How about a "Grown" economy?

SUBHEAD: People complain about the overuse of "Degrowth" and are looking for something more positive.

By Juan Wilson on 11 October 2016 for Island Breath-

Image above: Illustration inspired by the "The Fifth Sacred Thing" by DreamNectar. From (

We at IslandBreath have been using the term "Degrowth" for years to describe what our planning goals ought to be going forward. It is a word that if implemented as a policy could help us match the resource capability of the Earth to a sustainable number of people on the planet.

Some still think "Degrowth" it is a useful term and others think it is tired and overused and needs new management. See the arguments by Kate Raworth and Giorgio Kallis "Has 'Degrowth' or 'De-Growth' outgrown its own name?".

Kate Rarworth makes a case against Degrowth arguing that it does not describe a solution. She thinks it has overall a negative connotation and counters,
"We have an economy that needs to grow, whether or not it makes us thrive.
We need an economy that makes us thrive, whether or not it grows."
and adds:
I’m guessing that some of my degrowth friends will respond to this blog with irritation, frustration or a sigh. Here we go again – we’ve got to explain the basics once more.
If so, take note. Because when you find yourself continually having to explain the basics and clear up repeated misunderstandings, it means there is something wrong with the way the ideas are being presented.
Believe me, the answer is in the name. It’s time for a new frame.
Giorgio Kallis makes the point that "Degrowth" is accurate and concise:
‘Degrowth’ is as clear as it gets. Definitely no less clear than ‘equality’; or ‘economic growth’ for that matter... Beyond a critique of the absurdity of perpetual growth, degrowth signifies a decrease of global carbon and material footprint, starting from the wealthy...The ‘green growth camp’ also wants such a decrease, but it argues that GDP growth is necessary for – or compatible with – it. Degrowth does not and expects GDP will decrease.
Others are even looking for new alternatives.

Miklos Antal recently wrote "D.E.growth: A Small Change in the Slogan with Large Benefits". His case is to revamp the word for new psychological effects. His suggestion is: "D.E.growth"
Building on the popularity of the growth frame, the term "D.E.growth" can be intriguing. This is crucial to raise attention, and from this aspect, it might be better for a radical movement than slogans like “sustainable prosperity” or “good life”. Invoking growth in an innovative and somewhat puzzling way can help to focus attention on the issue of economic growth and to trigger discussions about its future, which is an important goal of the alternative economics movement.
Unlike in the case of "Degrowth", however, first subconscious reactions to the slogan might be positive. As the two capital letters in the beginning are separated, the first clearly understandable part is “growth”, and growth is up, and up is good. All subsequent information processing will then be influenced by the first positive subconscious evaluation.
Well, "D.E.growth" makes a contemporary styled stab at a "refresh" of the word, but it seems overwrought and overthought to me.

Growth is foremost an organic process. The life of individual plants and animals begins with a single cell. It divides to multiply, specialize and grow into an individual living entity. It is easier for us to see the mature "grown" animal form. It happens sometime after adolescence and reproductive age.

Animals, like cats grow to a size appropriate for the environmental "niche" that they are embedded in. A domesticated cat, at 12 pounds, lives in a place where appropriate prey are fairly limited in size (rodents and birds), whereas a black panther, at 120 pounds, will target antelope, deer, warthogs and wild boar.

For a plant "grown" can be more difficult idea to understand. But individual plants, like whole forests have a climax of growth. For and individual tree it might take centuries to be "grown".For example a "grown" sequoia tree might reach a height of 400 feet in as many years... but no higher than it can draw water from the soil to nurture its leaves.

Plants are self regulated in size but by different dynamics than animals.

So are economies. Ours is at the end stage of "Growth". "Degrowth" will come on its own as certain aspects of our economy fade away or crash and burn. What is important to realize is that ours is no longer a "Growth" economy but a "Grown" economy. That is a fundamental requirement of sustainability and even survivability.

It's time we humans matured enough to realize that civilization is done and grown, so if our chores are done, its time to smell the roses.

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