Is the Ecological Salvation of the Human Species at Hand?
The July-August issue of New Left Review published an essay by Robert Pollin titled “De-growth vs. Green New Deal” in which he outlines his objections to what Peter Dorman affectionately refers to as “a suicide cult masquerading as a political position.” I have written a response to Pollin’s article, that I have submitted to NLR, a draft of which, “Pollin’s Green New Deal: Blueprint for Ecological Salvation?” may be downloaded as a pdf file from dropbox.
In my response I am particularly interested in how Pollin’s argument unwittingly recapitulates Robert Solow’s from 46 years earlier, right down to the percentage of gross income to be invested in clean energy (Pollin) or pollution abatement (Solow). The ubiquitous “decoupling” turns out to be a euphemism for resource input productivity and not a particularly helpful one. Proponents often referring to the decoupling of GDP growth from “CO2 emissions” when what they mean — unless they intend to deceive — is the decoupling of the derivative rates of change.
A point I have mentioned previously is that Nicholas Georgescu-Roegen was not advocating “degrowth” as an ecological panacea. What he was saying (and what he wrote) was that evolution and history involve “permanent struggle in continuously novel forms” and is not a “predictable, controllable process.” There is no “blueprint,” no “built-in mechanism,” no 20 or 30 year investment plan, (and no pure interpretation of the U.S. constitution or the Bible) that will relieve us of that permanent struggle.
|Reverse ‘Decoupling’ in the 21st Century|
Post Script: I almost forgot to mention, there is this conceit on the part of technocrats to insist that if you don’t have a “blueprint” for how you’re going to “solve the problem” you’re not really serious. “Get out of the way!” This is a symptomatic late 18th century, early 19th century bourgeois viewpoint and is exemplified in Andrew Ure’s Philosophy of Manufactures. The machine and the factory were viewed as the pinnacle of human achievement and the best one could do is emulate their automatism.
Pollin plays the “degrowthers don’t have a programme and I do!” card with a vengeance. Of course the more detail and moving parts such a programme has, the better because the closer it resembles a machine or even a factory containing many machines. With that kind of challenge, it is very tempting to come up with a detailed programme to illustrate how various scenarios might work out in practice. But such competition will inevitably be judged on mechanistic grounds.
Degrowth is the best way. It will lead to global depopulation and Midgard can begin to heal. That doesn’t mean humans won’t have a technological society or advancement, they will, it just won’t be on the capital owner manual the Ashkenazi(and by the 1400’s, the Sephards) brought to Indo-Europeans after 1000 and really built up the “con” of “western civilization” which was a semitc creation, first philosophical after 300, then outright material control after 1352 when the monarchies used the Ashkenazi and their piles of gold/silver they built up over the middle ages to rebuild after the black death. Instead, it will be based around using natures resources and replenishing said resources. I could see the global population falling down to 3 billion. Conservatism is basically a lie wrapped in a con to sucker in “cracka’s” into being good little house slaves. Debt expansion and debt based lifestyle is all they got.. Thus they need to make them feel superior to the “field slaves” who are mostly of non-Indo races.
I’m sorry but I have a real time swallowing the idea that not having a plan is defensible.
A: I think the solution is to migrate to Mars.
B:Uh how’s that going to work?
A: Trust me, it’ll work great!
B: But how you gonna get everyone to Mars?
A: Don’t bug me with your silly insistence on plans…did you learn nothing from the mistakes of the 19th and 20th centuries!?!?!
B: well what about Mars itself? are you gonna terraform it?
A: Sure will!
B: Uh how?
A: There you go again! it’ll work out. trust me.
A sense of humor. You are amongst some very serious people here at AB. Welcome to AB.
BS – Antisemitism sure gets around. Weren’t the Jews the cause of the Black Death, not the driving force behind the European recovery, nationalism, the Renaissance, colonialism, and the industrial revolution? Somehow, they’ve done all that, and, if one believes a lot of conservatives, they’re also behind the Green movement.