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We’re Saved! UN Scientists to disrupt Brussels, ‘demand degrowth’ – Issue ‘manifesto’ declaring economic ‘growth kills’ – Warn of ‘ecological collapse’ & seek ‘new economic system’ that ‘respects the planet’s limits’

Via Press Release:
From 6 to 8 June, Scientist Rebellion International, Growth Kills and Extinction Rebellion are organising a series of civil disobedience actions in Brussels, as well as an information meeting and activism workshop. The series is supported by Wolfgang Cramer, prominent IPCC member and Peace Nobel Prize winner, who will be available for interviews on Monday.
“Economic growth is a concept that was useful almost 100 years ago to help politicians overcome the disaster of the 1929 world economic crisis. Today, it has become a leitmotif to justify the destruction of our natural resources and to support the redistribution of wealth to the richest. What we need is an economic system that guarantees the well-being of everyone, while respecting the planet’s limits. This is entirely possible if we have the political will.” (Wolfgang Cramer, IPCC, Peace Nobel Prize 2007)
In detail:
  • 6 June, 10 pm CEST: Audiovisual action disrupting a crowded square to loudly announce the start of our campaign and invite citizens to join us.
  • 7 June, 8 am CEST: Colourful blockade of a major building – the main action of the series.
  • 7 June, 6 pm CEST: Information meeting with specialist speakers and activism workshop, followed by an anti-consumerist urban art action.
  • 8 June, 2 pm CEST: Action to disrupt an area of over-consumption, with a focus on raising awareness.
A few days before the European elections, we deplore the fact that virtually no parties advocate degrowth, although it is the only way out of the social and ecological impasse. We denounce consumerism, the ultimate cause of the current ecological collapse, as well as the suicidal ideology of ‘green growth’ behind which our politicians hide to escape their responsibilities.
We call for the abandonment of GDP as an index of prosperity and for a controlled contraction of the economy based on participatory democracy and the pursuit of well-being of all.
Our demands to the EU:
  • Abandon GDP as an index of prosperity
  • Create a sovereign citizens’ assembly for to decide our common future, together
  • Make corporations pay the true social and environmental costs of their activities
  • End over-consumption and the advertising that drives it
  • Treat essential resources as commons, free to all
For more information, please contact Xavier on +31 626 35 96 83. He will answer all your questions and put you in touch with our spokespeople. They speak Dutch, English, French, German, Italian, Polish and Spanish.
Kind regards,
Scientist Rebellion #TheScienceIsClear
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Scientist Rebellion: Growth Kills manifesto

The ecological crisis poses an existential threat to life on Earth. The IPCC estimates that on our current trajectory it is very likely that we will exceed even the 2 degree limit, and that several tipping points will be crossed, beyond which global warming will accelerate uncontrollably and extreme weather events will become the norm. Around 50 to 80% of the world population could be exposed to one month per year of deadly heat by 2100. A recent review article predicts 1 billion premature deaths in the coming century. Global warming will dramatically increase the ongoing mass extinction, while we have lost 75% of the insects and ⅔ of vertebrates already.

Climate change isn’t even the most worrying environmental crisis. With the collapse of biodiversity and pollution of all kinds, humanity has crossed 6 of the 9 planetary boundaries, causing irreversible damage to life on Earth, and threatening food and water security. The UN’s Global Resources Outlook report shows that global resource consumption, which has quadrupled since 1970, is set to increase by a further 60% by 2060.

Our politicians claim that the environmental transition is compatible with infinite GDP growth through massive investment in ‘green technologies’, the so-called ‘green growth’. However, there is  no  empirical  basis  to suggest that it is possible to decouple GDP from environmental pressures on a global scale. As stated by the European Environmental Agency, “it is unlikely that a long-lasting, absolute decoupling of economic growth from environmental pressures and impacts can be achieved at the global scale”. The EEA concludes that “societies need to rethink what is meant by growth and progress and their meaning for global sustainability”.

The IPCC recognises that ‘the degrowth movement, with its emphasis on sustainability over profitability, has the potential to speed up transformations’ and that ‘degrowth pathways may be crucial in combining technical feasibility of mitigation with social development goals’. A recent survey of 789 climate policy researchers found that only 27% support green growth, while 45% are growth agnostic and 28% actively support degrowth. Another study shows different perceptions of green growth, post-growth and degrowth among politicians of the European Parliament, revealing that public discourse does not necessarily reflect their personal opinion.

The science is clear: politicians’ obsession with infinite economic growth is leading us straight to disaster.

To justify their ‘green growth’ rhetoric, leaders like to pit the social and environmental crises against each other, as if we have to choose between fighting one or the other. This is a lie: we can strive to ensure the well-being of all, while living within the limits of our planet. What is lacking is the political courage to do so. We need to embrace degrowth: a democratically planned, adaptive, sustainable, and equitable downscaling of the economy. This will lead to a future where we can live better with less and thrive in harmony with the ecosystem. This requires a shift away from the current profit-driven competitive system. Scientific knowledge, instead of promoting an endless run towards productivism and technological innovation, can help to achieve this strategy.

It is true that living in a world with a smaller economy means that many people will have to give up their luxuries, but no one will have to give up their basic needs if the wealth is distributed fairly, the waste of goods is reduced, and the common goods are reclaimed by the people. Shrinking the economy is not about abandoning progress, it is about refocusing our collective energy on what really matters. What’s more, there is so much to be gained: a post-growth world would be a happier world, a world in which we work less, have more time for our hobbies, and spend more time with each other, rebuilding the social fabric that has been destroyed by the toxic neoliberal ideology that governs our lives. Instead of focusing on profits and growth, policies can be designed to ensure well-being for all within planetary boundaries.

Nothing grows forever. Unlike planetary boundaries, the economic system is not a law of nature but a social construct that can be tamed. The wild neoliberalism that rules our lives is a recent invention. After the Second World War, governments were much more inclined to intervene in the economy for the common good, and much more reluctant to intervene for the benefit of private capital. Imagine what we could have done with the budgets given to the private sector during the 2008 financial crisis or the Covid-19 pandemic! 

The severity of the ecological crisis demands that we fundamentally rethink the economic system in order to guarantee a decent standard of living for all citizens within the limits of the planet, and yet, a few days before the European elections, there are virtually no parties advocating degrowth. We therefore call on the EU government to launch a socially just European Ecological Emergency Plan to fundamentally reform the economy under democratic control.

We demand that the EU:

  1. Abandons GDP as an index of prosperity
  2. Creates a sovereign citizens’ assembly for to decide our common future, together
  3. Makes corporations pay the true social and environmental costs of their activities
  4. Ends over-consumption and the advertising that drives it
  5. Treats essential resources as commons, free to all
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Related Links: 

Watch: Morano on OAN TV: Are You Ready For Degrowth Communism?

The Atlantic Justified ‘Degrowth Communism’ to Fight Climate Change … Yes, You Read That Right

The Atlantic: Is America Ready for ‘Degrowth Communism’? – ‘Say goodbye, perhaps, to hamburgers, SUVs, & your annual cross-country flight home for the holidays’

‘I’m not buying new stuff any more’: The young people getting into ‘degrowth’ – ‘Cancelling some TV subscriptions & keeping coats & socks much longer’

Journal Nature: ‘Degrowth can work — here’s how science can help’ – ‘Wealthy countries’ need to ‘abandon economic growth as an objective’ to ‘fight against climate breakdown’

Dr. Roger Pielke Jr. on ‘Defund the Economy’ – ‘The marvelous, muddled mess that is ‘degrowth’

CNBC Video: ‘Degrowth: It is time to live better with less?’ – ‘To some [COVID lockdowns] elevated hopes that carbon emissions had peaked & illustrated the potential for a long term low carbon recovery’

Who would kill children to save the planet? – ‘Economic growth saves children’s lives’ but climate ‘degrowth movement’ aims to stop growth

Marxism’s new face is…climate lockdowns: Study claims Americans cut energy use 90%, live in 640 sq, fly once every 3 years, limit ‘new clothing’, ‘plant-based diet’, ‘collective transport,’ universal basic income’ & ‘degrowth’

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