We urge the Irish government to recognise the existential aspect of environmental risk, as well as the complex challenges posed by the global financial system's high dependency on oil. Ireland is particularly vulnerable to financial collapse and its community banking sector needs to be strengthened and taxation reforms carried out in order to help mitigate this.
"Without oil, it is essential to revive the dexterity, ingenuity and moral probity of the commons," writes Patrick Noble, "The springs are not entirely dry. They survive in the household and that is where the true economy must begin – where the word itself also began."
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.
David Knight considers four possible reasons for divestment from fossil fuels. He concludes that divestment can help to bring about changes needed to tackle the negative impacts of fossil fuel production and use, but it cannot substitute for concerted and rigorous action at international and national governmental levels to keep fossil fuels in the ground.
Brian Davey explains why, despite current shifts in the oil market, the need for a global carbon cap imposed in an equitable fashion is still as strong as ever.
This week we are publishing two articles from Fleeing Vesuvius which focus on energy supply and use. Chris Vernon's paper explains why, although there is a lot of oil still left in the ground, its supply will contract very rapidly indeed and the world may have run out of oil to burn for energy by 2050. Tom Konrad argues that if a standard assessment tool, the internal rate of return, is used to compare the net energy yield of various projects, it shows which to prioritise for the energy transition.