Why Do We Swallow What Big Oil and the Green Movement Tell Us? https://nyti.ms/3a97hvd
If you can’t install the transmission lines — to get that sun and wind power from the vast open spaces where it is generated to the big urban areas where it is needed — and if you cannot set aside more land to install the scale of solar and wind farms you need to replace coal, gas or nuclear, it doesn’t matter that your renewables are cheaper on a per-kilowatt-hour basis.
Nearly half of existing fossil fuel production sites need to be shut down early if global heating is to be limited to 1.5C, the internationally agreed goal for avoiding climate catastrophe, according to a new scientific study.
Degrowth and the City: multiscalar strategies for the socio-ecological transformation of space and place
Degrowth is both an academic debate and an activist call for a necessary socio-ecological transformation. It proposes a just and selective quantitative reduction of societal throughput to achieve ecological sustainability, social justice and individual well-being. What does such a transformation imply for cities, for place and space in general? Recently research has begun to explore this question, at the intersections of the degrowth project with geography, urban and planning studies. The present systematic review of this stream of the degrowth literature argues that contributions convincingly criticise mainstream solutions of sustainable urban development and portray an inspiring variety of local and sectoral alternatives. They also discuss the possibilities of spatial planning for degrowth. But the literature, related to a limited conceptualisation of space, lacks consideration for larger geographical scales (localism is prevalent). Also, limited attention is paid to material flows (the focus is on formal outcomes in the built environment) and there sometimes is a lack of reflection about positionality (with a tendency to apparently universalist solutions).
Drawing in particular on Doreen Massey’s conceptualisation of the relationality of space and place, a conceptual framework is proposed for further research. It evidences questions neglected in the reviewed literature: how to spatialise degrowth beyond the local scale, not reducing the argument to a dualism between local=good and global=bad? And, how to transform not only the physicality of places but also the material and immaterial relations they are based on? This framework, embracing a situated, relational and multiscalar understanding of space and its socio-ecological transformation, might be a first step in approaching these and other open questions in the debate on degrowth, cities and space.
Degrowth; urban degrowth; urban geography; localism; multiscalarity; relational space
The research carried out by academics at Leeds University and analysed by experts at the global engineering firm Arup and the C40 group of world cities, found that making the six commitments could account for a quarter of the emissions reductions required to keep the global heating down to 1.5C.
The Jump campaign asks people to sign up to take the following six “shifts” for one, three or six months:
Eat a largely plant-based diet, with healthy portions and no waste
Buy no more than three new items of clothing per year
Keep electrical products for at least seven years
Take no more than one short haul flight every three years and one long haul flight every eight years
Get rid of personal motor vehicles if you can – and if not keep hold of your existing vehicle for longer
Make at least one life shift to nudge the system, like moving to a green energy, insulating your home or changing pension supplier
People in well-off countries can help avert climate breakdown by making six relatively straightforward lifestyle changes, according to research from three leading institutions.
The study found that sticking to six specific commitments – from flying no more than once every three years to only buying three new items of clothing a year – could rein in the runaway consumption that is partially driving the climate crisis.
Issue 292 February 14, 2022
Heterodox Economics Directory
Table of contents
Tyson Foods utilizes between nine and 10m acres of farmland – an area almost twice the size of New Jersey – to produce corn and soybeans to feed the more than 2 billion animals it processes every year in the US alone, according to new research.
A good analysis of the background for the convoy. Bob
The trucker convoy is a “revolt” of petit-bourgeoisie owner-operators, financially backed by wealthy right-wing grifters — not the vast majority of exploited trucking workers…. “the narrative of a perpetual trucker shortage serves those with real power in the industry. The myth of a constant labour shortage allows trucking firms to lobby governments for looser regulations concerning labour rights, worker training and safety.”
Organic Consumers Association … from the newsletter Naked Capitalism
“Sustainable solutions to the food crisis already exist, but they need more support. According to a report by the Action Group on Erosion, Technology and Concentration (ETC Group), ‘Who Will Feed Us?’, small-scale producers provide food to 70% of the world, while using only 25% of the resources.
“Instead of fueling the food crisis by serving the interests of agribusiness corporations, governments and public development banks should support projects based on the agroecology model. According to a network of grassroots groups that mobilized around the UNFSS, agroecology ‘encourages diversity – of crops, people, farming methods, and knowledges – to allow for locally-adapted food systems that are responsive to environmental conditions and community needs’. This includes practices such as permaculture, agroforestry, organic farming and biodynamic farming.”
A wonderful Jacobin Magazine interview with David Wengrow, co-author with the late David Graeber of “The Dawn of Everything: A New History of Humanity”, which describes their work based on indigenous “new world” archaeology and anthropology
He reviews how their consideration of new archaeological records puts to bed the myth that human history followed an evolutionary arc from simple and egalitarian to complex and hierarchical, challenging the assumption that democracy can work in small groups while scaling up requires domination and hierarchy. All of the big history books contained a completely artificial and out-of-date portrayal of what most of human history was like and what it means to live in a hunter-gatherer nonagricultural society. But the archaeological record completely confounds those assumptions. He describes huge Ukrainian, Moldovan and Aztec settlements of tens of thousands of people, which began about six thousand years ago where there was also no obvious evidence of wealth inequalities, and how in Teotihuacan they stopped building pyramids and embarked on an extraordinary project of social housing. He describes the Wendat leader Kondiaronk’s seventeenth century critique of French society which seeded Europe’s century of Enlightenment.