Green Recovery: This is the preferred expression in recent days by commentators on the 2021 federal budget to emphasize its main direction. Some considered the effort insufficient, others welcomed it enthusiastically. But the two camps were on the wrong track. “Green recovery” does not exist and cannot exist.
What does this expression mean? In this case, state support for economic growth, that is, to produce and sell goods on Canadian soil, is determined, but is directed in such a way that this growth does not in principle imply further environmental degradation. However, we now know that these two goals are contradictory.
In recent years, a growing body of scientific studies has examined the possibility of generating economic growth that is not synonymous with the decline of our “natural resources”. Their conclusions are very clear and unanimous: when there is growth in GDP, there is growth in the amount of material and energy consumed, and the waste produced.
Certainly, by considering only one aspect of the environmental problem or what is produced in a small area, it would seem that “green growth” is possible. This is how Quebec’s economy might look “greener” than that of other Canadian provinces or the economy of the neighboring United States, as long as we focus only on carbon dioxide emissions.2 I was born in the area we occupy.
Once we analyze all the “environmental stresses” generated by our GDP, the picture loses almost all of its greenness. Non seulement il donne à voir les «coûts environnementaux» non négligeables induits par l’hydroélectricité, entre autres, mais surtout il nous rappelle que l’activité économique québécoise repose semi-une grande quantité de bien finisi In the world.
By taking into account all the natural resources consumed to do so and the waste generated, Quebec’s growth appears to be one of the most disastrous in terms of the environment.
Halt the race to grow
There is no doubt that the Canadian economy will benefit from the budgetary measures just announced. If this is the case, however, the ongoing environmental disaster will only begin again. So there will be no “green” or “clean” stimulus.
However, like the famous Ministry of Truth 1984 Orwell, whose motto, we will remember, is, “War is peace.” Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is power, “our governments and their allies try to convince us with this utter contradiction that” destruction is prosperity. “
Against such perversion, we must reaffirm that the only way to ensure the sustainability or sustainability of our way of life is to put an end to the race for economic growth, and to put limits on the production of what it is. We need a neighborhood. For the sake of justice, such a procedure must also be accompanied by a more equitable sharing of our means of existence and everything must be decided in a purely democratic way.
Less production, more participation, and decision making together: This will form the basis of a political program that is admittedly very ambitious given the dichotomy it assumes vis-à-vis the current system, but is more credible and realistic than the delusional promise of “green growth”.
* Yves Marie Abraham is the author of a recent book on the decline in sustainable growth: Healing the evil of infinity (Ecosociety, 2019).