Culture and climate

Nov 06, 2018 No Comments by
"I see the shadow of a proper economy everywhere....decayed towns and villages, drained by corporate retail park, entirely oil-powered suburbia and the falsely-egalitarian call of the internet, await the returning flow of ingenious, convivial humanity," writes Patrick Noble in a foreword to his new book.
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Decarbonising the Irish energy system: cards on the table?

Sep 28, 2018 No Comments by
Barry McMullin argues that decarbonising Ireland will require an enormous reduction in overall energy consumption, with bioenergy developmemt playing only a cautious and secondary role. (This is a Beamer presentation; please click on the slides to access sources and more information.)
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End of the Oilocene: the roar of the oil-fizzle dragon king

Sep 20, 2018 No Comments by
"Ireland’s policymakers exist in an insulated bubble; congratulating themselves on reducing the debt-GDP ratio and high employment due to the sleight of hand of low corporate tax rates, " writes Tim Clarke. He argues that Ireland is hugely vulnerable to a global financial crash triggered by net energy decline, coupled with rapidly rising extreme global debts and many other factors: "Talk of a 'Celtic Phoenix' excites dull short memories, and another property bubble is in the making."
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Money through the looking glass

Aug 08, 2018 2 Comments by
Caroline Whyte argues that the only way to achieve degrowth without crashing the global economy is to change the way that money is issued. Yet, paradoxically, it would be advisable for central bankers to continue to publicly disagree with the Vollgeld and other debt-free-money campaigns’ suggested financial reforms - and for the campaigners to continue their campaigns regardless, not letting themselves be discouraged by the officials' stance.
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On faiths, keeping them and losing them…

Jul 29, 2018 Comments Off on On faiths, keeping them and losing them… by
"If we are going to survive the turmoil of the years ahead, we are going to need a deeper understanding of ourselves and what makes for our emotional well-being." write Brian Davey in the first chapter of his book Credo.
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The tales of history are a dead-end road

Jun 20, 2018 2 Comments by
"Culture is what people do. It decays when people stop culturing. Changing a culture means changing what we do. Often, that will need a step by step transition as we negotiate obstacles. Even though we follow some backward meanders, the river may flow on." By Patrick Noble.
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And the Weak Suffer What They Must?: Europe, Austerity and the Threat to Global Stability by Yanis Varoufakis – review

Jun 01, 2018 Comments Off on And the Weak Suffer What They Must?: Europe, Austerity and the Threat to Global Stability by Yanis Varoufakis – review by
This book is well worth reading if you're interested in how the Eurozone got into such a mess, although it ignores a very important source of financial instability - the relationship between money and energy - and it paints an overly rosy picture of the role that the US has played in the global economy over the past century. By Caroline Whyte.
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The real lesson of the Energiewende is that the German economy uses too much energy to be sustainable and needs to degrow…

Jan 28, 2018 2 Comments
Brian Davey draws on German research to argue that the only way that industrialised countries will be able to achieve the transition to 100% renewables is through degrowth. The transition is likely to be easier in low-income countries that use relatively little energy at present.
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Limits to Economic Growth?

Dec 07, 2017 2 Comments
"Mainstream economists typically concentrate on science, technology and innovation to explain economic growth – but virtually all these new innovations are new ways to use energy and it is the energy of coal, oil and gas that does the work," writes Brian Davey.
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The Corruption of Capitalism by Guy Standing: review by Brian Davey

Nov 20, 2017 1 Comment
This book is a powerful attack on rentier capitalism and, very explicitly, a call to revolt. Standing is at his best describing the features of crony capitalism that are totally different from the neo-liberal story of free markets that justifies it. While a very informative read, the analysis urgently needs to be expanded if the emerging commons movement is to be able to adapt to the limits to growth.
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The future of renewable energy

Oct 02, 2017 1 Comment
Brian Davey argues that it will be difficult to bring a new, renewables-based energy sector into existence when the economy is stagnant and people will struggle to afford expensive innovation. Paradoxically in these circumstances it is likely to be many older technologies that will make sense again - perhaps in a reworked form.
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Using energy to extract energy – the dynamics of depletion

Jun 21, 2017 Comments Off on Using energy to extract energy – the dynamics of depletion
"Transferring resources out of the luxury consumption of the rich is a necessary part of the process of finding the wherewithal for energy conservation work and for developing renewable energy resources," writes Brian Davey in a chapter from Credo that was written in 2014 but is still relevant now.
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Limits to economic growth?

Apr 18, 2017 1 Comment
In this presentation given at the University of Nottingham on April 4, Brian Davey investigates the historical roots of the growth-based economy. He critiques the assumption that renewable energy could take over from fossil fuels while maintaining economic growth, and goes on to discuss some ways forward.
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