Commons Way of Life vs. Market Way of Life

Posted by & filed under Alternatives to Political Systems, Consumerism, Economics, People Systems, Society, Village Development.

by Silke Helfrich The market has always been with us. What’s new about life in the last three hundred years — and especially the last thirty — is that the buying and selling of goods is the overriding goal of human civilization. The market is seen not just as an efficient way to do some… Read more »

Inglorious Fruits and Vegetables

Posted by & filed under Consumerism, Food Shortages, Society.

When you grow your own food, you know for a fact that every piece does not look as ‘perfect’ as those sold in stores. They are each unique, sometimes odd-looking, but taste delicious nonetheless. In our industrial world, these so-called imperfect fruits and veggies go straight to the dumpster and contribute to a shocking amount… Read more »

DIY Hygiene: Greener Grooming

Posted by & filed under Consumerism, General, Health & Disease.

The DIY medicine cabinet in full simplicity It happened a bit more rapidly than I expected: One day my wife Emma read a list of horrors associated with fluoride and toothpaste, and by the evening, she’d sworn off store-bought toothpaste. In the weeks to come, I watched our other toiletries disappear. Realizing she was right,… Read more »

Vandana Shiva Keynote Speech – Food Otherwise Conference (Netherlands, February 2014)

Posted by & filed under Biodiversity, Conferences, Consumerism, Deforestation, Desertification, Economics, Food Shortages, Global Warming/Climate Change, GMOs, Health & Disease, Presentations/Demonstrations, Society, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Water Contaminaton & Loss.

World famous author and activist Vandana Shiva gave an inspiring speech at the Food Otherwise conference in Wageningen, Netherlands, on 21 February 2014. "Monopolies, centralization and monocultures go hand and hand and they are the instruments of power. We have to create instruments of democracy, diversity, resilience." If you prefer, you can read the transcript… Read more »

The Promise of the Commons

Posted by & filed under Consumerism, Economics, People Systems, Society, Village Development.

Regular readers may remember an article I posted back in 2010 — Kings, Conquerors, Capitalism and Resilience Lost — where I covered a little historical ground for one particular former ‘East Bloc’ country; a history shared by several countries in central Europe. The article outlined how previously resilient land-based communities — which had lived and… Read more »

A Gathering of Silverbacks: Age of Limits 2014

Posted by & filed under Biodiversity, Consumerism, Deforestation, Desertification, Economics, Food Shortages, Peak Oil, Population, Society, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Water Contaminaton & Loss.

Whenever such large shifts in temperature occurred in Earth’s history, they were not gradual but came in lurches. Resilience is the capacity of a system to continue providing essential functions after receiving that kind of shock. The first known use of the Infinite Improbability Drive was initiated by Zaphod Beeblebrox and Trillian on the starship… Read more »

The Impossibility of Growth

Posted by & filed under Biodiversity, Consumerism, Deforestation, Economics, Global Warming/Climate Change, Peak Oil, Population, Society, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Water Contaminaton & Loss.

Why collapse and salvation are hard to distinguish from each other. Let us imagine that in 3030BC the total possessions of the people of Egypt filled one cubic metre. Let us propose that these possessions grew by 4.5% a year. How big would that stash have been by the Battle of Actium in 30BC? This… Read more »

How a Commons Way of Life Helps Curb Climate Change

Posted by & filed under Consumerism, Economics, Global Warming/Climate Change, People Systems, Society, Village Development.

It offers an appealing alternative to more stuff and more money, which drives environmental destruction today. It’s easy to not think about the looming climate crisis. For one thing, it’s depressing to ponder the misery ahead if we don’t take drastic steps now to curb greenhouse emissions. It’s even more depressing when you consider that… Read more »

Are We Bothered?

Posted by & filed under Consumerism, Economics, Society.

The more we consume, the less we care about the living planet. That didn’t take long. The public interest in the state of the natural world stimulated by the winter floods receded almost as quickly as the waters did. A YouGov poll showed that the number of respondents placing the environment among their top three… Read more »