Samuel Alexander

The Hidden Door: Mindful Sufficiency as an Alternative to Extinction

I am honoured to announce the publication of Mark Burch’s new book, The Hidden Door: Mindful Sufficiency as an Alternative to Extinction, available here. Published proudly by the Simplicity Institute, this text brings together some of Mark’s finest essays on themes related to mindful sufficiency and voluntary simplicity, and includes a new introduction (posted below). A deep yet accessible book, here’s the blurb: Many people sense that consumer culture is […]

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Life in a ‘Degrowth’ Economy, and Why You Might Actually Enjoy It

by Samuel Alexander, originally published on The Conversation Time to get off the economic growth train? Sergey Nivens/Shutterstock What does genuine economic progress look like? The orthodox answer is that a bigger economy is always better, but this idea is increasingly strained by the knowledge that, on a finite planet, the economy can’t grow for ever. This week’s Addicted to Growth conference in Sydney is exploring how to move beyond […]

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Foreword to the Book, Simple Living in History: Pioneers of the Deep Future

Below is the foreword to Simple Living in History: Pioneers of the Deep Future, edited by Samuel Alexander and Amanda McLeod. This book collects together 26 chapters discussing individuals, cultures, and movements that have embraced forms of ‘simple living’ throughout history. The ‘preface by the editors’ and table of contents are available here, and the book is available here. Foreword, by David Shi The simple life is almost as hard […]

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Simple Living in History: Pioneers of the Deep Future (Book)

This book highlights the continuous cultural lineage that underpins current activism for an ecologically viable and spiritually nourishing life now and in the future. For permaculture practitioners and activists focused on building ecologically smart, localised economies, this book highlights how rethinking our attitudes and behaviour toward consumption can be a fruitful pathway to social and ecological harmony. — David Holmgren, Permaculture: Principles and Pathways beyond Sustainability Simple Living in History […]

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Degrowth and the Carbon Budget: Powerdown Strategies for Climate Stability

Samuel Alexander (1), Simplicity Institute Climate change is not ‘a problem’ waiting for ‘a solution’. It is an environmental, cultural, and political phenomenon which is reshaping the way we think about ourselves, our societies and humanity’s place on Earth. — Mike Hulme 1. Introduction In recent years the notion of a ‘carbon budget’ has entered the lexicon of climate science (e.g. IPCC, 2013; Meinshausen et al, 2009). This concept refers […]

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Composting Toilets Made From Wheelie Bins

I just read a post on composting toilets here on the PRI site and remembered that I never posted about the composting toilets I made last year (for various projects) based on a similar principles, but a distinct design. Below I offer a few words of introduction and then post photos of the building process with instructions. As part of various projects that I’ve helped organise over the last six […]

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Superadobe Workshop (Moe, Victoria, Australia, 11-17 October, 2014)

This workshop will be held at an experimental sustainable building property near Moe, Victoria, Australia. On the property already is a mini earthship and a beautiful cob cottage, each built from previous workshops exploring sustainable living practices. You are invited to grab a tent and head down for a wonderful week of education through doing. The goal is to build a superadobe dome just over 3 metres in diameter, to […]

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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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Building With Mud 6-Day Workshop (Moe, Victoria, Australia, February 2014)

I wrote recently about the Earthship workshop that I’m organising and participating in this coming December, as part of the ecovillage project which I’ve written about here. I’m happy to say that I’ve also just locked in a 6-day mud building workshop in February next year, with the amazingly talented and creative Kate from the Mudmob Natural Building Collective. She’s just the best, and has constructed many a fine mud […]

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Want to Help Build an Earthship? (December 7 – 13, 2013, Victoria, Australia)

A couple of months ago I wrote about the ecovillage project that I am involved in, a project that is based on the vision of radical simplicity expressed in Entropia. I am uber excited to announce that our first build for the ecovillage is going to be an Earthship-inspired ‘mini-ship’, taking place this December in Victoria, Australia. Want to be involved? Read on! Earthships and other natural building methods are […]

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The Hour is Darkest just before Dawn: Crisis as Opportunity

The Festival of Ideas is on at the University of Melbourne at the moment, and I was invited to give a short talk, envisioning how Australia made the transition to a low-carbon society by the year 2033. Here is the transcript: As I look back from the year 2033, I would like to be able to tell you that the transition to our low-carbon society was smooth and rational. I […]

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Peak Oil Is Alive and Well, and Costing the Earth

by Dr Samuel Alexander, co-director of the Simplicity Institute and a lecturer with the Office for Environmental Programs, University of Melbourne. Originally published on theconversation.com. There’s plenty of oil, but at what price? (Source: arbyreed/Flickr) You might have heard that peak oil — the theory that one day crude oil production will stop increasing, even as demand grows — is dead. Shale oil production is surging in the US. The […]

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