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‘Education’ under Consumer-Capitalism, and The Simpler Way Alternative

Ted Trainer has just published a new Simplicity Institute Report, addressing the question, “What is Education?” He’s provided a short summary below and the full essay is available here. Education under Consumer-Capitalism, and The Simpler Way Alternative Ted Trainer In consumer society “education” is essentially about reproducing consumer society – providing workers who are... read more

Ted Trainer’s Review of “Reinventing Fire”

Below is Ted Trainer’s review of Amory Lovins’ book, Reinventing Fire (2011). Reinventing Fire continues the presentation of the Lovins perspective, essentially the claim that there is great scope for conservation measures and alternative technologies to solve our problems and enable maintenance of rich world economies and lifestyles.  He says at least 80% of US power, and possibly all of it... read more

The Simplicity Exercises: A Sourcebook for Simplicity Educators

On this first day of spring, which symbolises new life, it brings me great pleasure to announce the publication of Mark Burch’s The Simplicity Exercises: A Sourcebook for Simplicity Educators. This special issue from the Simplicity Institute takes us in a new direction, moving beyond the analytical stage of defending simplicity and criticising growth-based, consumer-orientated economies, toward the... read more

Educating for Simple Living

Mark Burch has just written an important and timely essay on “Educating for Simple Living” which will be published through the Simplicity Institute in a few days. The full essay is available in advance here, and I’ve posted the introduction below. Educating for Simple Living by Mark Burch In the following pages I aim to explore education within a culture of simple living and some methods... 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

David Holmgren Publishes Simplicity Institute Report: Retrofitting the Suburbs

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’... read more

What is a Transition Town?

The following introductory article on Transition Towns was published on the Permaculture Research Institute and will soon be appearing in the Zero Carbon Moreland bulletin.  The ‘Transition Town’ movement burst onto the scene merely six years ago in Ireland, and yet already there are almost two thousand Transition Towns around the world. There are dozens right here in Australia. Given that some people... read more

Will you tell your Story of Simplicity?

The Simplicity Institute invites you to tell your ‘story of simplicity’ for our new book.  Living simply in a consumer culture involves heading in the opposite direction to where most of society is moving. At times this can produce feelings of social isolation, so it is very important that those of us exploring simplicity both connect with each other and share our experiences. Not only does... read more

Seeking a Simple Life

There is an article in The Age today on simple living, which is worth a read. It’s written by journalist Michael Short, but the article is based on a campaign by Greg Foyster, who is currently on a bike tour around Australia promoting simpler lifestyles and interviewing people who are exploring voluntary simplicity. Greg interviewed me recently, which is available in two parts here and... read more

Resilience through Simplification: Revisiting Tainter’s Theory of Collapse

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... read more

But Can’t Technology Solve the Problems?

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... read more

Technology and Simple Living

Mark Burch was one of the first writers to guide me into the enriching depths of simplicity as an idea and as an evolving way of life, so I am very honoured to say that he has just published a Simplicity Institute report called ‘Twenty Questions: Technology and Simple Living.’ It’s a deep essay, full of substance and insight, which asks challenging questions about the role of technology in modern... read more

What will Rio+20 bring?

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... read more

Life After the Peak

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... read more
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