Rethinking Prosperity’s weekly roundup of news on the topic of economy, environment and democracy


The 100 percent renewable energy future: The good news and the bad newsResource Insights (January 1, 2017)
We’ll get to a renewable energy economy eventually as fossil fuels become ever more expensive to take out of the ground. But the default endpoint is not one that results from a planned transition which would try to save the best of industrial civilization while jettisoning the worst. Rather, the default endpoint is merely the wreckage of an industrial civilization that didn’t prepare properly. Such a society would be forced to make do with the energy budget available from renewables like all past civilizations.

Type/tags: Article, economy, environment, energy, renewable, fossil fuels


Make. Less. More. — Why Adaptive Production Can Save The PlanetP2P Foundation (January 2, 2017)

In other words, the real revolutionary potential for Industry 4.0 is not that can improve efficiency in the old paradigm, but that it can do something radically new. “I believe that Industry 4.0 can (and should) play a key role in solving the economic crises of late capitalism, and in turn, solve climate change, pollution, poverty, and inequality, by changing economics at its base.”

Type/tags: article/media (video), economy, environment, consumption, production, Industry 4.0, waste


Fake news, failed states — An Outside Chance (January 4, 2016)
Many of the violent conflicts raging today can only be understood if we look at the interplay between climate change, the shrinking of cheap energy supplies, and a dominant economic model that refuses to acknowledge physical limits. That is the message of Failing States, Collapsing Systems: BioPhysical Triggers of Political Violence, a thought-provoking new book by Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed. Violent conflicts are likely to spread to all continents within the next 30 years, Ahmed says, unless a realistic understanding of economics takes hold at a grass-roots level and at a nation-state policy-making level.

Type/tags: Article (book review), economy, environment, politics, fossil fuels, violence,


The Moral and Ethical Weight of Voluntary Simplicity: A Philosophical Review Resilience (January 5, 2017)
Choosing to consume less while seeking a higher quality of life is a living strategy that today goes by the name ‘voluntary simplicity’ (Elgin, 1998; Alexander, 2009). By exchanging superfluous consumption for more freedom, voluntary simplicity holds out the tantalising prospect that over-consumers could live more on less (Cafaro, 2009), with positive consequences for self, others, and planet.

Type/tags: article (report), economy, environment, consumption, voluntary simplicity, philosophy, ethics


The logic of sustainable development — The Malta Independent (January 8, 2017)
This is not just a matter of environmental concern. It is an intertwining of environmental, economic, social and cultural policy. It means that our actions must take the long view and be compatible with the forces of nature, the economy, human development and a respect for culture. All this leads to a number of logical conclusions which form the basis of the politics of sustainable development.

Type/tags: article, environment, economy, politics, sustainable development, Malta


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