Author Archive

Why Pittsburgh real estate never crashes: the tax reform that stabilised a city’s economy

Jun 02, 2011 Comments Off on Why Pittsburgh real estate never crashes: the tax reform that stabilised a city’s economy
by Dan Sullivan, from Fleeing Vesuvius. Pittsburgh and Cleveland have adopted diametrically opposed strategies, with dramatically different results. In Pittsburgh, foreclosure rates are low despite the downturn, home prices are climbing slightly and construction rates are increasing. Cleveland, meanwhile, is struggling to stem a complete collapse of its housing market. The difference lies in the fact that Pittsburgh has had a site-value tax, which steadies the market, and Cleveland has not.
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An Introduction to Alternative Trading Systems – 27th June

Jun 01, 2011 Comments Off on An Introduction to Alternative Trading Systems – 27th June
Green Works will host Cork Community Forum, FEASTA the Foundation for the Economics of Sustainability, Future Orchards, a Cork community-supported agriculture project and Skillstore, an initiative to set up a community-based Timebank in Farranferris College. All of these talks will explore the potential for community currencies to strengthen the local economy and the resilience of our communities.
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Can unpaid co-operation produce better products than the profit motive?

May 30, 2011 1 Comment
Wikipedia and the Linux computer operating system were both created by unpaid volunteers using the internet, and both are out-competing their commercially-produced rivals, such as the Encyclopaedia Brtiannica and Microsoft. Are they examples of a new type of economy which has a lot further to go? Michel Bauwens, the founder of the Peer-to-Peer Foundation (P2P) believes so.
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Nobel prize for economics awarded to Mountebank

May 29, 2011 Comments Off on Nobel prize for economics awarded to Mountebank

Some biting satire at http://steadystate.org/mountebank-nobel/. Too close to the truth to be funny, though. …

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The nutritional resilience approach to food security

May 25, 2011 Comments Off on The nutritional resilience approach to food security
by Bruce Darrell, from Fleeing Vesuvius. This paper describes practices for ensuring that we can continue to feed ourselves adequately in the future, with a focus on the need to ensure that the soil contains an optimal mix of nutrients. Very few soils have a perfect balance of minerals. As a result, their fertility is limited and the crops grown on them cannot provide all the nutrients people need. As people can get food from elsewhere at present, these local deficiencies do not matter too much. But this situation is likely to change.
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Can the world economy phase out fossil fuels by 2050 and still grow?

May 23, 2011 1 Comment
At the beginning of February, WWF – the World Wide Fund for Nature – issued a major study, The Energy Report, which claimed that a rising global demand for energy services could be met by a combination of greater efficiency and the rapid development of renewable energy sources so that fossil fuel use could be almost entirely phased out by 2050. Australian writer and university lecturer Ted Trainer, who has been analysing the ability of renewable energy sources to meet future needs for at least the past decade, gives his verdict on the study.
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The costs and benefits of moving out of beef and into biofuel

May 20, 2011 1 Comment
Most beef farmers in Ireland are losing money. In view of this, some policymakers and commentators think that it would be in the national interest to encourage a lot of them to give up their loss-making hobby and to switch to growing biofuels instead. The Carbon Cycles and Sinks Network is preparing a report which explores this idea and draws some unexpected conclusions, and comments are very welcome.
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Sailing craft for a post-collapse world

May 18, 2011 Comments Off on Sailing craft for a post-collapse world

Sailing craft for a post-collapse world

by Dmitry Orlov, from Fleeing Vesuvius. Land transport will be costly, difficult and dangerous after the industrial system has broken down. Moving goods and people by water will be a better option even for quite short distances but what sort of boats will be needed and what materials will be available to build them?

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Challenging (Un)certainties – the Future of Education and Sustainability – May 23-25

May 15, 2011 Comments Off on Challenging (Un)certainties – the Future of Education and Sustainability – May 23-25
The second annual conference on education for sustainable development. Uppsala, Sweden, May 23-25
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ODAC newsletter – 13 May 2011

May 14, 2011 Comments Off on ODAC newsletter – 13 May 2011
This week's newsletter includes discussion of fracking and of the change in policy on nuclear power by Japan and Germany.
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France to ban fracking

May 14, 2011 Comments Off on France to ban fracking
A Business Insider article. France could become the first country to ban the controversial practice that involves using 'slick' water, a combination of water, chemicals and mud, to fracture the rock with hairline cracks and prop open underground fissures.
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Radio programme on fracking

May 14, 2011 Comments Off on Radio programme on fracking
This discussion from RTE's Drivetime includes interviews with groups opposed to fracking in the West of Ireland, along with excerpts from Gasland, a documentary that criticises fracking.
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The psychological roots of resource overconsumption

May 10, 2011 Comments Off on The psychological roots of resource overconsumption
The psychological roots of resource overconsumption

by Nate Hagens, from Fleeing Vesuvius.Humans have an innate need for status and for novelty in their lives. Unfortunately, the modern world has adopted very energy- and resource-intensive ways of meeting those needs. Other ways are going to have to be found as part of the move to a more sustainable world.

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