False Summit

Posted by & filed under Consumerism, Economics, Global Warming/Climate Change, Peak Oil, Society.

We were wrong about peak oil: there’s enough in the ground to deep-fry the planet. by George Monbiot: journalist, author, academic and environmental and political activist, United Kingdom. The facts have changed, now we must change too. For the past ten years an unlikely coalition of geologists, oil drillers, bankers, military strategists and environmentalists has… Read more »

Resilience Through Simplification: Revisiting Tainter’s Theory of Collapse

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

Below, Samuel Alexander summarises his new Simplicity Institute Report, which discusses ‘voluntary simplification’ in the context of Joseph Tainter’s theory of collapse. The full report, ‘Resilience through Simplification,’ is available here (360kb PDF). A society or other institution can be destroyed by the cost of sustaining itself. — Joseph Tainter Joseph Tainter In 1988 Joseph… Read more »

Two Views of Our Future

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

by Lester R. Brown, Earth Policy Institute No previous civilization has survived the ongoing destruction of its natural supports. Nor will ours. Yet economists look at the future through a different lens. Relying heavily on economic data to measure progress, they see the near 10-fold growth in the world economy since 1950 and the associated… Read more »

End of an Era

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

So now what do we do to defend life on Earth? by George Monbiot: journalist, author, academic and environmental and political activist, United Kingdom. It is, perhaps, the greatest failure of collective leadership since the first world war. The Earth’s living systems are collapsing, and the leaders of some of the most powerful nations –… Read more »

How “Sustainability” Became “Sustained Growth”

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

Editor’s Preamble: In a prevous editorial life, I used to make a decent attempt at commentary for these large international events — those organised with some pretention towards shifting us onto a ‘sustainable path — but I no longer have the energy for it. Pinning our hopes on politicians’ plans for ‘greening the economy’ is… Read more »

The Mendacity of Hope

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

The summits which promise to save the world keep us dangling, not mobilising. by George Monbiot: journalist, author, academic and environmental and political activist, United Kingdom. Worn down by hope. That’s the predicament of those who have sought to defend the earth’s living systems. Every time governments meet to discuss the environmental crisis, we are… Read more »

What Will Rio+20 Bring?

Posted by & filed under Alternatives to Political Systems, Biodiversity, Conferences, Consumerism, Economics, Global Warming/Climate Change, Peak Oil, Society, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Village Development, Water Contaminaton & Loss.

In a few days the international community will be meeting in Rio de Janeiro, to hold the most significant environmental conference since the Rio Earth Summit of 1992. As the planet’s ecosystems tremble under the weight of overconsumption, this conference surely provides one of few remaining opportunities for governments to take environmental issues seriously. Will… Read more »

Rio+20: What Ecovillages Offer

Posted by & filed under Alternatives to Political Systems, Community Projects, Conferences, Consumerism, Eco-Villages, Economics, Peak Oil, People Systems, Population, Presentations/Demonstrations, Society, Village Development.

It is the start of Rio+20, the UN Conference on Sustainable Development, and the Global Ecovillage Network has a strong contingent here from all over the world. We have erected a dome at the People’s Summit in Cupala dos Povos (Flamingo Park) and are providing a “Speaker’s Corner” for ecovillages, Transition Towns, Occupy, and others… Read more »

Myth of Perpetual Growth is Killing America

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

Editor’s preamble: It’s refreshing and even somewhat reassuring when a major stock market website runs an article like the one below…. Everything you know about economics is wrong A stray dog stands on a rubbish dump at the seafront in Sidon, southern Lebanon. Yes, everything you know about economics is wrong. Dead wrong. Everything. The… Read more »

Captive Animals

Posted by & filed under Biodiversity, Economics, Global Warming/Climate Change, Society.

How Natural England became the servant of the landed classes. by George Monbiot: journalist, author, academic and environmental and political activist, United Kingdom. Listening to the National Farmers’ Union, the Countryside Alliance and the Country Land and Business Association, you could be forgiven for believing that the only people who live in the countryside are… Read more »

Ted Trainer and the Simpler Way

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

Editor’s Note: To follow, I think, is a very important look at Ted Trainer’s work — one that broaches an oft-avoided but critically essential conversation. I must confess to only having read a single article from Ted Trainer previously, which I posted here, but from that article, and the document below, I sense that similar… Read more »

Bonfire of Promises

Posted by & filed under Economics, Global Warming/Climate Change.

The government’s new energy bill puts a match to its climate change commitments. by George Monbiot: journalist, author, academic and environmental and political activist, United Kingdom. Energy policy in the United Kingdom looks like a jam factory hit by a meteorite: a multi-coloured pool of gloop, studded with broken glass. Consider these two press releases,… Read more »