Sustainability and degrowth
It is not possible a continuous growth on a limited planet. Every time is clearer that we are surpassing environmental limits, that’s why the only viable strategy for the long term is ¨Degrowth¨ as the way to the sustainability. It is not a negative concept, we can compare when a river overflows, everyone wishes that the river decrease returning the water to their bed. Socially, it is evident the environmental crisis which we are submitting to our planet. The sustainable development is the magical recipe which will permit living how we are doing but without harming the world.
¨Club de Roma¨ (1972) warned about the limits of the increase highlighting that the economical increase it is not feasible on a limited planet. Thirty years after, the report has been updated, the trends seem to confirm the previous premise, we are in a very delicate ecological situation.
The Brundtland report in 1987 and the summit of Rio in 1992 launched the concept ¨sustainable development¨ as a way which permits move forwards and at the same time respecting the environmental limits. Some authors trust this movement to keep the faith in the increase in the industrial countries. So, Ernest Garcia reaches the following point: the increase will not give more benefits, the sustainable development is scientifically unbreakable. However, the trends in the society walk in the opposite way, the consumption increases continuously. The difference between developing countries and development pathways countries is getting bigger. The developing countries are increasing the consumption every year.
The data speaks for itself since 1990 we are living above the capacity of the planet. In 2003, because of the economic increase, the capacity of regeneration of the planet was exceeded by 25%. The north countries live wasting the resources which the nature preserved for millions of years, preventing the equal access to goods in the population. The ecological crisis makes clear the exhaustion of the natural resources. If we spend as much as we are doing now we will have petroleum for the next 40 years.
Origins of degrowth
The idea of the degrowth is joined with the approaches of the conventional economy. Some economists noticed the economic inconsistency in these crease theories. Anytime we build a car, we are decreasing the possibilities of descendant’s survival. The price of the growth in the current time, it means fewer lives in the future.
But, how did it appear the sustainable approach? The idea of degrowth born from critic’s intellectuals about the consumption society as Ivan Illich, André Gorz, Cornelius Castoriadis o Francois Parent. According to Georgescu Roegen, the degrowth is the biggest obsession of the capitalists and Marxists economists. He bets on the bio-economy which tries to put the Economy in the right place, as a subsystem of the biosphere. He proposed in the seventies, stopping to make armament to kill each other, setting the global population to the number of people who could get feed in this planet thought ecological agriculture, permitting the free movement of people from anywhere to anywhere with no restriction.
As we can see, the Degrowth concept is not new at all. It started to get stronger as a movement in France in the nineties. Many authors like Latouche, Cheynet, Schneider or Arvés worked in the theory. In the beginning of this century appeared even a political party called ¨Decreaseament party¨. Further, in Paris (2002) the Organization Ligne d´Horizon organized the meeting: Undo the Development, Redo the World. The same year Sergio Latouche created the Institute of Economic Studies for Sustainable Degrowth. This movement arrived in Italy and Spain. The Spanish government executed alternatives experiences based on the suitable degrowth, as the collective ConsumeHastaMorir from Ecologists in action, as well as, The Entesa pel Decreixement in Catalonia.
Giorgio Mosangini shows a different approach to Degrowth and International Cooperation. He affirms we are who must a debt increase with the south countries. We are living above of the planet’s possibilities, using part of the resources which are belong to them and the future generations. We are acting as an egocentric and selfish collective not having in consideration other the ¨Poor countries¨. We are not just having the control of the economy, we spend all the natural resources even if they come from the south countries. They are the victims because mostly they suffer the consequences of the lack sources, the climate change and the wars.
Voice of the Wind – Seeds of Transition
Two years ago, I saw a documentary about an alternative lifestyle which impacts me because of the technical quality but also the strong message. However, I saw this proposal a bit utopic. It was wonderful to see how people create a community living with what earth give to them, no using money, no eating industrial food, and not having a control over anyone in their lives. It was a good theory, but I didn’t see myself there in the daily practice. Currently, after my all traveler experiences I changed my mind a lot, that’s why I decided to watch again this documentary. I think another world is possible even if many people always will opposite to your arguments. Everything is possible, that’s the truth. It is on our hand if we want to transform it or not.
¨The testimony of a movement which is increasing, an alternative world is underway. A Franco-Spanish documental about the alternative world following a journey with Jean-Luc Danneyrolles¨, it is the way that it is defined this documental which was made in 2013. Jean-Luc Danneyrolles, ecological seed producer and peasant seed network from Provence; and Carlos Pons, Spanish director, sound technician and activist for food degrowth and sovereignty. Both organized a trip to Grenada City to meet the emerging Spanish social movement, alternating between agroecology and paradigm shift.
They start in February 2012 having seeds as the only resource of exchange, continuing traveling from Provence (France) crossing the Mediterranean coast until Grenada. The movie follows the journey of the trip, making stops while they visit communities, organizing meetings, time of contemplations and reflections. It represents the change; how human beings have become detached from nature and how it can reconnect with it. This documental link three trips around universal consciousness. First, a local journey, from Provence to Grenada, following a line of alternative projects; second, a personal journey, an expression of the concepts, reflections and feelings which are generating inside; third, a global journey, the idea of a new world that germinates in the unconscious collective, the utopia keeps moving forwards. The main idea is focused in developing a world away from egoism, materialism, corruption, competition, creating a new view where the connection with the nature and the radical change in our relationships with all living beings are the keys.
I would like to include an interview with the director Carlos Pons to know more about this documental:
- How do you define ¨Voice of Wind¨?
It is an audiovisual Project focused on the social transformation, one tool else of the numerous which are coming to change the new approach more peaceful and harmonious.
- What do you mean in this documentary?
I want to show to the society other world is underway, it is possible and necessary. Bring the utopia to those who know what we don´t want but we are still looking for what we want and the way to get it. Open the discussion to new revolutionary concepts as permaculture or cooperative.
- Where can we find it?
It is an international project which has been presented in France and Spain. We are expecting to show it massively since we are trying to create new articulation spaces, meetings, and reflection.
In our website we have an agenda of presentations, DVD is coming soon, apart from the download HD. http://seedsoftransition.blogspot.com.es/
- Whom audience is the film addressed?
It is for all audiences who are interested in alternatives of life, who believe in another world more peaceful and fairer. I think everyone can enjoy this film, it doesn’t leave indifferent.
- How do you see the ¨bio¨ sector in ten years?
I think there is currently a stream to the industrialization of the ¨bio¨ sector and its incorporation into the market, mostly in the large areas. At the same time emerge other ways to produce which are going to increase. I bet for this second method which I think it will be unmarked from the first one, creating one or several Bio-Coherence seals to differentiate the true marketing ecology of green capitalism.
There is a lot of material about sustainability and degrowth. Here some audiovisual recommendations: The ecological footprint of man, Planet for sale, A farm for the future, Food of the future, Bioconstruction. The garbage warrior, Cowspiracy: The secret of sustainability.
Further, there are others related to it, about alternative economy and consumption: Live without money, The story of Heidemarie Schwermer, I Know A Place: Matavenero Ecovillage.