Logo degrowth


I am not alone

By: Julia Steinberger


1ngt rc2idg6flxhjtn5xkw

Dear Life,

I was not aware, when I was born, that I was born onto a battlefield. I was not aware, as I learned to walk, that I was stomping over the habitats of many creatures. I was not aware, as my mother drove me to school, that we were riding roughshod over the unmarked graves of our fellow humans. I was not aware, as we flew around the world, that I was attacking my child’s chances. I was not taught, when I went to school, that we all had been drafted, as unwilling and unwitting child soldiers, into an army of destruction. I didn’t read, in any of my university books, that my civilization of towering buildings, zooming machines and feasting on the meat of other creatures was waging a bitter war against the promise of a possible future.

But now, I know. I can see how we were fooled, tricked into believing that shiny sprawling suburbs and industrial zones and manure lagoons and mines and drilling rigs were our new habitat. I can see how we were blinded by fossil fuel barons and captains of industry into thinking that cars and planes could replace the earth under our feet, even the clean air that we breathe. I can see how a culture built on ownership and consumption was merely an excuse, a fig leaf for the rich and powerful to accumulate ever more profits and power, leaving destruction and destitution in their wake, and a forever blighted future.

And I can see many others waking up to the reality we face, of this desperate moment in time. I see their grief, their horror, their determination, their fragile hope as they realize they are not alone, and that their actions and words still matter, will still make a difference. And I see them look around, searching for ways their energy and voice can be of use, resolutely joining in the struggle for a possible future.

So now, I know. I was born onto a battlefield, but in this battle, I am not alone. With millions and millions of fellow humans, I am heeding the call of a different destiny. A destiny not of consumption, not of burning the past and harming the future: a destiny built on action and activism, on collaboration and cooperation, a new civilization centered on preserving life.

Every morning, I wake from nightmares of rising doom and harm. I am drawn to the work of the day by the beckoning of you all, companions in this irresistible and immense task, by the lure of the struggle against the forces of fossil destruction, by the promise of this new future in whose service we are called, by life itself.

This letter was written as part of #LettersToTheEarth.

Julia Steinberger reminds us in this post (first published on her Medium blog) that we are not alone in this fight. We are thousands, millions, believing in another future. If you want to feel surrounded, come and join an event near your place during the Global Climate Strike Week!

About the author

Julia Steinberger

More from this author

Share on the corporate technosphere


9 tips for talking to your family about degrowth during the holidays

Stephanie bernotas sk93 af jr4 unsplash scaled

By: Nathan Barlow

The holidays are special;  a chance to stop working, slow down and spend time with family and friends. The numerous family gatherings will likely involve discussions about the state of the world, politics, climate change, and maybe even degrowth. In case you find yourself in this scenario, we have put together this list of tips and suggestions for how to discuss degrowth with family and friends...


Universal Basic Income in India – a promising experience

Ubi india 1

By: Brototi Roy

In recent years, the debate around universal basic income has gained much popularity and coverage. The many successful models of basic income, both universal and targeted such as Alaska, Iran and Brazil (Bolsa ) along with an active movement in many European countries to adopt pilot experiments, made researchers and social workers in India enthusiastic to try out similar studies in the country ...


Petition for postgrowth research funding - please sign and share


In order to facilitate the transition towards a postgrowth or even degrowth economy, further research on alternative ecoomic and social models is utterly important, as we have no working models of non-growing economies at the moment. However, despite the urgency of this matter, progress in this direction is slow.  Large amounts of  research-funding  are directed towards "green growth" and other...