Wednesday, December 22, 2010


Do we need 'the sacred' in thinking about Transition? (My answer: probably not)

A physicist 'solves' the city.

A good article about Assange.

American decline and 'back to normalcy'.

1 comment:

  1. It was indeed a good article about Assange, that helps to join the dots of what he's actually aiming at (something broader than "holding governments to account").

    I saw that city article myself recently (a helpful reader pointed to it). This is an issue that I've been discussing with quite a few people recently (the future viability of large cities and whether to re-settle in one after my PhD).

    The transition piece was very good. I very much appreciated and concur with the author's evaluation of the economy, energy, ecology triad of problems:

    For me personally, I have been reluctant to weave an explicit piece about economics into my own presentations, as I feel that with climate change there is a scientific consensus, peak oil is an issue I understand enough to be able to discuss and defend it, economics on the other hand is hugely complex with very contrasting takes on what is happening. Is Stoneleigh right, that we are about to see the imminent collapse of the financial system? Is Herman Daly right, that a Steady State economy is possible? Or is the Ellen McArthur Foundation right, that we could create a ‘cyclical economy’? Or perhaps Tim Jackson is right that we can create ‘prosperity without growth’? I don’t know, and for me to put all my eggs into one of those baskets would be an act of faith, not one of a reasoned and informed evaluation of the information available.

    I get a sense from how Michael builds his case in his article that he has drawn together all the very worst forecasts of everything and used that to underpin his case for ‘Deep Transition’. I think all we can say for certain is that:

    a) we are, at the least, very close to the peak in world oil production, that the impacts of this are uncertain

    b) no-one has yet demonstrated that economic growth is possible without the availability of cheap energy to make it happen

    c) the science on climate change is, frankly, terrifying.


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