Today I introduce the concept of degrowth and start my celebration of Black Future Month by looking for black voices who have written about degrowth or related visions. I look at a 2013 article in Sustainability by Brian Gilmore on degrowth and racial inequality, talk about N. K. Jemisin’s short story about anti-colonial technological innovation “The Effluent Engine,” and read Ta-Nehisi Coates connecting climate change to a history of an American Dream that plunders black bodies and now nature itself in “Between the World and Me.” And I admit a major fail that I have read nothing by the legendary Octavia Butler. To be fixed by next time, I promise! Finally, a shout-out to Speculative Futures Berlin and particularly Mathana Stender, Wenzel Mehnert, and Carmen Schmöl for urging me to read Ms. Butler’s work.
This week I talk about what degrowth can mean at home, and give tips on how to create spaces for “enough” stuff not to morph into “too much.” I crunch the climate numbers on living smaller based on a recent article in “Energy Policy” by Immanuel Stiess, Anja Umbach-Daniel, and Corinna Fischer. And my local voting official is giving me hope this week!