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Chelsea Green Blog

Our Infinite Growth Bubble Has Burst

Our friends over at just posted a great article from Chuck Burr titled, “Steady-State Economy: Light at the End of the Tunnel.” Burr makes a great argument for the fact that life on this planet is changing, whether we want it to or not. Local, low-energy, economies are the only way forward—and we can either steer ourselves there thoughtfully, or be taken there by the forces of collapse. Here is an excerpt:
The world economy is essentially broke. U.S. daily bankruptcy filings have risen from about 1,300 in January 2006 to about 5,000 in September 2008. Here is how big the problem really is. First, the value of all the money in the world until recently was three times greater than the value of all physical goods and services. In other words, our “money” is actually worth 30 cents on the dollar. And considering, physical assets such as real estate have been over valued, your pixel money is actually “worth-less.” Second, the U.S. government’s $9.7 trillion commitment to solving the financial crisis amounts to almost two-thirds of the value of everything produced in the U.S. last year. The promises are composed of about $1 trillion in stimulus packages, around $3 trillion in lending and spending and $5.7 trillion in agreements to provide aid. Third, until recently our growing economy has been able to cover our debts and deficits, but now the blue-light-special lifestyle is over. Everyone, from the public to governments is now under water. America has built up a staggering amount of debt. At the time of the 1929 stock market crash, total U.S. debt was 176 percent of GDP. Before the current financial crisis began, total debt stood at a whopping 304 percent of GDP. Today it is far worse; we are well beyond our means. […] When all of the cards are done falling, local powered-down steady- state economies will be the only replacement for our infinite growth global consumer economy. To live within our means for perpetuity means living within the earth’s carrying capacity which we have vastly reduced especially over the last 100 years.
Read the full article here.

Use Systems Thinking to Make Lasting Social Change

What can be done when our best intentions create unintended problems—such as temporary shelters increasing homelessness or food aid accelerating starvation?After decades of helping change-makers in the nonprofit, public, and private sectors address tough social problems, systems-thinking expert David Stroh shares the pioneering framework that both demystifies systems thinking and shows how it can lead […] Read More..

Let’s Make Bernie Sanders a Bestseller!

As the presidential campaign of Bernie Sanders continues to climb in the polls, crushing online fundraising records and frustrating party insiders and pundits along the way, we’re looking to put Bernie’s message on bestseller lists everywhere in time for the national debates this fall!With the second Democratic debate to be held on November 14th in Des Moines, it’s […] Read More..

Bern Baby Bern!

Feel the Bern, now read the Bern. Chelsea Green is bringing out the first major book chronicling the issues being raised by US Senator Bernie Sanders in his campaign for president of the United States. The Essential Bernie Sanders and His Vision for America is the only book that outlines, in Sanders’ own words and […] Read More..

Economic Development is Broken. Here’s How to Fix It

Economic development today is completely broken. That’s the argument of author Michael Shuman in his new book, The Local Economy Solution. The singular focus on attracting global corporations is not just ineffective but counterproductive, Shuman argues, especially given the huge opportunity costs. Indeed, it’s not far-fetched to suggest that the best way most communities can […] Read More..

5 Shareable Strategies for Creating Climate Action

Frustrated about climate change? You’re not alone. Most people in our society find themselves somewhere on the spectrum of depressed about our climate situation to flat-out denying that it exists. In fact, the more information about global warming that piles up, the less we seem to do to combat it. What is the reason for this […] Read More..
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