Health and biodiversity

Aug 30, 2011 Comments Off on Health and biodiversity
by Elizabeth Cullen. All of our food and many important medicines derive from our biodiversity. Our psychological and spiritual well being is enhanced by the joy and private moments of wonder in contemplation of the natural world. How can our way of life be changed so as to enhance our life giving and life affirming biodiversity, rather than undermine it?
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Danger ahead: prioritising risk avoidance in political and economic decision-making

Aug 25, 2011 Comments Off on Danger ahead: prioritising risk avoidance in political and economic decision-making
In this week's excerpt from Fleeing Vesuvius, Brian Davey argues that since the financial and political components of the present system have now discredited themselves, a fluid situation exists that might allow more viable options to emerge. Local green initiatives, in particular the Transition Towns movement, are gaining in strength and number(s), but do they have the potential to develop the capacity needed at a national level to transform societies' energy and transport infrastructures?
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How Cutting Property Taxes Makes You Poor

Aug 22, 2011 Comments Off on How Cutting Property Taxes Makes You Poor
by Emer O'Siochru, from the Smart Taxes Network. The Irish have a lot of learning to do about property taxes.  Following the 1903 Land Acts, the new largely Catholic landowners who displaced the largely Protestant absentee landlords, immediately sought to deny their obligation to the people of the nation that had helped them win their fine farms. [...]
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Energy and water: the real blue-chips

Aug 20, 2011 Comments Off on Energy and water: the real blue-chips
In this week's Fleeing Vesuvius article, Nate Hagens and Kenneth Mulder explain why today’s prices and costs provide a very bad basis for making investment decisions. They reflect temporary relative market scarcities rather than long-run underlying physical ones. The world needs to abandon money as its measure when determining energy and economic policy if it is to invest its scarcest, most limiting resources in the best possible way.
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Site Value Tax Brochure – Read Online

Aug 16, 2011 Comments Off on Site Value Tax Brochure – Read Online

Site Value Tax is a tax policy proposed by Smart Taxes Network. It would be an annual charge on zoned land, based on its market value, which would fund government expenditure and encourage productive and sustainable investment. Smart Taxes have created this brochure to offer a clear and simple explanation of what the tax is, how it works and the benefits it offers.

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Virtue, Fashion and Climate Change

Aug 15, 2011 Comments Off on Virtue, Fashion and Climate Change
In the third and final excerpt from his book The Commons of Soil, Patrick Noble explores the relationship between fashion and rapid change in societies. Our drive to be social and belong in a community - extrinsic motivations - could be regarded as a possible catalyst for adaptation to a post-oil economy.
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Blaming the bankers? Understanding mass perceptions and mass emotions

Aug 12, 2011 4 Comments
This article is not primarily about economics. It is meant to be more philosophical, but philosophical in a sense that has political and economic implications for action. As the markets plunge and economic turmoil engulfs the global economy I've noticed that amid the many interpretations, there are quite different attitudes to what is going on in regard to the propensity to explain or to blame. I have described these two attitudes perhaps in an exaggerated form to bring out their differences.
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Transition thinking – The Good Life 2.0

Aug 10, 2011 Comments Off on Transition thinking – The Good Life 2.0
In this week's article from Fleeing Vesuvius, Davie Philip argues that we need to make an evolutionary leap in the way we do things if we are to make a controlled, planned transition to a post-industrial, low-carbon society. The initiatives developed by the nascent Transition Towns movement suggest that we are up to the challenge, and provide a model for how the more resilient communities needed for the future might be built.
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Let’s think about Adam Smith

Aug 08, 2011 Comments Off on Let’s think about Adam Smith
In a second excerpt from his book The Commons Of Soil, Patrick Noble discusses the relationship between soil, the commons and social systems. He describes how Adam Smith's theory of comparative advantage has become distorted in our present-day casino economy and he argues that "fluctuations in the health of the soil which grows the city become measures of chosen paths to and from civic virtue and so civilization."
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The supply of money in an energy-scarce world

Aug 04, 2011 Comments Off on The supply of money in an energy-scarce world
by Richard Douthwaite, from Fleeing Vesuvius. At present, many over-indebted countries are in a quandary — they cannot preserve both their banking systems and their currency's value. This conflict has come about because of the relationship between money and energy supply. To prevent it arising in future, money needs to be issued in new, non-debt ways.
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The Commons of Soil

Aug 01, 2011 1 Comment
by Patrick Noble. I hope to show that the bad news presented by our inevitable austerity is only bad for what can be happily lost. Laws of physics, which are about to disappoint European and American desires may simultaneously liberate us onto a lost Common. All that is best in life is encompassed by common humanity and is in no way reduced by a mere oil-deprivation.
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Helping to regenerate: overcoming conflicts of interest in property development

Jul 29, 2011 1 Comment
The conventional way of financing property development entangles those involved in a web of debt and conflicting business interests. This week we are featuring two articles from Fleeing Vesuvius which describe a new way of organising developments that promises better buildings, more affordable rents and a stake in the outcome for everyone. Chris Cook provides an overview of this new approach and James Pike gives examples of how it could work to rescue building projects hit by the downturn in Ireland.
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Cap & Share: simple is beautiful

Jul 22, 2011 Comments Off on Cap & Share: simple is beautiful
In this week's article from Fleeing Vesuvius, Laurence Matthews discusses Cap & Share: a fair, effective, cheap, empowering and simple way to reduce emissions from the burning of fossil fuels. It could form the basis of a wider global climate framework but how realistic is it to call for its introduction?
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