With Michael Moore embracing eco-austerity calls to cut the living standards of Western workers still further after 40 yrs of wage restraint, time to give my left critique of degrowth another little bump. https://www.opendemocracy.net/en/oureconomy/degrowth-delusion/
There are indeed problems with relying solely on variable renewables like wind and solar, not least their intermittency, but that’s why we need #AllOfTheAbove, including nuclear, geothermal, CCS, storage, better grids, & hydro (and even, sometimes, biomass)
But the problems laid out by Moore and Gibbs basically come down to the fact that they still involve mining. Well, Mike and Jeff, so do film cameras.
In many developed countries with historically strong trade unions, mining has become high-paid, safe, union work, and companies are forced by regulation to remediate sites.
Some five decades of environmental and community activism has also contributed to the clean up of mining. So take a bow, green groups here. Alongside trade unions, you deserve real applause. You have made developed countries a much safer, cleaner, wealthier place.
Are there still problems such as the 2014 Mount Pollet copper railings disaster in British Columbia? Of course.
But these primarily relate to neoliberal cuts to inspection regimes, lobbying successfully outsourcing inspection to companies themselves, and regulatory capture.
In other words, the problem is the market left to its own devices, not mining itself. Mining can be clean and worker-friendly or it can be as brutal as an Amazon warehouse.
Everything depends upon the strength of trade unions, the level of democratic accountability of government, and the willingness to intervene against the market.
So ironically, in focussing on growth, mining, industrial civilisation and “overpopulation” as the cause of environmental problems, Moore and Gibbs distract us from the real problem: the untrammelled market.
You could even say that by distracting us from problems of markets and targeting growth instead, @MMFlint and Jeff Gibbs inadvertently just made the most neoliberal film of their career. ;)
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