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Currently Browsing: Essays / Academic

Low-Tech Living as a ‘Demand-Side’ Response to Climate Change and Peak Oil

I’ve just published a new Simplicity Institute Report, co-authored with Paul Yacoumis, entitled “Low-Tech Living as a “Demand-Side” Response to Climate Change and Peak Oil”. I’ve posted the abstract and the introduction below and the full essay is freely available here. LOW-TECH LIVING AS A ‘DEMAND-SIDE’ RESPONSE TO CLIMATE CHANGE AND PEAK OIL Simplicity is the... read more

If everyone lived in an ecovillage, the Earth would still be in trouble

Here is my new article which was published in The Conversation on Friday: We are used to hearing that if everyone lived in the same way as North Americans or Australians, we would need four or five planet Earths to sustain us. This sort of analysis is known as the “ecological footprint” and shows that even the so-called “green” western European nations, with their more progressive approaches to... read more

One Planet Living

Yesterday I was keynote speaker for World Environmental Day at the University of Melbourne. Below I have posted the transcript of my talk: Good afternoon everyone. Thank you for that introduction, Professor Kvan, and thank you all for being here to mark World Environment Day. It was Buckminster Fuller who once said: ‘You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a... read more

Introduction to ‘Prosperous Descent’

A paperback of my new book, Prosperous Descent: Crisis as Opportunity in an Age of Limits, is available here and a link to a free pdf copy of the book will be sent out to subscribers of the Simplicity Institute in a week. Please sign up to the Simplicity Institute here to receive the link. INTRODUCTION TO ‘PROSPEROUS DESCENT’ By Samuel Alexander I sometimes tell my students that I am an... read more

Prosperous Descent: Crisis as Opportunity in an Age of Limits

I’ve just published a new book, Prosperous Descent: Crisis as Opportunity in an Age of Limits, which is the first volume of my collected essays to be published this year. The cover and endorsements are posted below. A second book of collected essays, Sufficiency Economy: Enough, for Everyone, Forever, will be published in a couple of months. The paperback of Prosperous Descent is available here.... read more

The Marvellous Market: A Critique by Ted Trainer

Ted Trainer has just written a provocative, concise but important critique of the ‘Marvellous Market’ which he argues is the main cause of our fatal problems. See below: The Marvellous Market: The Main Cause of our Fatal Problems A ridiculous claim? Let’s see. There is no doubt the market system does many important things very effectively. It gets rid of inefficient firms quickly with no... read more

The Case for Simplicity, by Ted Trainer

Ted Trainer has just published a new Simplicity Institute report, ‘The Case for Simplicity’. I’ve posted the brief introduction below and the full report is available here. The Case for Simplicity Why try to live more simply? I think there are two main lines of argument. The first is that global sustainability and justice cannot be achieved unless we live much more simply than the... 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

The Steady State Economy and the Incompatibility of Capitalism, by Geoff Mosley

The following text is a transcript (with minor revisions) of a talk Geoff Mosley gave at the 2014 Fenner Conference on the Steady State Economy at the University of NSW. Geoff is the Australian Director of the Center for the Advancement of the Steady State Economy. Thanks to Geoff for granting permission to reproduce his talk. ____________ A MESSAGE FROM THE FUTURE: THE STEADY STATE ECONOMY AND THE... read more

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
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