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

The Simple Life of Henry David Thoreau

Here is my chapter on Henry Thoreau from Simple Living in History: Pioneers of the Deep Future. HENRY THOREAU Few individuals in history evoke images of ‘the simple life’ more distinctly than the poet-philosopher, Henry David Thoreau. In 1845, when Henry was 27 years old, he left his hometown of Concord, Massachusetts, and went to live alone in the woods, near Walden Pond, where he built himself a... read more

Can you support our ‘simpler way’ documentary?

In the last post I outlined the ecovillage permaculture farm that the Simplicity Institute has been developing as a ‘simpler way’ demonstration project. This project is currently seeking applicants [now closed] for a year long ‘residency’ at the ecovillage. I also mentioned the documentary that we’re hoping to make based on the evolution of this demonstration project. This documentary will... read more

Free rent in an ecovillage for a year? (Documentary project)

Are you a passionate and knowledgeable permaculturalist? Would you like to live in a developing ecovillage for a year ‘rent free’ as part of a documentary project? Do you want to explore a life of frugal abundance? If so, read on! Over the last 12 months the Simplicity Institute has been involved in the development of an ecovillage permaculture farm in Gippsland, Victoria, Australia (about 1 hour 45... read more

Life in a ‘degrowth’ economy, and why you might actually enjoy it

Yesterday my article “Life in a ‘degrowth’ economy, and why you might actually like it” was published in The Conversation. I’ve reposted it below: What does genuine economic progress look like? The orthodox answer is that a bigger economy is always better, but this idea is increasingly strained by the knowledge that, on a finite planet, the economy can’t grow for ever. This... read more

The Divestment Movement

Below I’ve posted the introduction to a new MSSI Issues paper, “Fossil Free: The Development and Significance of the Fossil Fuel Divestment Movement“, which I co-authored with Kara Nicholson and John Wiseman. As the probability and risks of catastrophic climate change continue to increase (Potsdam, 2012; Christoff, 2013), fossil fuel divestment has become an increasingly important... read more

Transcript of book launch talk – ‘Pioneers of the Deep Future’

Below I’ve posted the transcript of the talk I gave last night at the book launch of Simple Living in History: Pioneers of the Deep Future. Thanks so much to everyone who came. It was heartening to see so much interest in the book. PIONEERS OF THE DEEP FUTURE Good evening everyone. Thanks very much for coming tonight. It’s very good to be able to share this occasion with you. I’m not going to... read more
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