The Pricing of Everything

Posted by & filed under Consumerism, Economics, Society.

The Natural Capital Agenda looks like an answer to the environmental crisis. But it’s a delusion. Below is the transcript of George Monbiot’s SPERI Annual Lecture, hosted by the Sheffield Political Economy Research Institute at the University of Sheffield. The lecture was delivered without notes, and transcribed afterwards, so a few small changes have been… Read more »

Land and Freedom – Low-Impact Building in the “Other” Spain

Posted by & filed under Building, Eco-Villages, Society, Village Development.

The tsunami of construction that washed over Spain in the decade of the 2000s has drawn back, leaving behind some very odd jetsam. Unused airports, white elephant projects like the City of the Arts and Sciences in Valencia, uninhabited housing developments in the middle of nowhere — and massive debts, public and private. But nearly… Read more »

Simon Anholt: Which Country Does the Most Good for the World? (TED video)

Posted by & filed under People Systems, Society.

It’s an unexpected side effect of globalization: problems that once would have stayed local—say, a bank lending out too much money—now have consequences worldwide. But still, countries operate independently, as if alone on the planet. Policy advisor Simon Anholt has dreamed up an unusual scale to get governments thinking outwardly: The Good Country Index. In… Read more »

Commons Way of Life vs. Market Way of Life

Posted by & filed under Alternatives to Political Systems, Consumerism, Economics, People Systems, Society, Village Development.

by Silke Helfrich The market has always been with us. What’s new about life in the last three hundred years — and especially the last thirty — is that the buying and selling of goods is the overriding goal of human civilization. The market is seen not just as an efficient way to do some… Read more »

Inglorious Fruits and Vegetables

Posted by & filed under Consumerism, Food Shortages, Society.

When you grow your own food, you know for a fact that every piece does not look as ‘perfect’ as those sold in stores. They are each unique, sometimes odd-looking, but taste delicious nonetheless. In our industrial world, these so-called imperfect fruits and veggies go straight to the dumpster and contribute to a shocking amount… Read more »

Ecuador Takes First Step Toward a Commons Economy

Posted by & filed under Alternatives to Political Systems, People Systems, Society, Village Development.

Government sponsors research on how to transition to commoning and open networks. by David Bollier A child during a parade in Ecuador by mavik2007, Flickr Creative Commons In 2013, the government of Ecuador launched a major strategic research project to “fundamentally re-imagine Ecuador” based on the principles of open networks, peer production and commoning.  Michel… Read more »

Towering Imbroglio

Posted by & filed under Economics, Society.

Is the government preparing to dispose of our forests and other public land? Planning laws inhibit prosperity. That’s what we’re told by almost everyone. Those long and tortuous negotiations over what should be built where are a brake on progress. All the major parties and most of the media believe that we would be better… Read more »

Revisiting Masanobu Fukuoka’s Revolutionary Agriculture

Posted by & filed under Community Projects, General, Society, Soil Conservation, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Soil Rehabilitation, Water Contaminaton & Loss.

I believe that a revolution can begin from this one strand of straw. Seen at a glance, this rice straw may appear light and insignificant. Hardly anyone would believe that it could start a revolution. But I have come to realize the weight and power of this straw. For me, this revolution is very real…. Read more »