Chelsea Green Publishing

Chelsea Green Blog

A Pessimistic Pause

My normal tendency is to be optimistic, to assume that somehow things will turn out okay for the most part. But there are times when bad news gets through and I decide that we are just plain doomed–and if not me or my generation exactly, then my kid(s) and theirs. Michael Klare’s recent article in the Nation was one of those bits of news. He writes about the geo-politics of natural gas, arguing that as that version of fossil fuel becomes increasingly important to the function of the industrialized global economy, struggles over access and control of gas will intensify, even, perhaps, eclipsing the current level of political jockeying we currently see regarding crude oil. This is not exactly news to us at Chelsea Green, what with having published Julian Darley’s High Noon for Natural Gas last year, which provides an in depth look at the situation… … Still, Klare’s article is a depressing reminder of the challenges we face (where “we” means every last person on the planet, and that’s a big group of people, only a relatively small number of whom know what’s up, let alone are in a position to try to effect meaningful change). Doomed, I say, doomed, DOOMED! Well, maybe not. A decent night’s rest, some tea, the presence of committed co-workers, these things help to righten my outlook. Feeling better about the future doesn’t mean that there’s any less work to be done to ensure that we get ourselves on a path towards decent lives and sustainable societies. There’s more than enough need for reducing, reusing, recycling, and revolutionizing to go around. But there’s not going to be any hope for success if we don’t have hopeful attitudes. It’s a necessary ingredient, though insufficient on its own, and sometimes has the characterisitc of being self-perpetuating. As long as it inspires combined thought and action–like the ortho-praxis of the liberation theologists–then it earns the right to self-perpetuation.


The Limits to Growth and Greece: Systemic or Financial Collapse?

Could it be that the ongoing Greek collapse is a symptom of the more general collapse that the Limits to Growth model generates for the first two decades of the 21st century? Author Ugo Bardi (Extracted: How the Quest for Mineral Wealth is Plundering the Planet) examines the correlation between what is unfolding between Greece […] Read More..

Permaculture Q&A: Mulching Options for Your Garden

As Permaculture Month continues, we are making our expert authors available to answer your burning permaculture questions. If you have a question to submit, fill out this form. This week, Lottie from Florida asked if there are other garden mulch options that are as effective as hay. Josh Trought, one of our soil building and garden management […] Read More..

Designing Your Own Solar Cooker & Dehydrator

In today’s world, nearly everything we use, from phones and computers to cars and kitchen appliances, requires energy derived from fossil fuels. Wouldn’t it be nice to offset some of that energy use by harnessing the renewable power of the sun? Josh Trought, founder of D Acres—an educational center in New Hampshire that researches, applies, […] Read More..

Building a Sustainable Community: The D Acres Model

If you were going to create a community-based homestead or farm from scratch, where would you start? What building materials would you use? What crops would you grow and what animals would you raise? How would you develop an organizational structure and connect with your community? And, how would you make sure all of this […] Read More..

A Man Apart: Remembering Bill Coperthwaite’s Radical Life

A Man Apart is the story—part family memoir and part biography—of Peter Forbes and Helen Whybrow’s longtime friendship with Bill Coperthwaite (A Handmade Life), whose unusual, and even radical, life and fierce ideals helped them examine and understand their own. Framed by Coperthwaite’s sudden death and brought alive through the month-long adventure of building with […] Read More..