A two-century fight for the small, the local and the beautiful

Wendell Berry

Twentieth-century America witnessed the blossoming of Agrarianism as an intellectual and cultural movement. Its roots lay within the mythos of the early American Republic, which cast the self-sufficient yeoman farm family as the foundation of ordered liberty. As Thomas Jefferson wrote in 1785: Cultivators of the earth are the most valuable citizens. They are the most vigorous, the most … [Read more...]

Lemminged: to be herded off the peak oil cliff by filmmakers

photo of couple on bench TV screen style

"Fish don't know they're living in water, nor do they stop to wonder where the water came from. Humans? Not much better, as we share a world engulfed by television. And the deeper our immersion becomes, the less likely it seems we'll poke our heads above the surface and see there must have been life before someone invented TV." Those are the opening words of a recent Associated Press piece on … [Read more...]

Overpopulation and the Ostrich Factor

overpopulation

Garrett Hardin was a lad who not only thought a lot, but could also think well. I recently discovered a Hardin book I had not heard of, The Ostrich Factor: Our Population Myopia (1998). Hardin was an interesting blend of an ecological conservative, and a growth-hating political conservative who detested economists. I hoped that this book would provide fresh insights on the huge and difficult … [Read more...]

Distraction, surveillance, peak oil and the end of the Internet

NYC in blackout

Let me be upfront about one thing: I don't particularly want to be writing a blog, from which this article comes. But as I am an unpublished writer completing his first book in this early twenty-first century of ours, for what should be obvious reasons, I am. Why don't I particularly want to be writing a blog? For one, I'm not a very big fan of the Internet, and beginning in mid-2008 had … [Read more...]

Jesus, pioneer of voluntary poverty

Picture of the Holy Family

Note: This article is an excerpt reprinted with permission of the publisher from Simple Living in History: Pioneers of the Deep Future, a collection of essays profiling key historical figures whose lives served as examples of living simply. Bible references are to the New International Version (NIV) -- Ed. A clear theme throughout Jesus’ ministry was the conflict between seeking God and … [Read more...]

Climate, food, and art

Urban Farming and Climate

There's less than 36 hours until Transition Voice editor Lindsay Curren's Kickstarter project — 31 Days of Urban Agriculture — ends. In Kickstarter's all-or-nothing crowd funding model, that means if Lindsay makes her goal, her project is funded. And if she doesn't, she loses all the pledges (and no backers are charged for their pledges, either). At almsot 60% funded, we think with your help, … [Read more...]

Novel targets climate science deniers

Photo: b k/Flickr.

Naomi Oreskes and Erik Conway are science historians, and they are hopping mad at folks who deny that humans are the primary cause of climate change. Their outrage inspired them to write The Collapse of Western Civilization: A View from the Future, which has sold furiously in its first month on the market. It’s a 112-page science fiction rant. The story is a discourse on the Penumbral Age … [Read more...]

Wendell Berry’s Jayber Crow and the loving community

Photo: Pen Waggener/Flickr.

What I saw now was the community imperfect and irresolute but held together by the frayed and always fraying, incomplete and yet ever-holding bonds of the various sorts of affection.  There had maybe never been anybody who had not been loved by somebody...It was a community always disappointed in itself, disappointed in its members, always trying to contain its divisions and gentle its meanness, … [Read more...]

Win a DVD of new film on Transition

still from Voices of Transition

To celebrate the upcoming international release of he new award-winning documentary Voices of Transition and through the generosity of our friends over at Milpa Films in Germany, we're able to offer two Transition Voice readers the chance to win a DVD of this inspiring and entertaining film. Global environmental trends -- climate change, peak oil and food insecurity -- are forcing us to … [Read more...]

Climate change makes normal winter seem cold

person covering face in cold

Damn this horrible weather! What a nasty winter we're having, eh? There has been a lot of complaining about the cold and the snow this winter. You can’t open your Facebook feed without hearing about the “unusual winter” and people’s personal gripes with the weather in their area. The polar vortex that dunked much of the country into unusually cold weather for a few weeks was, admittedly, … [Read more...]