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Less of What We Don't Need

Stories about Less of What We Don't Need.

Germany’s Energy Transition: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

By: 
Emilio Godoy

Immerath, 90 km away from the German city of Cologne, has become a ghost town. The local church bells no longer ring and no children are seen in the streets riding their bicycles. Its former residents have even carried off their dead from its cemetery.

Expansion of Garzweiler, an open-pit lignite mine, has led to the town’s remaining residents being relocated to New Immerath, several kilometres away from the original town site, in North Rhine-Westphalia, whose biggest city is Cologne.

Is the Oil Industry Dying?

By: 
Richard Heinberg

Talking about “peak oil” can feel very last decade. In fact, the question is still current. Petroleum markets are so glutted and prices are so low that most industry commenters think any worry about future oil supplies is pointless. The glut and price dip, however, are hardly indications of a healthy industry; instead, they are symptoms of an increasing inability to match production cost, supply, and demand in a way that’s profitable for producers but affordable for society. Is this what peak oil looks like?

Indigenous Autonomy in the Age of Extraction

By: 
Penelope Anthias

The 2011 TIPNIS conflict exposed the contradiction between the MAS government’s proclaimed commitment to indigenous rights and the environment, and its aggressive pursuit of an extractivist development model. International media images of Evo Morales in indigenous garb were replaced by more familiar images of indigenous peoples mobilizing to defend their territories against the incursions of a capitalist state.

From the tar sands to ‘green jobs’?
 Work and ecological justice

By: 
Greg Albo and Lilian Yap

The ecological and social implications of climate change have – or should – become a central parameter for all discussions of work and capitalism. It is generally agreed that reliance on the burning of fossil fuels as the pre-eminent energy source for production and consumption over the history of capitalism is the critical factor in the ruinous greenhouse gas emissions triggering global warming, which would become irreversible if the earth's atmosphere were brought to a ‘tipping-point’.

Taking on the Sacred Cow of Big “Green” Energy

By: 
Kollibri terre Sonnenblume

The deserts of the American Southwest have come under a new assault in the last decade. The few, fragmented areas of these austere, rugged, yet delicate landscapes that had managed to survive relatively intact from mining, ranching, military use (including nuclear tests), urban encroachment and motorized recreation, are now being targeted for the development of large-scale “green” energy projects, many of them on public lands.

The Fallacy of Economic Growth

By: 
Yavor Tarinski

We are being told that we need still more economic growth in order to overcome the present multi-layer crises. Actually we have been hearing this for quite some time now. Both right and left, capitalist and socialist governments, offer their theories about how we need more production and consumption, in order for our societies to progress and overcome the present difficulties. But a question arises - isn't our economy already more than big enough?

Where Gun Control Ought to Start: Disarming the Police

By: 
Paul Krane

On February 5, 2015, Jeremy Lett was physically attacked, then shot in the torso five times while walking outside his apartment. He died in the hospital the next day. His attacker, David Stith, had a history of violent, erratic behavior – at one point a little over a year earlier, Stith entered a Girl Scouts of America office and began “acting aggressively and screaming obscenities”. On February 27, a grand jury cleared Stith of all wrongdoing in the shooting.

David Stith was (and still is) a police officer.

Water is More Valuable than Gold

By: 
Ellie Happel

The hill overlooking the tailings pond—a vast, dammed tub of liquid residue—was littered with bones.  Residents from the area said the goats and cattle that once grazed the land had died since mining operations began a few years ago.  They held our hands as we crossed a river, directing us to jump from rock to rock to avoid plunging a foot into the polluted current.  The human settlements tucked in the valley beneath the white smoke snaking into the sky appeared to be the only life remaining in the area.  We were at Pueblo Viejo in the Dominican Republic, one of the largest gold mines in the world. 

Why Do Americans Work So Much?

By: 
Rebecca J. Rosen

How will we all keep busy when we only have to work 15 hours a week? That was the question that worried the economist John Maynard Keynes when he wrote his short essay “Economic Possibilities for Our Grandchildren” in 1930. Over the next century, he predicted, the economy would become so productive that people would barely need to work at all.

For a while, it looked like Keynes was right: In 1930 the average workweek was 47 hours. By 1970 it had fallen to slightly less than 39.

But then something changed. Instead of continuing to decline, the duration of the workweek stayed put; it’s hovered just below 40 hours for nearly five decades.

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