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 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..