saying: We need to look at the entire system and see how do we over time decrease total consumption and production in aggregate.”

Politically Influential and fundamentally un-democratic elite financed NGOs (Non Governmental Organizations) have increasingly acknowledged Degrowth as the endgame of sustainability and climate change policies.

The World Economic Forum (WEF) has led the way in making the case for Degrowth, and attempting to influence the implementation of degrowth policies.

In a September 2022 WEF interview with degrowth advocate and 3BLAssociates think tank founder Tariq Al-Olaimy, the following conversation outlined the kind the pressure and propaganda objectives surrounding “sustainable” initiatives that effectively imposed necessary degrowth:

World Economic Forum: In staying with that point, how can we build a world where sustainability is top of mind for every individual who isn’t connected to sustainability in their day-to-day affairs? And what is required for that world to exist?

Tariq Al-Olaimy: Perhaps I should answer that question with another question: What does the world look like beyond growth? By reflecting on that, we touch the core and heart of sustainability. Our mode of development is so centered around economic growth, that it’s a difficult question to answer. However, we know now, as confirmed by the IPCC, that economic growth is simply incompatible with a flourishing human society, as well as a flourishing natural world. On that account, I challenge every board leader, member, and social entrepreneur to reflect on what it would mean to their sector, industry, or enterprise if the growth imperative is taken away. When the focus is shifted to a well-being economy with well-being strategies instead, we will truly be able to serve human flourishing. A post-growth society is, I think, what a sustainable society will look like on a global scale.

(“What does a post-growth economy look like?” 23 Sep 2022.)

Degrowth has also been inculcated in science, academia and intellectual circles.

Consider this article passage published in the leading science journal Nature, concerning the need to fundamentally alter agriculture to conform to Degrowth principles:

“Transforming global agrifood systems for sustainability means moving beyond the growth paradigm. It requires reconceptualizing human food metabolisms according to values, food practices and lifestyles that strive for sufficiency over efficiency, regeneration over extraction, distribution over accumulation, commons over private ownership and care over control (Table 1). These principles have been identified by Indigenous, feminist, degrowth and post-development communities as essential to food sovereignty, food justice, social equity, cultural survival and ecological integrity, but they remain absent within most sustainability discourses, including the Sustainable Development Goals”

(“Sustainable agrifood systems for a post-growth world,” 4 Aug 2022.)

According to Degrowth as predicated in the article, private ownership needs to be stripped, not because it fails to incentivise wise use and efficient exploitation of property that benefits society with material production, but because it is too “efficient.”

As for goals like “distribution over accumulation,” many sensible people consider prudent accumulation of durable foods and other goods to be a fundamental component of societies that must account for times when weather, calamity and other factors inevitably reduce production.

The well-understood alternatives to prudent “accumulation” are want and starvation. It is embedded in fables like “The Grasshopper and the Ant,” and in the biblical tale of Joseph’s dream and advice to the Pharaoh to store up wheat for a time when the wheat crop would fail.

The Biden administration is currently depleting the nation’s oil reserve. Is the country more secure as a result?

The zealotry of “sustainable” degrowth calls for successive purges of verboten technologies, methods, products and staples that have enabled true human substance and progress.  One of the latest examples?

Activists, not satisfied with eliminating meat consumption, are taking aim at rice. A recent Townhall.com article  (“The Climate Lunatics Have a New Food Target,” 17 Apr 2023) brought attention to the issue, citing an AFP France report on the subject.

An AFP tweet on the matter noted: 

VIDEO: Rice is to blame for around 10 percent of global emissions of methane, a gas that over two decades, traps about 80 times as much heat as carbon dioxide. Scientists say that if the world wants to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, rice cannot be ignored. pic.twitter.com/46GgkaGPgK

— AFP News Agency (@AFP) April 16, 2023

2022: Degrowth Extremism Goes Mainstream 

2022 has been called the year that Degrowth entered the mainstream.  As the WEF article mentioned, in April of last year, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) issued a first ever recommendation that cuts to consumer demand—and not just policies to reduce carbon emissions—were required to achieve climate change goals.

The Biden administration has certainly done its part. Biden reversed Trump era initiatives encouraging a broad-based approach to energy production that saw consumer uptake of solar technologies where use cases made sense, while also exploiting the country’s natural gas, oil and clean coal resources and capabilities.

And Biden passed an Orweillian named “Inflation Reduction Act” which has failed to reduce inflation or bolster the economy.

It has, however, perversely subsidized and mandated “sustainable” green energy technologies which not only aren’t green, but are so costly and technologically immature, that they virtually ensure degrowth.

Average people will not be able to afford EVs, will not be experiencing cheaper home heating, or any other economic benefits from the forced transitions.

In short, Biden’s signature legislative act is meant to drive wealth to influential tech sector investors in green technologies like Bill Gates, Al Gore and others, while accomplishing a crush on consumption and production via exorbitant prices on new technology and energy.

In short, it’s the most comprehensive example of Degrowth legislation ever implemented.

And with every legislative “victory,” supporters of deceptive, expensive “green” energy technologies demand further hobbling of efficient energy resources and systems.

Four sample stories from just this past week illustrate the deceptions of these technologies and the agenda behind them.

So called green technologies have long been sold as ready and efficient replacements for current efficient energy sources, when in fact they won’t meet demands, won’t be available to many (would-be) consumers, and will virtually ensure Degrowth.

One story involved green activist and former Secretary of State John Kerry, who proposed onerous “carbon capture” requirements of gas and oil companies to artificially drive up the prices of their products, thereby making “green” technologies “more competitive.”

Kerry told MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell, as reported by Breitbart:

“I would say to you, Andrea, that, frankly, I’m surprised, pleasantly, on the positive side, by the amount of things that are just taking hold. We see remarkable progress on batteries and battery storage. We’re seeing the price of wind and solar coming down still, even as the technology is getting better, and it’s going to be far more price competitive than oil and gas if they have to spend huge amounts of money for carbon capture and storage and utilization.” 

Another major story involved first-time ever strict carbon emission standards imposed on Electricity producing facilities, being imposed via the EPA by the Biden administration.

A National Review story referencing the The New York Times noted, the EPA’s proposed standards would require practically all coal and gas-fired power facilities to reduce or absorb almost all of their carbon dioxide emissions by 2040. Only 20 of America’s 3,400 coal and gas facilities currently absorb smokestack pollutants. (“EPA to Propose Strict Carbon Limits for Power Plants,” 22 Apr 2023.)

The severe emission limitations would compel factories to employ some other technology if not carbon capture.

In other words, as environmental extremists are legislatively forcing a transition to electric vehicles, electric appliances, electric heating, etc., they are instituting measures that will make electricity even more costly in use cases where it is already relatively inefficient and ill-suited.

A related story from West Virginia provided a ready example of how many electric power plants are being forced to try to transition to “clean” energy inputs that are non-existent, in terms of being able to power the plants.

And this, at a time when electricity (which currently accounts for 25 percent of carbon emissions in the U.S.) is being touted as a supposed major alternative to efficient oil, gas, natural gas and clean coal use cases.   

Just to keep the sunsetted plant open for one year while studying a potential transition, a surcharge of 36 million will have to be imposed.

According to reporting by wvmetronews.com, it translates into an average increase per month of $2.67 for residential customers, $8.44 for commercial customers and $4,416 for industrial customers. (“Fate of Pleasants Power is a Harbinger of Future Electricity Generation,” 21 Apr 2023.) 

Then there was a story concerning highly deceptive EPA disinformation concerning electric vehicles encapsulated by this Car and Driver headline: “EVs Fall Short of EPA Estimates by a Much Larger Margin Than Gas Cars in Our Real-World Highway Testing” (21 Apr 2023.)

It’s another example in a long list of why EVs are a poster child of imposing degrowth via fablist technology use cases.

Destruction Aimed Squarely At The West

Net zero carbon policies and ESG financial investment paradigms ensuring Degrowth, have been systematically forced on western economies by ideological zealots.

ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) policies, which make investments not in promising economic ventures to gain high returns, but instead invest to promote ideological aims, have been heavily promoted and inculcated in the west.

It has been cited as a force reducing investment returns for citizens without their consent, and has increasingly met opposition, at least at the state level in the U.S.

But it also drives investment to projects which have greater risks of failing, despite government subsidies and other inducements, in what remains at least a partially functioning market system.

To the extent people can still choose what they will buy and support, products and services which meet consumer demand still win out over those which purport to achieve some ideological goal.

As the west continues to mire itself in ESG, forced transitions to exorbitant green technologies, regulatory morrasses stifling energy production, and indeed, any substantial material production, geopolitical rivals are doing just the opposite.  

China, India and Russia, among others, continue to exploit the most efficient and available fuel sources at their disposal, and embark on unabashedly material industrial and agricultural production, to strengthen their economic and strategic objectives. 

Despite China and other regions being by far the largest environmental polluters and carbon emitters, Degrowth advocates have long been more focused on implementing their objectives in supposedly overconsuming Western countries like the U.S. As for why on that, see “HOW CHINA MAKES OTHERS PAY FOR CLIMATE COSTS” (22 Nov 2022).

Is the U.S. an overconsumer? Consider this metric: With a population less than one-fourth of China, the U.S. still competes closely in production, even with increasingly self-inflicted strictures hobbling the nation’s industries and economic output. 

Before China became the world’s engine for producing common material goods, the U.S. had the mantle for the entire 20th century. It didn’t just produce and consume for itself. It supplied the world with goods, services—and perhaps even more important—technological and productive advances that allowed the rest of the world to learn, benefit and model their own economies.

The astounding successes of the market driven model of the U.S., perversely led to an ideological critique and movement that posited the U.S. as evil not for failing, but succeeding.

And that’s the story of why Degrowth is so hell-bent on visiting virtuous economic failure and diminishment to humankind. 

Late Breaking: More Magical Thinking Of “Zero Carbon” Transition Goals

Two late-breaking stories provide yet more indications of impending degrowth disasters.

Karl Denninger at market-ticker.org notes that impending EPA regulations requiring capture of C02 emissions from power plants cannot possibly happen without grinding down the current living standards of Americans.

He makes clear that it will raise electricity rates and shut down multiple natural gas power facilities and all coal-fired ones:

“This in turn will make your ‘much loved’ electric car much more expensive to fuel since of course you have to plug it in, destroying any alleged ‘advance’ it has in operating cost (which I’ve gone over before, and is a lie to begin with.)

“This comes after the EPA attempted to issue such a rule in the past and the Supreme Court ruled that CO2 was not a pollutant and thus outside the EPA’s remit, as the Congress had not granted it the power to do this. The Inflation Reduction Act specifically included the power for the EPA to do this, which is why every single sitting Congressperson and their family deserves to be held personally responsible for every bit of economic harm this will bring to both families and businesses—and it will not be small.”

(“I Hope You Like BOTH Freezing AND Broiling,” 24 Apr 2023.)

Meanwhile a new Manhattancontrarian.com article examines how radical zero carbon goals being enacted in New York are a train wreck (no not the bullet train boondoggle—that’s CA).

A 2022 commissioned state report being used as a policy guide is filled with ambiguity, wild targets for wind and solar tied energy grid build-outs, and vast overestimations of power that would be generated even if the build goals were met.

According to the article:

“Add up the solar and wind rows [report estimates of power if solar and wind build goals are met], and you get about 21 GW of renewable capacity by 2030, and 46 GW by 2040. They then assume that they will get some 58,155 GWh of useful generation from the 21 GW of renewable capacity in 2030. But Ponton — who has just completed a study of actual results from wind and solar generators in the UK in 2022 — thinks that they have way over-estimated how much usable generation they can get from this 21 GW of wind and solar capacity. He calculates that if New York’s 2030 results are approximately the same as those of the UK for 2022, the actual usable generation from the renewables will be more like 35,760 GWh. 

“From an email from Ponton on April 18:

“It is difficult to believe that NY State could have any different outcome in 2030 other than the UK results in 2022. . . . They will be sorely disappointed finding that they will only be able to generate about half the renewable energy that they anticipate in 2030 even if they meet their ambitious renewable capacity buildout plans.”

(“Another Non-reassuring Report On New York’s Energy Future,” 22 Apr 2023.)

On the other hand, if Degrowth is the aim all along, then it makes perfect sense.

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