"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.
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.
Instead of playing catch-up to other EU countries as is currently the case, we believe Ireland could leapfrog them and establish itself as a visionary leader by taking a global view of the climate challenge and incorporating action on climate with substantive action on inequality and poverty, significant improvements to the quality and freshness of food, and greater overall prosperity and stability in Ireland and elsewhere.
"Sometimes you read a book that helps to crystalize your thinking, not because you agree with it, but because you don't" writes Brian Davey, who goes on to challenge the authors' assumptions about the availability of renewable energy and the nature and potential of localism.
Brian Davey argues that the missing component in most discussion of the Eurozone crisis is the fact that it is linked to energy supply and the limits to growth.
In our latest Feasta book, Brian Davey describes how economists preach a 'gospel' which gravely misrepresents the complexity of human psychology, exacerbates inequality and seeks to justify the destruction of communities and environments. Salvation is supposedly in efficiency, competitive markets, specialisation, technology and, above all, growth - but we are now crashing against ecological limits.