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Currently Browsing: Peak Oil

The Transition Movement: Questions of Diversity, Power, and Affluence

Esther Alloun and I have recently published a new Simplicity Institute Report, entitled ‘The Transition Movement: Questions of Diversity, Power, and Affluence’. This report presents an overview, literature review, and critical analysis of the Transition Movement. We’ve posted a section of the introduction below, and the full paper is freely available here. “A mood of defiant positivity is a... read more

The New Economics of Oil

I’ve just published an “Issues” paper with the Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute, called “The New Economics of Oil”. I’ve posted an abstract below and the full paper is available here. “This paper seeks to show that oil issues remain at the centre of global challenges facing humanity, despite recent claims of oil abundance, and that the challenges are only... read more

The Hour is Darkest just before Dawn: Crisis as Opportunity

The Festival of Ideas is on at the University of Melbourne at the moment, and I was invited to give a short talk, envisioning how Australia made the transition to a low-carbon society by the year 2033. Here is the transcript: As I look back from the year 2033, I would like to be able to tell you that the transition to our low-carbon society was smooth and rational. I would like to be able to tell you that,... read more

Peak Oil is Alive and Well, and Costing the Earth

The following article of mine appeared today in The Conversation (based on a much longer paper here): You might have heard that peak oil – the theory that one day crude oil production will stop increasing, even as demand grows – is dead. Shale oil production is surging in the US. The premiere peak oil website, The Oil Drum, is shutting up shop. Even notoriously left-leaning columnist George... read more

Entropia: Life Beyond Industrial Civilisation

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... read more

Transition Coburg: A Year in Review

A little over a year ago I mentioned on this website that I had co-founded Transition Coburg (for an introduction to the Transition Town movement, see here). Below I have provided a snapshot of some of the things we have done since our birth. Most of these activities might seem small in isolation, but if we keep building on these types of things, and more people continue to get involved, then overtime it... read more

The Sufficiency Economy: Envisioning a Prosperous Way Down

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... read more

Radical Simplicity and the Middle-Class: Exploring the Lifestyle Implications of a ‘Great Disruption’

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. 1. Introduction How would the ordinary middle-class consumer – I should say middle-class citizen – deal... read more

Degrowth, Expensive Oil, and the New Economics of Energy

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  Samuel Alexander[1] 1. Preparing for Life after Growth In this post I... read more

Che Guava Strikes Again: Guerilla Gardening on Nature Strip

Someone’s been guerilla gardening on my nature strip again. I think it was Che Guava, but can’t be sure. You will see from the picture that a wonderful no-dig garden bed is now beautifying the nature strip outside my place. A no-dig bed means exactly that – no digging – which means you don’t have to worry about pipes beneath the earth. And now there is more space for local... read more
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