Lessons for the Great Recession from throwaway books

Book Swap

This new trend of "eco swaps" sounds harmless enough — people exchanging stuff they don't want for other people's stuff they do want, with no money involved. Seems perfect for a down economy. But don't be fooled. The eco swap is a boil on the butt of capitalism. Just take the books-and-music swap that my wife and Transition Voice Editor Lindsay Curren held last Sunday. The promise of an … [Read more...]

Today, I’m running for city council

vote for your future poster

I'm a guy who's into the global Transition movement, who worries about peak oil and even thinks that Occupy Wall Street makes some good points. That's why I'm running for public office (see my campaign website). And today is election day. But don't expect to see anything about my race on MSNBC or even in one of those emails asking you to give five bucks to some candidate in another state who … [Read more...]

Top 10 peak oil books of 2011

open book on stack of books

Welcome to our second annual list of the top ten peak oil books. Most of them are explicitly about peak oil, while others deal with energy depletion as a significant factor in the economy or the environment. A couple titles focus on responses to the myriad conundrums that Richard Heinberg has dubbed "peak everything" and that are now converging to create a perfect storm for global industrial … [Read more...]

A course to keep you from crashing

collapsing villa in Finland

If you still think professional economists have any authority left to talk about finance, debt and banking, remember that most of them failed to predict the Great Recession of 2008. Then consider how many of those same financial experts have been saying on and off since the crash that the economy has entered a recovery, even if only a "jobless" one. Recovery? Really? Sure, the Dow Jones … [Read more...]

How Saudi oil could start World War III

The White House at night

"I want to go to war with China," said presidential hopeful Rick Santorum in a recent GOP debate, showing the cavernous lack of any good sense that has become his trademark. Nonetheless, Santorum was probably speaking for many Americans who fear that China may soon overtake the US as the world's single great power. By contrast, many of those same Americans probably think of Saudi Arabia, whose … [Read more...]

Five bummer problems that make societies collapse

Print of Viking ships

"If anyone tells you that there's a single-factor explanation for societal collapse," says collapse guru Jared Diamond, "you know right away that they're an idiot. This is a complex subject." So, forget about peak debt, peak oil, peak climate, peak Harry Potter or even peak everything as the single most important problem that could bring today's whole pulsing, beaming and txt-mssgng mess down … [Read more...]

If you’re not overwhelmed, something’s wrong with you

It's all good illustration

"The shock, the anger, the sense of overwhelm are all understandable," says psychotherapist Kathy McMahon of the moment when someone first hears about peak oil and gets how scary it can be. McMahon, who practices therapy in Northhampton, MA as the "Peak Shrink," thinks that society needs to normalize the anxiety that people feel about ecological overshoot so that more people can find ecological … [Read more...]

Why you can’t fight climate change without peak oil

Requiem for a Species cover

Publishers of books on climate change seem to be competing to ratchet up the doom factor in their titles. Pretty soon you can expect to see "Dr Kevorkian's Rx to Save Yourself from Climate Hell" or "Praying for Pol Pot: Genocide May Be the Only Answer." The title Requiem for a Species: Why We Resist the Truth About Climate Change helped draw me to Australian activist Clive Hamilton's … [Read more...]