Category: Consumerism

Store Wars – A Tale for the Children of Tomorrow

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hVrIyEu6h_E In a land not too far from home, a gruesome war has been waged between The Organic Resistance and The Pesticide-Ridden Vegetables. This is a battle on which our common future depends. May you choose to join Cuke Skywalker and the Organic Movement to fight unsustainable shortsighted practices. Dark Tater and his chemically enhanced army will soon be a thing of the past! May the Farm be with you. […]

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Commons Way of Life vs. Market Way of Life

by Silke Helfrich The market has always been with us. What’s new about life in the last three hundred years — and especially the last thirty — is that the buying and selling of goods is the overriding goal of human civilization. The market is seen not just as an efficient way to do some things — it’s increasingly heralded as the only way to organize our society. The market […]

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Inglorious Fruits and Vegetables

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p2nSECWq_PE When you grow your own food, you know for a fact that every piece does not look as ‘perfect’ as those sold in stores. They are each unique, sometimes odd-looking, but taste delicious nonetheless. In our industrial world, these so-called imperfect fruits and veggies go straight to the dumpster and contribute to a shocking amount of waste. Intermarché, a French supermarket, came up with a brilliant concept – The […]

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DIY Hygiene: Greener Grooming

The DIY medicine cabinet in full simplicity It happened a bit more rapidly than I expected: One day my wife Emma read a list of horrors associated with fluoride and toothpaste, and by the evening, she’d sworn off store-bought toothpaste. In the weeks to come, I watched our other toiletries disappear. Realizing she was right, as is often the case with greener, kindlier things of the world, I soon followed […]

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Vandana Shiva Keynote Speech – Food Otherwise Conference (Netherlands, February 2014)

World famous author and activist Vandana Shiva gave an inspiring speech at the Food Otherwise conference in Wageningen, Netherlands, on 21 February 2014. "Monopolies, centralization and monocultures go hand and hand and they are the instruments of power. We have to create instruments of democracy, diversity, resilience."

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The Promise of the Commons

Regular readers may remember an article I posted back in 2010 — Kings, Conquerors, Capitalism and Resilience Lost — where I covered a little historical ground for one particular former ‘East Bloc’ country; a history shared by several countries in central Europe. The article outlined how previously resilient land-based communities — which had lived and even thrived for centuries in close relation to each other and the land that sustained […]

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A Gathering of Silverbacks: Age of Limits 2014

Whenever such large shifts in temperature occurred in Earth’s history, they were not gradual but came in lurches. Resilience is the capacity of a system to continue providing essential functions after receiving that kind of shock. The first known use of the Infinite Improbability Drive was initiated by Zaphod Beeblebrox and Trillian on the starship Heart of Gold. Its major consequence was rescuing Arthur Dent and Ford Prefect from open […]

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Let’s Talk About Collapse

I’m a reasonably even tempered sort of a bloke, but recently I’ve been feeling a bit, well, shall we say, unsettled. The feelings began after reading David Holmgren’s essay Crash on demand. It was no less than a moral call for action. At first the article really irritated me and I couldn’t quite put a finger on it. It wasn’t even that I reckon calls for action based on morals […]

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Building the New Commons

Humanity’s strength is in groups. In fact, It is our way of cooperating and communicating together in small and large groups that has allowed us to become a dominant form of life on Earth.

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The Impossibility of Growth

Why collapse and salvation are hard to distinguish from each other. Let us imagine that in 3030BC the total possessions of the people of Egypt filled one cubic metre. Let us propose that these possessions grew by 4.5% a year. How big would that stash have been by the Battle of Actium in 30BC? This is the calculation performed by the investment banker Jeremy Grantham(1). Go on, take a guess. […]

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How a Commons Way of Life Helps Curb Climate Change

It offers an appealing alternative to more stuff and more money, which drives environmental destruction today. It’s easy to not think about the looming climate crisis. For one thing, it’s depressing to ponder the misery ahead if we don’t take drastic steps now to curb greenhouse emissions. It’s even more depressing when you consider that even the most modest steps to reduce carbon use in the US have been derailed […]

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Are We Bothered?

The more we consume, the less we care about the living planet. That didn’t take long. The public interest in the state of the natural world stimulated by the winter floods receded almost as quickly as the waters did. A YouGov poll showed that the number of respondents placing the environment among their top three issues of concern rose from 6% in mid-January to 23% in mid-February. By early April […]

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