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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

Book Reviews of Entropia

Over the last few weeks some books reviews of Entropia: Life Beyond Industrial Civilisation have been posted in cyberspace, which I’ve linked to below. I’ve also linked to a Q&A about Entropia which appears on the website, Simple Lives. Entropia: Life Beyond Industrial Civilisation, Book Review posted on The Greening of Gavin Book Review: Entropia, by Samuel Alexander posted on Make... read more

Simple, Quiet, Affordable: Up for a Tree Change?

It is with a mixture of pleasure and pain that I write this post. A couple of weeks ago a reader of this website sent me through a link of an amazing rural property 1 hour 40 mins out of Melbourne: 10 acres, beautifully designed eco-house, off-grid solar, 135,000 litres of water capacity, 25 fruit trees, grape vines, a huge shed and veggie patch, with a separate self-contained studio, etc. etc. It is... read more

Charter of the Deep Future: Enough, For Everyone, Forever

As well as the excerpt below, I’d just like to offer a final reminder about the launch of my book, Entropia, this Thursday 18th July, at 6pm, on the campus of Melbourne University, Parkville. You’re invited… so if you’d like to come, please RSVP here.  *  *  * Below is a short excerpt from Entropia: Life Beyond Industrial Civilisation. This book is a creative work of fiction... read more

Invitation to Launch

I am launching my new book, Entropia, on 18 July at Melbourne University at 6pm, and I’d love it if local Simplicity Collective readers would join me! The launch will be hosted by the Australian Conservation Foundation, in collaboration with the Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute and the Office for Environmental Programs…. and there’ll be a free glass of wine! Numbers are limited,... read more

Utopia of Sufficiency

The following excerpts from my new book, Entropia: Life Beyond Industrial Civilisation, have just been posted on the Permaculture Research Institute of Australia. Copies of the book and more information are available here. Below is an excerpt from Samuel Alexander’s new book, Entropia: Life Beyond Industrial Civilisation. This book is a ‘utopia of sufficiency’ that brings to life a simple living... read more

Entropia: Life Beyond Industrial Civilisation

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... read more

Transition Coburg: A Year in Review

A little over a year ago I mentioned on this website that I had co-founded Transition Coburg (for an introduction to the Transition Town movement, see here). Below I have provided a snapshot of some of the things we have done since our birth. Most of these activities might seem small in isolation, but if we keep building on these types of things, and more people continue to get involved, then overtime it... read more

How to Build a Cheap Raised Garden Bed

I’ve been advancing my guerilla gardening efforts recently, with a significant new raised bed now beautifying my nature strip, as seen in the featured picture. I thought in this post I could provide a brief overview of how to build a cheap raised bed, either for use on your nature strip or in your front or backyards. This overview might seem a bit basic for the handy builders among you, so I direct... read more

Self-Sufficiency in a ‘Time of Plenty’

Today I’m happy to be posting two interesting and insightful essays by Dr Amanda McLeod: (1) “Self-Suffciency in a ‘Time of Plenty': Mass Consumerism and Freedom in 1970s Australia”; and (2) “Consumer Choice: Another Case of Deceptive Advertising?” I’ve posted abstracts to both essays below, and the full essays are freely available from the links... read more

Superannuation’s Carbon Footprint

Recently I posted an article called “Bursting the Carbon Bubble” by Michael Green. Below is Michael’s follow up article, which was published in The Age a couple of days ago. He raises the point that our superannuation could well be investing in the fossil fuel industry, suggesting that we should consider moving our superannuation into pension funds that do not support fossil fuels, if... read more
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