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Natural Building Workshop – March 2014

There’s a two week natural building workshop coming up this March, an hour and a half out of Melbourne. For those interested, details below: Agari Farm and Mud Mob Natural Building Collective are running a 2 week natural building and healing workshop in March aiming to teach people to build low cost homes with natural and reclaimed materials (Earthbag, Cob, Wattle and Daub, Light Earth, Reciprocal... read more

Voluntary Simplicity and the Steady State Economy

Mark A. Burch of the Simplicity Institute has just published this fine article in The Daly News (CASSE). Voluntary simplicity is most basically characterized by the practices of mindfulness and material sufficiency. Through bringing mindfulness to our daily lives, we seek the maximum of well-being achievable through the minimum of material consumption. Well-being applies to all life forms on Earth, not... read more

Radical Emissions Planning: Kevin Anderson

I’ve just watched these two clips below from Kevin Anderson, one of the most outspoken climate scientists on the scene today. As you will see, he does not shy away from radical implications of the numbers. Avoiding dangerous climate change, he concludes, requires degrowth in the wealthiest parts of the world, a conclusion other climate scientists (or any policy makers) have dared not acknowledge. But... read more

The Deep Green Alternative: Debating Strategies of Transition

I am pleased to begin this new year with the publication of a new Simplicity Institute Report, entitled ‘The Deep Green Alternative: Debating Strategies of Transition,’ co-written by myself (Samuel Alexander) and Jonathan Rutherford. This report is freely available here, and a brief overview of the report is posted below: In this paper we do not seek to defend, as such, the ‘deep green’... read more

Crash on Demand: David Holmgren Publishes New Simplicity Institute Report

David Holmgren, co-orginator of the permaculture concept, has just published a new Simplicity Institute Report, entitled ‘Crash on Demand: Welcome to the Brown Tech Future’. Fascinating, deep, and provocative, the introduction is posted below and the full report is available here.  Crash On Demand Welcome to the Brown Tech Future                                          ... read more

A New Earthship has Landed!

A month or so ago I posted about the Earthship-inspired building workshop I was organising, as part of the ecovillage project outlined here. As you can see in the pictures, the build was a resounding success, with our new ‘mini-ship’ landing last week. This is the first of many alternative buildings we’ve got in the pipeline, with a more conventional mud house being built this coming... read more

Building with Mud: Workshop in February 2014

I wrote recently about the Earthship workshop that I’m organising and participating in this coming December, as part of the ecovillage project which I’ve written about here. I’m happy to say that I’ve also just locked in a 6-day mud building workshop in February next year, with the amazingly talented and creative Kate from the Mudmob Natural Building Collective. She’s just... read more

The Hidden Door: Mindful Sufficiency as an Alternative to Extinction

I am honoured to announce the publication of Mark Burch’s new book, The Hidden Door: Mindful Sufficiency as an Alternative to Extinction, available here. Published proudly by the Simplicity Institute, this text brings together some of Mark’s finest essays of recent years, and includes a new introduction. A deep yet accessible book, here’s the blurb: Many people sense that consumer... read more

Too Many Teddies (Children’s Book)

I was recently contacted by a new author/illustrator called Glenn Martin, who has just written a children’s book related to consumerism and simple living, which he tells me was inspired by reading Entropia. Glenn’s book, “Too Many Teddies“, is a sweet and simple story of a little elephant named Ned and his teddy Pixie. Ned gets caught up in the excitement of buying too many teddy... read more

Want to help build an Earthship?

Earthship Workshop in December (Victoria, Australia) A couple of months ago I wrote about the ecovillage project that I am involved in, a project that is based on the vision of radical simplicity expressed in Entropia. I am uber excited to announce that our first build for the ecovillage is going to be an Earthship-inspired ‘mini-ship’, taking place this December in Victoria, Australia. Want to be... 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

Changing Gears: A Pedal-Powered Detour from the Rat Race

Recently I was fortunate enough to attend the book launch of Changing Gears: A Pedal Powered Detour from the Rat Race, written by Greg Foyster. Over the last week or so I’ve devoured this highly enjoyable read. This book achieves the challenging task of being eminently readable and ethically deep, and every few pages Greg’s sharp sense of humour produces genuine ‘laugh out loud’ moments. In fact, I... 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

Living without a fridge

I’ve been living without a fridge for the last three months – the winter months of Melbourne, Australia. Before you send me to the asylum, however, let me tell you about this experiment which produced several interesting, and I think important, surprises, related to energy consumption and lifestyle habits. My main conclusion, which I’ll unpack below, is that living without a fridge (at least in... read more

Want to help create an Ecovillage?

“You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.” – Buckminster Fuller A week or so ago I received the most exciting email ever. It was from a reader of the Simplicity Collective who had just finished reading my book, Entropia. Inspired by the vision, he told me that he wanted to help develop an... read more
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