How are rising CO2 emissions linked to a rising world population?

Jun 06, 2011 4 Comments
Many discussions on sustainability rarely mention the world's growing population and whether current or projected future levels are – or can be made – compatible with living within the limits set by the Earth's regenerative capacity. David Knight's paper shows that the growing population is not incompatible with lower levels of energy use, but that the rising levels of consumption in rich countries and “emerging” ones like Brazil, India and China certainly are.
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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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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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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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In the world, at the limits to growth

May 14, 2011 5 Comments
We imagine Ireland is in crisis, yet crisis is relative. Most people in the world would envy our material austerity and be thankful for our endlessly 'collapsing' health service. But with our expectations thwarted and in the anxiety of uncertainty, we are focussed inward. Yet we remain as deluded as ever.
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Site Value Tax: taxation for a sustainable society

May 11, 2011 Comments Off on Site Value Tax: taxation for a sustainable society
The land market currently distorts our economy. Unlike investment into tools, machinery, computers, new factories and capital equipment, greater investment into landholdings creates no new wealth. An annual Site Value Tax on the value of zoned land would help build a sensible and realistic land market, encouraging landowners to develop and maintain their land or release it for sale. Smart Taxes has just released a brochure which provides a clear overview of how such a tax could be implemented in Ireland, as well as the improvements it would bring about.
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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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Building a greenhouse gas emissions reduction and sinks development programme into the CAP

May 09, 2011 Comments Off on Building a greenhouse gas emissions reduction and sinks development programme into the CAP

This submission was made by the Carbon Cycles and Sinks Network. It describes a possible framework for a Rural Environmental Protection-type framework which would reward farmers for practices that were likely to lead to their reducing their GHG emissions and also increasing the carbon content of their soils and the biomass growing on them. It suggests that best farming practice is re-assessed in the light of its climate effects and sequestration potential and re-defined if necessary. Farm payments would be made conditional on the adoption of these new best practice standards. No attempt would be made to pay farmers for …

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Breaking free from enforced dependency

May 07, 2011 Comments Off on Breaking free from enforced dependency
“Enforced dependency” is the term sociologists use for the creation of a class or group of people who are forced to rely on another more powerful class or group for the essentials of life. Tina Evans thinks that the global economic system has deliberately created this sort of dependency as one of its a key organising aspects.
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Smart Taxes releases fisheries report

May 03, 2011 Comments Off on Smart Taxes releases fisheries report
Smart Taxes has concluded its research report on fisheries conservation. The report, conducted by Edward Fahy, recommends that the lower rate of excise duty taxation for marine diesel be removed when vessels fish in recovery zones with active gear.
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