Those of us who can still bear to read, watch or listen to the news do so at our own risk. The emotional cost of learning, day after day, that just about everything is going from bad to even worse is high. This morning, I learnt that ten per cent of all Norwegians use sleeping pills. I hasten to add that Norwegians are health freaks (they jog, ski, exercise in gyms, eat sensibly and don’t drink alcoholic beverages on weekdays). The real intake of sleeping pills is probably much higher since many people buy prescription drugs in countries that are less restrictive. Add to that all the people who have several glasses of wine before they go to bed – a new trend in Norway.
“The News”, as we used to call it back in our days of innocence, when grown-ups would gather around the radio to hear what was going on in the world, was implicitly trusted. It was, we were told, fact, not conjecture, hence not biased.
For my part, I make a point of regularly reading/watching/listening to Al Jazeera. Al Jazeera caters to people with business interests, but is not Euro-/US-centric. Also, they run very interesting debates to which they invite people of all ideological shades. Nevertheless, I was very surprised to see, among the list of Al Jazeera headlines on my phone app: “Degrowth is not austerity – it is actually just the opposite”.
Mind you, this turned out to be only an “opinion” piece (which I read jubilantly). Still, it had been given a prominent place, and that was truly good news. Maybe parts of the business world are starting to understand a thing or two.
Now, have you heard about “degrowth”? You probably wouldn’t have if you rely only on mainstream news outlets, where degrowth is considered a four-letter word. To the extent it is uttered, it is perfunctorily slated, because degrowth would mean the end of … – well, a lot of things. It would, however, save the planet and save those of us (including other species) who are still around. Most of us would even fare very much better than we do today, said the opinion piece.
Cheered by finding it in Al Jazeera, I decided to give degrowth another chance. (I had previously dismissed it as being wishful thinking: Those greedy fools who own most of the world would never allow it, I thought.) So I bought a book that has swept me off my feet. I recommend it to you with all my heart. It will make you feel that maybe there is hope after all. Don’t be frightened by the fact that the preface is written by members of Extinction Rebellion. The author is called Jason Hickel – he must be the smartest guy in town – any town. I say no more.
The book is called:
LESS IS MORE HOW DEGROWTH WILL SAVE THE WORLD
Enjoy, and have a much better day!