"Properly understood, money acts simply as a ‘claim’ on the output of the energy economy and driving up the aggregate of monetary claims only increases the scope for their elimination in a process of value destruction," warns Tim Clarke. He goes on to argue that Ireland is in a particularly vulnerable financial position, which is likely to lead to severe problems in the near future.
How can an economy be both sustainable and just? Conflicting suggestions are made in this lively - and at times heated - discussion between Feasta's Brian Davey and Financial Times chief economics commentator Martin Wolf.
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.