The World Needs A Recession. Forever

You can only delay the reckoning. The fossil fuel era is running out for everyone. Fuel queues in Sri Lanka, right now. Image: AFP

Y’all say we need to reduce emissions now, but I don’t think you understand what that means. My country has, out of sheer poverty, reduced emissions dramatically. Sri Lanka simply cannot get fuel, for cooking, for transport, for electricity, for anything. That’s what reducing emissions now actually means. It’s misery.

Hence at the end of the fossil fuel era, you see countries scrambling over fossil fuels even more desperately. The United States is proudly opening up more land for drilling. They’re begging for oil from allies like Saudi and even enemies like Venezuela. Russia is seizing coal and resource rich regions of Ukraine. These great powers give a fuck about climate commitments. They’ll huff fossil fuels until they OD.

Everyone is desperately trying to preserve their economic growth, which is like trying to preserve your cancer. People don’t get it. Economic growth is precisely what’s killing us. Infinite growth against a finite planet is just cancer. That’s all it is.

For the planet and life as we know it to survive, we need to see massive degrowth, controlled GDP recession in the rich north and controlled growth of human development measures in the south. That’s the only way to rebalance our relationship with the planet, else the planet will rebalance itself forcefully.

Right now we are just measuring our greed, which is insatiable. We need to start measuring the needs of living beings, which can be done. People can have enough food, they can have shelter, they can have clothing, education, health. We can have this for billions, but not with billionaires. We have to choose one.

There are already alternate measures of development, like the Human Development Index, or the Sustainable Development Index, or what I call ZDP (Zero Domestic Poverty). But we’re not follow that, are we? People are still looking at the stock market, at electric cars, at trying to somehow keep this consumer culture in a planet that’s literally dying of consumption. Y’all don’t get it. This won’t be a light adjustment. Real change would be sacrifice. It would mean giving something up. In the Biblical sense, far more than you’d be comfortable with.

What the world needs now is a massive destruction of wealth down to sustainable levels and an equitable distribution of what we have, with most resources being shared communally. Like, you know, communism. And you have to give it to Fidel Castro. He called this decades ago.

Castro said: