“Planning in and for a post-growth and post-carbon economy”… Aeuhhh???

Guest aeuhhh??? by David Middleton

H/T to Pop Piasa…

Planning in and for a post-growth and post-carbon economy
John Barry
Contribution to Cowell, R et al (eds), Routledge Companion Volume to Environmental Planning and Sustainability


Introduction – the condition our condition is in

[…]

John Barry, Professor of Green Political Economy

This was as the only useful portion of the manifesto… And it was only useful because it gave me an opportunity to post this Kenny Rogers and the First Edition classic…

I’ll quote a little bit more to provide a “flavor” of the 14-page manifesto…

How does the old end and the new begin? How do we identify the point beyond which a practice, idea or objective is no longer beneficial, productive or necessary but have now become the opposite? This the conundrum facing planning in the 21st century, how to decouple societies and economies from fossil fuel energy, but also the role of planning in decoupling societies from an uncritical focus on achieving, facilitating or coordinating the achievement of orthodox ‘economic growth’. Planning here is understood mainly as the purposeful, political and public (and ideally democratic) steering of infrastructural and mainly urban development, encompassing, inter alia, land use, spatial planning, energy planning, and includes the achievement of economic, cultural and environmental goals. This chapter mainly discusses planning debates within the UK and Irish contexts. The first question which serves as the starting point of this chapter is to ask if the objective of economic growth is now ecologically unsustainable, socially divisive and has in many countries passed the point when it is adding to human wellbeing? The second is how growth and planning are both currently dependent upon a fossil fuel energy system which, like the growth economy it fuels, is now ecologically unsustainable, socially disruptive, produces multiple problems from ill-health to extractive injustice and the creation of ‘sacrifice zones’, and ultimately constitutes a risky energy basis for a sustainable economy? Simply put our societies and conventional planning processes are dependent upon (some might say addicted to) GDP measured and endless economic growth…

[…]

John Barry, Professor of Green Political Economy

Did you catch this bit?

Planning here is understood mainly as the purposeful, political and public (and ideally democratic) steering of infrastructural and mainly urban development, encompassing, inter alia, land use, spatial planning, energy planning, and includes the achievement of economic, cultural and environmental goals…

John Barry, Professor of Green Political Economy

“Ideally democratic”??? How the frack else would a bunch of academic eggheads impose Agenda 21 on the Free World other than through a democratic process? That was a rhetorical question… which should have been intuitively obvious to the casual observer.

How could any human being with a real job have such a bizarre frame of reference?

INTERESTS
Green political theory, politics and political economy of sustainability, greening the economy, environmental and sustainable development policy-making, environmental ethics, transition to a low-carbon/renewable energy economy, normative dimensions of the transition from unsustainability, theories and practices of active citizenship, democracy and green politics, civic republicanism and green political theory, interdisciplinary and transdiciplinary sustainability research, Q methodology.

RESEARCH STATEMENT
Green political theory, politics and political economy of sustainability, greening the economy, environmental and sustainable development policy-making, environmental ethics, transition to a low-carbon/renewable energy economy, normative dimensions of the transition to sustainability, citizenship, democracy and green politics, civic republicanism and green political theory, interdisciplinary sustainability research.

John Barry Queen’s University Belfast
Aeuhhh????

Did any of that make any sense or appear to describe a real job?

Maybe the Rachel (killed more people than Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, Genghis Khan and Cecile B. DeMille – COMBINED) Carson Center can help…

John Barry is Professor of Green Political Economy at the School of Politics, International Studies, and Philosophy at Queens University Belfast. He has a BA and MA from University College Dublin and a PhD from the University of Glasgow. He is a former co-leader of the Green Party in Northern Ireland and is a Green Party councillor on Ards and North Down Borough Council in Northern Ireland.

RCC Research Project: Beyond Economic Growth: The Political, Ethical, and Cultural Dimensions of a Post-Growth Green Economy

Rachel (killed more people than Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, Genghis Khan and Cecile B. DeMille – COMBINED) Carson Center for Environment and Society

Is that better?

 

Did you ever notice that the science textbooks for non-science majors often tack the phrase “Environment and Society” onto the title?

  • Chemistry in the Environment and Society
  • Physics for the Environment of Society
  • Biology of the Environment in Society
  • Earth Science as if the Environment and Society Were Relevant to Rocks
  • Calculus for SJW’s Who Can’t Handle Math Due to the Environment and Society

I got nuthin’ else… Apart from this…

Aeuhhh????

And this…

“You can’t get there from here.”

61 thoughts on ““Planning in and for a post-growth and post-carbon economy”… Aeuhhh???

  1. “Did any of that make any sense or appear to describe a real job?”
    Oh come on David, think of all the workers needed to collect, package and distribute all that “Soylent Green” !
    It will be a liberal paradise……. /s

  2. True – competent engineers have known these facts since ~forever. We first published them in 2002.

    I discussed this subject recently in this paper:

    CO2, GLOBAL WARMING, CLIMATE AND ENERGY
    by Allan M.R. MacRae, B.A.Sc., M.Eng. June 13, 2019
    pdf: https://thsresearch.files.wordpress.com/2019/06/co2-global-warming-climate-and-energy-june2019-final-.pdf
    Excel workbook: https://thsresearch.files.wordpress.com/2019/06/co2-global-warming-climate-and-energy-june2019-final.xlsx

    12. Fossil fuels comprise fully 85% of global primary energy, unchanged in decades, and unlikely to change in future decades.

    The remaining 15% of global primary energy is almost all hydro and nuclear.

    Eliminate fossil fuels tomorrow and almost everyone in the developed world would be dead in about a month from starvation and exposure.

    Despite trillions of dollars in squandered subsidies, global green energy has increased from above 1% to below 2% is recent decades.

    Intermittent energy from wind and/or solar generation cannot supply the electric grid with reliable, uninterrupted power.

    “Green energy” schemes are not green and produce little useful (dispatchable) energy, because they require almost 100% conventional backup from fossil fuels, nuclear or hydro when the wind does not blow and the Sun does not shine.

    There is no widely-available, practical, cost-effective means of solving the fatal flaw of intermittency in grid-connected wind and solar power generation.

    Hydro backup and pumped storage are only available in a few locations. Other grid-storage systems are very costly, although costs are decreasing.

    To date, vital electric grids have been destabilized, electricity costs have increased greatly, and Excess Winter Deaths have increased due to grid-connected green energy schemes.

    Reference: “Statistical Review of World Energy”
    https://www.bp.com/en/global/corporate/energy-economics/statistical-review-of-world-energy.html
    Reference: “Wind Report 2005” – note Figs. 6 & 7 re intermittency.
    http://www.wind-watch.org/documents/wp-content/uploads/eonwindreport2005.pdf

    • Massive starvation in the developed world, Allan? Make that massive starvation in the entire world.

      Whether first, second, or third rank – the population of every country in the world is heavily dependent on industry and industrial agriculture. The differences are in how much of that industry is local.

      One other point – the food supply would crash to a level much lower than pre-industrial times. The livestock on which that was based (for both production and transport of food) simply does not exist any longer. Twenty to twenty-five years of intensive breeding is my estimate for bringing the number of “industrial” animals back to the level of even the eighteenth century.

        • I wrote in the above article:
          “Eliminate fossil fuels tomorrow and almost everyone in the DEVELOPED world would be dead in about a month from starvation and exposure.”

          I agree W-O that the developing world also relies heavily on fossil fuels for food production and distribution. However, my observation is that there is much more hand-labour involved in developing-world agriculture, and so most people there would probably last longer than one month if fossil fuels were hypothetically eliminated – but it still would not be pretty.

          My article covered considerable ground and brevity was necessary. The intent was to keep it short enough such that people might actually read it. 🙂

      • Yeah, I don’t think my family will survive eating blueberries growing in our garden. But that’s the unspoken part. The enemies of socialism will be liquidated in their ideally democratic pogrom.

        • Especially when you’re competing with your starving neighbors who are stealing blueberries from your garden. 🙂

      • There is much discussion about sanctions and the effect of sanctions by the US on countries who oppose the efforts of the Deep State to rule the world. These countries are mostly poor. The Green Fanatics are, in effect, trying to impose sanctions on the world’s poor by limiting and ultimately eliminating the use of effective means of improving their economies. The Greenies are very much pro-Sanctions in order to advance their agendas. The poor of this world be damned.

      • I don’t think pampered millennial city dwellers have much experience in producing food or the stamina to work the fields as the productivity of each person involved in agriculture drops to a level sustainable without fossil fuels,

        • Rick: “I don’t think pampered millennial city dwellers have much experience in producing food ”

          True.

          Fossil fuels freed the human intellect from the toils of food production and distribution. Fossil fuels have fueled tremendous human achievements such as: vaccines; rocket science; and declaring Carbon as harmful to Carbon Based Life Forms.

      • Most developed countries will not be able to feed themselves within a few years, and the larger ones, like the US, Russia and Canada, will face huge problems with moving food from where it is grown to cities. Food rationing at best, mass food shortages at worst.

  3. David, academia.edu recently sent me an email announcing over $80 million in grant money in the fields I registered as interested in (climate change, economics).
    Of course this is the same site that constantly says my name has been mentioned in a recent paper but I must pay the membership to find out more. How many researchers mention the building engineer that provided them utilities in their labs and offices in a paper? I’m getting the drift that this is a carnival barker site in a cap and gown.

    • It sounds like the Publisher’s Clearinghouse version of ResearchGate… 😎

  4. How does the old end and the new begin? How do we identify the point beyond which a practice, idea or objective is no longer beneficial, productive or necessary but have now become the opposite? This the conundrum facing planningeducation in the 21st century, how to decouple societies and economies from fossil fuel energycredentials, but also the role of planning in decoupling societies from an uncritical focus on achieving, facilitating or coordinating the achievement of orthodox ‘economic growth’‘qualifications’.

    FTFY

  5. We have plenty of “sacrifice zones ” already. Washington DC and most Institutes of higher learning.

  6. It’s very clear from the structure of John-Barry-Professor-of-Green-Political-Economy’s essay, that John Barry PoGPE has thoroughly and totally begged the question he is purportedly addressing.

    John Barry has assumed his conclusion. He just needs to construct the argument.

  7. From a 1958 vinyl LP:

    I was standin’ outside Sutherland’s IGA Store one morning, when I heard a flivver approaching down the street toward me. “Which way to Millinocket?”

    “Well, you can go West at the next intersection, get on to the turnpike, go North through the toll gate at Agusta ’till you come to that intersection. Oh no… you can keep right on this tar road, it changes to dirt now and again, just keep the river on your left, you’ll come to a crossroads, and let me see… then again you can take that scenic coastal road the tourists use, and after you get to Bucksport… well let me see now… Millinocket… come to think of it… you can’t get there from here.”

  8. “…planning in decoupling societies from an uncritical focus on achieving, facilitating or coordinating the achievement of orthodox ‘economic growth’. ”

    You know it’s wifty poofty stuff when you are checking out the condition of the condition we are in or achieving the achievement of stuff. This is the worst of the genre that uses multiple synonyms in chains as if they were separate issues or ideas.

    The type of education that we’ve allowed to fester leads to such reams of meaningless non sequiturs, definitionless buzz words incomplete thoughts and sentences that poorly conceal the neomarxy sparxy intentions of the speaker/writer. Why is it the most empty headed fools are encouraged to think they are going to plan anything or lead anyone? When it all falls apart, we may have to abandon once august universities and rebuild from scratch. No one is going to want to acknowledge this part of their alma mater’s history.

    • You know it’s wifty poofty stuff when you are checking out the condition of the condition we are in or achieving the achievement of stuff.

      It finally got warm enough here that I turned the thermostat to the “cool” setting to check the condition my air-conditioner was in. 😉

  9. Everything will be so planned and controlled that:

    13:17And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.

  10. If they ever develop an experimental carbon sequestration mask for us humans to wear over our faces when we exhale, then this guy John Barry should be among the first ones selected to test it–24 hours a day, seven days a week, and 52 weeks a year.

    “…How does the old end and the new begin? How do we identify the point beyond which a practice, idea or objective is no longer beneficial, productive or necessary but have now become the opposite?…”

    An old academic era ends and a new one begins when arrogant, egotistical dim bulbs like Barry no longer infest academic institutions. A post-fossil fuel era will begin when technological innovations in energy generation are invented or discovered which can scale up and replace fossil fuels. Nuclear is already one of them, and the R&D for 4th gen nuclear should continue.

    Barry will not determine the start or end of anything regardless of how “enlightened” he may believe he is. Academics like him have waaaaaay too much time on their hands and are probably grossly overpaid.

    • I drove past a grade school recently where the sign said “education is the tool that allows you to change the world”. I remember back in the dim distant past when we were educated and sent out into the world to “contribute to society”. Somewhere along the way we changed from building to destroying. Exploring ideas is essential but when only the approved ideas can be discussed then we have gone past the usefulness of the system and stand at the abyss of destruction . Is there a way of bringing academia back to advancing society rather than radically destroying it? Perhaps we are at that Roman Empire moment where “changing society” sends us back into a dark age. The movie Idiocracy was intended as parody not a plan.

      • The biggest problem was letting academics loose among normal society and thinking they had something of value to contribute. The only solution is to put them back in their ivory towers where they can impress themselves with how intelligent they are, lock the door, and throw away the key.

        • The most elegant and equitable solution would be to simply decouple the most notorious Green spokespersons including academics and celebrities from fossil fuel use by making them walk the walk now that they’ve talked the talk. Make them live the dream they’ve been urging the rest of us to live. Relocate them to small islands blessed with clement weather and let them live there without access to planes, cars, or electricity, growing their own food sustainably and organically and eating it by the sweat of their brow. Document their lives and broadcast it on reality TV. Once they’d settled in, most of them would be more content than they are living in our current dystopia. So it would be a kindness to them.

  11. Even the briefest glimpse of nature in action forces you to see there is either growth or decay. Hello? You no-growthers think you are smarter than Mama Nature? You think you have the balancing skills to teeter endlessly on the razor thin edge of equilibrium? Or are you planning to be comfortably, lavishly, in control while the rest of humanity suffers unimaginable deprivation? Some of you, like Big Al the Inconvenient Hypocrite, are already getting in practice.

  12. These Commies are dangerous. They are using OUR tax dollars to subvert OUR society.

    How I wish we had a Trump in Britain.

  13. David,

    I saw Rogers and the First Edition perform “I Just Dropped to See What
    Condition My Condition Was In” at the Piper Rock Festival outside of
    Newton Falls, Ohio.

    They went on just before a huge thunderstorm swept through the area,
    with lightning zinging and the wind howling. Throughout the storm,
    the band played on… standing on mats, quilts, and other non-conductors.

    Professionals !!

    Having met Davidson and studied Q-Methodology under S. Brown I’m
    not sure how that form of personality/opinion sampling gets linked to
    “interdisciplinary sustainability research”.

    Seems like self-serving word salad with vacuous dressing to me.

    • I skipped my Aricept the last few days… it was Stevenson I met.

      Davidson was one of the early developers of the measurement of iris
      contraction/expansion as a sign of stress (as in the subject lying)
      and was limited by the Psych Department to teaching a few limited
      undergrad classes filled with jocks.

  14. Green political theory is not any different from belief in magic, unicorns, fairies, etc. But they think it must be this way or that in their minds, and so it is. Reality and rationality have no place in the insane, “because-I-say-so” world of todays Greens.

  15. Whenever you see the word “planning” think elimination of private property rights. And eventual complete elimination of private property.

  16. I think the “good professor” found a different use for the super glue.
    I believe it now has a warning label,Do Not Sniff,Use in well ventilated room,because of experts like him.

  17. I’ve a small book, from the 1960s, written from the perspective of one interested in the growth of cities. Therein, he wrote that over time the modern city undergoes a “hardening of its arteries.”

    Consider such things as streets, sewer & other underground utilities, parks, lakes, and property boundaries – and in many there is private ownership. Making any significant change is costly and brings legal challenges.

    A large city cannot be converted to something post-carbon.

    And “post-carbon” is not of this world.

  18. “Orthodox” and “GDP measured” economic growth is driven almost entirely by technological progress which is the absolute best thing for the environment, allowing us to do more with less and have more of everything we value, including the health of our biosphere, but this ludicrous economic illiterate wants to end it.

    • I really wish they’d use the engineering method of pilot studies, before throwing the entire nation into this thing that just popped into their head. Demonstration of plausibility first with a three of five year running example, then we’ll start to consider the good and the bad.

      Of course it would fail, but at least the entire economy isn’t destroyed.

      • The cause is but a means to the ends of socialist/communist rule. They start with the position that everyone should want to live the way they (the expert) sees fit and then look for a crisis to herd everyone toward the pre-ordained conclusion. Part of the reason the logic of this hockey team can’t hold together is because it was never about the science in the first place. It was about rule of the expert and gaining political control over the great unwashed outside of the ivory tower.

    • We have people writing about the economy who literally have no idea of how it works and why it functions. They wold be laughed at if they wrote with this level of ignorance about physics or plant biology, but for some reason, everyone thinks they are en expert in economics.

      GDP growth comes pretty much entirely from improvements in productivity – doing more with fewer scarce resources. This fool thinks it’s the opposite, so what can you do? Up is down, black is white in his argument. And like Marx, he doesn’t understand value – GDP is a value-based measure and so measures the value we place on stuff. If we decide to place zero value on say a petrol car, then the value of that in GDP will be zero. All it takes to change what is in GDP is for us to change what we value. But of course that’s too hard to understand for these morons to grasp.

  19. My least favorite word in the English language these days is ‘sustainable’. I don’t like it because it is almost universally accepted as a good thing, but in my experience, the only thing that is truly sustainable is death. Those who strive for the mythical state of sustainability, usually fade away and die!

    In most cases, sustainability has no real definition. If you ask someone who uses the word what they mean by it, they usually say something like: “Well…you know.” Since the word is generally accepted as good, but has no real meaning, it becomes a way to convince people to agree to something that is not understood. After the agreement is reached, the wielders of the sustainability myth have carte blanche to do whatever they want in the name of ‘sustainability’. People who preach sustainability are really just after the power and control they believe is necessary to bring about their mythical utopia.

    One of my favorite words is ‘adaptability’. One definition of adaptability is to make positive choices in response to an ever changing environment. Adaptability is the essence of successful life. It is the fuel of evolution. It is the most important key to surviving and thriving. Invention and progress are the children of adaptability. No matter how the climate changes, those who are most adaptable will be the better off.

    It is so telling that the warmists never talk about adaptability (life), but pound the drum of sustainability (death).

  20. Tried to read the excerpts. Nonsensical. Two coffees later, always nonsensical yet somehow deja vu style.

    Long ago I had a BlackBerry tablet. It’s app’s store was populated with free e-books like:

    “A properly groomed perfectly innocent schoolboy is tricked into a ploy and convinced of spying the girl’s gym class. All remaining 27 members of his family die in a car crash and he’s transferred to a private island where his aunt wearing a black leather saree is appointed to his reeducation.”

    Yes, I’m talking to you Mr. John Berry, keep your deep masochistic fantasies to yourself and dont involve us. Professional help is available, please consider.

    • “Professional help is available, please consider.”

      That was my thought, too, after reading what Professor Barry wrrote.

  21. One of life’s lessons is we must always look for the positives.
    Here we have a Green Professor that is focusing his limited ambitions on just eliminating the urban members of society.
    Those of us living in less crowded environs can breath a sigh of relief at that…..for now.

  22. “Ideally democratic”??? How the frack else would a bunch of academic eggheads impose Agenda 21 on the Free World other than through a democratic process?

    I am surprised you have to ask. Come to the EU and find out and then look at how the Deomcrat party operates

    Even communist Russia held elections

    • Context…

      “Ideally democratic”??? How the frack else would a bunch of academic eggheads impose Agenda 21 on the Free World other than through a democratic process? That was a rhetorical question… which should have been intuitively obvious to the casual observer.

  23. What is a “post-growth economy”? World where no one is allowed to have dreams and ambitions, the government tells your exact place and you are never allowed to do anything else? A world where everyone is equal but poor, except the leaders who live in luxury?

    They could atleast be honest about it, and say that it would be terrible for 99% of the people, but it would be necessary for the “greater good”. But, oh right, then no one would support it. Like Green politicians who always talk about the paradise they are trying to reach, but never mention the costs.

    • That’s the plan. Then kill off the useless eaters by reducing CO2 until crops fail……

      • So who’s the most useless to society? Woops, they didn’t think of that.

        As I recall; it was the intelligentsia and the skill-less who were quietly disappeared first in Hitler’s utopia.

  24. What was that about ‘sustainable’ energy?

    “The prospect of cheap fusion energy is the worst thing that could happen to the planet.” – Jeremy Rifkin, New York Times journalist on climate change

    “Giving society cheap, abundant energy would be the equivalent of giving an idiot child a machine gun.” – Prof Paul Ehrlich, Stanford University

    “Complex technology of any sort is an assault on human dignity. It would be little short of disastrous for us to discover a source of clean, cheap, abundant energy, because of what we might do with it.” – Amory Lovins, Rocky Mountain Institute

    Carbon: 6 protons, 6 neutrons, 6 electrons…
    The human body is mostly carbon…
    pre-Climategate replacing cash with a carbon card/chip was ramping up….

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/05/29/AR2008052903266.html
    Carbon Chastity
    “Only Monday, a British parliamentary committee proposed that every citizen be required to carry a carbon card that must be presented, under penalty of law, when buying gasoline, taking an airplane or using electricity. The card contains your yearly carbon ration to be drawn down with every purchase, every trip, every swipe. There’s no greater social power than the power to ration. And, other than rationing food, there is no greater instrument of social control than rationing energy, the currency of just about everything one does and uses in an advanced society.” – Charles Krauthammer, May 2008

    • Linda,
      Actually, the human body is mostly water. But the chemical reactions we rely on to live is mostly carbon exchanges, which is why we are called carbon-based life forms.

  25. The easiest way of understanding the post growth economy and what it means, is to see it and describe it in straight forward language.
    Post growth means, “decline”.

    I hope that clears up any lingering doubts in the minds of the Green Socialists re what their policies actually mean.

  26. It’s the standard Marxist/Communist assertion that economic growth cannot continue for ever because physical resources are finite while economic growth is exponential. Even when the contrary evidence is staring them in the face, decade after decade.

    Use of physical resources is still decreasing per unit of economic output. Less steel, less concrete, less energy, less man-hours….this is the normal modus operandi of capitalism as it seeks increased efficiencies in pursuit of profit. In many ways it is actually a good definition of profit: to always strive to make things better and more efficiently than before.

    That today’s green communists still don’t get it is, perhaps, the most damning indictment of Western educational institutions.

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