By Anna Rohleder, Sustainable Food Trust
The urban farm is no longer a cloistered site of food production within the environs of the city, instead, it’s a fundamental part of the urban fabric.
By Ugo Bardi, Cassandra's legacy
Let me start with something to dispel the confusion about what models are for. When you deal with complex, adaptive systems, models are NOT meant to predict the future.
By Kyler Geoffroy, Resilience.org
In an era rocked by environmental, economic, and political upheaval, our communities must be resilient to survive and thrive. But what does resilience mean, exactly?
By Max Haiven, ROAR Magazine
In the summer of 2016 the global imagination was consumed by monsters...I am talking about Pokémon, Japan’s most successful international brand, which once again stormed onto the cultural stage with the release of its first “augmented reality” (AR) video game for smartphones.
By Mónika Czindler, Bálint Bajomi, Future Perfect
The word “mafia” immediately calls to mind menacing figures engaging in shady business. The Budapest Bike Maffia has something completely different in mind.
By Dan Hind, New Internationalist
Last Thursday Mark Zuckerberg published a long piece called ‘Building a Global Community’. In it he explained that his company could help ‘develop the social infrastructure to give people the power to build a global community that works for all of us.’ The effect was unnerving.
By Daniel Macmillen Voskoboynik, New Internationalist
The fight to tackle climate change has two core branches: mitigation (curbing excessive greenhouse gas emissions) and adaptation (addressing the effects of climate change that are already unfolding). But although both areas are needed, the public tends to focus on the former in discussions on climate change.
By Kathryn Barr, Food Tank
Abalimi Bezekhaya is an organization focused on using urban agriculture to develop and improve food insecure communities in and around Cape Town, South Africa. Operating for more than 30 years, the organization has helped dozens of communities improve their health and lifestyles.
By John Michael Greer, The Archdruid Report
The philosophy of Arthur Schopenhauer, which we’ve been discussing for the last two weeks, has a feature that reliably irritates most people when they encounter it for the first time: it doesn’t divide up the world the way people in modern western societies habitually do.
By Rob Avis, Verge Permaculture
This is a three-part series based on an idea I recently had around the subjects of farming, black swans, and creating a product that can help insure against risk.
By Chuck Collins, YES! magazine
With Donald Trump’s election and the rising perils of war, climate upheaval, accelerating inequality, and civil unrest, some of the richest people in the United States are making escape plans.
By Joel Stronberg, Civil Notion
Scott Pruitt has now been sworn in as the new Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Agency. It is likely the dismantling of the Clean Power Plan (CPP), and ultimately much of the Agency itself, will begin in short order.
By Aaron Vansintjan, Low-tech Magazine
Although food spoils much faster in a tropical climate, the Vietnamese will often store it without refrigeration, and instead take advantage of controlled decay. Vietnam's decentralised food system has low energy inputs and reduced food waste, giving us a glimpse of what an alternative food system might look like.
By Martin Charter, We Hate to Waste
According to the Repair Café Foundation, there are now more than 950 repair cafés worldwide with 18 in the UK. Repair cafés offer individuals with ‘fixing’ expertise to come together to perform a useful service for their community, while enjoying the camaraderie of friends and neighbors.
By Nika Knight, Common Dreams
As the Trump administration and Republicans in power in Congress set to work destroying environmental regulations, scientists have added urgency to the resistance with a simple new equation that shows the staggering effect human activity has had on the climate. Their findings? Humans have altered the climate 170 times faster than natural forces.
By Kathleen Steeden, Sustainable Food Trust
Public, media and corporate awareness of the need to tackle food waste appears to be higher than ever, but evidence suggests that despite this growing awareness, efforts to cut household food waste in the UK seem to have stalled.
By Tilman Santarius, Degrowth.de
Debates about the so-called rebound effect go back to William Stanley Jevons’ work in the 19th century, although they had been forgotten for too long. Rebound effects occur if a reduction of inputs per unit of output (efficiency) generates an absolute increase in output (growth).
By Simon Evans, Carbon Brief
Dramatic cost reductions mean wind and solar can now compete on price with conventional sources of energy in many parts of the world, including the UK. This turns the spotlight onto the so-called “whole system costs” of integrating renewables into the electricity system, which include backing up intermittent generation and strengthening grids.
By Brian Davey, Feasta
Co-operatives have been described as freshwater fish in a saltwater environment. In the 1930s, the co-operative sector in many countries was very powerful but it was destroyed by fascist and communist regimes. What was it that the authoritarians found so threatening in co-operation?
By Erik Lindberg, Resilience.org
True, economic growth does provide some short-term benefits and gains, and recessions are legitimately painful and destructive. But economic growth is nevertheless the greatest threat to humanity today, and those most devoted to economic growth will, as its consistent performance begins to wane in the future, perhaps be the greatest political threat to ordinary people of the world.
By Grant Henninger, Strong Towns
This is where buy local is different from Buy America. Buying locally-produced products that are sold in locally-owned stores is a key strategy for building local wealth. Every dollar spent locally is a dollar of wealth retained in the community. The alternative is for that wealth to leak into other communities while making the local community poorer. This is the community expression of the saying, “A penny saved is a penny earned.”
By Kieran Cooke, Climate News Network
Researchers at the John A Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences at Harvard University in the US say in an article published in ACS Energy Letters that they have now developed a long-lasting flow battery capable of storing renewable power that could operate for up to 10 years, with minimum maintenance required.
By Eleanor Finley, ROAR Magazine
As a solution to the present situation, a growing number of people in the world are proposing “communalism”: the usurpation of capitalism, the state, and social hierarchy by the way of town, village, and neighborhood assemblies and federations. Communalism is a living idea, one that builds upon a rich legacy of political history and social movements.
By Mark Garavan, Feasta
It is likely that most thoughtful people today experience future possibilities as fearful. All the objective signs – political, social, ecological – appear largely negative. It seems clear that a crash or major rupture of our economic model is coming as well as an abrupt shift in our climate stability. Efforts at reform have proven to be too weak and inadequate. Journey to Earthland positions itself right in the midst of this foreboding.
By Alanna Wittet, Food Tank
Numerous restaurants across the country have joined a Sanctuary Restaurants Movement to offer safe and tolerant spaces to restaurant workers, employers, and consumers that face hate and harassment in the restaurant industry.
By Brett Walton, Circle of Blue
The near-failure on Sunday evening of the auxiliary spillway at Oroville Dam and the ongoing emergency operations to contain flood waters in California’s second-largest reservoir and shore up its eroding outlet are a tale of caution for the nation’s aging dam fleet.
By Vanessa Spedding, Vivid
Nor is there any need for politics to be something inflicted on us, at great cost to our souls, by tyrannical, abstract systems. Instead it should and could be something we recapture from its lofty conceptual realms, disarm, bring down to earth, and revive — in the process remaking ourselves and our world.
By Hilary Jennings, Transition Network
Hilary Jennings of Transition Town Tooting and Transition Network recently saw Ella Hickson’s explosive play Oil and was fascinated by it. It follows the lives of one woman and her daughter in an epic, hurtling collision of empire, history and family, and drills deep into the world’s relationship with this finite resource.
By John Darling, Ashland Daily Tidings
Ashland has an abundance of "social inventors" — people who see a need in the community and are able to rally others to take part in it, all to make life better, more fun and more hopeful. In a new book called "Better Ways to Live," Ashlander Craig K. Comstock profiles a raft of social inventions, many which influence the Ashland community...
By Chris Smaje, Small Farm Future
I promised a turn to more practical matters, and since the discussions under both my last two posts somehow managed to turn, as all discussions should, from global politics to market gardening, let’s have a think about the latter. Especially because I recently received a query from some start-up market gardeners asking some interesting questions about the business side of it, which struck me as good material to share in a blog post and hopefully elicit some other people’s responses.
By Brian Miller, South Roane Agrarian
To run a small diversified farm is to live within the wheel. It turns for the seasons, for the markets, for the climate. We have spent these many years planning, building, and repairing the infrastructure to support multiple endeavors, to make the farm resilient, to create and sustain a place where the absence of one species simply indicates another cycle, unremarked in the larger scheme.
By Brian Davey, Feasta
In the religion of economics, the entrepreneur is a hero engaged in a narrative of destructive creation. Entrepreneurs are tragically noble figures on a treadmill of competition – but who is really making the sacrifices?
By Tom Whipple, ASPO-USA
A weekly roundup of Peak oil news. Oil prices have moved little since they jumped from the mid-$40s to the mid-$50s in late November. Last week was no exception.
By Jeremy Leggett, Jeremy Leggett blog
Suddenly believers in the possibility of a better civilization, one rooted in increasing human co-operation and harmony, find ourselves in a world where demagogues can now realistically plot the polar opposite: a new despotism rooted in rising isolationist nationalism and human conflict. The more we dig into how the demagogues and their supporters have organised their recent successes, in particular in using technology to manipulate voter beliefs on an industrial scale, the more terrified many of us find ourselves.
By David Bollier, David Bollier blog
As a developed set of social practices, techniques and ethical norms, permaculture has a lot to say to the world of the commons. This is immediately clear from reading the twelve design principles of permaculture that David Holmgren enumerated in his 2002 book Permaculture: Principles and Practices Beyond Sustainability.
By Brian Kaller, Restoring Mayberry
These days, human-scale straw bales have been largely replaced by mammoth cylinders that require mammoth farm equipment; another way we have used the cheap energy of recent decades to burn our bridges. If you can find some of the old rectangular, metre-long bales, however, they can be put to many uses.
By Cat Johnson, Shareable
Cities of all sizes now have bike share systems. But many of these systems often only have one or two types of bikes, and these may not be suitable for people with certain physical disabilities. We connected with Jon Terbush from bike share provider Zagster to find out how cities can create accessible bike shares.
By Esther Deeks, We Hate to Waste
I was spurred on to start this project by the global epidemic of food waste — as much as 50% of all food grown worldwide gets wasted before and after it reaches the consumer. Most of the food waste in the UK is avoidable — it could have been eaten had it been better managed. The Community Fridge: Frome is a simple solution that is replicable across all communities, enabling anyone to share some of this surplus food while cutting costs and emissions.
By Josh Fox, Alternet
Now we're at a point where we can name currency, debts, big finance, big extraction, consumer values, advertising, the global corporate state. We can name that common colonizer, that common enemy and we have to address it and own it for what it is because we are all part of it. For me, I'm just one soul that has to be willing to sacrifice something in order to liberate from this thousand year old enemy.
By Len Krimerman, Grassroots Economic Organizing
But while I certainly agree that it’s (long past) time to talk about what comes next, and that there’s a very widespread need for something entirely different, it doesn’t really follow – and I’m far from sure – that what we most need is a “next system”. Why so?
By Simon Evans, Rosamund Pearce, Carbon Brief
EU countries should close all of their coal plants by around 2030 if they want to stick to the Paris Agreement on climate change. This is the conclusion of a new report by research non-profit Climate Analytics. The cheapest way to meet Paris targets is to replace EU coal power with renewables and energy efficiency, it says.
By Bart Hawkins Kreps, An Outside Chance
While the momentum of all-season cycling has been building slowly for decades, progress has accelerated greatly in the past ten years. One result is that city governments across the northern hemisphere are working not only to add new cycling infrastructure, but to keep the bike lanes cleared and safe through the winter.