Deficit easing – an alternative to severe austerity programmes in the eurozone

The EU's collective austerity programme will do little or nothing to save the problem countries - Ireland, Greece, Portugal and Spain - from default and the rescue fund set up by the IMF and the ECB will only buy time before they do so. Richard Douthwaite argues that a limited, targeted injection of non-debt-based euros could provide a neat and swift solution to a debt problem the whole eurozone shares.

Is over-consumption hard-wired into our genes?

It's very easy to look around and conclude that human beings are subject to unending desires which are never satisfied. Many of us have an apparently unquenchable thirst for the latest gadget or fashionable knick-knack. So how has this come about? Is the tendency towards over-consumption an unavoidable part of human nature, deriving from the laws of evolution, as some have suggested?

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.

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.