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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...
Feb 13, 2013
After the last two posts being rather gloomy, I am happy today to bring your attention to Ted Trainer’s new Simplicity Institute Report, called ‘Your Delightful Day: The Benefits of Life in the The Simpler Way.’ In this report Trainer highlights the many benefits that would come – individually, socially, environmentally – if communities embraced a culture of simple living and...
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...
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...
Feb 23, 2012
Our country is set up structurally to oppose voluntary simplicity. – Michael Jacobson
Our lifestyle decisions, especially our consumption decisions, are not made in a vacuum. Instead, they are made within social, economic, and political structures of constraint, and those structures make some lifestyle decisions easy or necessary and other lifestyle decisions difficult or impossible. Change the social,...
Aug 9, 2011
I’ve recently started teaching a Masters of Environment course called, “Consumerism and Sustainability,” through the Office for Environmental Programs, University of Melbourne. Last night I was privileged enough to deliver a lecture on Thoreau, and I have attached an audio file of part of that lecture if anyone would like to have a listen. I have also attached an e-book called ‘Just...
Jul 19, 2011
Continuing the July series of publications, this post consists of an essay called “The Voluntary Simplicity Movement: Reimagining the Good Life beyond Consumer Culture,’ which is soon to be published in the peer-reviewed, International Journal of Environmental, Cultural, Economic and Social Sustainability. This essay, which is based on a collection of earlier posts on this website, is...
Jul 1, 2011
I’ve recently drafted a paper on ‘degrowth’ for the journal Environmental Politics (forthcoming) which I’ve summarised below. The full paper can be downloaded here: Planned Economic Contraction: The Emerging Case for Degrowth
Abstract: This article outlines the sociological, ecological, and economic foundations of a macroeconomics ‘beyond growth,’ focusing on the idea of...
Jan 26, 2011
‘Affluenza’ can be defined as a collective psychological disorder that leaves people feeling deprived despite their plenty. The link below leads to an insightful and powerfully argued video lecture on the subject.
The 29 minute lecture is delivered by Richard Denniss, who is the Executive Director of Australia’s most influential think-tank, the Australia Institute. Denniss is also the...