People in public life tend to fall into one of two broad categories – those motivated by principle, and those motivated by power. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died on Friday night at the age of 87, exemplified the first.
Prices climbed $4 a barrel last week, closing at about $43 in London and $41 in New York. They were lifted by hurricane Sally in the Gulf of Mexico, which took more than 500,000 b/d offline and left production 30 percent below normal by week’s end.
Rights of Nature is a movement that has been fortifying itself around the world as an antithesis to the dominant paradigm of limitless growth and extractivism. Firmly grounded in holistic Indigenous worldviews, this ecocentric paradigm could be a global game changer if a coordinated and adaptable effort — based on shared knowledge systems and accountability — … Continue reading “How Rights of Nature victories in Colombia’s rainforests can inform shared knowledge systems globally shared knowledge systems globally”
David Graeber was a cruel loss in these already-difficult times. Graeber was only 59….he clearly had many more dazzling books ahead of him….and those of us questing for system-change as multiple crises converge, took great inspiration from his thinking.
I’m thinking of these present two posts more as a kind of position statement on the politics underlying my forthcoming book, A Small Farm Future, and its arguments for renewable agrarianism, using the debate about XR as my foil.
COVID-19 has reminded us, perhaps as never before, that we need an overhaul, not only of our health care system, but our food system as well.  As a steady stream of studies and articles point out, a priority of future food system policy should be to support the emergence of local and regional, diversified, healthy … Continue reading “Building Bioregional Food Systems Post-COVID 19: The Northeast Healthy Soil Network & the power of regional food system reform consortium work”
There remains a hope that once we get past the economic and social effects of the pandemic, all of us will be able to return to something resembling normal life before the pandemic—even if it is a “new normal” marked by heightened vigilance and protection against infectious disease … But the date for this recovery … Continue reading “The ‘new normal’ has been postponed (and probably canceled)”
A small group of new farmers have seeded a movement to change the local food industry. Will COVID-19’s impact on the local economy set them back? Or will it — and the growing push for social justice — help?
Retrosuburbia provides the patterns and models that need to be replicated across our residential heartlands to achieve a scale of impact. By replacing a fair slab of the current household consumption activity (currently about 55% of GDP in Australia) with downsized and much more efficient ways to provide basic needs in the household and community … Continue reading “Can changing habits for self-reliance and resilience help society avoid the worst of unfortunate futures?”
Rob Dietz: Steady-state economics is a sustainable alternative to mainstream or neoclassical economics, which assumes perpetual growth of production and consumption. Such an economy keeps material and energy use within ecological limits, and the unsustainable (and unrealistic) goal of continuously increasing income and consumption is replaced by the goal of improving quality of life for … Continue reading “The Focus is ‘Enough’ Rather Than ‘More’”
The first debate between President Trump and former Vice President Biden will occur on the 29th of September. In advance of the encounter, 70 Democratic members of Congress sent a letter to the Commission on Presidential Debates asking it to publicly call on the moderators to include climate in the topics that will be addressed during the debates
A city near Beijing is being designed with rooftop farms, 3-D printing facilities and ample space to work from home – to protect residents against future pandemics. Vicente Guallart, whose Barcelona-based firm of architects won a contest to design the community, said: “We cannot continue designing cities and buildings as if nothing had happened.”
Futures posted their first back-to-back weekly loss since April’s rout with the end of the summer driving season and concern about OPEC’s production compliance weighing on prices.
Translated by Jane K Brundage. For an explantion of terms, see the Translator’s Notes at the bottom of the article. Original Spanish version: “Por una conjunción ecomunitarista de vivencias en Abya Yala” in Aporrea, August 25, 2020 For An E-communitarian Union of Experiences in Abya Yala  The coup at the end of 2019 in … Continue reading “For an e-communitarian union of experiences in Abya Yala”
We are in the midst of an unmitigated natural disaster here in Oregon and on the West Coast. I struggle to find the words to express what’s happening and the toll it’s taking – on our natural treasures, on homes and businesses, and on our collective psyches. People outside our region probably don’t grasp the … Continue reading “West Coast wildfires: a letter to friends from an Oregon resident”
Due to editorial holiday, there will be light posting for the week of September 14-18, 2020. Regular posting will resume on September 21, 2020.
To the extent that oil demand goes down in the future, it will go down because people can’t afford oil distillates at the price producers need to produce the corresponding oil.
With the COVID-19 pandemic shuttering many food businesses temporarily or permanently, FoodLab Detroit has refocused on supporting surviving businesses that want to break the cycles of racist, exploitative, profit-first practices — such as tipping — that have long been taken for granted.
What should be the message from the climate scientist, the environmental activist, the conscientious politician, the ardent planner – those daunted but committed to pulling out all the stops? It is the single most important issue facing the community of climate-concerned Earthlings.
To a plant, its genetic base is like a huge toolbox that helps it adapt to changes in weather and climate, and fight diseases and pests. Plants grown from open pollinated seeds have this genetic toolbox.
Nordhaus (and about 20 like-minded economists) used two main methods to derive sanguine estimates of the economic consequences of climate change: the “enumerative method” and the “statistical method”. But my research shows neither stand up to scrutiny.
We tend to ignore the racist history of trade when looking at trade issues. It’s complicated, uncomfortable and more convenient to gloss over it. The truth is the racism that underpinned colonialism and slavery continues within our global supply chains today.
Almost a week after Hurricane Laura struck Louisiana’s coast, which is studded with oil and gas industry pipes, tanks, wells, and rigs, I photographed from the sky oil sheen along at least 20 miles of marsh and bayous that absorbed the full strength of the storm.
In 2019, intense fires sprung up on every inhabited continent on the planet. In just one year, 250,000 fires across the world resulted in almost 40 million hectares of land being burnt.
Civilisation is a way of talking about human history on the largest scale. From the cave paintings of Lascaux to the latest MoMA exhibition, it binds human history together.
Just as Indigenous wisdom is rooted in a myriad of complex and reciprocal interactions with the community, the land and water, the animals and plants, localizing makes visible the threads of interdependence that hold the living world together.
If anything is to be learned from the template of Bt cotton it is that much of biotechnology in agriculture is an exercise in linear thinking, of reductionism, and of unexpected consequences.
Government officials and state-owned energy enterprises in China are currently debating another wave of coal power investment, despite a severely diminished business case for the technology.
As the smoke continues to blanket our state, we call on insurers and other institutional investors to be a powerful force for good, and to end the madness of continued extraction. Our ability to thrive on this, our only planet, demands it of them.
The dream of seeing your children attain a better life than you is a human dream of every parent. Equality and justice for all cannot exist when too few have too much, and the majority have too little.
Collectively, there is an opportunity to better track phenological shifts and manage, adapt, and prepare for changes that lie ahead…and it might just start with a small, delicious berry.
I want the bullshit jobs to end, the debt to be forgiven, and the riot cops to blink, dumbfounded, in the mirror, before dumping their uniforms in the bin. Rest in power, peace and possibility, David – your legacy will spill out into the future of this world in so many untold directions, so many … Continue reading “Remembering David Graeber – ‘rest in power, peace and possibility’”
I grew up seeing the very ingenious and efficient means by which our most valued resource, the natural ecosystem, can be replicated to meet human needs without altering its capacity and propensity to meet the needs of the oncoming generations.
Unequal exchange—basically the notion that more labour is exchanged for less labour through international trade—was discussed by the political economists David Ricardo and Karl Marx in the 19th century.
This rich intertwined story of an heirloom seed, an age-old tradition, and a bright future all began when Sharon Gordon Donnan, an experienced filmmaker and textile conservator, spotted an old blanket while browsing at an antique sale in Washington, Louisiana.
New York futures settled near two-month lows after gains in the dollar reduced the appeal of commodities priced in US currency and concerns about over-supply mount.
The tactics of ‘get off our land’ and ‘hey, we have a collective civilizational problem that needs greater action’ are not the same, even if they’re part of the same larger story.
For a book that can be breezed through in a couple of hours, this pseudonymously written novella manages to plumb the modern-day human dilemma with surprising depth and emotion.
A prominent journalist is pushing the idea that the United States embark on a program to triple its population. He completely ignores the environmental implications.
Universal Basic Income (UBI) – a policy that would provide a regular, cash income to every citizen without means test or work requirement – is surprisingly inexpensive.
Wellbeing Farm will explore an array of innovative heritage and leading-edge technologies by which individuals, communities, and the Hudson Valley Bioregion can thrive in decades ahead – designing and realizing pragmatic, environmentally and economically sound tools for peacefully, equitably, and intelligently transitioning away from fossil fuels.
We need all the support we can get to build this movement locally. In the spirit of “a high tide raises all ships”, racial justice in the progressive farming movement will benefit everyone.
The assumption that the future is going to be just like the past is untenable. If we keep educating our students on the basis of this assumption, then that means we’re not preparing them for the world.
Already, 2020 is shaping up to be a record-breaking year for powerful storms and other impacts of the climate crisis. The most important unknown element, when it comes to how bad things could get, scientists say, is what actions we take today to curb the worst effects of climate change down the road.
One of the early insights of the Strong Towns movement was that the way North American cities have been built since World War II resembles, more than anything, a massive Ponzi scheme.
Thinking about the post-pandemic future and the scenarios that could emerge is as challenging as it is important. One cannot conceive of a more pressing issue for a progressive movement. Finding a workable response is thus of critical importance.
Welcome to “Podcast from the Prairie.” Wes Jackson, one of the founders of the sustainable agriculture movement, tells stories that take us from lessons learned growing up on a Kansas farm to the front lines of crucial debates about ecological crises and social struggles
Our health is therefore predicated on more than our own physical resilience. To be healthy, we must acknowledge—and love—the entire web of life we are part of.
Given the rapidly changing attitudes towards care work and reproductive labor as our globalized society combats COVID-19, it may finally be time to recognize gender liberation as a practical and necessary achievement.
At the heart of a new climate emergency bill lies a simple idea to cut through Westminster groupthink: a citizens’ assembly.