Video: The big picture behind the credit crunch, and what to do about it
March 4, 2014
Just want to share this 12-minute video I came across on Sustainable Man. It really succinctly explains how the economic crash of 2008 is likely to be just the tip of the iceberg, and how due to the depletion of key resources we’re in for a very tough time indeed. Don’t worry, around half way in it saves you from alarm and possible depression by turning to the more proactive question of “what can we do about it?” The solutions explored in the rest of the video are just a teeny tiny teaser of the awesome stuff people are working on all around the world, so be sure to do some more research. For ideas on what to punch into google you could check out my post The Big Bumper Book of Solutions.
Share with your friends, especially people who don’t already know about this stuff, and start a conversation!
Also don’t you think the illustrations are brilliant?
Busyness and the Radio
February 24, 2014
Hi lovely readers, I hope everything’s going well with you.
I just wanted to explain why my blog’s gone a bit quiet at the moment. As usual there is a good reason, I’m not just being lazy on the writing front. Actually I’ve been incredibly busy. Half way through my degree, my workload is picking up quite a lot (I have to start writing my dissertation soon!!), and I also have a waitressing job that’s taking up most of my evenings. But I’m also doing two other much more exciting things. Continue Reading
Crowdfund the Happy Pig!
February 5, 2014
Imagine if there was an organic pub come community hub where you could enjoy tasty fresh food and drinks, talks and workshops by world-class sustainability gurus, live music and great company – all for the wonderful sum of £0.00?
Yes, I do mean imagine if it was completely free.
Enough is Enough – Video
February 4, 2014
As I wrote in my glowing review, Enough is Enough by Rob Dietz and Dan O’Neil is one of the best books I’ve ever read. The book outlines an idea for a steady state economy – a truly sustainable economy that puts wellbeing before profit. When I read the book and found out about this concept, it was pretty much a life changing experience. I was ecstatic that other people were actually working on the ideas that were already half-baked in my mind. It filled me with hope. Today I found this video on Youtube which gives you an 18-minute taster of Enough is Enough, the limits to growth and the steady state concept. If you haven’t read it, watch the video for a quick summary. Then order this brilliant book from your local bookshop!
What is Sustainable Development?
January 30, 2014
‘Sustainable’ is used a something of a buzzword these days, employed as a handy prefix for everything from fashion to washing-up liquid to fish to economics. From some of the branding and back-of-packet claims that are commonplace, you’d be forgiven for thinking ‘sustainable’ was synonymous with ‘green’ or ‘eco-friendly’. It’s not. Very simply, it means ‘can go on and on, maintained at a constant level or rate’. Plenty of natural processes, like childbirth and volcanic eruptions, are not sustainable as they happen and then end reasonably quickly. So it doesn’t mean natural or green, it just means it can continue. I want to say ‘can continue forever’ but obviously nothing can continue forever. ‘Continue for the foreseeable future’ perhaps.
Confusingly though, ‘sustainable development’ is a much more complex concept than simply ‘ development that can carry on for nearly forever’. The most widely accepted definition comes from Our Common Future, better known as the Brundtland Report, in 1987: Continue Reading
EU Announces Climate Targets for 2030
January 22, 2014
Great news, everyone.
The Guardian’s live stream tells us the EU Commission has agreed on the climate targets for 2030:
- 40% cut of GHG emissions, from 1990 levels
- At least 27% of energy coming from renewables – binding
- At least 25% improved energy efficiency – non binding
- The EU carbon trading scheme will be reformed Continue Reading
Europe will declare climate goal tomorrow
January 21, 2014
Tomorrow, Wednesday 22nd January 2014, the EU will be announcing the carbon cutting target for 2030 and the renewables target for the same period.
Europe seems fairly united in the need to tackle climate change, and they’ve already decided a fifth of the budget will be allocated to climate related policies. But dangerously, corporate lobbyists from the fossil fuel industry are using this final window before the announcement to clamour for attention and weaken the deal. If you want the EU to seal an ambitious deal and seriously tackle climate change, please take a moment to send a message to EU Commision President Jose Barroso, through Avaaz.
https://secure.avaaz.org/en/save_eu_climate_legacy_d/?aUKFedb Continue Reading
Tegan vs Forbes
January 18, 2014
Today I went head to head with Forbes magazine, challenging the idea that further economic growth is the answer to today’s problems. But before I explain about that, I need to outline a bit of background… Continue Reading
Urgent: Last Chance to Stop the Gagging Law
January 14, 2014
A few months ago I wrote about why we need to Stop the Gagging Bill. Last week I wrote about how happy I am that my city is officially opposing it. On Thursday I went to a local public meeting about it, where two MPs and two other speakers hashed it out with 300 concerned local people. The meeting was organized by people power group 38 Degrees, and they’ve also got a petition that’s being presented to the House of Lords tomorrow – if you haven’t already, please sign it!
https://secure.38degrees.org.uk/page/signup/fix-the-gagging-law#petition Continue Reading
January 11, 2014
There’s a lot of intelligent comment in sustainability circles about how globalization (among other forces) has degraded geographical community. People don’t tend to know their neighbours as much, or at all. People move around the country in search of quality employment (labour mobility, in economic speak). And people move around the world in search of a better life, or just out of curiosity. Continue Reading
How Equal is the USA?
January 9, 2014
In my last post, I showed a short animated video about the huge income inequality in the UK. The video showed the big differences between what people thought the situation was, what they thought it should be, and what it actually is.
If you thought that was a shocker, then get ready, because I’ve found a similar video for the US of A and it’s even worse.
Although this is very much bad news, I think there is one silver lining to be gleaned from both the UK and USA situations. We’re always told that there isn’t enough money for all sorts of great things. Free education, arts funding, a new smart grid, high-speed electric rail, renewable energy, better healthcare, nature conservation… All sorts of things. Well at least the money is very definitely there. If we could just stop all those billions congregating in the tippy top of the pile, we’d have enough money for practically anything.
The first stage is surely raising awareness. Both videos show that people rightly assume the rich are much richer than the poor, but they massively underestimate the difference. In particular, people don’t realise that the poor and middleclass are actually very similar in wealth compared with the most wealthy.
Wake up everyone, this isn’t okay.
How Equal is the UK?
January 6, 2014
This video by Inequality Briefing shows – with cute and simple animation – how (in)equal the UK is today. The richest 20% have 60% of the wealth, while the poorest 20% have 0.6%! Pretty shocking, if you ask me. Continue Reading
The Spirit Level and Equality
January 2, 2014
I’ve just finished reading The Spirit Level by Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett, at last. I’ve heard this book quoted a lot lately, and I was keen to read it for myself.
The premise of the book is simple: Within the rich market democracies, the more equal a county is, the less health and social problems it has. Continue Reading
‘Prosperity Without Growth’ by Tim Jackson
December 26, 2013
I’ve just finished reading Prosperity Without Growth by Tim Jackson (2009) for the second time. I got it from my university library and I haven’t been able to bring myself to relinquish it – I’ve renewed this little volume three times now. It’s one of the best factual books I’ve ever read, and I thoroughly recommend it to anyone remotely interested in sustainability, the environment, economics or well-being. Continue Reading
Costa Rica vs Infinito Gold
December 23, 2013
Do you remember what I said in ”Transatlantic Corporatocracy? No Thanks” about corporations having the power to sue whole nations? Well, it’s happening to Costa Rica. Continue Reading