This national crisis calls for a new model for economic disaster recovery. We propose a new strategy ‘resettlement in place’ – it is based on best practices in refugee resettlement and social intelligence, a model to harness local data and lessons learned from previous disasters, including Chicago’s response to Hurricane Katrina.
In the midst of a global pandemic, the Trump administration continues to disregard science by sharply cutting the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards negotiated by the Obama administration. The rollback is both the most impactful and heedless environmental deregulation of Trump’s presidency.
Last week saw one of the biggest price leaps in the history of the oil industry, with US futures surging from around $20 a barrel at mid-week to a close of $28.34 on Friday.
In a recent post I questioned the well-known formula: Human Impact = Population x Affluence x Technology. But I don’t question that humans now have a severe impact on earth systems. So if not PAT, then what? Here I’m going to lay out some other factors that I suggest underlie our impact and our present predicament … Continue reading “The Three Causes of Global Ecocide”
Drop the hoarding mentality, break out your coupon book, and engage your sense of fairness as Crazy Town explores the rationale behind rationing.
A home-based lifestyle of self-reliance, minimal and slow travel does not provide protection against getting a virus as infectious as COVID-19, but it provides a base for social distancing and isolation that is stimulating and healthy rather than a place of detention.
Whether the world returns to some semblance of normal by summer or whether the horror of COVID-19 continues into the fall and winter, the problem is that confidence has already been shattered.
Starting Monday April 6 I will be leading an online course “Surviving the Future: Conversations for Our Time” alongside Sterling College’s delightful Philip Ackerman-Leist, joined by Kate, Rob and further stars of The Sequel, as well as other compelling, internationally-renowned guests including Nate Hagens, Helena Norberg-Hodge and Richard Heinberg.
We have a long way to go before the resources we need for a truly resilient food system are widely available. But perhaps the difficulties of the day will make all of us more aware and appreciative of the importance of creating the bases for real food security.
Is it misleading to laugh at your company’s investors if you know the estimates you are giving them are inflated, but because you own the stock that benefits from those estimates, you do it anyway? Is that fraud? Perhaps that depends on if you get you get ethics lessons from Andrew Fastow and Jim Hackett.
Highlighting the term careful is important here: we can view the response of the state to this pandemic with care, we can be careful to see the gaps and address the ways that the state response is lacking. Careful in this context also means taking care and directly engaging with the crisis on a community … Continue reading “Exploring Transformative Change on the Brink”
The novel Coronavirus disease Covid-19 is amplifying both the ways that our cultural and economic lives are durable and resilient, and the many, many ways in which we are utterly vulnerable and precarious.
Since April 1 in some parts of the world is a traditional day for playing tricks and elaborate jokes (mostly on one’s friends), I found myself musing about the world I would like to see and had some fun taking about five minutes to jot down the following list (without rethinking it and in no … Continue reading “John’s Interim Program for a New World”
We are all inside the crucible right now, and the choices we make over the weeks and months to come will, collectively, determine the shape and defining characteristics of the next era. However big we’re thinking about the future effects of this pandemic, we can think bigger.
Four things we can learn from the response to COVID-19 that are critical for climate change resilience.
The rise of primary energy use and CO2 emissions over four decades across 70 countries is not closely correlated with increases in life expectancy, a new study finds. This suggests that increased fossil fuel use is not a key determinant of increased life expectancy, the lead author tells Carbon Brief.
Since we’re all avoiding the grocery store to help keep everyone as healthy as possible, the first thing you might run out of is lettuce. No problem! Spring is arriving in the northern hemisphere, and there are many things growing that can serve the purpose.
However, if people come to a diagnosis that this particular virus arises from a set of agroecological system conditions that will lead to continued outbreaks and disruptions, or if the diagnosis identifies how the infection’s harm is amplified and worsened by factors such as air pollution, then we may start the work of treating the disease.
With the coronavirus pandemic stalking the asylum seekers waiting nervously in camps and shelters all along the border and in the overcrowded jail cells of the US justice system, inspiration from the border is very hard to come by these days. Thanks to the Angry Tías and Abuelas for shining a light in the darkness, … Continue reading “Hello? Is There Anybody Out There?”
Here at Crazy Town headquarters, we’ve been calling for pretty drastic changes to the economy to make it fair, resilient, and sustainable. But changes don’t materialize just because you want them–usually you need a crisis to get people thinking and acting differently.
It was always going to come to this. Whether it was a pandemic triggering a shutdown, a climate emergency bursting the carbon bubble, a populist backlash against inequality, wars over water or countless other possible triggers, this moment has long been inevitable.
This pandemic health crisis exposes the injustices of the global economic order. It must be a turning point towards creating the systems, structures and policies that can always protect those who are marginalised and allow everyone to live with dignity.
The renewable energy industry, which until recently was projected to enjoy rapid growth, has run into stiff headwinds as a result of three era-defining events: the COVID-19 pandemic, the resulting global financial contraction and a collapse in oil prices. These are interrelated, mutually reinforcing events.
The problem isn’t humans, it’s the type of fossil-fuel dependent infrastructure that many societies have created. If we could shift that infrastructure, we could have clear skies and clean water more of the time, in more places—without shuttered businesses and schools.
This is a moment when our local producers and workers are providing vital services, so how can we do our part to strengthen local systems within our fibershed, while sheltering in place? We invite you to join us by engaging with practices, key learnings, and actions so that together we can rebuild an economy rooted … Continue reading “5 Ways You Can Strengthen Our Fibershed While Sheltering in Place”
We are the forgotten ones, the canaries in the coal mines, the disenfranchised and the disposable. We are communities of color, lower-wealth communities and Indigenous peoples. We are black, brown, yellow, red and yes, even sometimes white. We are gay and straight. We are atheist and theist.
There is no guarantee that this resurgence of collective action will survive the pandemic. We could revert to the isolation and passivity that both capitalism and statism have encouraged. But I don’t think we will.
While most Canadians have been worrying about the COVID-19 pandemic, the drama of collapsing oil prices has upended markets and shaken the budgets of Canada’s petro-dependent provinces: Newfoundland, Saskatchewan, Alberta and B.C.
A crisis like the one we are seeing now, along with the environmental crisis that is still going on, tells us we need to act urgently to improve how we manage land. ELC’s passionate and innovative farmers can do this while producing healthy food for local people.
What we know and what we have good grounds to fear about climate change calls our way of living into question. To take this evidence seriously leads to difficult questions about the stories we have been telling about the shape of history, the nature of the world in which we find ourselves and the virtue … Continue reading “The Cost of Knowing”
Should media literacy be taught in schools? That is the question an article in the Lowy Institute’s The Interpreter asks. It asks the question because media literacy is essential for navigating online media
What can we do!? We want to feel in control in an out of control time. We want to occupy our minds with something other than worry. I’ve spent half my adult life, it seems, prepping for this moment by creating resilience tools for money, food and community. They are simple, though take intention to … Continue reading “Money, Food and Love Now”
Ultimately, the song of nature is call and response. It’s a collective game of gambits and counter-gambits that doesn’t have much truck with uppity soloists. So while I half agree with this website’s go-to agronomist Andy McGuire that there’s scarcely such a thing as a ‘balance of nature’, it doesn’t necessarily follow that we humans have no … Continue reading “After the Anthropocene: Notes from a Distempered Winter”
During these times of tremendous turmoil, it may seem a little irrelevant to change the name of an energy newsletter and then bother to explain why. We acknowledge the overwhelming concerns of the day, knowing that your focus is elsewhere. We hope this missive finds you all in good health and reasonable spirits.
When the medical thriller movie Contagion came out in 2011, it was widely praised for its realistic portrayal of a global pandemic scenario. In recent weeks, as the real-life outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has spread around the world, there’s been a surge of renewed interest in the film.
Regardless of the precise solution, the lesson is clear: pumping new money into the economy without altering power relations will only exacerbate existing inequalities. We made this mistake in 2008 – it’s essential that we don’t make it again.
There are times in life when we wake up and realize we no longer recognize the world around us. When life throws us such curveballs, resiliency is what determines if we sink or swim. But what is resiliency exactly, and how do we foster it?
As I try to explain why Democrats and the clean energy and climate defense sectors proposed a series of climate-related initiatives as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (the Cares Act or Act) which will be signed into law within days. The connection between climate change and stimulus legislation intended to … Continue reading “Who Cares About the Coronavirus Pandemic and Climate Change?”
How many recognize that this pandemic—or some other shock to our interconnected and brittle global systems—could trigger a massive “phase change,” and utterly remake the world as we know it? I spoke with investigative journalist and systems thinker Nafeez Ahmed about these critical questions.
Problems which start out small, but have the potential to create systemic ruin, MUST be solved when they are small. Waiting to see if such problems become large is courting the very systemic ruin we seek to avoid.
Right now, your dollars are a lifeline for many small businesses and workers. Who can you help stay afloat during this time? We want to share direct opportunities for those who are able to make purchases for essential needs as well as enjoyment, and we also are including resources for those already experiencing economic insecurity.
On March 25, a federal judge tossed out federal permits for the Dakota Access pipeline (DAPL), built to carry over half a million barrels of Bakken crude oil a day from North Dakota, and ordered the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to conduct a full environmental review of the pipeline project.
Commoners and allied movements, disillusioned liberals and social democrats, people of goodwill must thwart the many retrograde dangers that threaten to surge forward under the cover of fear. But we must also, simultaneously, demonstrate the feasibility of new forms of commoning, infrastructure, finance, and commons/public partnerships. Rarely have needs and opportunities been so aligned!
The greatest enclosure of the commons is that of the mind: our capacity to imagine better worlds, to be kinder to each other and to the Earth. This will not be an easy or straightforward process. We need to hold each other through the loss and pain. We need to keep finding the others among … Continue reading “No New Normal”
The fight for ecocentrism, like the fight for human emancipation, is a fight for universal values. Without ecocentrism, that is not just an intellectual point of view but a genuine love for nature and for life on Earth, there will be no humanity and no human emancipation.
Pandemics change business-as-usual overnight. Governments mobilise huge resources to tackle the problem and compensate for its impacts. At the same time, people depend on the civil and public domains for advice, protection, health services and the whole infrastructure of response.
This is a lot clearer in a collective crisis like this one than if it were happening to one person but the essential issues are the same. There is the need for a new “package” of life routines and elements that is sustainable before mental and emotional turmoil will stabilise.
In a year where biblical calamities have rained down upon the world – as floods, bush fires and locust storms– this fracture has not emerged in the highly stressed natural world but from within a globalised human society. After ignoring the cries of Cassandra for decades, the horse has finally entered the gates of the … Continue reading “Outbreak”
Even if we don’t have gardens of our own, there is an array of ways to grow food right in our cities! This concept is called urban gardening or urban farming. And it’s got a surprisingly rich & interesting history… Could urban gardening, along with community supported agriculture, be the next food revolution?
With coronavirus prompting a slowdown in global trade, it’s all the more critical to find a different way forward. Thankfully, Asher, Rob, and Jason have a few ideas about how to have fun while building a resilient local economy.