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Returning to a 1970s Economy Could Save Our Future

Returning to a 1970s Economy Could Save Our Future

We’d contract energy use by half. Shrinking consumption is the solution we can actually live with. Second of two.

[Editor’s note: Read part one of this two-parter here.]

Thanks to bright green technologies, we can continuously grow the level of consumption on planet Earth and deliver a bloated North American lifestyle to all without inviting climate catastrophe or a general breakdown of natural ecosystems that support all living things.

That’s the big bold lie that politicians are telling themselves this week at yet another climate conference. Greta Thunberg calls such dissembling just so much “blah, blah, blah.”

As I’ll share in this piece, a number of brilliant energy critics from Vaclav Smil to William Rees have done the figuring, acknowledged the physical limits of things, and told us the truth. A truth that is not as uncomfortable as you might think.

It is this. We must contract the global economy, restructure technological society and restore what’s left of natural ecosystems if we want to live and breathe.

The appeal of the “tech will save us” charade crosses ideological lines. No sacrifice is necessary; no wisdom is required; no change is necessary. Both Green New Dealers and the Business-as-Usual Crowd believe a variety of so-called green technologies forged by the burning of more fossil fuels will save the day and postpone what is already happening: a great unsettling.

These green illusions, as I explained yesterday, represent the worst kind of falsehood. Many of these techno fixes, such as direct air capture, are largely unproven, don’t scale up or will invite bankruptcy.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

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