Chelsea Green Blog

Business & Economy

Profit or Loss from Farming

June 12, 2018

Most people don’t start farming to crunch numbers and expenses. Like any business, even small-scale farmers need to consider their income and expenses. In his chapter on economics, Mike Madison breaks down everything he reported on his Form 1040, Schedule F: Profit or Loss from Farming to give readers a good idea of what kind of accounting…

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VIDEO TED2018: A healthy economy should be designed to thrive, not grow

May 22, 2018

What would a sustainable, universally beneficial economy look like? “Like a doughnut,” says Oxford economist Kate Raworth. In a stellar, eye-opening TED2018 talk, Kate explains how we can move countries out of the hole — where people are falling short on life’s essentials — and create regenerative, distributive economies that work within the planet’s ecological limits. (Afterward,…

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Books to Curl up with this Winter!

February 12, 2018

William Wordsworth was right when he said, “Nature never did betray the heart that loved her.” Nevertheless, the cold, dark days of winter can still get the best of even Nature’s most tenderhearted admirer. What’s one to do? We here at Chelsea Green have concocted the perfect cabin fever remedy with our suggested winter reading…

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Q&A with Kate Raworth about her radical new book, DOUGHNUT ECONOMICS

April 26, 2017

Q: First things first: Why did you want to write this book? A: I studied economics at university 25 years ago because I wanted to make a difference in the world and believed that economics – the mother tongue of public policy – would best equip me to do that. Instead, its theories left me…

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Slack and Taut: Defining a System's Resilience

December 12, 2016

A resilient future (or a resilient present, for that matter) needs to be slack, not taut. What do we mean? Core to the concept of a Lean Economy is understanding the need to move toward a “slack” market rather than one that is “taut.” When British economist David Fleming died unexpectedly in 2010, he left…

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Prehistory of the Next American Revolution

November 28, 2016

What now? A new Revolution? If we are to counter the dangers both of corporate domination and of traditional forms of socialist statism, decentralization is essential—both of economic institutions and of political structure. We are at a point in our nation’s history that could, decades from now, be taught as the prehistory of the next…

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The Seven-Point Protocol for a Lean Economy

November 28, 2016

In the future, what will our local economies look like? How will they function if there is little, to no, state or national support? The late David Fleming envisioned a post-capitalistic society that we could call “deep local” — in which all needs are met at the local level — from income to social capital…

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The Six Vital Capitals of the Future

November 17, 2016

There is an increasing demand on businesses and governments to evaluate their impacts on multiple forms of capital – natural, social, and economic— and this book explains how they can make it happen. The MultiCapital Scorecard’s open-source methodology has been endorsed by the United Nations Environment Program, and it has been shown to help public…

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Author Nicolette Hahn Niman to Speak at Nobel Dialogue on the Future of Food

November 14, 2016

What does a former environmental lawyer and vegetarian turned cattle rancher have in common with Bob Dylan? They’ll both be — theoretically — in Stockholm in December during the Nobel Prize ceremonies. That’s right – Chelsea Green author Nicolette Hahn Niman will be one of several global opinion leaders and experts taking part in this…

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The End of Stationarity

October 24, 2016

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…

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We are Farmily: Everyday Life on Sole Food Street Farm

October 20, 2016

Food is the medium. The message is nourishment in its most elemental and spiritual form. That’s how author Michael Ableman sees the role of Sole Food Street Farm and the food it sells to markets, restaurants, and individuals. In the following excerpt from his new book, Street Farm: Growing Food, Jobs, and Hope on the…

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Bullshit. *Charisma, Icon, Intelligence, Empty Sandwich

October 14, 2016

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…

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

October 13, 2016

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…

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The Three Cs of Farm-to-School

October 13, 2016

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,…

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Born on Third Base: A Q&A with Author and Inequality Activist Chuck Collins

September 22, 2016

As inequality grabs headlines, steals the show in presidential debates, and drives deep divides between the haves and have nots in America, class war brews. Does it have to be this way? Can we suspend both class wars long enough to consider a new way forward? Is it really good for anyone that most of…

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Three Principles to Survive the Future

September 20, 2016

What guiding principles will you need to not just survive the future, but imagine a better one?  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 hardback consists of four hundred and four interlinked dictionary…

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The 5 Rules of Lean Thinking

September 20, 2016

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…

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Solar Dollars: Promote Renewable Energy & Support Local Economies

September 12, 2016

How can you use the sun as a way to not only generate renewable energy, but support the local economy and provide interest-free financing for utility companies? Author Thomas Greco (The End of Money and the Future of Civilization) has the answer: Solar Dollars! In a recent post on this blog (Beyond Money), Greco makes…

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Using Permaculture Principles to Design Resilient Cities

August 31, 2016

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…

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Why Title a Book "Parachuting Cats into Borneo"?

August 30, 2016

Looking for crisp, concise, and targeted advice for success? Change-management experts Axel Klimek and Alan AtKisson offer that, and more, in their new book Parachuting Cats into Borneo. The authors expose the most significant impediments—helping readers recognize their habitual patterns of thinking and perceiving a situation, critique their own beliefs regarding change, and then move beyond…

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A Dictionary to Survive the Future

August 18, 2016

When British economist David Fleming died unexpectedly in 2010, he left behind his great unpublished work, a masterpiece more than thirty years in the making—an intellectually evocative and inspiring dictionary, Lean Logic: A Dictionary for the Future and How to Survive It. In it, Fleming examined the consequences of an economy that destroys the very foundations—ecological,…

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Overshoot, Collapse, and Creating a Better Future

August 16, 2016

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…

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The Future Is Hopeless, So Give it Your All

July 19, 2016

The never-ending national election in the United States, the “surprise” pro-Brexit vote in the United Kingdom, climate change … the list goes on and on about how easy it can be to lose hope in the future. Like many of life’s frustrations, or overwhelmingly large topics, most people in our society find themselves somewhere on…

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Climate Change & the End of Stationarity

June 8, 2016

Just as predicting the rise of Donald Trump as a leading presidential candidate stumped even the best of political analysts (looking at you Nate “FiveThirtyEight” Silver), the advent of the Sixth Great Extinction due to climate change and an increasingly potent mix of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has completely upended how we predict the…

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Use Simple Games to Better Understand Climate Change

May 31, 2016

How is it that emissions keep growing despite rising concern about the climate change they cause? It is possible to identify several reasons for the paradox, most of which lie outside the scope of The Climate Change Playbook. But one important reason is relevant here: people do not understand the behaviors of the climate system.…

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