Currently Browsing: Justifying Simplicity
Jul 28, 2012
I’m pleased to announce that David Holmgren, co-originator of the permaculture concept, has just published a Simplicity Institute Report, entitled “Retrofitting the Suburbs for the Energy Descent Future.” I’ve provided a short overview of Holmgren’s essay below, and the full report is available at the Simplicity Institute here.
Sometimes well-meaning ‘green’...
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 27, 2012
Continuing the Simplicity Institute’s enquiry into questions of technology, Ted Trainer has just published a new report, entitled ‘But Can’t Technology Solve the Problems?’ I’ve posted the first few paragraphs below and the full report is available here.
But Can’t Technology Solve the Problems?
by Ted Trainer
The ‘limits to growth’ analysis argues that the pursuit...
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...
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...
Mar 18, 2012
My last article summarised a longer paper I have just finished called “Living Better on Less? Toward an Economics of Sufficiency.” This paper reviews the social research that examines the relationship between income and happiness. The central question I ask is: How important is money to happiness?
The weight of evidence suggests that income growth tends to contribute positively to human...
Mar 16, 2012
The following article was published in The Age today (16 March). The online newspaper version is available here.
Increasing material wealth has been, and remains, one of the dominant goals of humankind – perhaps the dominant goal. This is hardly surprising, of course, given the extremely low material living standards endured by most people throughout history, and indeed, by great multitudes around the...
Mar 6, 2012
This post has been published recently in Green (the publication of the Australian Greens), Issue 35, p9.
Celebrated economist, Sir John Hicks, began one of his essays with the pronouncement, ‘We are living in an age of growth.’ It is a view that applies more so today than ever before, at least as a statement of economic desire, if not as a description of recent economic reality. As the world economy...
Feb 13, 2012
Tim Kasser is a psychologist that has spent many years researching into the effects of materialistic values and practices on human wellbeing. I highly recommend his excellent book, “The High Price of Materialism,” but for those who only have five minutes to spare, many of the key insights of that text are summarised in a new educational video Kasser has made. It’s only five minutes long,...
Jan 22, 2012
Consumption is a proper subject of ethical concern primarily for the following three reasons: (1) the planet’s resources are being consumed at an unsustainable rate, and this is placing in jeopardy the future of life as we know it, with potentially catastrophic consequences; (2) a small percentage of the world’s population live in relative comfort and luxury while great multitudes live in material...