Category: Society

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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The Corruption of Science

Many are the ways in which the powers that be obstruct and obscure our paths to knowledge. by Dr Nancy Swanson A fully referenced version of this article is posted on ISIS members website and is otherwise available for download here. Say it in Latin for God We need only look at the historical record to know that those who crave power have seized upon the belief system of the […]

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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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Reconnecting Architects with the Community

Marcin Gerwin: It happens quite often that when a new building is completed many people see it as unpleasant or even hostile, while at the same time the architects claim that it is a great work of art. This difference in opinion is quite striking. Why do you think it happens?

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This Collapse is a ‘Crisis of Bigness’

Living through a collapse is a curious experience. Perhaps the most curious part is that nobody wants to admit it’s a collapse. by Paul Kingsnorth The results of half a century of debt-fuelled “growth” are becoming impossible to convincingly deny, but even as economies and certainties crumble, our appointed leaders bravely hold the line. No one wants to be the first to say the dam is cracked beyond repair. To […]

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Holistic Management and VEG: Part One – Defining the Whole Under Management

For the last several years, VEG has been using something called Holistic Management as its core operating system. It has been a game changer and a blessing, and here, as well as sharing how we have applied it, I want to have a go at explaining what it is. After a brief introduction, I will go through some of its core aspects, using the VEG example to: communicate the essence […]

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The Downfall of the Plastic Bag: A Global Picture

by Janet Larsen and Savina Venkova Worldwide, a trillion single-use plastic bags are used each year, nearly 2 million each minute. Usage varies widely among countries, from over 400 a year for many East Europeans, to just four a year for people in Denmark and Finland. Plastic bags, made of depletable natural gas or petroleum resources, are often used only for a matter of minutes. Yet they last in the […]

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The Art of Advertising

Let’s face it, we are surrounded by ingenious advertisements. Whether you drive or surf the net, you will inevitably be bombarded, and most probably influenced, by them. I invite you to look beyond what you see and remember that advertising, filmmaking and photography are powerful art forms. To illustrate my point, I have compiled two videos. The first one will show you how easy it is to build inspiring and […]

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Designing Authentic Community

Humankind can never do the important work of re-designing our agricultural systems on a community scale with dysfunctional and alienated communities. This is the core wisdom of permaculture: permanent (i.e. stable) culture for permanent agriculture. But, we need to re-design these systems as soon as possible, because our unsustainable and unstable reality is catching up with us quickly and creating much suffering! Dunbar’s number I’ve been thinking a lot about […]

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Report: Energy, Work and Finance

Click to download report (2.6mb PDF) Politicians and environmental activists often make it seem as if a transition to a green, climate-friendly energy future were primarily a matter of finding and deploying trillions of dollars to replace fossil fuels, improve energy efficiency, solve energy poverty, and so on. But they seldom ask just what these "trillions" might consist of, what ATM they might come from — and what damage attempts […]

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