Sustainable economy

Kill GDP to Help Save the Planet

There’s a problem with America’s favorite statistic: GDP. It avoids pretty much everything that’s actually, truly, really good for society, including the importance of robust ecology. Still, it’s the biggest measure of what’s happening with the economy and used around the world, even though horribly flawed.

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Paying It Forward: Interview With Nipun Mehta

For more than 20 years, Nipun Mehta and his parents have been opening his doors to friends and strangers every Wednesday evening, creating a space for people to sit in circle together, meditate, share thoughts, and enjoy a meal. The invitation is to “wake up to wisdom in stillness and community,” a simple gesture of service and connection that now takes place in people’s living rooms across the globe.

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Neoliberalism Backfires

Massive, continuous demonstrations in the streets around the world bespeak a universal threat that neoliberalism’s self-immolation will grow worse and worse if it continues its horribly stale rotted emphasis on globalization and austerity of social programs as the answers for progress. It’s backfiring.

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This Is Not the Sixth Extinction. It’s the First Extermination Event.

From the “insect apocalypse” to the “biological annihilation” of 60 percent of all wild animals in the past 50 years, life is careening across every planetary boundary that might stop it from experiencing a “Great Dying” once more. But this atrocity has no goelogical analogue. To call it the “sixth extinction event” is to make what is an active, organized eradication sound like some kind of passive accident. We are in the midst of the First Extermination Event.

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Ecosocialism & Just Transition

Climate change requires major societal change. But how do we ensure this transformation is done in a fair and just manner? John Bellamy Foster—a renowned environmental sociologist and editor of Monthly Review—takes a look at the idea of the Just Transition, arguing that any strategy to save the planet must go beyond the strictures of capitalism.

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The Rights of Nature with Mari Margil and Thomas Linzey

Communities are now passing legislation to recognize the legally binding rights of nature. This spreading network is honoring and upholding the personhood of the environment, instead of the personhood of the corporations destroying it. Featuring Mari Margil, Associate Director of the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund, and Thomas Linzey, co-founder of the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund.

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16 Companies Rethinking Packaging

Packaging is also the main source of the plastic pollution that is clogging the ocean and expected to exceed the weight of all fish by 2050 at current rates. The food industry is largely responsible for this growing packaging problem. Recognizing this issue, and under pressure from consumers, several of these very same corporations have recently pledged to reduce the environmental impact of their packaging.

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Connecting the Dots: Insane Trade and Climate Chaos

Imagine a world where food routinely gets shipped thousands of miles away to be processed, then shipped back to be sold right where it started. Imagine cows from Mexico being fed corn imported from the United States, then being exported to the United States for butchering, and the resulting meat being shipped back to Mexico, one last time, to be sold.This may sound like the premise of some darkly comic, faintly dystopian film – albeit one geared towards policy wonks. But it’s no joke – in fact, it is the daily reality of the global economy.

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Mending Hearts: How a ‘Repair Economy’ Creates a Kinder, More Caring Community

Repair is discouraged by unavailable replacement parts, glued assemblies and tamper-proof cases that are difficult to open. So we discard things rather than fix them. Much research suggests this harms more than the natural environment. It also affects our mental environment. There’s a connection between the way society treats material objects and the way it treats people. Returning to an economy of repair could help create a kinder, more inclusive society. By mending broken things we might also help mend what’s broken in ourselves.

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What’s the Measure of Success for Good Urban Form?

What’s the measure of success of good urban form? For me, it’s equity. This looks like all members of the community enjoying access to safe, reliable and affordable transport that connects them within the community and to amenities. It’s housing that doesn’t have labels like ‘social’ and ‘affordable’ – everyone gets to live in a space that benefits their wellbeing. It’s also when the intrinsic value of nature is incorporated into our spaces, not built out.

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Ozone-Depleting CFCs Return

But on May 22nd 2019, the same Science News magazine that broke the good news and celebrated “A Shrinking Ozone Hole in 2012” newest headline reads: “Emissions of a Banned Ozone-Destroying Chemical Have Been Traced to China.” It appears that our ozone problems are not over yet.

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Water Bottling – The New ‘Gold Rush’ Industry

I oppose the expansion of the Otakiri Water Bottling Plant in the Eastern Bay of Plenty (New Zealand) for a number of reasons, but it’s got me thinking about equity of resources and what that means from a humanitarian perspective.  At some stage, unless we experience a massive global sustainability shift, water will become the most precious resource we have. We will need it and so will others.

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Recorded Webinar – Reconnecting with the Earth for Personal and Global Healing (Part II: The Calling)

We are at a pivotal time in human history. Please join the National Coalition for Mental Health Recovery (NCMHR) in a series of webinars where we explore the relationship between ecology, how we relate to one another and the earth, and healing from crisis. We have gathered experts from around the globe, including indigenous peoples, to speak to this topic, share best practices, and propose some solutions to the very complex problems we face.

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Socialism: Ecology or Nothing

Participatory economics and a participatory society puts in place a concern for human well being and development that doesn’t forcefully preclude harming other species, but which is receptive to and respectful of governmental or other social or ecological restraints on behalf of other species. If other species had votes, they would vote for participatory society.

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Venezuela’s Crisis: A View from the Communes

Regardless of what happens next in Venezuela, Julian believes that the strong level of community organisation built up over the past two decades will not go away easily. “There’s still a lot of strength, a high level of organisation. Wherever you look, you will find a commune, a cooperative, some kind of committee or organisation.

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New York City to Cut Meat Consumption by 50%

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced today a plan to slash greenhouse gases by phasing out the purchase of processed meat and reducing beef purchases by 50 percent. The actions are part of the city’s own “Green New Deal” to attack the issue of global warming from all fronts in order to reduce emissions. The plan, laid out in “OneNYC 2050,” will ensure that NYC adheres to the Paris Agreement.

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The (Other) Economic Madness of the Green New Deal

A green new deal that creates new jobs and stimulates economic growth amounts to little more than a final blow-out binge before our once-and-done global economy comes crashing down around our ears. The only means of mitigating the environmental catastrophe that is gathering pace around us is to engage in a managed process of de-growth to create far smaller, localised and less consumptive economies than we have had for many decades.

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(Ted Talk – Angel Hsu) How China is (and isn’t) fighting pollution and climate change

China is the world’s biggest polluter — and now one of its largest producers of clean energy. Which way will China go in the future, and how will it affect the global environment? Data scientist Angel Hsu describes how the most populous country on earth is creating a future based on alternative energy — and facing up to the environmental catastrophe it created as it rapidly industrialized.

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(Ted Talk – Tshering Tobgay) This country isn’t just carbon neutral — it’s carbon negative

Deep in the Himalayas, on the border between China and India, lies the Kingdom of Bhutan, which has pledged to remain carbon neutral for all time. In this illuminating talk, Bhutan’s Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay shares his country’s mission to put happiness before economic growth and set a world standard for environmental preservation.

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