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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Shale gas drilling to begin in Ireland

Apr 21, 2011 3 Comments
The development of techniques which allow the extraction of gas from some carboniferous rocks known as shale has completely transformed the world's natural gas market. The gas price has fallen and in one case in the US, a terminal that was built to import gas is now being used to export it.
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Should the United States try to avoid a financial meltdown?

Apr 17, 2011 Comments Off on Should the United States try to avoid a financial meltdown?
Should the United States try to avoid a financial meltdown?Appendix to the US edition of Fleeing Vesuvius. Many Americans believe that the US cannot avoid hyperinflation or a catastrophic financial crash. Tom Konrad‘s position is slightly different. He thinks that while a crash is possible, the system is more likely to end with a whimper rather than a bang and that any progress towards [...]
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High oil prices kill growth prospects

Apr 09, 2011 1 Comment
by Richard Douthwaite. The price of Brent oil reached $122 per barrel last week (April 6th) and JP Morgan have forecast that it will hit €130 in the next few months. Energy prices at these levels mean that Ireland can say goodbye to any hope that it can grow its way out of its debt crisis. Because government spending cuts mean that domestic demand is almost certain to fall the country's only hope of increasing its national income is to earn more from overseas. That wiil be hard if the global economy is depressed but if the global economy grows, the world...
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A three-step emergency plan for Ireland

Apr 07, 2011 Comments Off on A three-step emergency plan for Ireland
A three-step emergency plan for Ireland

by Richard Douthwaite, from Fleeing Vesuvius. This plan for bringing Ireland out of its current financial crisis brings together many of the ideas described in the book. It suggests two ways of introducing debt-free money into the economy. It then explains how the financial system could be restructured by means of new banking regulation and the use of equity partnerships, and finally it advocates a move towards energy independence in Ireland.

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The economy – is stupid!

Apr 07, 2011 Comments Off on The economy – is stupid!
by Lothar Luken. Just had a crash, wrote off two cars. Now where's my medal for stimulating the economy? Two replacement cars have been bought; one driver seen by a doctor; an assessor coming to inspect the wreckage; state keeps motor tax for the old cars; insurance (UK-based!) pays scrapper for wreck crushing. Nice stimulus package - according to official theory.
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The Transition Towns Movement; its huge significance, and a friendly criticism

Apr 06, 2011 Comments Off on The Transition Towns Movement; its huge significance, and a friendly criticism
by Ted Trainer. The only way the alarming global sustainability and justice problems can be solved is via a Transition Towns movement of some kind. At present the rapidly growing movement is inspiring, but there is an urgent need for critical thought about vision, goals, and means. There is a serious risk that without this it will not make a significant contribution to solving our problems.
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Preface to Fleeing Vesuvius by Eamon Ryan (Irish edition)

Apr 05, 2011 Comments Off on Preface to Fleeing Vesuvius by Eamon Ryan (Irish edition)
Preface by Eamon Ryan (Irish edition)Managing a retreat is the most difficult of all political tasks. It is always easier to offer something new rather than to try to take back an existing benefit. But when it comes to our use of fossil fuels, which have provided huge benefits to our society, it is now time for an organised retreat. We need to retreat because the emissions from burning coal and gas threaten the climate system upon which our lives depend. We also need to do so because we face a peak in global oil production and we have to start changing our food and transport systems to cope with the decline in oil supplies that will follow.
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Introduction to Fleeing Vesuvius: Where we went wrong

Apr 05, 2011 Comments Off on Introduction to Fleeing Vesuvius: Where we went wrong
Introduction: Where we went wrongby Richard Douthwaite This book grew out of a conference in 2009 called the New Emergency. What emergency was that? Most people didn't think that there was an emergency then and they don't think there is one now.They know that the world is facing a lot of problems at present but they probably would not elevate any of them even to the status of a crisis, still less an emergency. The world has always had problems, they think, and it always will. Very few of them think that there's anything going on at present that requires Ireland to mobilise all its resources in the way that it did in response to the old Emergency, the Second World War. However, once you recognise that most of the worst problems the world faces have a common cause and that time is running out to solve them, you have an emergency. That's my position.
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Shale Gas – Bonanza or Hype?

Mar 16, 2011 4 Comments
by Brian Davey. In recent months there have been a lot of very rosy news items about so called "unconventional gas" as a "game changing" new feature of world energy markets. It's bonanza time... Maybe....however, before going further, its useful to think about what happens in a gold rush. Very few of those out prospecting get rich. But people who sell wagons, equipment and the banks do. The problem is that when it comes to any news from the hydrocarbons market one should never take things at face value...
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Covert Cap and Share video released by Freakylinks

Dec 06, 2010 Comments Off on Covert Cap and Share video released by Freakylinks
Cap and Share campaigners have just released a clever and playful 5-minute video which, they say, was produced covertly and then passed on to them by "Freakylinks". Cap and Share would simultaneously control greenhouse gas emissions and boost equality, but as the video shows, the prospect of cutting out all the financial middle-men may not appeal to everyone.
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David Fleming 1940-2010

Dec 01, 2010 Comments Off on David Fleming 1940-2010

by Davie Philip

Photo of David FlemingDavid Fleming died peacefully in his sleep on the night of November 28th 2010. He was an influential figure in the green movement. He was prominent in the development of the UK Ecology party in the 70s which went on to become the Green Party, he was the Chairman of the Soil Association in the 80s and for the last fifteen years of his life he wrote and lectured on sustainability with an emphasis on localisation.

I first met David while organising the FEASTA annual lecture in Dublin in 2001 and he became a close friend and …

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