Today’s Contemplation: Collapse Cometh LXXVII

Steve Bull (
3 min readNov 15, 2022
Chitchen Itza, Mexico. (1986) Photo by author.

It’s Too Late For Managed Degrowth

This contemplation is a ‘short’ comment I shared on an article by Martin Tye that showed up on my Medium feed and I read this morning. It asks an important question in whether the ‘action’ being called for by various groups/individuals to address climate issues are framed by an understanding of our fundamental predicament of ecological overshoot. He argues that with a proper framing of the issue the appropriate response is one of ‘degrowth’.

Yes, the evidence is accumulating quickly that we are significantly into ecological overshoot. And, yes, degrowing our ways (and totally rejecting the growth agenda being foisted upon humanity) seems the only means of addressing the core cause (exponential growth of population and its drain on resources and overloading of sinks — especially in so-called ‘advanced’ economies).

I understand the ‘merit’ of ‘softening the tone’ on the messaging of our dilemma, however, I fear that the degrowth movement, for the most part, continues to frame the predicament in too soft a way (in other words, still an awful lot of denial and bargaining by many degrowth advocates). An approach that may have been ‘achievable’ for more broad-based ‘success’ several decades ago but not nowadays given how much further we have travelled down the path of unsustainability and planetary damage we have caused. To say little about the momentum of this ever-enlarging avalanche we’ve set off.

It seems increasingly unlikely that we can ‘save’ everyone or everything. And while holding our sociopathic ruling caste’s feet-to-the-fire is a necessary action (if for no other reason than to get the message out to a wider audience), I’m leaning towards the notion that the best we can do is to attempt to make one’s local community as self-sufficient and resilient as possible for the exceedingly difficult journey ahead. Given we are sure to experience an increasing breakdown of the various complexities we’ve come to rely upon for our lifestyles, this approach is getting well past the critical stage of ‘necessity for survival’.

Potable water. Food. Shelter needs for the climate. Ensuring these basics are at the forefront of a community’s time and energy may help local peoples to get through the bottleneck we have led ourselves into.

On the other hand, the rest of the planet’s species may be hoping for us not be successful in this endeavour given how pre/history suggests for the last ten or so millennia pockets of humanity keep following this same suicidal path…only with the help of a one-time cache of relatively easy-to-access and readily-transportable energy we’ve encompassed the entire planet in this destructive tendency.

Infinite growth. Finite planet. What could possibly go wrong?

Please consider visiting my website to access a variety of links and articles on this and other ‘collapse-related’ topics. You also get a glimpse into my ‘fictional’ novel trilogy: Olduvai.



Steve Bull (

A guy trying to make sense of a complex and seemingly insane world. Spend my days pondering our various predicaments while practising local food production...