Author Archive

King Donald and his Court

Jul 12, 2017 No Comments by
Brian Davey argues that Trump's administration is a symptom of a crisis in US democratic institutions and US society, arising from over-complexity. This administration has made clever use of both old and new forms of media to galvanise support. Resistance needs to start on a local level.
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Using energy to extract energy – the dynamics of depletion

Jun 21, 2017 No Comments by
"Transferring resources out of the luxury consumption of the rich is a necessary part of the process of finding the wherewithal for energy conservation work and for developing renewable energy resources," writes Brian Davey in a chapter from Credo that was written in 2014 but is still relevant now.
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Brexit and complexity

May 10, 2017 Comments Off on Brexit and complexity by
Brian Davey draws on the work of Joseph Tainter and cybernetics research to argue that the least risky approach to Brexit is to follow Yanis Varoufakis' advice and go for an interim, off the peg solution.
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Limits to economic growth?

Apr 18, 2017 1 Comment by
In this presentation given at the University of Nottingham on April 4, Brian Davey investigates the historical roots of the growth-based economy. He critiques the assumption that renewable energy could take over from fossil fuels while maintaining economic growth, and goes on to discuss some ways forward.
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The Climate Crisis and Economic Policy Choices

Dec 01, 2016 Comments Off on The Climate Crisis and Economic Policy Choices by
Brian Davey, in Credo, argues that carbon emissions will never fall at a sufficient rate in a growth economy. Unfortunately, the EU operates a climate policy framework, the EU Emissions Trading System, that was designed by BP and it doesn’t work. Policies that might work were the political will there are described. However, the fossil fuel industry still has a stranglehold on policy.
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Prejudice, Ignorance and Granfalloons – Society in the Trump Era

Nov 24, 2016 Comments Off on Prejudice, Ignorance and Granfalloons – Society in the Trump Era by
Energetic and ecological limits are mostly unknown because they are taboos. It would be great if people found out more about these limits because responding to them seems to me to be the most pressing of all agendas for society. What is more likely however is that the bulk of the population will now pre-occupy themselves with granfalloons instead – and plenty of very educated people will help them. By Brian Davey.
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Living in Unpredictable Times

Nov 20, 2016 Comments Off on Living in Unpredictable Times by
Brian Davey argues that in many aspects of life one can turn a story upside down or reverse cause and effect and it will still be plausible. Moreover, things that don't fit into the prevailing narrative are often downplayed or ignored. The coming bankruptcy of the energy sector is a crisis that mainstream economists will not be able to understand nor to solve. The faith that there will always be a techno fix and that continued growth is the normal state of affairs is likely to remain pervasive for a longest time - despite growing chaos.
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Georgist Macro-Economics and the Land Value Tax

Oct 15, 2016 Comments Off on Georgist Macro-Economics and the Land Value Tax
Brian Davey argues in Credo that the ideas of Henry George are still very relevant for economic theory. A site value tax would help to stabilise property market cycles and promote greater spatial efficiency. However, while helpful, market mechanisms like a site value tax will not, on its own, fully resolve the environmental crisis.
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Marginal productivity theory

Sep 21, 2016 Comments Off on Marginal productivity theory
This chapter of Credo, by Brian Davey, describes the “marginal revolution” of neoclassical economics. The idea of marginal productivity and payments to “factors of production” was developed for ideological reasons to counter thinkers like Marx and George. The theoretical framework learned by generations of students is contradicted by the evidence. The ideas of capital and land in neoclassical economics are incoherent.
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Who are the parasites? The radical implications of classical economics

Sep 06, 2016 Comments Off on Who are the parasites? The radical implications of classical economics
In this chapter of Credo, Brian Davey discusses the differences between classical and neoclassical economics, and the implications for taxation and the distribution of power. Those following the current controversy over taxation in Ireland should find his argument interesting.
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Fantasies of “Socialism with an iPad”?: Inventing the Future by Nick Srnicek and Alex Williams: Review

Aug 14, 2016 Comments Off on Fantasies of “Socialism with an iPad”?: Inventing the Future by Nick Srnicek and Alex Williams: Review
"Sometimes you read a book that helps to crystalize your thinking, not because you agree with it, but because you don't" writes Brian Davey, who goes on to challenge the authors' assumptions about the availability of renewable energy and the nature and potential of localism.
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The centrality of externalities to economic thinking

Jul 31, 2016 Comments Off on The centrality of externalities to economic thinking
Brian Davey argues in Credo that what economists call “externalities” are not unusual or a special case, they are ubiquitous. They are rooted in private property and the relationships of market society. The way in which non market societies protect bio-diversity through totem arrangements is described.
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The “regulation” of unconventional gas

Jul 22, 2016 Comments Off on The “regulation” of unconventional gas
This presentation by Brian Davey, made in July 2016 on behalf of Frack Free Notts, outlines the problems with the regulatory structure for unconventional gasfield development in the UK. It discusses the problem of “regulatory capture” by the industry, deceptive PR, the selective recognition of ‘experts’ and siloing of different aspects of safety (such as the environment and health).
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