- Date published:
2:47 pm, December 4th, 2022 - 6 comments
Categories: climate change, poverty, sustainability - Tags: circular economy, cost of living crisis, degrowth, doughnut economics, powerdown, relocalsing food, transition towns
Quick post with a few ideas that popped up this morning.
This enhances life,
No idea if Pete Seeger did in fact say that (and this is an edited version), but the gist is that not only could we be using a circular economy (transition without having to completely dismantle capitalism), where the relationship between resource use, pollution/waste, and consumption are visible and intentionally designed to focus on renewable resources and processes where the waste can be integrated and used rather than dumped, but we should be doing this as a priority.
It ties in strongly with climate action, biodiversity restoration, and socioeconomic problems. It’s the way out of our current cul de sac. The great thing about it is that it uses all the useful bits of our technological advances and creative monkey brains. Degrowth doesn’t mean reverting back to some imagined pre-industrial life. It means moving into a new way of organising that centres sustainability.
The problems aren’t technical, we have that capacity coming out our ears. They’re political and social, and the biggest challenge there is the barriers to imagining new ways, how they could work, and how we get there from here.
Fortunately, lots of people have been working in this very thing, sometimes for decades. We don’t have invent a sustainability wheel, it’s already been done.
For instance, the Transition Movement arose in the early 2000s from Permaculture, a design system that was formalised in the late 80s. People in both movements have been working all this time on how society can function within the limits of the material world in ways that enhance human lives.
This 12 minute read, Eat, grow, share: Communities building food resilience from Transition Together in the UK looks at a range of initiatives arising from the pandemic and cost of living crisis and building on the many ways in which communities already function.
This isn’t a “cost of living” crisis; it’s a cost of inequality crisis. It’s a cost of fossil fuel dependency crisis, with its knock on effects on transportation and resources for farm production. It’s a lack of food resilience crisis, in a country where food deserts already existed in low income communities and neighbourhoods. The pandemic, economic instability, war and global trade disruption are showing us all just how vulnerable the essential systems that we rely on really are. But in many places, communities are working towards reinventing local food systems, to ensure everyone can access fresh, healthy, quality food.
Lots of goodies in that post, showing the interconnected nature of our problems, and how the solutions are likewise centred in the relationships between all the things.
Community fridges give open access to food to everyone, create dialogue about food poverty, and open doors to other projects like growing food or cooking clubs.
Slow cookers as a response to the drastic increase in the cost of electricity and gas provides immediate relief to low income people, and is packaged with cookbook, ingredients and access to social connection where people can swap ideas.
So many other good initiatives in that piece that demonstrate that sustainability and community resiliency are intertwined. The sheer numbers of people involved now is heartening at a time when we are inundated with news of what is going wrong and how bad things are. We’ve never had so much choice in what we can do to effect good change.
We know the problems, now is the time to put our attention to the solutions, what is already working. and then get on with it.