This groundbreaking book, published in late 2003 by Feasta, describes the challenge presented by depletion of oil and other non-renewable energy sources. Its authors conclude that renewables have the capacity to provide the people of Europe with all the energy they need to live comfortable lives without using coal or nuclear energy at all, provided that enough time and energy are devoted to beginning the switchover within the next few years.
by Richard Douthwaite. Expanded online edition published June 2003 with updates by Richard Douthwaite, Joanne Elliott and Caroline Whyte. Read Short Circuit online in its entirety.
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The global economy can no longer be relied upon to provide the necessities of life. Even in wealthy countries, the vagaries of free trade and the unimpeded movement of capital pose a threat not just to job security but to food and energy supplies as well.
Short Circuit proposes that each community build an independent local economy capable of supplying the goods and services its people would need should the mainstream economy collapse. It details the financial structures necessary for self-reliance, and it describes the techniques already in use in pioneering communities across the industrialized world. These inculde local currency schemes and community banks that enable local interest rates and credit terms to differ from those in the world economy. Efforts to meet local food and energy requirements using local resources are also reviewed.