Chelsea Green Publishing

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.

The End of Stationarity

Welcome to the End … of Stationarity. And what is “stationarity”? We’re glad you asked.Scientists have devised a new term to explain the turmoil caused by climate change: the end of stationarity. It means that our baselines for rainfall, water flow, temperature, and extreme weather are no longer relevant—that making predictions based on past experience […] Read More

Bullshit. *Charisma, Icon, Intelligence, Empty Sandwich

How does the word “bullshit” connect to Charisma, Intelligence and the notion of The Empty Sandwich?To find out the answer to this question we meandered through David Fleming’s Lean Logic. A dictionary unlike any other, Lean Logic encourages readers to actively and intellectually engage with its entries. These entries are often cross-referenced so that you […] Read More

From Farm-to-Table to Farm-to-Everything

No longer restricted to the elite segments of society, the farm-to-table movement now reaches a wide spectrum of Americans from hospital and office cafeterias to elementary schools and fast-casual restaurants.Nearly a century ago, the idea of “local food” would have seemed perplexing, since virtually all food was local. Today, most of the food consumed in […] Read More

The Three Cs of Farm-to-School

Most people know about the three “R’s” – reading, writing, and arithmetic. But, have you heard about the three “C’s”?If you, or your kid, is at a school that takes part in the Farm-to-School movement, then you may already know about them.October is National Farm-to-School month, and in their book Farm to Table, authors Darryl […] Read More

“Rules for Revolutionaries” Offers New Political Playbook for Activists

A riveting behind-the-scenes look at the “rules” used by the “revolutionaries” who helped harness the volunteer power that fueled Bernie Sanders’ historic, and insurgent, presidential campaign.Authors Becky Bond and Zack Exley led the Sanders campaign’s efforts to recruit and engage volunteers at an unprecedented level, which was crucial to the Vermont senator capturing 46 percent […] Read More
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