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Currently Browsing: Energy

Divesting from Commonwealth Bank – or, why I just cut up my bank card

This morning I cut up my Commonwealth Bank card, and it felt good. I’ve been meaning to do it for ages. When I first moved to Australia in 2006 I didn’t give much thought to which bank I should bank with. But now I know that Commonwealth Bank invests heavily in the fossil fuel industry at a time when we all know carbon emissions from burning fossil fuels is destabilising our climate. Commonwealth Bank... read more

Our Renewable Future, by Richard Heinberg

Richard Heinberg, one of the world’s premiere energy analysts, recently wrote an excellent essay called ‘Our Renewable Future’ which he has now published as a Simplicity Institute Report. It’s a fascinating discussion that reviews the current state of our energy predicament and reminds us that how we use energy is as important as how we get it. The introduction is posted below and the full essay is... read more

The Paradox of Oil: The Cheaper it Is, the More it Costs

I’ve just published a new Simplicity Institute Report, ‘The Paradox of Oil: The Cheaper it Is, the More it Costs’. I’ve posted the introduction below and the full paper is available here. There will be oil, but at what price? – Chris Nelder and Gregor Macdonald THE PARADOX OF OIL: THE CHEAPER IT IS, THE MORE IT COSTS 1. Introduction It would be fair to say that the timing of the... 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 in Gippsland, 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

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

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... 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
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