Many discussions on sustainability rarely mention the world's growing population and whether current or projected future levels are – or can be made – compatible with living within the limits set by the Earth's regenerative capacity. David Knight's paper shows that the growing population is not incompatible with lower levels of energy use, but that the rising levels of consumption in rich countries and “emerging” ones like Brazil, India and China certainly are.
Wikipedia and the Linux computer operating system were both created by unpaid volunteers using the internet, and both are out-competing their commercially-produced rivals, such as the Encyclopaedia Brtiannica and Microsoft. Are they examples of a new type of economy which has a lot further to go? Michel Bauwens, the founder of the Peer-to-Peer Foundation (P2P) believes so.
Most beef farmers in Ireland are losing money. In view of this, some policymakers and commentators think that it would be in the national interest to encourage a lot of them to give up their loss-making hobby and to switch to growing biofuels instead. The Carbon Cycles and Sinks Network is preparing a report which explores this idea and draws some unexpected conclusions, and comments are very welcome.
We imagine Ireland is in crisis, yet crisis is relative. Most people in the world would envy our material austerity and be thankful for our endlessly 'collapsing' health service. But with our expectations thwarted and in the anxiety of uncertainty, we are focussed inward. Yet we remain as deluded as ever.
“Enforced dependency” is the term sociologists use for the creation of a class or group of people who are forced to rely on another more powerful class or group for the essentials of life. Tina Evans thinks that the global economic system has deliberately created this sort of dependency as one of its a key organising aspects.
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. …