Available for order in hard-copy format! The Future is Rural challenges the conventional wisdom about the future of food in our modern, globalized world. It is a much-needed reality check that explains why certain trends we take for granted–like the decline of rural areas and the dependence of farming and the food system on fossil […]
Can technology solve the climate crisis, biodiversity loss, and overpopulation?
Climate change, along with the depletion of oil, coal, and gas, dictate that we will inevitably move away from our profound societal reliance on fossil fuels; but just how big a transformation will this be? While many policy-makers assume that renewable energy sources will provide an easy “plug-and-play” solution, author Richard Heinberg suggests instead that […]
This provocative paper makes a convincing case for why the environmental community must embrace post-growth economics and community resilience in their efforts to address the climate crisis.
We have founded our present society upon delusional assumptions of limitlessness. Our national faith is a sort of autistic industrialism. This necessarily leads to limitless violence, waste, war, and destruction. Our great need now is for sciences and technologies of limits. The limits would be the accepted contexts of places, communities, and neighborhoods, both natural […]
Our mismanaged world economy today has many of the characteristics of a Ponzi scheme. A Ponzi scheme takes payments from a broad base of investors and uses these to pay off returns. It creates the illusion that it is providing a highly attractive rate of return on investment as a result of savvy investment decisions […]
The main cause of global climate change is growth: unrelenting economic growth and a swelling human population. Most proposals for reducing climate change take this growth for granted and focus exclusively on technical means for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. An economic system dedicated to generating ever more wealth and consumption for ever more people must […]
In The End of Growth, published in September 2011, Richard Heinberg, made the observation that world economic expansion, which has been barreling along for the past few decades, is now stalling. The book further claimed that this is not an outcome we can prevent; we can only choose whether and how to adapt. He argued […]
As a contribution to this ongoing refinement of the concept, I recently formulated five axioms (self-evident truths) of sustainability. My goal was simply to distill ideas that had been proposed previously and put them into a concise, easy-to-understand form. The First Axiom Any society that continues to use critical resources unsustainably will collapse. Exception: A […]
Many people would agree that the central desirable end of economic activity is a high quality of life for this and future generations. Conventional economists argue that humans are insatiable, and therefore economics should focus on endless economic growth and ever-increasing consumption. Considerable evidence, however, suggests that humans are in fact satiable&emdash;there is a point […]