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The Simple Life of Henry David Thoreau

Here is my chapter on Henry Thoreau from Simple Living in History: Pioneers of the Deep Future. HENRY THOREAU Few individuals in history evoke images of ‘the simple life’ more distinctly than the poet-philosopher, Henry David Thoreau. In 1845, when Henry was 27 years old, he left his hometown of Concord, Massachusetts, and went to live alone in the woods, near Walden Pond, where he built himself a... read more

Can you support our ‘simpler way’ documentary?

In the last post I outlined the ecovillage permaculture farm that the Simplicity Institute has been developing as a ‘simpler way’ demonstration project. This project is currently seeking applicants for a year long ‘residency’ at the ecovillage. I also mentioned the documentary that we’re hoping to make based on the evolution of this demonstration project. This documentary will require funding,... read more

Free rent in an ecovillage for a year? (Documentary project)

Are you a passionate and knowledgeable permaculturalist? Would you like to live in a developing ecovillage for a year ‘rent free’ as part of a documentary project? Do you want to explore a life of frugal abundance? If so, read on! Over the last 12 months the Simplicity Institute has been involved in the development of an ecovillage permaculture farm out near Moe, Victoria, Australia (about 1 hour 45... read more

Life in a ‘degrowth’ economy, and why you might actually enjoy it

Yesterday my article “Life in a ‘degrowth’ economy, and why you might actually like it” was published in The Conversation. I’ve reposted it below: What does genuine economic progress look like? The orthodox answer is that a bigger economy is always better, but this idea is increasingly strained by the knowledge that, on a finite planet, the economy can’t grow for ever. This... read more

The Divestment Movement

Below I’ve posted the introduction to a new MSSI Issues paper, “Fossil Free: The Development and Significance of the Fossil Fuel Divestment Movement“, which I co-authored with Kara Nicholson and John Wiseman. As the probability and risks of catastrophic climate change continue to increase (Potsdam, 2012; Christoff, 2013), fossil fuel divestment has become an increasingly important... read more

Transcript of book launch talk – ‘Pioneers of the Deep Future’

Below I’ve posted the transcript of the talk I gave last night at the book launch of Simple Living in History: Pioneers of the Deep Future. Thanks so much to everyone who came. It was heartening to see so much interest in the book. PIONEERS OF THE DEEP FUTURE Good evening everyone. Thanks very much for coming tonight. It’s very good to be able to share this occasion with you. I’m not going to... read more

Economic ‘degrowth’ needed to stop a carbon budget blowout

My short article below appeared in The Conversation yesterday. A newly released report called Better Growth, Better Climate draws the seductive conclusion that “we can create lasting economic growth while also tackling the immense risks of climate change”. But while the report, spearheaded by former Mexican president Felipe Calderón and UK climate economist Nicholas Stern, wisely points out the... read more

The Simple Life – Past, Present, Future

The following essay, by the preeminent historian of simplicity, David Shi, is the ‘foreword’ to my new book, Simple Living in History: Pioneers of the Deep Future, which I co-edited with Amanda McLeod. This essay provides a wise and stimulating introduction to many of the individuals, cultures, and movements that have embraced forms of ‘simple living’ throughout history and which... read more

Simple Living in History: Pioneers of the Deep Future

Simple Living in History: Pioneers of the Deep Future, edited by Samuel Alexander and Amanda McLeod. Below I have posted the ‘Table of Contents’ and ‘Preface by the Editors’. The book is available here. Information on the launch is available here. Please share ________________________________ TABLE OF CONTENTS Preface by the Editors, Samuel Alexander and Amanda McLeod FOREWORD... read more

Book Launch: Simple Living in History

In a few weeks I’ll be launching my new book, Simple Living in History: Pioneers of the Deep Future, which I co-edited with Amanda McLeod. The book brings together 26 chapters, from different authors, discussing the most prominent individuals, cultures, and movements that have embraced forms of ‘simple living’ throughout history (see table of contents below). The book is being launched by... read more

Degrowth and the Carbon Budget: Powerdown Strategies for Climate Stability

I’ve just published a new Simplicity Institute Report, called “Degrowth and the Carbon Budget: Powerdown Strategies for Climate Stability.” I’ve posted the introduction below and the full paper is available here. 1. INTRODUCTION In recent years the notion of a ‘carbon budget’ has entered the lexicon of climate science (e.g. IPCC, 2013; Meinshausen et al, 2009). This concept... read more

Composting Toilets made from Wheelie Bins

I just read a post on composting toilets on the Permaculture Research Institute and remembered that I never posted about the composting toilets I made last year (for various projects) based on a similar principles, but a distinct design. Below I offer a few words of introduction and then post photos of the building process with instructions. As part of various projects that I’ve helped organise over the... read more

Earthbag Dome Building Workshop

In recent months I’ve posted a few times about the ‘simpler way’ demonstration site that I’m helping develop out near Moe, Victoria, Australia. In time we hope this property will become an education centre and hopefully a small ecovillage. Last December, we ran our first workshop and we built this beautiful Earthship. In February this year we ran a second workshop and built this... read more

Disruptive Social Innovation for a Low Carbon World

I’ve recently published a new paper called “Disruptive Social Innovation for a Low Carbon World’, which was published as part of the Visions and Pathways Project. This paper critically reviews the social movements or social innovations that have the most potential to change the world’s current trajectory acutely in the direction of a low carbon world. I’ve posted the... read more

New Book Review of Samuel Alexander’s ‘Entropia’

Below I have posted a new review of my last book, Entropia: Life Beyond Industrial Civilisation. The review is by Dr Pete Burdon and it appeared in Arena. Book Review: Entropia – Life Beyond Industrial Civilisation, by Samuel Alexander Review by Dr Peter D. Burdon Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Zizek has commented that it is easier to imagine the end of the world than to imagine the end of capitalism or... read more
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