Mar 04, 2013 4 Comments
In the final chapter of Sharing for Survival, the late Richard Douthwaite made the case, with help from David Knight, that the climate crisis can be overcome and that action to mitigate climate change could substantially improve many people’s lives, particularly in the poorer countries.
Jan 31, 2013 1 Comment
So here we have it. The austerity versus Keynsian spending debate is about as useful as arguing whether the earth is flat or sitting on the back of a pile of turtles. Neither will provide sustainable interventions to our converging crises while the debt-based money system remains the only significant game in town. By Graham Barnes.
Nov 13, 2012 10 Comments
A consensus becomes established out of the persistence of what it attempts to describe. It is inherently retrospective. It tends to assume that what has been, must continue. A couple of decades of low interest rates and stable global economic growth, and well, it becomes the natural order of things.
Oct 30, 2012 5 Comments
In his new book, organic farmer and Feasta member Patrick Noble makes the case that those of us who do real, tangible work – “trade’s people” – hold the key to the future. He believes that we should not try to subdue or overthrow those who hold disproportionate power: instead we should simply ignore them and get on with things. This week we’re publishing the book’s foreword and in the course of the next few weeks we’ll be publishing several other extracts from the book.
Oct 08, 2012 No Comments
While “green technology” is an important response to the convergent crises that Ireland and other nations face, it is important not to overlook two other important macroeconomic issues: our current dependence on debt-based money; and the need to rebuild and strengthen local economies. By Graham Barnes.
Mar 06, 2012 3 Comments
Reading The Affluent Society is a revitalising and empowering shot in the arm for anyone questioning in any way what JK calls the ‘conventional wisdom’. The book, first written in 1958 and then reissued as a new edition in 1998 is an astonishing tour de force, debunking and deconstructing the tenets of the ‘central tradition’ of economics.
Feb 11, 2012 No Comments
Credit rating agencies do a terrible job of forecasting their clients’ futures, and yet their ratings can have catastrophic effects on financial markets and on vast swathes of the world economy. Clearly something needs to change here. Could a proposed new European agency help?
Nov 08, 2011 3 Comments
by Richard Douthwaite. In a widely-circulated article in September 2011, Chris Skrebowski, who runs a peak oil consulting firm and was editor of the Petroleum Review for eleven years until 2008, argued that there are two forms of oil peak. One is, or will be, caused directly by depletion – the oil is no longer in the ground in sufficient quantities for producers to be able to maintain production. The other is the economic oil peak, which he says is the “price at which oil becomes unaffordable to consume and therefore to produce.” Is this assessment realistic?
Nov 01, 2011 4 Comments
by Graham Barnes. The debt we accumulate as individuals, companies and governments is instrumental in depleting the planet and deepening the rich-poor divide. This ‘value-led’ critique is powerful and compelling to those wishing to listen, but it is not enough, of itself, to procure any meaningful systemic/ structural change in the monetary regime. We need to communicate widely about the side-effects of debt-based money, and to help people to imagine non-debt based alternatives.
Oct 08, 2011 No Comments
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.
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”.
Oct 01, 2011 No Comments
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.