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Less of What We Don't Need

Stories about Less of What We Don't Need.

How Much Energy Do We Need?

By: 
Low-Tech Magazine

Researchers have calculated minimum levels of energy use needed to live a decent life, but what about maximum levels? Includes many charts comparing current energy use across countries, as well as various sufficiency scenarios that have been developed.

Why growth can't be green

By: 
Jason Hickel

Warnings about ecological breakdown have become ubiquitous. Over the past few years, major newspapers, including the Guardian and the New York Times, have carried alarming stories on soil depletion, deforestation, and the collapse of fish stocks and insect populations. These crises are being driven by global economic growth, and its accompanying consumption, which is destroying the Earth’s biosphere and blowing past key planetary boundaries that scientists say must be respected to avoid triggering collapse.

The problem with the Human Development Index in an era of ecological breakdown

By: 
Jason Hickel

If you haven’t come across the Global Footprint Network yet, check them out.   Based in Oakland, CA, they produce fantastic data on the Ecological Footprint (EF) of nations around the world.  EF is measured in units known as “global hectares” – an omnibus measure that includes resource use, waste and emissions.

Sooner or later, we have to stop economic growth — and we’ll be better for it

By: 
Richard Heinberg

We’ve gotten so accustomed to growth that governments, corporations and banks now depend on it. It’s no exaggeration to say that we’re collectively addicted to growth.  The end of growth will come one day, perhaps very soon, whether we’re ready or not. If we plan for and manage it, we could well wind up with greater well-being.

The Ketamine Chorus: NYT Trumpets New Anti-Suicide Drug

By: 
Bruce Levine

The drumbeat for ketamine as a way to halt the rising suicide rate is upon us, as the New York Times has now joined the chorus. This is encouraging news unless of course you recall a couple of things: how recent enthusiasm from the medical-industrial complex for increased opioid use for pain resulted in the current opioid epidemic; and how the NYT has joined other notorious choruses such as Ahmed Chalabi’s one that sang about WMDs in Iraq.

Agriculture as Wrong Turn

By: 
Kollibri terre Sonnenblume

The “Agricultural Revolution” is lauded as one of the greatest achievements in the history of the human race, proof positive of “Progress” and of our own exalted status “a little lower than angels.” Doubtless, it is among the most momentous changes that our species has experienced, on par with the utilization of fire, the development of language and the splitting of the atom. However, a closer look, based on research and scholarship, reveals that the adoption of farming led to declines in human health, caused sharp social inequities, started a war on the environment, and put us on a road that’s headed towards extinction.

The problem with the Human Development Index in an era of ecological breakdown

By: 
Jason Hickel

If you haven’t come across the Global Footprint Network yet, check them out.   Based in Oakland, CA, they produce fantastic data on the Ecological Footprint (EF) of nations around the world.  EF is measured in units known as “global hectares” – an omnibus measure that includes resource use, waste and emissions.

The researchers at the Global Footprint Network calculate that our planet presently has enough biocapacity for each of us to consume about 1.8 global hectares per year.  Anything over this means a degree of resource consumption that the Earth cannot replenish, or waste that it cannot absorb, and contributes to ecological breakdown. 

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