On the cusp of collapse: complexity, energy, and the globalised economy

Oct 08, 2011 Comments Off on On the cusp of collapse: complexity, energy, and the globalised economy
By David Korowicz, from Fleeing Vesuvius. The systems on which we rely for our financial transactions, food, fuel and livelihoods are so inter-dependent that they are better regarded as facets of a single global system. Maintaining and operating this global system requires a lot of energy and, because the fixed costs of operating it are high, it is only cost-effective if it is run at near full capacity. As a result, if its throughput falls because less energy is available, it does not contract in a gentle, controllable manner. Instead it is subject to catastrophic collapse.
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Economics is not a social science

Oct 05, 2011 8 Comments
In this article Brian Davey explains the rationale for setting up a group called "Cafe Economique" in Nottingham. Following a similar group in Leeds a Nottingham group has been set up, one of whose aims is to give non-economists the confidence to participate in economic discussions. It is high time that non-economists feel able to challenge the baloney that most economists preach and are armed with the ideas that will allow them to do so. In this piece, Brian attacks the status claim that economics makes when it describes itself as a "social science".
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Enough: a worldview for positive futures

Oct 01, 2011 Comments Off on Enough: a worldview for positive futures
by Anne B. Ryan, from Fleeing Vesuvius. While the adoption of new technologies is crucial, so too is the need for a new, self-limiting worldview recognising that “enough is plenty”. This philosophy of “enough” is about the optimum — having exactly the right amount and using it gracefully. Adopting such a worldview would nourish a culture of adapted human behaviour in which social justice could prevail and at least some of the Earth’s ecosystems would have the chance to renew themselves.
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“Working together for access to the earth”

Sep 27, 2011 2 Comments
Recently I had a chat with one of the interns at a local biodynamic farm who explained to me that the farm is currently undergoing a change of ownership. What he told me about the future plans for the farm reminded me of some of the investment models described elsewhere on this site, so I thought I'd write a few words about it. [...]
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Liquidity Networks: local trading systems using a debt-free electronic currency

Sep 23, 2011 Comments Off on Liquidity Networks: local trading systems using a debt-free electronic currency
by Graham Barnes, from Fleeing Vesuvius. No currency will work unless people accept it from each other so this novel money will be put into circulation as a way of rewarding those who are accepting and spending it most.
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Submission to the consultation on Rio+20

Sep 17, 2011 Comments Off on Submission to the consultation on Rio+20

Feasta has made a submission to the consultation on the Rio +20 UN Conference on Sustainable Development which you can download below.

Feasta Consultation on Rio +20

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The Parallel Punt

Sep 17, 2011 7 Comments
Feasta has been exploring the potential for parallel currencies for some time, largely through the Liquidity Network project which is aimed at boosting local economies at a time when euros are scarce. Now a related idea is gaining traction at a national level in the form of a Parallel Punt. This surprisingly conservative option was discussed at Feasta's Autumn Conference held in Dublin on 22nd/ 23rd September. In this preview Graham Barnes set the scene for what could be a gamechanging development.
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Climate governance – a new paradigm

Sep 17, 2011 Comments Off on Climate governance – a new paradigm
This paper, prepared by members of Feasta, asserts that the climate crisis demands a new paradigm of global governance. It was written with specific reference to a project currently being undertaken by the World Resources Institute which arose out of an initiative by members of Feasta and the United Nations Environment Programme and is supported by the Government of Ireland. The WRI project "aims to highlight the best proposals for the institutional design of an international climate change regime".
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Busy doing nothing – seven reasons for humanity’s inertia in the face of critical threats and how we might remove them

Sep 16, 2011 Comments Off on Busy doing nothing – seven reasons for humanity’s inertia in the face of critical threats and how we might remove them
from Fleeing Vesuvius, by Mark Rutledge and Brian Davey. Seven reasons why humans have failed to curb their excessive resource consumption are outlined here, some of which are systemic, others the result of the way humanity evolved. Our best chance of counteracting them will come when the crisis pushes us out of our comfortable ruts.
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Growing people not economies

Sep 13, 2011 2 Comments
In this article I argue that theories are often used as justification to push people around and to bully them - particularly economic theories. If the future is one where we "grow people" rather than "growing economies" we need very different kinds of arrangements and skills - and we should start in our own movement.
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Finance for future communities: equity partnerships and investment unions

Sep 10, 2011 Comments Off on Finance for future communities: equity partnerships and investment unions
This week we are featuring two articles from Fleeing Vesuvius which explore ethical, equitable approaches to finance. Tim Helweg-Larsen describes his recent attempt to establish an equity partnership in North Wales and Oscar Kjellberg draws on the example of Mondragon in order to examine the role which community bankers could perform as intermediaries between local stakeholders in the future.
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Definancialisation, deglobalisation and relocalisation

Sep 02, 2011 Comments Off on Definancialisation, deglobalisation and relocalisation
by Dmitry Orlov, from Fleeing Vesuvius. Countries' current attempts to recover from their difficulties are driving up oil prices. Orlov believes that the world economy will be unable to cope and will collapse, just as it did in 2008. Future attempts at recovery will also fail. He argues that anyone who recognises this should spend whatever money they have engaging with their neighbours and the land in new ways so that they stand a chance of saving something for themselves and their children.
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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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