Chelsea Green Publishing

Chelsea Green Blog

Energy Futures

K.C. Golden writes on optimism and pessimism over at TomPaine.com.
The signs of a new, brighter energy future are everywhere. Wind and solar power are the fastest growing electricity sources. NASDAQ just launched a clean energy index. Leading venture capitalists are making big bets on low-carbon energy sources. Auto dealers are carrying more hybrid and flex-fuel vehicles. Forward-looking communities are planning a future around people instead of cars. Farmers, entrepreneurs, investors—they’re all planting seeds for a cleaner, more secure energy future. But they’re going too slow. Promising solutions are emerging, but our addiction to fossil fuels is getting worse and it’s killing us. War, climate disruption and economic insecurity are among its symptoms. Now that we can see real pictures of the post-fossil fuel future—since it seems so tantalizingly possible—what can we do to accelerate it? We can start by squaring up to a simple truth, fossil fuels are very costly. We pay some of the tab at the pump and in our utility bills. But we pay much more in the form of chronic national insecurity due to dependence on oil. We pay in the form of climate disruption—more intense storms, water shortages, ocean sterilization. We pay through the nose, through our lungs and through our declining standing in the world. … Won’t the truth of high fossil fuel prices fall hardest on those who can least afford it? Yes. That’s why we should invest in alternatives that are practical and affordable for everyone. The people who can’t afford $3 gas are the same people who pay in blood to defend our access to the next fix. They’re the ones who can’t move to higher ground when the water rises. If there’s one thing they can’t afford more than the truth, it’s our failure to confront the lie of “cheap” fossil fuels. …


The 5 Rules of Lean Thinking

Are you ready to co-create the future? These 5 Rules of Lean Thinking are a useful tool as we set out to collectively invent a post-market future.Surviving the Future is a story drawn from the fertile ground of the late David Fleming’s extraordinary Lean Logic: A Dictionary for the Future and How to Survive It. That […] Read More

Imagination, Purpose & Flexibility: Creating an Independent Farmstead – Q&A (part 1)

Twenty years ago, the land that authors Shawn and Beth Dougherty purchased and have come to name the Sow’s Ear was deemed “not suitable for agriculture” by the state of Ohio. Today, their family raises and grows 90% of their own food.Such self-sufficiency is largely the result of basing their farming practices around intensive pasture […] Read More

Using Permaculture Principles to Design Resilient Cities

The Permaculture City begins in the garden but takes what we have learned there and applies it to a much broader range of human experience; we’re not just gardening plants but people, neighborhoods, and even cultures.Author Toby Hemenway (Gaia’s Garden) lays out how permaculture design can help towndwellers solve the challenges of meeting our needs […] Read More

Overshoot, Collapse, and Creating a Better Future

In 2016, Earth Overshoot Day happened on August 8—the day when we’ve exhausted the planet’s resources for the year, and are essentially borrowing from future years to maintain our existence today.Perhaps you celebrated this day with a counter-solution: a vegetarian meal, telecommuted, or turned off the air conditioning. There’s a lot more you could be […] Read More

Save Energy & Money This Winter: Seal Up Your Drafty House

Unless you’ve taken special preventative precautions, it’s likely that on cold days much of your house’s heat pours out through your (closed) windows. Most houses—especially old houses—have drafty, uninsulated windows that do little to prevent heat from dumping out into the cold night. Even if your windows aren’t drafty, the expensive heat your furnace has […] Read More
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