Samuel Alexander

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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Living Without a Fridge

by Dr Samuel Alexander, co-director of the Simplicity Institute and a lecturer with the Office for Environmental Programs, University of Melbourne. I’ve been living without a fridge for the last three months — the winter months of Melbourne, Australia. Before you send me to the asylum, however, let me tell you about this experiment which produced several interesting, and I think important, surprises, related to energy consumption and lifestyle habits. […]

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Want to Help Create an Ecovillage? (Victoria, Australia)

You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete. — Buckminster Fuller A week or so ago I received the most exciting email ever. It was from a reader of the Simplicity Collective who had just finished reading my book, Entropia. Inspired by the vision, he told me that he wanted to help develop an ecovillage, outside […]

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Charter of the Deep Future: Enough, For Everyone, Forever

Below is a short excerpt from Samuel Alexander’s new book, Entropia: Life Beyond Industrial Civilisation. This book is a creative work of fiction – a ‘utopia of sufficiency’ – which envisions a simple living community that became isolated on a small island after the collapse of industrial civilisation. Looking back from the future, the book provides a written documentary of the economy, culture, and politics of the community. In the […]

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Entropia: Life Beyond Industrial Civilisation

Paul Gilding, author of The Great Disruption, has described Entropia as "a masterful work of the imagination… a literary manifesto that will inspire, challenge, and give hope." Richard Heinberg, author of The End of Growth, has praised the book as follows: "Overflowing with insight and beautifully written, Entropia unveils the radical implications of moving beyond fossil fuels. This book may come to define what sustainability really means." Below is an […]

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How to Build a Cheap Raised Garden Bed

I’ve been advancing my guerilla gardening efforts recently, with a significant new raised bed now beautifying my nature strip, as seen in the picture at right. I thought in this post I could provide a brief overview of how to build a cheap raised bed, either for use on your nature strip or in your front or back yards. This overview might seem a bit basic for the handy builders […]

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How to Grow Your Own Oyster Mushrooms on Straw

by Dr Samuel Alexander, co-director of the Simplicity Institute and a lecturer with the Office for Environmental Programs, University of Melbourne. I’ve been experimenting recently with growing my own oyster mushrooms, and as you can see from the photos, I’ve met with some success. I was motivated to explore mushroom cultivation partly because I’m a vegetarian and want to produce my own high-protein alternatives to meat; but I was also […]

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Psychedelic Garden Love

by Dr Samuel Alexander, co-director of the Simplicity Institute and a lecturer with the Office for Environmental Programs, University of Melbourne. A huge ‘dome of heat’ over Australia has broken temperature records, and this heat has been so intense that the Bureau of Meteorology has been forced to create new colours for their charts, which had previously been capped at 50°C. Deep red has now been followed by a new […]

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My Post-Electric Washing Machine: The Deindustrial 2020

by Dr Samuel Alexander, co-director of the Simplicity Institute and a lecturer with the Office for Environmental Programs, University of Melbourne. Introducing my post-electric washing machine, which I call the Deindustrial 2020. It’s of the future, not the past – although it does look rather like the old-style, Medieval 1450. It was made for only $2. As you should be able to see from the picture, the Deindustrial 2020 is […]

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The Sufficiency Economy – Envisioning a Prosperous Way Down

Editor’s Preamble: I would exhort readers to ignore the potentially off-putting length of this piece, to instead step into, and allow yourself to be absorbed by, this important and worthy attempt at future-visualising. Readers who have been following my own work over the last several years will recognise and appreciate the themes covered. From my own perspective, what follows is a highly pragmatic view on the potential near-future of civilisation, […]

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