Excellent degrowth presentation by Rachel Elfant at the Chicago Peace Action Summit (4/6/19)
On Saturday, April 6, Chicago Area Peace Action held its 2019 Chicago Peace Summit at Chicago’s Layola University. The first panel of speakers addressed our global climate catastrophe. A video of the panel can be found here. The first speaker, Rachel Elfant, Climate Justice Organizer and Administrator at CAPA, addressed climate catastrophe from a distinctly degrowth perspective. Historian Paul Street followed and squarely addressed the need for direct action to stop climate catastrophe. Paul subsequently published a version of his presentation in Counterpunch (link here). Nancy Meza of the Little Village Environmental Justice Organization (LVEJO) then spoke about the community connection and Little Village’s experience pursuing environmental justice.
Rachel spoke in depth of our climate problem, how it is a reflection of our existential truths as a global society and culture. She spoke, almost poetically, of the rule of capitalism and whiteness, the myth of meritocracy, the brutality of our institutions to those without privilege, the pervasive colonization of our minds by mass produced culture, and the danger of reducing our shared reality to the single dimension of economic growth. Rachel studied with Andreas Malm, the radical thinker and historian of technology, and her presentation well communicates some of his themes.