Category: Economics

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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Crash on Demand: Welcome to the Brown Tech Future

First published on Holmgren Design website Introduction This essay updates my Future Scenarios (2007) (1) work but also builds on the essay Oil vs Money; Battle for Control of the World (2009) (2), as a running commentary on the rapid changes in the big picture context for permaculture activism, especially in the Australian context. It assumes understanding of these previous works and, of course permaculture. ‘Preaching to the choir’ it […]

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Investing Like An Ecosystem

Over the last few years, I have been formulating my opinion on how to approach investing and what do to with extra cash. And I can’t believe how many people have told me in the last few months that they are anticipating another huge market correction basically any time now. Mulling all of this over (and with the help of a good forest analogy) I’ve recently developed a few key […]

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Syria Back-Story, Part 2: Blood For Oil

Continuing from Part I. Almost all conflicts that take place in the Middle East are motivated by the need to secure oil interests, among others. However, oil has so many other roles to play in this ugly story. Winter was never harder in Syria. The unprecedented cold wave is adding a lot to the suffering of people, especially the displaced. Massive efforts are being made by international donors, local NGOs […]

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One Rolex Short of Contentment

Materialism promises satisfaction. It delivers despair. by George Monbiot All photos taken from Rich Kids of Instagram That they are crass, brash and trashy goes without saying. But there is something in the pictures posted on Rich Kids of Instagram (and highlighted by the Guardian last week(1)) that inspires more than the usual revulsion towards crude displays of opulence. There is a shadow in these photos – photos of a […]

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Transylvanian Count to Chair Bloodbank

A new government appointment provides a chilling insight into its priorities. by George Monbiot (UK) You want to appoint a new chairman for Natural England, the government body responsible for protecting nature. Do you look for: a. someone with a background in ecology and a track record of interest in the natural world? Or b. someone with a background in accountancy, investment banking and house building? And a track record […]

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Interview with Richard Heinberg: Do We Really Need Economic Growth?

Marcin Gerwin (Poland): For most heads of states, the prime minister of Poland included, the central point of economic policy is maintaining or increasing economic growth. The aim is to encourage people to consume more goods and services every year so that the Gross Domestic Product continues to grow. Do you think it’s a realistic approach?

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“Managing Transparency”

Editor’s Note: It’s hard to overstate the importance of fighting these behind-the-scenes actions by corporate lobbyists and lawyers. See Box 1 on this page to get a small idea of the big consequences of allowing the profit motive to be prioritised over the public good. Politicians and officials are desperately seeking to justify their transatlantic assault on democracy. by George Monbiot Panic spreads through the European Commission like ferrets in […]

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