Author Archive

Preface to Fleeing Vesuvius by Eamon Ryan (Irish edition)

Apr 05, 2011 Comments Off on Preface to Fleeing Vesuvius by Eamon Ryan (Irish edition)
Preface by Eamon Ryan (Irish edition)Managing a retreat is the most difficult of all political tasks. It is always easier to offer something new rather than to try to take back an existing benefit. But when it comes to our use of fossil fuels, which have provided huge benefits to our society, it is now time for an organised retreat. We need to retreat because the emissions from burning coal and gas threaten the climate system upon which our lives depend. We also need to do so because we face a peak in global oil production and we have to start changing our food and transport systems to cope with the decline in oil supplies that will follow.
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Introduction to Fleeing Vesuvius: Where we went wrong

Apr 05, 2011 Comments Off on Introduction to Fleeing Vesuvius: Where we went wrong
Introduction: Where we went wrongby Richard Douthwaite This book grew out of a conference in 2009 called the New Emergency. What emergency was that? Most people didn't think that there was an emergency then and they don't think there is one now.They know that the world is facing a lot of problems at present but they probably would not elevate any of them even to the status of a crisis, still less an emergency. The world has always had problems, they think, and it always will. Very few of them think that there's anything going on at present that requires Ireland to mobilise all its resources in the way that it did in response to the old Emergency, the Second World War. However, once you recognise that most of the worst problems the world faces have a common cause and that time is running out to solve them, you have an emergency. That's my position.
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Shale Gas – Bonanza or Hype?

Mar 16, 2011 4 Comments
by Brian Davey. In recent months there have been a lot of very rosy news items about so called "unconventional gas" as a "game changing" new feature of world energy markets. It's bonanza time... Maybe....however, before going further, its useful to think about what happens in a gold rush. Very few of those out prospecting get rich. But people who sell wagons, equipment and the banks do. The problem is that when it comes to any news from the hydrocarbons market one should never take things at face value...
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David Fleming 1940-2010

Dec 01, 2010 Comments Off on David Fleming 1940-2010

by Davie Philip

Photo of David FlemingDavid Fleming died peacefully in his sleep on the night of November 28th 2010. He was an influential figure in the green movement. He was prominent in the development of the UK Ecology party in the 70s which went on to become the Green Party, he was the Chairman of the Soil Association in the 80s and for the last fifteen years of his life he wrote and lectured on sustainability with an emphasis on localisation.

I first met David while organising the FEASTA annual lecture in Dublin in 2001 and he became a close friend and …

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Fleeing Vesuvius

Nov 20, 2010 Comments Off on Fleeing Vesuvius

Feasta’s book Fleeing Vesuvius: Overcoming the Risks of Economic and Environmental Collapse draws together many of the ideas our members have developed over the years and applies them to a single question – how can we bring the world out of the mess in which it finds itself?

The book confronts this mess squarely, analysing its many aspects: the looming scarcity of essential resources such as fossil fuels – the lifeblood of the world economy; the financial crisis in Ireland and elsewhere; the collapse of the housing bubble; the urgent need for food security; and the enormous challenge of dealing …

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Contents of Fleeing Vesuvius

Nov 19, 2010 Comments Off on Contents of Fleeing Vesuvius
This includes a brief summary of each article in the book.
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Tipping Point: Near-Term Systemic Implications of a Peak in Global Oil Production – An Outline Review

Mar 15, 2010 3 Comments

The report Tipping Point: Near-Term Systemic Implications of a Peak in Global Oil Production, by David Korowicz of Feasta and the Risk/Resilience Network, is now available for download. The report argues that the defining dynamic of our civilisation is the withdrawal of energy from a complex and integrated system adapted only to growing. A managed “de-growth” is impossible; what is required is rapid emergency planning coupled with a plan for longer-term adaptation. …

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Comhar report on Cap and Share

Dec 07, 2008 Comments Off on Comhar report on Cap and Share


A Study in Personal Carbon Allocation: Cap and Share
7 December 2008 (PDF document, 1.3 MB)

This report was published by Comhar, the Irish Sustainable Development Council. It was launched by the Minister of the Environment, and contains two detailed studies about Cap and Share by AEA Energy & Environment and Cambridge Econometrics. …

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Sustainable Development Evaluation of Road Infrastructure Programmes and Projects

Oct 15, 2008 Comments Off on Sustainable Development Evaluation of Road Infrastructure Programmes and Projects

Feasta recently completed a research project for the Irish Environmental Protection Agency to assess the adequacy of the Environmental Impact Statements prepared for major road projects in the past and to devise a better assessment system for future projects from a complete sustainability perspective.…

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The Ecology of Money

May 18, 2006 Comments Off on The Ecology of Money

The Ecology of MoneyRead The Ecology of Money online

In The Ecology of Money, Richard Douthwaite argues that just as different insects and animals have different effects on human society and the natural world, money has different effects according to its origins and purposes. Was it created to make profits for a commercial bank, or issued by a government as a form of taxation? Or was it created by its users themselves purely to facilitate their trade? And was it made in the place where it is used, or did local people have to provide goods and services to outsiders to get enough of it to trade among themselves? The Briefing shows that it will be impossible to build a just and sustainable world, unless and until money creation is democratized. Richard says that it is potentially the most important thing he has written.

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Short Circuit

Jun 16, 2003 Comments Off on Short Circuit

Short CircuitShort Circuit: Strengthening Local Economies in an Unstable World
by Richard Douthwaite. Expanded online edition published June 2003 with updates by Richard Douthwaite, Joanne Elliott and Caroline Whyte.
Read Short Circuit online in its entirety.
Download pdf version(6 MB)

The global economy can no longer be relied upon to provide the necessities of life. Even in wealthy countries, the vagaries of free trade and the unimpeded movement of capital pose a threat not just to job security but to food and energy supplies as well.

Short Circuit proposes that each community build an independent local economy capable of supplying the goods and services its people would need should the mainstream economy collapse. It details the financial structures necessary for self-reliance, and it describes the techniques already in use in pioneering communities across the industrialized world. These inculde local currency schemes and community banks that enable local interest rates and credit terms to differ from those in the world economy. Efforts to meet local food and energy requirements using local resources are also reviewed.

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