"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."
Brian Davey presents evidence that the peaking of conventional 'legacy' oil production back in 2005, and its subsequent decline, is inexorably leading to a transfer of resources from discretionary consumption to investment in energy infrastructure throughout the industrialised world. He believes that there is no way out of the Catch 22 within the growth economy model and that this is why de-growth is needed.
This paper by John Sharry explores the many crises that civilisation and humanity will face over the coming decades some of which are already starting to have an impact. The paper proposes a central cause to these crises and particularly explores the widespread psychological inertia in the face of these vast problems. Some potential constructive choices that individuals, communities and nations could yet make are outlined.
You can now see videos from the one-day conference hosted by Feasta and Sensible Money on May 31st to explore the consequences of our malfunctioning money system and some of the proposals for its reform, replacement or supplement.
Why is Syria experiencing so many problems, and why are some Western governments so eager to intervene? Brian Davey argues that Syria's woes are actually rooted in the ecological crisis.
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.