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."
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.
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?
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.
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)
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".