"I following the Postcarbon Institute and Resilience.org for a while now, reading a number of Richard Heinberg's blogposts. His essay There's no app for that, was the first time I really became aware of the problems underlying a techno-solutionist approach to combating climate change and related issues. In addition, the focus on post- or de-growth has struck a chord with me.While we certainly should embrace low- and zero-carbon technologies, there are pitfalls in externalising solutions that propose to fix our problems while allowing us to live the way we always did. It's been a while since I read the text, but it drove the point home for me, that we need to rethink our entire system and not only implement green technologies. We cannot consume ourselves out of this problem, but need to address the problem by questioning the habits that got us here in the first place.And I suspect there may be parallels to draw and lessons to learn for a community such as ours, that heavily relies on technology (although I agree that technology is not a new invention; the plow was a very succesful piece of modern technology once).Richard Heinberg has been criticised for his appearance in Michael Moore's depressing and error-prone documentary Planet of the Humans, where Heinberg talks about population growth as a global problem, which of course, from a resource-perspective is not the whole truth: the real problem is the overconsumption of the privileged and a failure to distribute resources evenly. This is not expressed in the Moore documentary, but from what I know of Heinberg's writing, this is also his point of view. In the end, he is a privileged white male and, as such, his thinking is likely to be biased in more or less obvious ways.
"Henry Wallich (1914--1988), an American economist and central banker once said 'Growth is a substitute for equality of income. So long as there is growth there is hope, and that makes large income differentials tolerable.' If Wallich's quote is true, then so is the reverse. Greater equality of income is a substitute for growth, and it's an indispensable one, given the economy's expansion beyond biophysical limits" Pag. 34
"Without decoupling, the contradiction between reducing inequality on one hand, and resolving our environmental problems on the other, remains firmly in place. Worse still, it turns out that "demographic transition" is really just a theoretical construct that doesn't fit the data evenly and doesn't necessarily have much predictive value*" pag 35-36