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Peak Oil and the Twilight of Growth

[This is the transcript of my online presentation delivered today for the Wild Law Conference] The PDF of this presentation can be downloaded here: Peak Oil and the Twilight of Growth A slightly revised article with more references can be downloaded here: Peak Oil and the Twilight of Growth (New) 1. Introduction Good afternoon everyone, I’m sorry I can’t be with you today but I’m very grateful for... read more

Viva La Resistance!

No, this isn’t the same citrus tree that I planted and posted about a couple of weeks  ago. Although I do look very fondly upon that citrus tree, and check upon it morning  and night, I wouldn’t bother you again with more details were it not for the fact that  another tree has mysteriously appeared, this time on my neighbour’s nature strip. It  looks quite fine, I must say. Whoever could have put... read more

Free Money Day

Free Money Day? What the… I’m not sure about you, but Free Money Day sounds like absolute madness to me. What is the meaning of it all? I was contacted by the Post-Growth Institute recently who asked me if I would write a theme song for Free Money Day – the day people give out free money to complete strangers. “Free money to absolute strangers!” I said. “What the…... read more

Guerrilla Gardening and the Relocalization of Food Production

Relocalizing food production is one of the most important steps on the path to a sustainable society, and in times of  great economic uncertainty, relocalizing food production is just plain sensible. It should bother us, therefore, when we see good land in our neighbourhoods sitting dormant and uncultivated, especially when it is right outside our own doorsteps. Such thoughts crossed my mind every time I... read more

Is this the most beautiful film ever made?

“Home” is a uniquely beautiful film by Yann Arthus-Bertrand, made in 2009. I’m sure some of you will have seen it, but if you haven’t, I highly recommend spending an hour and a half absorbing this masterpiece. It is a truly magnificent work of art – one utterly beyond the capacity of words to describe. Make some time one evening; turn your phone off; turn the lights out;... read more

God’s Away on Business: The Spiritual Significance of Voluntary Simplicity

Economic growth is the secular religion of advancing industrial nations. – Daniel Bell  In December 2009 I addressed the Parliament of the World’s Religions on the subject of the spiritual significance of voluntary simplicity. I would never hold myself out as an authority on this matter, I hasten to add – it seems to me a rather too personal subject for there to be ‘experts,’... read more

Just Enough is Plenty: Thoreau’s Alternative Economics (Audio Lecture and E-Book)

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... read more

Looking Backward from the Year 2099: Ecozoic Reflections on the Future

This is the last essay in the July series, and I think it may be the most interesting. Recently published in the Earth Jurisprudence and Environmental Justice Journal, this essay looks back upon the world from the vantage point of the year 2099. The futuristic reflections detailed in this essay review how attitudes toward consumption and economic growth underwent a radical shift over the course of the... read more

Reimagining the Good Life beyond Consumer Culture

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... read more

Voluntary Simplicity and the Social Reconstruction of Law: Degrowth from the Grassroots Up

The inner crisis of our civilization must be resolved if the outer crisis is to be effectively met. – Lewis Mumford Building upon the arguments presented in the previous post, this post consists of another working paper for a journal, this time focusing on the relationship between voluntary simplicity and degrowth. The paper is entitled ‘Voluntary Simplicity and the Social Reconstruction of... read more

Planned Economic Contraction? The Emerging Case for Degrowth

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... read more

Tunes for Transition

Something a little different today – free music! After a silent hiatus of several years without composing a note – justifying my musical alias “Samuel de Silentio” – over the last few weekends I’ve written and recorded (at home) a short album and posted it online for free download. Most of the songs are ‘simplicity’ related, so I thought some of you might be interested in a listen. Music is... read more

Ted Trainer and the Simpler Way

Ted Trainer is one of the wisest, boldest, and most dedicated advocates of The Simpler Way.  In 2010 he published a book called, The Transition to a Sustainable and Just World, and I have to say that it is one of the best books I have ever read in my life. If you only have time to read one more book in your life, consider reading this one. It speaks directly to our global situation and condition, and it... read more

Deconstructing the Shed: Where I Live and What I Live For

My essay, ‘Deconstructing the Shed: Where I Live and What I Live For,’ is about to be published in the Concord Saunterer: The Journal of Thoreau Studies. I sent out a draft to some of you a few months ago but have been given generous permission to post the final version here (see link below). The essay gives an account of the two years just past that I spent living in a small, self-constructed, inner... read more

How to Win the Wilberforce Award: The Problem is Overconsumption not Overpopulation

There are now many credible scientific studies establishing that the global economy is exceeding, by some way, the regenerative and absorptive capacities of Earth’s ecosystems. One way to understand this defining problem of our age, and perhaps move towards its resolution, is to look at the problem of overpopulation. The planet is in such a dire situation, it can be argued, because there are just too... read more
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