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Happy Degrowth and Human Revolution
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Happy Degrowth and Human Revolution


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  • 1. A cultural change for economic, environmental and social change Luca MadiaiJuly 2012
  • 2. The current system is in crisis Enviroment  Increasing evironmental impact  Fossil resources (limiteted and concetrated)  Climate change Economics  Difficulties to continue to grow  Unemployment  deregulation and offshoring market  financial speculation Social  Social differences in growth (poor-rich)  Uncertainty, disappointment, fear  Depression, stress, suicide, violence, racism
  • 3. Approach to the problemQuestion:Thinking of approaching the various issues withdedicated strategies without considering their stronginterdependence, acting with the same methods thatcreated them?thereforeAim always on economic growth?
  • 4. How can we continue to grow?Possible solutions to the question:1. Seek new resources in other planets (space colonization);2. Relying on the discovery of new technologies and energy sources with unlimited potential and no harmful effects;3. Destroy in order to reconstruct (wars and disasters)
  • 5. Are we really sure? In general, growth is now given as the cure for all problems: global warming, unemployment, financial crisis, divide the north/south, social problems New examples of growth: Green economy, sustainable development but…
  • 6. Economic growth makes us happier? «Several studies suggest that people living in countries with very high energy consumption are often less happy than people living in countries with lower energy use» «Quality of life and energy consumption are strictly correlated during basic economic development of a country, but they are not correlated in affluent nations» From “Energy for a sustainable world” Extract from“Manifesto per la felicit{” di Nicola Armaroli, Vincenzo Balzani di Stefano Bartolini (2009)
  • 7. Economic growth is possible in afinite world? The layer of atmosphere is very thin (12 km troposphere, the Earth diameter than 12000 km); The Earth is a closed system (only radiation from space and from the Sun); Impossible Hamster: video
  • 8. Science and technology can solveall the problems? “Una fede cieca nella scienza è incoscienza” L.M. “A blind faith in science is unconsciousness”
  • 9. “Turn off the tap” "When your bathroom is flooded, is sufficient to dry on the ground?" asks Persanyi Miklos, former Hungarian Minister of Environment. "Personally, I begin with closing the tap" Quit a socio-economic system based on following of economic growth (GDP) Undertake the direction of a “Happy Degrowth" as alternative socio-economic model (because happy?)
  • 10. Sense of limits and sense of possibility Growth is not the solution, but in reality is the cause We need new cultural paradigms Sense of limits Sense of possibility "According to the fundamental law of thermodynamics, the  "The ability to design heritage of mankind is limited," experiences that have as their says Gergescu-Roegen reference point the achievement awareness of the limits of finite of better conditions of life" or materials and resources accessible "the ability to design changes, and usable that is, the alternative" awaken in themselves the sense of [Bartolini] limits coincides with perceiving the true nature of our existence in  awareness that the economic this world, means to appreciate and social environment is a and enjoy our life without human product, and as such can imposing on it and on the be oriented towards the welfare environment that sustains us
  • 11. Happy Degrowth in 5 points1. Self-production and exchange2. Localization3. Sobriety4. Energy and Technology5. Non-violence and human relations
  • 12. Self-production and exchange Self-produce (return to land, recover skills) Manual ability and creativity (to recover, restore, repair, reuse, recycle) Install small renewable energy systems: depending on local resources and the specific characteristics of the site Create groups of exchanfge and aid based on neighborhood relations Take your time to assist children and elderly person in a reciprocal way
  • 13. Localization Local economy: production-services-job Local resources (agriculture, renewable energy, cultural) Valuing tradition and local knowledge Enhance local cultural and artistic heritage Rethinking the distribution and transport in a local way Supplementary local currency Promote sociability and relationships not based on money Rethinking life on a “human” scale
  • 14. Sobriety Changing lifestyles and mentalities No need to make sacrifices "The reality is that on average more than half the energy Reduce, Repair, Reuse, Recover, consumed by Europes citizen Slowing need to heat the rooms in which he lives, and nearly Question certain concepts: poverty- another third is used to power sobriety, abundance-wealth, easy- its cars. The first thing to do then is put on a sweater and outdated, limit-obstacle, lower from 21 to 19 degrees commodity-good, cheap-convinient the temperature of the house, which reduces fuel Simple, small, genuine consumption up to 20% for Responsible attitude towards heating and saves a lot of money on gas bill “ themselves, others and the environment Armaroli, Balzani Sobriety as a means for better living
  • 15. Energy and Technology Promote policies for energy conservation and efficiency Policy support for research projects and construction of renewable energy technology with low environmental impact of small scale and local use Develop the use of a simplified technology for the production of large-scale use, associated with the strong reduction of refuse and waste "The energy crisis can not be overcome with a surplus of energy. It can only be dissolved, The technological complexity along with the illusion that makes the well- is not always advantageous being depend on the number of energy slaves a man has " Ivan Illich
  • 16. Non-violence and human relations encourage the development of direct human relations based on dialogue, sharing and exchange a society based on cooperation instead of competition, reduce the role of some “social disruptive” objects (TV, internet, phone, car), facilitate socialization, respect differences of all kinds resolve conflicts through peaceful dialogue and exchanges reference to the principles of non-violence (self- government) in any situation.
  • 17. Why do not we change? To make a real change of system is not enough to know where to go A different society based on respect, fairness, dignity needs a basic condition What needs to change in parallel, is not only our lifestyle, our mentality, our economic and social model. We need a reform of the human spirit.
  • 18. Human Revolution "Through a transformation of inner Transform our “little-self", spiritual people can awaken to a which is a narrow and true sense of the sacredness of life, limited view of reality, in which contrasts with the indifference and distrust of the "great-self" by opening existence that are at the root of all our lives to the immense the errors of contemporary society. This inner transformation is thus potential at its origin the basis for achieving both individual happiness and a peaceful society Working on ourself, changing our inner condition to real happiness
  • 19. Principle of oneness No separation of life and environment is the basic principle of ecology The environment and life are two aspects of the same reality (save the planet?) Only by transforming ourselves we can affect our environment (to activate the environment) “Be the change you wish to see” M. Gandhi
  • 20. Circolo MDF di Firenze Born: 1° april 2012Four groups of activities: Know how to do university - Retrieve the know-how-to-do, discover techniques and practices go out of use, repair, reuse, build Study and discussion - Discussion of issues related to the degrowth and its philosophy, through the study, the comparison, the debate, the design of projects and proposals. Transition Town - How in the city we can create an alternative life, consisting of sustainability, sociability, conviviality, public gardens, energy saving, waste reduction, wise use of resources. Education – Degrowth by “teaching” the younger, education as a creative act of a new culture. Activities with children and school.
  • 21. ContactsContatti del Circolo MDF di FirenzeEmail: info@mdf-firenze.itWeb: http://mdf-firenze.itFacebook:!/decrescitafi Personal contacts Luca Madiai
  • 22. Links Economics of happiness  e=related  Impossible Hamster The story of stuff