Turning the land from an emissions source to a carbon sink

Jul 13, 2011 Comments Off on Turning the land from an emissions source to a carbon sink
By Corinna Byrne, from Fleeing Vesuvius. Farming and other land-based activities could do a lot to mitigate global warming. Ireland needs new policies to get its land to absorb CO2 rather than release it. The large amounts of carbon locked up in the country’s peatlands must be safeguarded and damaged bogs restored so that they can sequester carbon again. In addition, the use of biochar could reduce methane and nitrous oxide emissions and build up the fertility and carbon content of the soil.
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Volunteers found to dig out embarrassing data

Jul 11, 2011 Comments Off on Volunteers found to dig out embarrassing data
In response to an appeal on this website, two people, Ciaran Mulloy and Ruth Barrett, have volunteered to work together for the next two or three weeks digging out data for a National Welfare Index which will show the extent to which Ireland's national well-being is being affected by government policies. The data will be processed by another Feasta member, Hans Diefenbacher, who has already prepared a similar index for Germany. The results will appear early next year.
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Collapse or no collapse: we need to respect to survive

Jul 09, 2011 Comments Off on Collapse or no collapse: we need to respect to survive
In this week's chapter from Fleeing Vesuvius, Lucy McAndrew argues that respect for ourselves, for others and for nature is fundamental to survival because it is what gives us a sense of our place in the world and, when we lose that, we float free of the very network of relationships that sustains us.
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Money Theory – A Primer on the Issues

Jul 05, 2011 2 Comments
The group organising the newly formed 'Cafe Economique' in Nottingham wanted an introduction to basic money theory for their first public event on Thursday 30th June and this article, written by Feasta member Brian Davey, was the result. The extended version of the talk, with notes on sources and for further reading, relates basic concepts to what is happening in the world right now, inclusive of the Greek financial crisis, and what should be done about it.
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Climate Governance at the Crossroads: Review

Jul 04, 2011 Comments Off on Climate Governance at the Crossroads: Review
by John Jopling. A good test of the usefulness of an academic book is: has it helped us to think differently? This book seeks to do precisely that: it seeks to persuade the reader to think differently about climate governance. In my case it has succeeded.
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Re-thinking business structures – how to encourage sustainability through conscious design choices

Jun 29, 2011 Comments Off on Re-thinking business structures – how to encourage sustainability through conscious design choices
In this week's chapter from Fleeing Vesuvius, Patrick Andrews argues that business could be the most powerful force in the world in achieving higher levels of sustainability and resilience. Unfortunately, its potential is blocked by laws and by hierarchical structures that mean that shareholders’ interests are put before those of society and the planet. Some firms, however, are adopting new structures that free them to place proper emphasis on social and environmental concerns.
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Greenhouse-gas emissions from energy use in the water sector

Jun 28, 2011 Comments Off on Greenhouse-gas emissions from energy use in the water sector
The availability of fresh water and the energy use associated with it, particularly in agriculture, is not thought about much in Britain and Ireland. Nevertheless it is a major issue - as a recent paper by two academics at the University of East Anglia demonstrates.
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Economics Unmasked : Review

Jun 23, 2011 Comments Off on Economics Unmasked : Review
Philip B. Smith & Manfred Max-Neef's Economics Unmasked leans more towards conspiracy than cock-up as it compellingly spells out the disastrous effects of the 'free' market on individuals, communities and the planet.
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Future energy availability: ‘net energy’ and the Energy Internal Rate of Return

Jun 22, 2011 Comments Off on Future energy availability: ‘net energy’ and the Energy Internal Rate of Return
This week we are publishing two articles from Fleeing Vesuvius which focus on energy supply and use. Chris Vernon's paper explains why, although there is a lot of oil still left in the ground, its supply will contract very rapidly indeed and the world may have run out of oil to burn for energy by 2050. Tom Konrad argues that if a standard assessment tool, the internal rate of return, is used to compare the net energy yield of various projects, it shows which to prioritise for the energy transition.
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Energy & Food Constraints will Collapse Global Economic Recovery

Jun 20, 2011 4 Comments
We may rail against the regulators, politicians, and others who failed to understand and manage past risks, but we are just as culpable for our failure to engage with severe, well-signposted, imminent ones.
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Can we change the world in the kitchen?: Review

Jun 18, 2011 1 Comment
In this review of the book Depletion and Abundance by Sharon Astyk, Dennis Lum outlines Asytk's suggestions for adjustment to a post-peak-oil future by means of re-valuing the informal economy, particularly those parts of it that are traditionally seen as women's work, together with locally-based industry and the cultivation of plants. He concludes that it is "a wise and thoughtful book filled with optimism and passion for a future that is anchored in realism if only we would embrace it".
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Proximity 2.0: Cutting transport costs and emissions through local integration

Jun 16, 2011 Comments Off on Proximity 2.0: Cutting transport costs and emissions through local integration
In this chapter from Fleeing Vesuvius, Emer O'Siochru describes how different activities should be situated beside each other to be more energy and carbon efficient. This flies in the face of current development planning which tends to focus on bringing similar activities closer together to reap the benefits of scale and agglomeration.
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A Green Job Guarantee For Ireland

Jun 11, 2011 Comments Off on A Green Job Guarantee For Ireland
What would happen if, instead of the European Central Bank providing liquidity to private banks in order to ward off financial collapse, it provided funding to mobilise a green workforce to tackle urgent environmental challenges? The salaries would effectively transfuse local economies and the scheme has precedence in the Common Agricutural Policy which already pays farmers to protect the environment. This Irish adaptation of the Job Guarantee developed by Modern Monetary theorists in the US is proposed by Emer O'Siochru in an article on the Smart Taxes Network website.
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