Almost 70 years ago, the outbreak of World War II forced the Irish Government to declare a state of national emergency. The Emergency Powers Act of September 1939 gave it the authority "to make provisions for the maintenance of public order and for the provision and control of supplies and services essential to the life of the community." Today a similar attitude is needed to address an emergency of a different and even more compelling kind: global economic collapse, combined with crises in climate change, water and energy supply, soil erosion, and the massive over-exploitation of natural resources. The extraordinary growth in population, wealth, urbanisation and societal complexity witnessed since the Industrial Revolution cannot continue. Nature's life-support systems are failing fast. Humanity is facing what might be called "The New Emergency." If ours is to be a stable world, the restoration of resilience at a local and global level must become a priority. And this resilience has to be achieved with the commitment and pace that countries adopt when, as in 1939, there is an immediate and very real threat to people's security and well-being.
This conference, marking Feasta's tenth anniversary, analysed the systems and the mindsets that have steered the world onto its grotesquely unsustainable current path. Discussions focussed on the new systems (financial, energy, food) and ways of thinking that are urgently required to correct the situation and bring about a rapid transition to a more secure future. Many of the ideas explored were Feasta's. Others were presented by international speakers who broadly share Feasta's analysis of what needs to be done to build a truly sustainable world.
Multimedia recordings of all the presentations from this conference are now available for free download from the Feasta vimeo site. You can also access these from the programme page (see below).
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