Currently Browsing: Essays / Academic
Jun 11, 2013
I am very pleased to announce the publication of my new book, Entropia: Life Beyond Industrial Civilisation. This book is a creative work of fiction – a ‘utopia of sufficiency’ – in which I bring to life a simple living community that became isolated on a small island after the collapse of industrial civilisation. Looking back from the future, I describe the economy, culture, and politics of the...
Jan 29, 2013
Can a collapse of civilization be avoided? This is the bold question Paul and Anne Ehrlich, from Stanford University, confront in their challenging new essay, published today by the Simplicity Institute. Paul Ehrlich has been amongst the most prominent figures in the Environmental Movement ever since his 1968 publication of The Population Bomb.
I’ve posted the introduction below and the full...
Nov 13, 2012
Below I’ve posted the introduction to my new essay, “The Sufficiency Economy: Envisioning a Prosperous Way Down.” This essay, which I feel is the clearest expression of my views, summarises the critique of growth economics and then describes in some detail what I consider to be the most promising alternative model – ‘a sufficiency economy.’ The full essay can be read...
Sep 29, 2012
Below I have posted my new Simplicity Institute Report, “Radical Simplicity and the Middle-Class: Exploring the Lifestyle Implications of a ‘Great Disruption.’” The report has also been published with the Permaculture Research Institute of Australia and the PDF is available here.
How would the ordinary middle-class consumer – I should say middle-class citizen –...
Aug 6, 2012
The PDF is available here:
“Degrowth, Expensive Oil, and the New Economics of Energy“
Our understandings and expectations of the world have been shaped by our experience of economic growth. The dynamic stability of that growth has habituated us to what is ‘normal.’ That normal must soon shatter. – David Korowicz
1. Preparing for Life after Growth
In this post I...
Jul 3, 2012
A society or other institution can be destroyed by the cost of sustaining itself. – Joseph Tainter
I managed to write one final paper prior to the new semester beginning, this time on the subject of Joseph Tainter’s theory of complexity and collapse. The paper has just been published with the Permaculture Research Institute of Australia and will be also published in two parts on the Energy...
Jun 16, 2012
My article below, on the Rio+20 conference, has just been published on the Post-Carbon Institute’s Energy Bulletin, available here.
In a few days the international community will be meeting in Rio de Janeiro to hold the most significant environmental conference since the Rio Earth Summit of 1992. As the planet’s ecosystems tremble under the weight of overconsumption, this conference surely...
Jun 10, 2012
The following short article has just appeared in this month’s edition of Issues magazine (Vol: 99, pp40-43). It is adapted from my much longer article, ‘Peak Oil, Energy Descent, and the Fate of Consumerism,’ which is available here. The PDF of the article below is available here.
Evidence is mounting that the age of cheap energy – the age of cheap oil, in particular – is...
May 30, 2012
Over the last few years I’ve written a bunch of papers and articles focusing on voluntary simplicity, degrowth, and peak oil. With the new university semester fast approaching, my time available to write long papers is going to diminish, so I thought I’d list my publications to date, with links to most of the full working papers, excluding book chapters. (N.B. The working papers linked below...
Apr 9, 2012
I’m very pleased to announce that Ted Trainer has joined the Simplicity Institute, and in recognition of this important event I’ve spent the last week writing a review essay of his work, which I’ve posted below. Ted has been writing about The Simpler Way for many years, and in coming weeks and months he will be publishing a series of essays on the Simplicity Institute website (which I...