Inspiration for the burned-out localizer

Richard Heinberg

While Marx predicted that socialism would follow capitalism, Richard Heinberg predicts the next thing will be localism. "All roads appear to lead eventually to localism; the questions are: how and when shall we arrive there, and in what condition? (And, how local?)," Heinberg writes in his latest book, Afterburn: Society Beyond Fossil Fuels. (We received a review copy of Afterburn free of … [Read more...]

A homegrown remedy to tame American empire

U.S. empire

There's lots of talk of localization or re-localization in the Transition movement and among environmentalists and economic justice advocates generally. And for good reason. Today's global economy where big corporations, with security provided by the United States military, ship plastic crap from Chinese sweatshops thousands of miles to consumers around the world who don't need most of it anyway, … [Read more...]

Transition to a world made by hand

ACity bees2

Peak oil commentator of Archdruid fame John Michael Greer, who foresees an inevitable if gradual collapse for industrial society, advises the equally doomstruck to "collapse now and avoid the rush." It's good advice and I've taken it to heart. Transition girl About six years ago I moved to the small (but widely-hailed) city of Staunton, Virginia. Shortly afterwards, I helped start our … [Read more...]

Five reasons why government shutdown points to breakup of U.S.

The Union is dissolved poster

Despite all the talk, the federal government shutdown hasn't greatly affected daily life for most Americans so far. Some have been hit hard, especially federal employees, those receiving certain benefit payments, and tourists planning to visit the Smithsonian or a national park. But as apocalypses go, a couple weeks without "non-essential" federal services has been underwhelming for most American … [Read more...]

Limits to growth: building a new society of revitalized communities


Transition Voice is running the piece below by Nicole Foss to promote her upcoming speaking tour of the eastern United States with green entrepreneur Laurence Boomert on topics that we believe are urgent and important. -- Ed. We are approaching many limits to growth over the next several decades, and are consequently facing many challenges in our immediate future. Finance, energy, … [Read more...]

Holidays as a benchmark


Another holiday season is behind us. As I reflect on mine, I get a strong sense that holidays can be seen as a sort of benchmark. We tend to remember certain traditions and how they played out throughout the years. On needles and pins Take the Christmas tree, for example. Let’s face it, there's nothing that can bring out the worst in any of us than the tree. Remember the year that the kids … [Read more...]

Transition Voice Holiday


'Tis the season when peak oilers everywhere join in a chorus of reflection that goes something like, "Why, why, why?" For people intimately tuned in to connecting the dots between the oil driven economy, consumer excess, and a planetary ecosystem under assault from the cancerous growth paradigm, the host of end-of-year festivities can be touched with more than a little melancholy. In some cases … [Read more...]

Climate change: Obama needs to turn talk into action


Something's been troubling me ever since I listened to President Obama's first post-reëlection press conference. Perhaps as a result of Hurricane Sandy, the now two-term president was finally asked a question about global warming, a topic conveniently avoided by both sides throughout the seemingly interminable campaign. The question came from New York Times White House correspondent Mark … [Read more...]

Eros and economy


Everybody loves a good story. Especially this time of year. In Plato’s Symposium, Diotima recounts the story of Eros. She tells us that on the day of Aphrodite’s birth, the gods had a banquet. Penia—that is, “Poverty”— came begging at the end of the meal. There she espied Poros — that is, “Wealth” — drunk on nectar and asleep in Zeus’ garden. As a way out of her destitution, Penia decided to … [Read more...]

The Capitalism Papers: Fatal flaws of an obsolete system


Self-interest lies at the root of capitalism. This self-interest is a thoroughly predictable, steadily consistent feature of the human landscape and can reasonably be viewed as a solid foundation upon which to build. Self- interest can serve as both motivation and a salve for weary spirits. Kept within commonly-accepted bounds, it acts as a spur against laziness, and a hopeful haven for … [Read more...]