Commentary

Preface to Fleeing Vesuvius by Eamon Ryan (Irish edition)

Preface by Eamon Ryan (Irish edition)Managing a retreat is the most difficult of all political tasks. It is always easier to offer something new rather than to try to take back an existing benefit. But when it comes to our use of fossil fuels, which have provided huge benefits to our society, it is now time for an organised retreat. We need to retreat because the emissions from burning coal and gas threaten the climate system upon which our lives depend. We also need to do so because we face a peak in global oil production and we have to start changing our food and transport systems to cope with the decline in oil supplies that will follow.

Introduction to Fleeing Vesuvius: Where we went wrong

Introduction: Where we went wrongby Richard Douthwaite This book grew out of a conference in 2009 called the New Emergency. What emergency was that? Most people didn't think that there was an emergency then and they don't think there is one now.They know that the world is facing a lot of problems at present but they probably would not elevate any of them even to the status of a crisis, still less an emergency. The world has always had problems, they think, and it always will. Very few of them think that there's anything going on at present that requires Ireland to mobilise all its resources in the way that it did in response to the old Emergency, the Second World War. However, once you recognise that most of the worst problems the world faces have a common cause and that time is running out to solve them, you have an emergency. That's my position.

Shale Gas – Bonanza or Hype?

by Brian Davey. In recent months there have been a lot of very rosy news items about so called "unconventional gas" as a "game changing" new feature of world energy markets. It's bonanza time... Maybe....however, before going further, its useful to think about what happens in a gold rush. Very few of those out prospecting get rich. But people who sell wagons, equipment and the banks do. The problem is that when it comes to any news from the hydrocarbons market one should never take things at face value...

Allan Savory wins the Buckminster Fuller award

We are delighted to learn that the Africa Centre for Holistic Management and Allan Savory have won the 2010 Buckminster Fuller Award. Allan Savory was our Feasta lecturer for 2009, and Feasta was interviewed at length about the value of Mr. Savory’s work before the award was announced. His lecture, “Keeping Cattle: Cause or Cure for Climate Crisis?” summarises his ideas about using livestock to restore degraded land and address climate change. You can find out more about Mr Savory’s work at the Savory Institute website. …

New articles about the Liquidity Network and debt-free currency

The Liquidity Network group, which is developing a debt-free currency, submitted this entry to the Your Country, Your Call contest, which will award two €100,000 prizes later in the year. An article in the May issue of Construct Ireland magazine about the group’s plans is here.

You can also download a powerpoint file of a talk that Richard Douthwaite recently gave at the Degrowth conference in Barcelona here. …