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Less of What We Don't Need

Stories about Less of What We Don't Need.

The Strategy of Maximal Extraction

By: 
Michael T. Klare

How Donald Trump Plans to Enlist Fossil Fuels in the Struggle for Global Dominance

The new U.S. energy policy of the Trump era is, in some ways, the oldest energy policy on Earth. Every great power has sought to mobilize the energy resources at its command, whether those be slaves, wind-power, coal, or oil, to further its hegemonic ambitions. What makes the Trumpian variant -- the unfettered exploitationof America’s fossil-fuel reserves -- unique lies only in the moment it’s being applied and the likely devastation that will result, thanks not only to the 1950s-style polluting of America’s air, waters, and urban environment, but to the devastating hand it will lend to a globally warming world.

Agriculture and Autonomy in the Middle East

By: 
Sean Keller

In the predominantly Kurdish regions of Syria and Turkey, known respectively as Rojava and North Kurdistan, a groundbreaking experiment in communal living, social justice, and ecological vitality is taking place. Devastated by civil war, the Middle East is often seen as a place where little more than a cessation of hostilities can be hoped for. But Rojava and North Kurdistan have set their sights much higher. What started as a movement for political autonomy has blossomed into an attempt to build a radical pluralist democracy on the principles of communal solidarity — with food security, equality for women, and a localized, anti-capitalist economy at its core.

The Madness Of Unchecked Growth: A Conspiratorial World View

By: 
Irwin Jerome

The White European conspiratorial model of constant, unbridled growth and expansion, vigorously exported and aggressively promoted throughout the New World, is a form of sheer madness: mentally, culturally and spiritually. It knows no allegiance to any one country, people or way of life other than to growth and expansion for their own sake and the aggrandizement of but a few. It’s conspiratorial world view refuses to debate how much human societies are hopelessly growing out-of-control, and instead prefers to focus everyone’s attention on how to perpetually cope with the out-of-control growth; which, of course, no one ever can because it’s essentially a hopeless endeavour. It refuses to debate the inherent fatal flaw that exists within the ever-growing density of all its major urban centre, and instead only asks the question, “How dense should the world’s urban centres get before they spread ever outward until they become massive, inter-connected entities of unimaginable size, density and complexity.

Technology and Its Discontents

By: 
Steven Gorelick

Tucked within the pages of the January issue of the Agriview, a monthly farm publication published by the State of Vermont, was a short survey from the Department of Public Service (DPS). Described as an aid to the Department in drafting their “Ten Year Telecom Plan”, the survey contains eight questions, the first seven of which are simple multiple-choice queries about current internet and cell phone service at the respondent’s farm. The final question is the one that caught my eye:

“In what ways could your agriculture business be improved with better access to cell signal or higher speed internet service?”

Two things are immediately revealed by this question

Decolonisation and Degrowth

By: 
Claire Deschner and Elliot Hurst

Why do degrowth scholars use the word “decolonise” to discuss the process of changing the growth imaginary? Isn’t decolonisation about undoing the historical colonisation of land, languages and minds? How do these two uses of the word relate?

This blog post is the result from a discussion held between some participants at a Degrowth Summer School in August 2017. While some parts of this blog post are written to confront degrowth theory, we took the time to write up the discussions around the word “decolonise” because we think of degrowth as a project worth supporting and a community who is open to reflection. We recognise degrowth is an important academic and activist movement, which correctly diagnoses economic growth as a root cause of social and ecological crisis. We would like to see degrowth concepts spread. However, we have a problem with the use of the term decolonisation within degrowth literature.

Paint Companies Brazen Scheme to Get Californians to Pay for their Crimes

By: 
Mark Allen

Three California courts have ruled three giant paint companies knowingly promoted a toxic product that has poisoned thousands of children and ordered them to clean it up. The paint companies have a cynical scheme to get Californians to pay the bill.

On February 14, the Supreme Court of California declined to review a multimillion-dollar state appeals court ruling against three of this country’s largest paint manufacturers and, predictably, their attorneys immediately pledged to take their case to the U.S. Supreme Court. But, the giant paint companies had already launched a plan to get much quicker relief; they are going to purchase an election.

Yes we can – feed 9 billion with organic agriculture

By: 
Gunnar Rundgren
It is possible to feed more than 9 billion people with organic production methods with a small increase in the required crop acreage and with decreased greenhouse gas emission. But this assumes considerable reduction in food wastage and in the quantities of feed grown to animals.
Picture: Ann-Helen Meyer von Bremen
That is the conclusion in the paper Strategies for feeding the world more sustainably with organic agriculture in Nature communications by researchers from the Research Institute of Organic Agriculture in Switzerland, the Institute of Environmental Decisions in Switzerland. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in Italy, Institute of Social Ecology Vienna in Austria and the Institute of Biological and Environmental Sciences in the UK.

Dutch fight to shut down EU’s largest gas field after earthquake

By: 
Bryan Miranda

A march against Shell and Exxon’s gas drilling drew thousands in the northern Dutch city of Groningen on Jan. 19, after a heavy earthquake rocked the region earlier this month.

Ten thousand people — a record number for Groningen — marched through the city with torches and chanted slogans scolding the government, as well as its partners Shell and Exxon, for the gas operations they say are responsible for the 3.4 magnitude earthquake felt throughout the province on Jan. 8.

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