World Environment Day (book launch)

I’m guest speaker for World Environment Day (a United Nations Environmental Program initiative) at the University of Melbourne this Friday, 5 June, from, 12.30-1.30pm. I’m taking this opportunity to launch my new book, Prosperous Descent: Crisis as Opportunity in an Age of Limits. Being a lunchtime gig I know it will be difficult for many people to attend, but if you’re in the area and... read more

Wurruk’an: Seeding a New Earth Story

Over the last two years I’ve been helping develop a ‘simpler way’ demonstration project in Gippsland, Victoria (Australia), on a property which we have named Wurruk’an. Wurruk is the local indigenous term meaning both ‘Earth’ and ‘story’. K’an is the Mayan word for ‘seed’. We’ve invented the word Wurruk’an to signify our attempt... read more

Introduction to ‘Prosperous Descent’

A paperback of my new book, Prosperous Descent: Crisis as Opportunity in an Age of Limits, is available here and a link to a free pdf copy of the book will be sent out to subscribers of the Simplicity Institute in a week. Please sign up to the Simplicity Institute here to receive the link. INTRODUCTION TO ‘PROSPEROUS DESCENT’ By Samuel Alexander I sometimes tell my students that I am an... read more

Prosperous Descent: Crisis as Opportunity in an Age of Limits

I’ve just published a new book, Prosperous Descent: Crisis as Opportunity in an Age of Limits, which is the first volume of my collected essays to be published this year. The cover and endorsements are posted below. A second book of collected essays, Sufficiency Economy: Enough, for Everyone, Forever, will be published in a couple of months. The paperback of Prosperous Descent is available here.... read more

The Marvellous Market: A Critique by Ted Trainer

Ted Trainer has just written a provocative, concise but important critique of the ‘Marvellous Market’ which he argues is the main cause of our fatal problems. See below: The Marvellous Market: The Main Cause of our Fatal Problems A ridiculous claim? Let’s see. There is no doubt the market system does many important things very effectively. It gets rid of inefficient firms quickly with no... read more

Tiny House Build for $2500

Recently I wrote about a ‘tiny house’ build I was involved in (see here). In association with the Simplicity Institute, Jordan Osmond of Happen Films has recently produced a short film based on the ‘tiny house’ build, which is available for viewing below. Please share with your friends, family, and social networks. Jordan Osmond is a documentary maker with great talent to keep an... read more

Degrowth, sustainability, and tackling global inequalities

Recently I was interviewed by Jen Wilton, a UK journalist and researcher, on the subject of degrowth. What follows is the transcript of our phone interview, originally posted here. Degrowth, sustainability, and tackling global inequalities Q: What would a degrowth society look like? SA: A lot of mainstream environmentalism still clings to the idea that we can dematerialise our ways of living without... read more

Divesting from Commonwealth Bank – or, why I just cut up my bank card

This morning I cut up my Commonwealth Bank card, and it felt good. I’ve been meaning to do it for ages. When I first moved to Australia in 2006 I didn’t give much thought to which bank I should bank with. But now I know that Commonwealth Bank invests heavily in the fossil fuel industry at a time when we all know carbon emissions from burning fossil fuels is destabilising our climate. Commonwealth Bank... read more

The Case for Simplicity, by Ted Trainer

Ted Trainer has just published a new Simplicity Institute report, ‘The Case for Simplicity’. I’ve posted the brief introduction below and the full report is available here. The Case for Simplicity Why try to live more simply? I think there are two main lines of argument. The first is that global sustainability and justice cannot be achieved unless we live much more simply than the... read more

Our Renewable Future, by Richard Heinberg

Richard Heinberg, one of the world’s premiere energy analysts, recently wrote an excellent essay called ‘Our Renewable Future’ which he has now published as a Simplicity Institute Report. It’s a fascinating discussion that reviews the current state of our energy predicament and reminds us that how we use energy is as important as how we get it. The introduction is posted below and the full essay is... read more

The Paradox of Oil: The Cheaper it Is, the More it Costs

I’ve just published a new Simplicity Institute Report, ‘The Paradox of Oil: The Cheaper it Is, the More it Costs’. I’ve posted the introduction below and the full paper is available here. There will be oil, but at what price? – Chris Nelder and Gregor Macdonald THE PARADOX OF OIL: THE CHEAPER IT IS, THE MORE IT COSTS 1. Introduction It would be fair to say that the timing of the... read more

The Steady State Economy and the Incompatibility of Capitalism, by Geoff Mosley

The following text is a transcript (with minor revisions) of a talk Geoff Mosley gave at the 2014 Fenner Conference on the Steady State Economy at the University of NSW. Geoff is the Australian Director of the Center for the Advancement of the Steady State Economy. Thanks to Geoff for granting permission to reproduce his talk. ____________ A MESSAGE FROM THE FUTURE: THE STEADY STATE ECONOMY AND THE... read more

Find Freedom in a Tiny House

Here is an article of mine published on The Conversation earlier this month. (Photo courtesy of Michael Green.) Sick to Death of Consumerism? Find Freedom in a Tiny House What is a house? I feel this is a dangerous question, which holds within it the seeds of a disruptive innovation, so read on at your own risk. Rethinking what a house is could change your life, and perhaps the world. Let me explain... read more

The ‘Simple Life’ Manifesto, by Ted Trainer

Below is a recent article by Ted Trainer, originally published on The Conversation here. The ‘simple life’ Manifesto and how it could save us The aftermath of Christmas is a good time to think about where consumer-capitalism is getting us. The sad fact is that, with these values, our society can never be ecologically sustainable or just. Accelerating global problems cannot be solved in a... read more

The Simple Life of Jesus, by Simon Ussher

Below is Simon Ussher’s chapter on Jesus, from the anthology Simple Living in History: Pioneers of the Deep Future. A suitable post for these days leading up to Christmas. ‘Hail, queen wisdom! May the Lord save thee with thy sister holy pure simplicity!’ – St. Francis of Assisi At its heart the ‘voluntary simplicity’ movement is about a value shift. Adherents may display a commonality of... read more
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