Connected and vulnerable: Climate change, trade wars and the networked world

The increasing connectedness of the global economic system has long been touted as the path to greater prosperity and peaceful relations among nations and their peoples. There’s just one hitch: Complex systems have more points of failure and also hidden risks that only surface when something goes wrong.

Think Globally, Eat Glocally!

Can a new ethic about “ethnic” foods transform our food system to be more diverse, inclusive & local? Can heritage Mexican, African or Chinese foods be grown in a cold North American or European climate — enough food at a good enough price to meet food security, multicultural, sustainable and affordability needs of a modern cosmopolitan city?

The global village and the surveillance society

The global village has many similarities to an actual village or small town. Fellow villagers and small town neighbors are much more likely to know about each other’s personal lives (often including many of the intimate details) than those who live in a large city. As McLuhan wrote in 1962: “unless aware of this dynamic, we shall at once move into a phase of panic terrors, exactly befitting a small world of tribal drums, total interdependence, and superimposed co-existence.”

The World in 2018 – Part Four

In the modern world, our perceptions of reality are largely shaped by economic and financial considerations, and our policy conversations are largely built around intellectual categories and evaluative criteria that pertain to the economics discipline. Yet a long-term view shows that ‘The world in 2018’ is in a significantly different place than what economists typically claim, and than what many of us want to believe.

The World in 2018

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.

Richard Heinberg on ‘America First’

From a Transition perspective, a shortening of trade distances has to be a good thing, right? Bringing manufacturing back closer to where people live, thereby reducing carbon emissions, enabling more money to cycle within the national economy rather than globally? So far, so Transition… And yet.