Author Archive

On faiths, keeping them and losing them…

Jul 29, 2018 No Comments by
"If we are going to survive the turmoil of the years ahead, we are going to need a deeper understanding of ourselves and what makes for our emotional well-being." write Brian Davey in the first chapter of his book Credo.
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The Punishment of Nemesis

Jul 02, 2018 2 Comments by
"Certain stories recur in the history of humanity – and one of the most dramatic and traumatic is that of hybris," writes Brian Davey. "Hybris is a drama brought about by actions motivated by excessive pride – for example the overestimation by leaders - and the society or institutions in their charge - of their power."
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Time and temporal inequality

May 29, 2018 Comments Off on Time and temporal inequality by
Temporal inequality is a little noticed feature of our society. Poor people wait for things – the well-off are waited on. Temporal inequality is crucial to understanding people’s time choices. By Brian Davey, from Credo.
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Cursed to live in interesting times

Apr 17, 2018 Comments Off on Cursed to live in interesting times by
Brian Davey connects the fall in the growth rate, with its roots in the rising costs of energy extraction and generation, to declining resilience in the economic system. He argues that these are in turn related to a more conflict ridden geo-politics. There is an increased vulnerability to shocks which will be catastrophic unless and until there is a new conventional wisdom in society about what is wrong and what has to be done about it.
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The real lesson of the Energiewende is that the German economy uses too much energy to be sustainable and needs to degrow…

Jan 28, 2018 2 Comments by
Brian Davey draws on German research to argue that the only way that industrialised countries will be able to achieve the transition to 100% renewables is through degrowth. The transition is likely to be easier in low-income countries that use relatively little energy at present.
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Limits to Economic Growth?

Dec 07, 2017 2 Comments by
"Mainstream economists typically concentrate on science, technology and innovation to explain economic growth – but virtually all these new innovations are new ways to use energy and it is the energy of coal, oil and gas that does the work," writes Brian Davey.
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The Corruption of Capitalism by Guy Standing: review by Brian Davey

Nov 20, 2017 1 Comment by
This book is a powerful attack on rentier capitalism and, very explicitly, a call to revolt. Standing is at his best describing the features of crony capitalism that are totally different from the neo-liberal story of free markets that justifies it. While a very informative read, the analysis urgently needs to be expanded if the emerging commons movement is to be able to adapt to the limits to growth.
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Commons in the political mainstream?

Nov 16, 2017 Comments Off on Commons in the political mainstream?
There is a good chance that a new Labour government in the UK will introduce widespread measures to revive the commons. This would be quite revolutionary, but in what context would the new policies be launched and how would they be countered by the political economic elite? And how should a future Labour government act to forestall problems arising from the limits to economic growth? By Brian Davey.
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The future of renewable energy

Oct 02, 2017 1 Comment
Brian Davey argues that it will be difficult to bring a new, renewables-based energy sector into existence when the economy is stagnant and people will struggle to afford expensive innovation. Paradoxically in these circumstances it is likely to be many older technologies that will make sense again - perhaps in a reworked form.
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King Donald and his Court

Jul 12, 2017 Comments Off on King Donald and his Court
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 Comments Off on Using energy to extract energy – the dynamics of depletion
"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
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
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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