About Richard Douthwaite

Richard Douthwaite (6 August 1942 - 14 November 2011) was a co-founder of Feasta. His many projects included the design and introduction of a non-debt currency to run in parallel with the euro and the management of the Carbon Cycles and Sinks Network which explores ways in which land-based greenhouse gas emissions can be reduced. He lived in Westport, Co. Mayo.

Richard has written 6 articles so far, you can find them below.

From Our Archives: The Problem with Economic Growth

This article, written by Richard Douthwaite in May 1997, outlines some of the basic ideas that led to the founding of Feasta. It's interesting to note how ahead of his time he was in his criticisms of growth as a measure of progress, many of which are now quite well known. Sadly, the widening inequality he describes and the many problems related to that have only worsened over time.

Will the “economic price” limit oil production?

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?

Deficit easing – an alternative to severe austerity programmes in the eurozone

The EU's collective austerity programme will do little or nothing to save the problem countries - Ireland, Greece, Portugal and Spain - from default and the rescue fund set up by the IMF and the ECB will only buy time before they do so. Richard Douthwaite argues that a limited, targeted injection of non-debt-based euros could provide a neat and swift solution to a debt problem the whole eurozone shares.

Brilliant or barmy – what do you think?

Two long reviews of Feasta's book Fleeing Vesuvius have appeared recently, one enthusiastic, the other markedly less so. Andy Wilson of An Taisce writes that " The point hammered home repeatedly is that solo runs are futile, while collaboration and working together offers communities their best chance..... Wonderful book. Buy it.” Graham Strouts is not so convinced. Is he raising questions which Feasta members should not ignore?

High oil prices kill growth prospects

by Richard Douthwaite. The price of Brent oil reached $122 per barrel last week (April 6th) and JP Morgan have forecast that it will hit €130 in the next few months. Energy prices at these levels mean that Ireland can say goodbye to any hope that it can grow its way out of its debt crisis. Because government spending cuts mean that domestic demand is almost certain to fall the country's only hope of increasing its national income is to earn more from overseas. That wiil be hard if the global economy is depressed but if the global economy grows, the world...