By Kate Heath, Transition Network
Perhaps from living in a non-disaster-affected context for a while; perhaps from taking systematic action to reduce my emissions, so an action-oriented perspective has come out naturally; or perhaps, simply from talking more about it, and connecting back into local loves. Good conversation needs laughter too.
By Wayne Roberts, Wayne Roberts newsletter
I still believe in solutionary approaches, but I now have to concede that food is one tough issue to move in the right direction. There are more forceful barriers than I first imagined, and more tricky tripwires.There’s many a slip twixt the cup and the lip, my mother warned me whenever my enthusiasm was too boyish.
By Ian Angus, Climate & Capitalism
Sadly, A History of the World in Seven Cheap Things replaces concrete analysis with an artificial schema that reduces the complex organic relationship between society and the rest of nature to “cheap things.” It misrepresents or ignores ecological science. The programme it promotes is so vague that it can scarcely be called liberal.
By Jason Hickel, Jason Hickel blog
Ravallion questions a central tenet of de-growth theory, namely, that the ecology-busting levels of income and consumption characteristic of rich nations are not necessary in order to maintain their strong social outcomes. We can say this because there are a number of countries that are able to achieve equally strong social outcomes with vastly less income and consumption.
By Ruby Irene Pratka, Shareable
This spring, Vancouverites may find renting a set of camping equipment as easy as borrowing a book from the library. The Thingery project is a recent initiative launched by Vancouver Tool Library founder Chris Diplock.
By Eva Perroni, Food Tank
Baltimore is home to an active urban foraging community that collects more than 140 different kinds of plants and fungi around from the city, according to a new study by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future (CLF).
By Kris De Decker, Low-tech Magazine
To focus on energy efficiency is to make present ways of life non-negotiable. However, transforming present ways of life is key to mitigating climate change and decreasing our dependence on fossil fuels.
By Natasha Geiling, Climate Progress
According to new analysis released by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, 2017 was the third warmest year on record in the United States — and the most costly year ever for weather and climate-related natural disasters.
By Tegan Tallulah, The Climate Lemon
What I’m trying to say is, wealth and power are incredibly tightly concentrated and to look at a grossly unequal system and say every person has equal responsibility to fix the mess we’re in just doesn’t make any sense. We all have some power and some responsibility, but some have much more than others.
By Bart Hawkins Kreps, An Outside Chance
Patel and Moore present a provocative and highly readable guide to the early centuries of capitalism, showing how its then radically new way of relating to Nature remains at the root of world political economy today. As for a guide to the future, however, the authors do little beyond posing a few big questions.
By Chris Smaje, Small Farm Future
Politically and intellectually, it seems like the idea of the commons is gaining traction – probably because the state and the market, its major rivals, have acquired something of an image problem in recent times. Politically, ‘the state’ has become associated with the unresponsive, centrally planned economies of communist regimes, and ‘the market’ with the flagrant inequalities and value-scouring short-termism of contemporary capitalism and/or neoliberalism.
By Brian Kaller, Restoring Mayberry
Instead of boiling water by lighting a fire and putting a kettle on the stove, for example, we might blow up the oldest mountains in the world to mine the remains of forests older than dinosaurs, set those old forests on fire to boil water, and then use the steam to turn turbines to send electricity through miles of cable to an outlet on your wall to power a kettle to boil water.
By John Thackara, Doors of Perception
The bigger story now unfolding seems to be one of system transformation – a peak-car tipping point – that’s been slowly ‘brewing’ for a very long time. For the physicist Ugo Bardi, the decline of a complex system can be faster than its growth – an insight he attributes to the Stoic philosopher Seneca, who wrote: “Fortune is of sluggish growth, but ruin is rapid”.
By Simon Fairlie, The Land Magazine
A curious consensus has emerged in the debate about how farming should be supported if the UK leaves the European Union. With a few exceptions, everybody, from the Country Land and Business Association to the New Economics Foundation – including the Environment Secretary Michael Gove – is in favour of paying landowners to provide "public goods".
By Dirk Holemans, Commons Transition
By organising globally, the power of the business sector has grown far above and beyond both that of the nation-state and of self-organising citizens. If the new wave of citizen movements is to acquire real power, then it will have to organise itself translocally from the beginning, whereby coalitions of cities with clear political and economic objectives take the lead.
By Paul Arbair, Paul Arbair blog
New Year predictions are getting more and more popular. In a world that is growing ever more complex and confusing, we seem to be increasingly eager to get some hints about what lies in the fog just ahead of us. Yet what we need is probably less to get some clues about what might be coming up next than to acquire a more acute consciousness and comprehension of the road we are travelling.
By Eric Holthaus, Grist
Now that one of the strongest nor’easters on record has swirled off to Canada, it’s time to talk about what everyone was thinking during the storm: Is this just what happens now? Short answer: yes. Get used to it. Wild storms like this week’s massive coastal cyclone will be part of winters in the Anthropocene.
By Rob Hopkins, Rob Hopkins blog
On the other end, from the point of view of the receiver or the consumer, we are so glutted, so saturated with products, stimuli, you know, just information, that it’s very hard for people to receive, and respond to genuine acts of imagination. The faculty of attention and focus, that’s all under threat. Anyone who teaches at any level will testify to this too. It’s very hard to get anyone to calm down and focus on anything for more than the length of a soundbite.
By Matt Weiser, Water Deeply
THE CITY OF Tucson, Arizona, officially got serious about rainwater harvesting five years ago, viewing it as a cost-effective tool to reduce demand for potable water. In 2012, the city’s water utility, Tucson Water, began offering rebates to its residential customers to subsidize installation of rainwater catchment systems, both to divert water onto landscaping and store it in cisterns. Later, it expanded the program to include grants and loans to help low-income households harvest rainwater.
By Mike Freeman, Dark Mountain Project
We’re new to this, all of us. Whether banished from Eden or evolved from hunting and gathering is irrelevant. Either way, we’re a collective eye-blink from integration. There was a time when I wouldn’t have fussed much over sparrows or hummingbirds. There was a time when I wouldn’t have been alone, but in a band, right here, tight-knit and stitched by kinship. It’s no energy bar that would’ve sustained me, but knowledge, the same knowledge as the wolves and bears.
By Jody Tishmack, Anima/Soul
A recent conversation with a fundamentalist Christian has left me wondering why it seems we fail to recognize the dangers of extremism? Christians who deny the reality of climate change, who believe that humans have a God-given right to exploit the earth no matter the consequences pose a danger to society. I think it’s time we talk about that.
By Tom Whipple, ASPO - USA
The first week of the new year saw much activity related to the energy markets. Oil prices continued to climb with NY futures closing at $62.01 on Thursday, the highest close since December 2014. The continuing fall in world crude stocks -- US stockpiles were down by 7.4 million barrels last week—and a healthy global economy continues to push prices higher. London futures are now at $67.66 a barrel and are closing in on $70.
By Joel Stronberg, Civil Notion
This installment of the Here Come the (Trump) Judges series discusses how federal trial and appellate court judges—including the justices of the Supreme Court (SCOTUS)—go about making sense of enacted laws when confusion and conflicts arise.
By James Howard Kunstler, David Blittersdorf, KunstlerCast
David Blittersdorf’s passion for renewable energy and earth-friendly technology started early. He built his first wind turbine at age 14 to light up the small shack where he boiled sap into maple syrup.
By Kurt Cobb, Resource Insights
Global trade has brought about unparalleled specialization. As a result many countries and jurisdictions are currently unable to grow the food they need to feed their populations. While some like Hawaii still prosper, others face growing food insecurity. By gradually abandoning agriculture, have Hawaiians entered into a Faustian bargain that they will come to regret?
By Nithin Coca, Shareable
Can the boom in cryptocurrencies help achieve inclusive, cooperative growth? That's what Moeda, a cooperative crypto-credit banking platform seeks to accomplish. The group's well on its way. It recently concluded an initial coin offering in August of this year that raised $20 million dollars.
By Joe Romm, Climate Progress
It’s been very cold over North America for days, but globally, 2017 has ended up smashing the record for the hottest year on record without an El Niño. And that has scientists worried, since the warmest years usually happen when the long-term human-caused global warming trend gets a short-term boost from an El Niño’s enhanced warming in the tropical Pacific.
By Simon Evans, Carbon Brief
For the first time in 2017, more than half of the electricity generated in the UK came from low-carbon sources, Carbon Brief analysis shows. The milestone means that, between them, nuclear and renewables generated more electricity in 2017 than all fossil fuels combined.
By Trish Whitham, Laura Gibbs, Permaculture Association
The Minimalist Gardener brings together a series of 17 articles written by renowned grower, permaculturist and teacher, the late Patrick Whitefield and originally published in Permaculture Magazine over a period of more than twenty years. Big thanks are due to Permanent Publications for bringing these articles together into this very accessible and easy reading new reference book.
By Rob Hopkins, Rob Hopkins blog
What happens in the brain when we’re being imaginative? Neuroscientists are moving away from the idea of what’s called ‘localisationism’ (the idea that each capacity of the brain is linked to a particular ‘area’ of the brain) towards the idea that what’s more important is to identify the networks that fire in order to enable particular activities or insights.
By Justine Calma, Grist
Five years after Sandy hit, the rate of adult psychiatric hospitalizations on the Rockaway Peninsula is nearly double that of New York City as a whole. To address the ongoing crisis, the city’s health department is working with a local community group to connect residents with preventative care and fill in the gaps in neighborhoods where a warming climate is likely to bring more Sandy-like storms and strain limited public health resources.
By Ugo Bardi, Cassandra's legacy
See that thing up there? It is an autonomous security robot, something that's becoming fashionable nowadays. Obviously, for every problem, there has to be a technological solution. So, what could go wrong with the idea that the problem of homeless people can be solved by means of security robots? After all, they are not weaponized.... I mean, not yet.
By John Michael Greer, Ecosophia
Last week’s post on political economy attracted plenty of disagreement. Now of course this came as no surprise, and it was also not exactly surprising that most of the disagreement took the shape of strident claims that I’d used the wrong definition of socialism. That’s actually worth addressing here, because it will help clear the ground for this week’s discussion.
By Adam Eichen, Huffington Post
Recently, I spoke with John Marion, the executive director of Common Cause Rhode Island, who, since 2008, has led the organization. He has successfully spearheaded numerous pieces of democracy reform through the legislature during his Common Cause tenure, including online voter registration, a law strengthening the state’s Ethics Commission, and more recently, automatic voter registration and risk-limiting post-election audits.
By William Stiles, Sustainable Food Trust
Multi-species swards (also referred to as species-rich or diverse grasslands) are grassland communities comprising grass, legume and herb species. This increased diversity means a wide variety of plant forms are represented, which can increase biomass production and produce a forage material comprised of a variety of components, including some with medicinal qualities.
By Patrick Noble, Feasta
I’d like you to consider that the current middle class is a defended enclosure by those whose income is largely composed of rent. Perhaps as powerful as land enclosure, I ask you to contemplate a modern enclosure – status property. I leave aside the historical middle class – the yeoman, guildsman, bourgeoisie… I think they may have passed away.
By Jason W. Moore, Raj Patel, ROAR Magazine
Today’s human activity isn’t exterminating mammoths through centuries of overhunting. Some humans are currently killing everything, from megafauna to microbiota, at speeds one hundred times higher than the background rate. We argue that what changed is capitalism, that modern history has, since the 1400s, unfolded in what is better termed the Capitalocene.
By Jason Hickel, Jason Hickel blog
I do not disagree with Branko that the task is enormous; I have complete empathy with this perspective. Indeed, it is the single greatest problem of our century – how to enable human flourishing while reducing emissions and material throughput – and it demands our total focus. But let me offer three thoughts that give me hope.
By Nancy Averett, Future Perfect
The three-year voyage of the Hōkūleʻa, a giant Polynesian sailing canoe, helped spread indigenous knowledge and concern for Earth’s future around the globe. In the summer of 2017, after a three-year voyage, spanning more than 40,000 nautical miles with stops in 23 countries and territories, the Hōkūleʻa—a giant Polynesian sailing canoe—returned home to the shores of Honolulu, Hawaii.
By Chris Nelder, Energy Transition Show
Now solar PV systems are beginning to integrate storage based on lithium-ion batteries, and this storage isn't just used to supply power when the sun is down; it is providing grid stabilization services too, which only adds complexity to an already-complicated picture for the future of storage...
By Sean Alexander, Food Tank
Located in the South on Main (SoMa) district of Arkansas’ capital city, The Root Café has served locally sourced breakfast, lunch, and dinner to an often-packed house since 2011. Whenever possible, the restaurant maximizes their cabinet contents by incorporating food scraps, and what would otherwise be considered food waste, into their dishes. Much of the rest goes to a local farmer who uses the scraps to feed the farm’s pigs.
By Paul D. Raskin, Great Transition Initiative
In our time of unprecedented interdependence and existential risk, we face a common predicament and an uncertain destiny. As the global quandary deepens and awareness spreads, the conviction that root-and-branch social change is needed to circumvent perils and seize opportunities draws more and more of us.