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.
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 02, 2012 No Comments
In her review of Tina Evans’ new book Occupy Education, Anne Ryan writes that it is”part of a lineage that seeks to repair the conceptual rift between humans and nature which exists in western society”. The book explores the role that a well-developed pedagogy of sustainability could play in the quest for solutions to our ecological and social challenges. There’s a strong emphasis on practical action such as localised food production. Ryan’s full review can be read here, along with that of Mark Garavan who believes the book to be “an important contribution to the task of transforming our world.”
Jul 13, 2012 No Comments
This talk given by David Knight on July 4th describes three possible future scenarios: runaway climate change; collapse triggered by peak oil; and “green future”. He takes into account recent claims that peak oil can be postponed by the adoption of unconventional methods of oil production, and he concludes by presenting a wish list of actions by governments and citizens.
Jul 07, 2012 No Comments
In the first chapter of Sharing for Survival, Brian Davey reviews strategies for climate change mitigation given the disinterest and even hostility in the political mainstream. He puts forward a strategy for civil society and community organisations in a future of economic chaos to connect to the struggle for equity.
Apr 27, 2012 1 Comment
Feasta member Aidan McKeown believes that overall, this book “succeeds in delivering a powerful argument that humanity will be forced into – and, crucially, benefit from – a move to a more locally-based and less societally complex way of living. Moreover, by including an historical perspective, it shows that what we are facing has precedents in our collective past: people have repeatedly adapted to crisis, often proactively choosing less complex societal arrangements.”
Jan 02, 2012 No Comments
In his chapter in Fleeing Vesuvius Phil Stevens describes challenges to resilience in New Zealand and provides suggestions to help the country sustain its rural sector and preserve its democracy. There are lessons here for elsewhere too.
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?
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.
Sep 17, 2011 No Comments
Feasta’s Autumn conference examined measures that this country could adopt to secure its economic future which would not leave it reliant on external factors largely outside of its control. Scenarios explored included the potential collapse of the eurozone. The conference featured prominent international and Irish economists and was aimed at economists, politicians, policy-makers, business people, social partners, and other key decision-makers. Conference videos Conference programme (pdf)
Sep 17, 2011 No Comments
This paper, prepared by members of Feasta, asserts that the climate crisis demands a new paradigm of global governance. It was written with specific reference to a project currently being undertaken by the World Resources Institute which arose out of an initiative by members of Feasta and the United Nations Environment Programme and is supported by the Government of Ireland. The WRI project “aims to highlight the best proposals for the institutional design of an international climate change regime”.
Sep 02, 2011 No Comments
by Dmitry Orlov, from Fleeing Vesuvius. Countries’ current attempts to recover from their difficulties are driving up oil prices. Orlov believes that the world economy will be unable to cope and will collapse, just as it did in 2008. Future attempts at recovery will also fail. He argues that anyone who recognises this should spend whatever money they have engaging with their neighbours and the land in new ways so that they stand a chance of saving something for themselves and their children.
Aug 10, 2011 No Comments
In this week’s article from Fleeing Vesuvius, Davie Philip argues that we need to make an evolutionary leap in the way we do things if we are to make a controlled, planned transition to a post-industrial, low-carbon society. The initiatives developed by the nascent Transition Towns movement suggest that we are up to the challenge, and provide a model for how the more resilient communities needed for the future might be built.