Interview with Richard Heinberg: Do We Really Need Economic Growth?

Posted by & filed under Alternatives to Political Systems, Consumerism, Economics, Peak Oil, Society.

Marcin Gerwin (Poland): For most heads of states, the prime minister of Poland included, the central point of economic policy is maintaining or increasing economic growth. The aim is to encourage people to consume more goods and services every year so that the Gross Domestic Product continues to grow. Do you think it’s a realistic… Read more »

“Managing Transparency”

Posted by & filed under Consumerism, Economics, Society.

Editor’s Note: It’s hard to overstate the importance of fighting these behind-the-scenes actions by corporate lobbyists and lawyers. See Box 1 on this page to get a small idea of the big consequences of allowing the profit motive to be prioritised over the public good. Politicians and officials are desperately seeking to justify their transatlantic… Read more »

Hidden Interests

Posted by & filed under Economics, Society.

The BBC’s disgraceful failure to reveal who its contributors are speaking for. by George Monbiot Do the BBC’s editorial guidelines count for anything? I ask because it disregards them every day, by failing to reveal the commercial interests of its contributors.

Improving Democracy Through Deliberation – Interview with Lyn Carson

Posted by & filed under Alternatives to Political Systems, Society.

Source: flickr Lyn Carson is a professor with the Business Programs Unit at the University of Sydney, Australia. Her research areas are community engagement and deliberative democracy. She is also a director of NewDemocracy Foundation. Marcin Gerwin: There are many people who are disappointed in the way the democratic system works. They see politicians arguing… Read more »

Spend, Don’t Mend

Posted by & filed under Consumerism, Economics, Society.

Advertising and consumerism dull our capacity for empathy. by George Monbiot Guilt is good. It’s the feature that distinguishes the rest of the population from psychopaths. It’s the sensation you are able to feel when you possess a capacity for empathy. But guilt inhibits consumption. So a global industry has developed to smother it with… Read more »

Moving Up the Food Chain

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

by Lester R. Brown For most of the time that human beings have walked the earth, we lived as hunter-gatherers. The share of the human diet that came from hunting versus gathering varied with geographic location, hunting skills, and the season of the year. During the northern hemisphere winter, for instance, when there was little… Read more »

A Vision for Architecture as More Than the Sum of Its Parts

Posted by & filed under Building, Society, Village Development.

How Modernist Fundamentalism degrades the human and natural environment. by Michael W. Mehaffy & Nikos A. Salingaros Historic Paris and other beloved neighborhoods around the world teach us that streets are the river of life. (Photo by Dirk Haun under a Creative Commons license from flickr.com) Many research studies show a remarkable divergence between the… Read more »

Gangi Setty and the Green Tree Foundation Project (India)

Posted by & filed under Bio-regional Organisations, Community Projects, Compost, Consumerism, Demonstration Sites, Health & Disease, Irrigation, Land, Society, Soil Rehabilitation, Swales, Trees, Village Development, Water Harvesting.

The Green Tree Foundation is a small non-profit organization that promotes permaculture techniques to local farmers in the Antapur district in Andra Pradesh, India. The organizations are devising solutions to alleviate serious water scarcity and eroded soil. However, it was Gangi Setty, the founder behind GTF, that made my trip to visit them most memorable…. Read more »

Mikko Hypponen: How the NSA Betrayed the World’s Trust — Time to Act

Posted by & filed under Society.

Recent events have highlighted, underlined and bolded the fact that the United States is performing blanket surveillance on any foreigner whose data passes through an American entity — whether they are suspected of wrongdoing or not. This means that, essentially, every international user of the internet is being watched, says Mikko Hypponen. An important rant,… Read more »

Remember Saro-Wiwa – Free the Arctic 30

Posted by & filed under Society.

This week, eighteen years after his death, we remember Ken Saro-Wiwa, and the many environmental defenders who have followed him. You might not know Saro-Wiwa, but for several of us, his struggle was pivotal and inspirational in our lives. In 1990, Saro-Wiwa launched a non-violent movement for social and ecological justice in his Ogoni homeland… Read more »

The Architect Has No Clothes

Posted by & filed under Building, Society, Village Development.

by Michael Mehaffy & Nikos A. Salingaros 1. Seeing the World Differently For 40 years, people have been talking about how to fix Boston’s City Hall Plaza. Have you ever looked at a bizarre building design and wondered, “what were the architects thinking?” Have you looked at a supposedly “ecological” industrial-looking building, and questioned how… Read more »

Why Politics Fails

Posted by & filed under Economics, Society.

Nothing will change until we confront the real sources of power. by George Monbiot It’s the reason for the collapse of democratic choice. It’s the source of our growing disillusionment with politics. It’s the great unmentionable. Corporate power. The media will scarcely whisper its name. It is howlingly absent from parliamentary debates. Until we name… Read more »