Category: Economics

Holmgren’s ‘Crash on Demand’: Be Careful What You Wish For

Originally published on TransitionNetwork.org It is a rare occurence that I disagree with David Holmgren. One of my heroes, and the co-founder of permaculture, I generally find his intellect formidable, his insights on permaculture revelatory, and his take on the wider patterns and scenarios unfolding around us to be deeply insightful. But while there is much insight in his most recent paper, Crash on Demand, it also raises many questions […]

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Muddying the Waters

How the government’s farming policies have produced a perfectly designed system for flooding your home. It has the force of a parable. Along the road from High Ham to Burrowbridge, which skirts Lake Paterson (formerly known as the Somerset Levels), you can see field after field of harvested maize. In some places the crop lines run straight down the hill and into the water. When it rains, the water and […]

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A Shorter Working Week is Possible

Click for full view Marcin Gerwin: It was predicted in the 1930 by the economist John Maynard Keynes that thanks to the technological innovations, people in the twenty-first century will not have to work more than 15 hours a week. But here we are in the twenty-first century and many people in the industrialized world are in a hurry all the time and they have very little free time left. […]

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Recharting Collapseniks

Only a few are willing to risk arrest for the sake of an utopian outcome. Ted ‘The Unabomber’ Kaczynski obviously occupies the upper right corner. Starhawk, Bill McKibben and David Graeber are not lighting any fuses but at least have what they think are better plans, or maybe just better processes. Our post stirred the hornet’s nest and so we have found it necessary to revisit those star charts and […]

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Charting Collapseniks

Rather than spurning financial system terrorists, Holmgren urges activists to become “terra-ists”; to directly bring down the system by thousands of acts of economic disobedience. A ferment in the environmental movement, brewing for many years, has now bubbled up into the blogosphere. We are dipping our ladle in here to take a little taste of it, even though we are quite certain it is not done fermenting. Bill McKibben has […]

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As Sea Ice Shrinks, Arctic Shipping Options Expand

by Janet Larsen and Emily E. Adams, Earth Policy Institute Photo: Rosatomflot On October 7, 2013, the Nordic Orion bulk carrier ship completed its journey from Vancouver, Canada, to Pori, Finland, having traveled northward around Alaska and through the Northwest Passage. It was the first large commercial freighter ever to make the voyage through these typically ice-covered Arctic waters. Avoiding the longer journey, through the Panama Canal, reportedly saved $80,000 […]

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Right Livelihood – How Can We All $upport One Another?

The notion of Right Livelihood is an interesting subject and surprisingly, sometimes controversial. by Carolyn Payne-Gemmell So, what do I do with my time and how do I make a living? I am a permaculture designer and teacher, and I sell plants, seeds, produce and poultry. I would like to make my living entirely from these things; I would like all the money I make to come to me through […]

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On the Other Side of Collapse: Notes from the Island of Cyprus

Sofia and crew with their recently built greenhouse This is an interview with my cousin, Sofia Matsi. Sofia is a health campaigner, artist, permaculture designer and sustainability activist. She lives in Nicosia, Cyprus. Last year, Sofia witnessed first hand the near complete collapse of the island’s economy — an event which culminated in a highly controversial bailout plan that included an unprecedented confiscation of up to 10 percent of customer […]

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A Global Exploration of Economic Possibilities

Highlights from the Berlin conference that attracted 200 commoners from 30 countries. Click to download (665kb PDF) The Heinrich Boll Foundation just released a detailed, educational, and inspiring report [PDF inset] summarizing the international conference it hosted in Berlin, Germany May 22-24, 2013. Two hundred commoners from around the globe converged at the Economics and the Commons Conference (ECC) to explore the commons as an alternative worldview to market-fundamentalism, to […]

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Politically Correct Science for the Masses

Real democracy does not just mean the right to vote. People must also have access to the information they need to make an informed choice; that’s why scientists must be free to tell the truth and express their views accordingly on scientific issues. by Prof Peter Saunders Shaping science to politics When US scientists produced a report warning that the current level of greenhouse gas emissions would almost certainly lead […]

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The Deep Green Alternative – Debating Strategies of Transition

by Samuel Alexander and Jonathan Rutherford, Simplicity institute report 14a, 2014 Introduction Evidence continues to mount that industrial civilisation, driven by a destructive and insatiable growth imperative, is chronically unsustainable, as well as being grossly unjust. The global economy is in ecological overshoot, currently consuming resources and emitting waste at rates the planet cannot possibly sustain (Global Footprint Network 2013). Peak oil is but the most prominent example of a […]

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Crash on Demand? A Response to David Holmgren

D. Lange “Mr. Dougherty and kid. Warm Springs, Malheur County, Oregon” October 1939 David Holmgren, for whom I have the utmost respect, is best known as one of the co-originators of the permaculture concept. Permaculture is an ecological design method for regenerative agriculture, where the principles of natural systems are employed in order to create a self-sustaining means for food production while building soil fertility. I am increasingly involved with […]

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