Degrowth scholarship embraces technological change and efficiency improvements, to the extent (crucially) that these are empirically feasible, ecologically coherent, and socially just.
It is clear that degrowth neither represents a return to the stone age, nor can it fetishize technological solutions to the climate crisis.
A certain level of technology certainly improves human lifestyle; but beyond a certain point technology creates a ‘trap’ – where growing complexity creates a higher risk to our well-being should those systems suddenly fail.
For a better future, we ultimately need to put technology back into its place, and favor democratically determined, diverse forms of development that are shaped by human and ecological priorities—not by the gimmicky fetishes of a handful of billionaires.
Traditional/original AT, based on communal social arrangements, hand-crafted from local, natural materials that cultures have used since centuries mostly for subsistence purposes, satisfies practically all of the principles of deep sustainability.
Even though it hasn’t been a productive fall for writing, it’s been a very productive fall for resilience activities. I’m excited to tell you about them, starting with the fun experiment of the cinder block rocket stove.
I believe ‘high’ technology will not solve global problems and propose a different ‘low tech’ approach to building a more resilient, equitable and sustainable society.
Small farm does equal more labour per unit area and per unit product (which is why most rich countries import a large proportion of their horticultural produce … and why modern diets involve too much refined carbs and oils, and not enough fruit and veg). The challenge is to show that this (along with less energy, less carbon, less water, less soil loss, more product and more fun per unit area) is precisely what makes small farming the wave of the future.
With all these different uses, my sun oven is full all day, nearly every sunny day. It’s a big part of how we reduced our electricity use by 85%.
There’s no substitute for a mattock and a couple of good shovels, which leverage human effort into great effects with a negligible environmental impact. I love the wood stove, the solar shower, the solar oven, the laundry rack, the ceiling fans and most especially, my new solar dehydrator.
Technology is getting too complicated and user-hostile. Even the high tech people are complaining. / Why Nothing Works Anymore / 3 ways tech has gone astray / Buy a real Analog Oscilloscope PLEASE!
There is a fundamental truth that these prophets of cutting-edge technology are not considering: fossil fuels are running out. It was inevitable that they would. Nothing that could only be created under unique conditions over millions of years can be expected to renew itself during the brief span of the Industrial Revolution.