Act: Inspiration

Timothée Parrique: “Degrowth: Slow is the New Cool”

August 17, 2022

(Conversation Recorded on July 21, 2022.)

On this episode, we meet with social scientist and researcher at the School of Economics and Management of Lund University, Timothée Parrique.

What is degrowth, and how will it help define our future?

Parrique explains how the path to societal degrowth might unfold and the social and physical obstacles we may encounter on our way there.

About Timothée Parrique

Timothée Parrique is a social scientist, originally from Versailles, France. He is currently a researcher at the School of Economics and Management of Lund University (Sweden).

He holds a PhD in economics from the Centre d’Études et de Recherches sur le Développement (University of Clermont Auvergne, France) and the Stockholm Resilience Centre (Stockholm University, Sweden). Titled “The political economy of degrowth” (2019), his dissertation explores the economic implications of degrowth.

Tim is the author of Ralentir ou périr. L’économie de la décroissance (September 2022, Seuil), a book adaptation in French of his PhD dissertation.

Show Notes & Links to Learn More

PDF Transcript

00:45 – Timothée’s info + works

02:38 – Different kinds of energy in nature

04:35 – The problems with infinite growth

05:55 – Degrowth

06:28 – Economies with the appearance of green growth

06:57 – Rebound effect

06:59 – Green Growth, Decoupling

08:34 – Planetary Boundaries

11:14 – Overshoot

11:53 – Forecasts of economic growth

12:55 – 1.5 degree climate threshold

13:30 – Ecological systems being degraded

14:52 – GDP to Energy = 1:.993

15:20 – What is GDP?

15:49 – Steve Keen + TGS Episode

17:20 – We cannot grow without cheap fossil fuels

18:34 – Ecological economics

21:18 – The national income of France is sufficient to supply all its people’s needs

23:54 – Peter Victor book (2008) Slower by Design, Not Disaster

24:38 – Secular stagnation

26:40 – Shareholder control system

27:38 – French Citizen Convention for ClimateYellow Vest Movement

29:51 – Planned Obsolescence 

31:55 – Do people think that businesses should be community oriented

36:30 – Psychological studies show that the relationships we build are what make us happiest

37:01 – Ultimate Ends – Herman Daly

37:24 – Well-being economies

37:39 – Sweden shared washing machine systems

41:57 – Commons

46:12 – Deutch bank scenarios for underfilled natural gas reserves

46:30 – Greek forest protections during recession

47:50 – Poorly constructed, energy deficient homes

50:20 – EU bans sale of fossil car by 2035

51:08 – Great Reset – World Economic Forum

51:39 – Leverage points – Donella Meadows

51:50 – 127 Hours

53:40 – Norway system to phase out heavy polluting cars vs France’s fee based system

54:08 – France criminalization of planned obsolescence

54:18 – Vienna’s no for-profit housing

55:22 – In Sweden it’s forbidden to advertise to children under 12

59:05 – EU standard for Debt to GDP

59:39 – Loss aversion

1:00:20 – We are doubling our financial claims every 8 years

1:01:57 – Survey of list of things people feel are necessities

1:03:32 – Jason Hickel

1:08:18 – Talking to someone about these existential issues helps

1:12:08 – IPCC 6th report

1:12:21 – NYT survey reporting only 1% of Americans consider climate change the most important issue

1:12:50 – Risks of collapse of biodiversity

1:13:56 – Biofeedback

1:15:04 – Calls for boycotts among French graduates

1:15:49 – Lying flat movement in China, June 2021

1:15:59 – Younger generation puts less value on money and more on existential issues

1:16:49 – Chinese strike against mortgages

More – Analysis: Climate change, scarcity chip away at degrowth taboo


Teaser photo credit: Paul Sableman/flickr CC by 2.0.

Nate Hagens

Nate Hagens

Nate Hagens is the Director of The Institute for the Study of Energy & Our Future (ISEOF) an organization focused on educating and preparing society for the coming cultural transition. Allied with leading ecologists, energy experts, politicians and systems thinkers ISEOF assembles road-maps and off-ramps for how human societies can adapt to lower throughput lifestyles. Nate holds a Masters Degree in Finance with Honors from the University of Chicago and a Ph.D. in Natural Resources from the University of Vermont. He teaches an Honors course, Reality 101, at the University of Minnesota.

Tags: degrowth perspectives, the great simplification