Category: Peak Oil

David Holmgren on Retrofitting the Suburbs for the Energy Descent Future

Introduction by Samuel Alexander of the Simplicity Institute: I’m pleased to announce that David Holmgren, co-originator of the permaculture concept, has just published a Simplicity Institute Report, entitled "Retrofitting the Suburbs for the Energy Descent Future." Sometimes well-meaning ‘green’ people like to imagine that the eco-cities of the future are going to look either like some techno-utopia — like the Jetsons’, perhaps, except environmentally friendly — or some agrarian village, […]

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Permaculture, a Step by Step Change, Part II – Further Steps: Solar Heating, Easy and Cheap

The most important step Maybe the most important step in the permaculture change is mindset. The day you get motivated to follow into a life of change towards freedom from the grid, the system and advertising; that day you will have taken the first and most important step in the permaculture change process. When your mind settles into the permaculture mode, you will begin to see things differently. You will […]

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The Australian National Food Plan – Have Your Say!

National Food Plan, Green Paper 3.75mb PDF The Australian federal government has issued a green paper on a National Food Plan for public consultation, which will include a series of public meetings in various places over the next several weeks, until September 30, 2012. This is an excellent opportunity for permaculturists, localvores, agro-ecologists, etc., to get their message across and help ensure that it’s not just the big corporations who […]

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Not In Our Name (Video)

I’ve often seen people sign off their emails with "Peace, love and permaculture". Central to permaculture concepts is an anti-war message. Sustainable prosperity can equal peace. This video, complete with cameo appearances from Geoff Lawton and snippets of our DVDs, tells us that more and more people see this connection. You can read the ‘Not in our name’ speech here.

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The Promised Land

This is the fate of young people today: excluded, but forbidden to opt out. by George Monbiot: journalist, author, academic and environmental and political activist, United Kingdom. Hounded by police and bailiffs, evicted wherever they stopped, they did not mean to settle here. They had walked out of London to occupy disused farmland on the Queen’s estates surrounding Windsor Castle. Perhaps unsurprisingly, that didn’t work out very well. But after […]

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Coal to Liquids – Racing to the Bottom With the Fuel from Hell

I thought I’d add to George Monbiot’s recent post highlighting moves to persevere with fossil fuels by sharing a little piece on how feeding our oil addiction is taking us to ever-dirtier lows.

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False Summit

We were wrong about peak oil: there’s enough in the ground to deep-fry the planet. by George Monbiot: journalist, author, academic and environmental and political activist, United Kingdom. The facts have changed, now we must change too. For the past ten years an unlikely coalition of geologists, oil drillers, bankers, military strategists and environmentalists has been warning that peak oil – the decline of global supplies – is just around […]

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Preparing Our Children For a Resilient Future, Part II: Food Security

I doubt many would disagree that food is one of the most important things that we are going to need to become reconnected to, in times to come. Without a reliable food source, much hardship can be predicted and even potentially losses of life. In the future, food security will probably rely much more on sources of our own creation, by producing food ourselves and establishing networks with others in […]

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Resilience Through Simplification: Revisiting Tainter’s Theory of Collapse

Below, Samuel Alexander summarises his new Simplicity Institute Report, which discusses ‘voluntary simplification’ in the context of Joseph Tainter’s theory of collapse. The full report, ‘Resilience through Simplification,’ is available here (360kb PDF). A society or other institution can be destroyed by the cost of sustaining itself. — Joseph Tainter Joseph Tainter In 1988 Joseph Tainter published his seminal work, The Collapse of Complex Societies, in which he presented an […]

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Hope for a New Era: Before/After Examples of Permaculture Earth Restoration – Solving Our Problems From the Ground Up

If you aren’t in a reading mood, and/or just came to look at the before/after photographs, click here to jump down the page. Loess Plateau, Early September, 1995 Loess Plateau, Early September, 2009 Rio+20 has been and gone, and, in the big scheme of things, has achieved little, or worse. With this post I’d like to take the opportunity to jot down some thoughts, and images, that might help us […]

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Two Views of Our Future

by Lester R. Brown, Earth Policy Institute No previous civilization has survived the ongoing destruction of its natural supports. Nor will ours. Yet economists look at the future through a different lens. Relying heavily on economic data to measure progress, they see the near 10-fold growth in the world economy since 1950 and the associated gains in living standards as the crowning achievement of our modern civilization. During this period, […]

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