In print from Post Carbon Institute:
Energy Transition and Economic Sufficiency: Food, Transportation and Education in a Post-Carbon Society, a collection of viewpoints edited by Bart Hawkins Kreps and Clifford W. Cobb, was published in November 2021. The 290-page book contains 14 chapters written by 20 contributors, and is available in print and in digital format; full details at Post Carbon Institute, here.
The project began with a special issue of the American Journal of Economics and Sociology, for which Bart served as Guest Editor.
Advance praise for Energy Transition and Economic Sufficiency
“Energy descent is crucial to stopping climate and ecological breakdown. This is a key conversation to have.” – Peter Kalmus, climate scientist, author of Being The Change
“For those already applying permaculture in their lives and livelihoods, this collection of essays is affirmation that we are on the right track for creative adaption to a world of less. This book helps fill the conceptual black hole that still prevails in academia, media, business and politics.” – David Holmgren, co-originator of Permaculture, author of RetroSuburbia
“The contributors explain why it is time to stop thinking so much about efficiency and start thinking about sufficiency: how much do we really need? What’s the best tool to do the job? What is enough? They describe a future that is not just sustainable but is regenerative, and where there is enough for everyone living in a low-carbon world.” – Lloyd Alter, author of Living the 1.5 Degree Lifestyle: Why Individual Climate Action Matters More Than Ever, and the Carbon Upfront substack
On this website:
Competing mobility paradigms. Energy return on investment. Deconstructing economic mythologies. Be warned: some of these posts raise the Wonkometer Alert needle.
- Losing altitude
In our lifetimes, air travel made a complete separation of person from landscape a possibility. For the first time in history we could get from one place to another, faraway place without learning anything about all the places in between.
- The toxic cloud called ‘internet’
Jonathan Crary portrays the internet complex as a final disastrous stage in global capitalism. Steven Gonzalez Monserrate says ““the Cloud of the digital is also relentlessly material”, with a carbon footprint greater than the airline industry. Their writings are illuminating read singly, and more illuminating read together.
- Colonialism, climate crisis, and the forever wars
The story Amitav Ghosh tells in The Nutmeg’s Curse is appalling in its portrayal of human cruelty, frightening in what it says about the daunting challenges we face, but also, in the end, enlightening and hopeful.
- Reclaiming hope from the dismal science
In writing an obituary for capitalism, Tim Jackson also gives us a glimpse of a far richer way of life than anything capitalism could afford us.
- Journeys in a Green Frog Skin World
As a university student in the 1970s, I tried to make sense of economics. I’m a slow learner but over the years I found clues in some unexpected places.
- Climate change, citizenship, and the global caste system
Our descendants may shudder to realize their own grandparents accepted, perhaps even praised, a caste system that offered rich opportunities to a minority while consigning the majority to a brutal struggle for mere existence..
- Energy Storage and our unpredictable future
Graham Palmer and Joshua Floyd explain why coping with variable energy flows is one of the key challenges for human civilizations.
- Quantifying climate hypocrisy – the Canada file
Look behind the mismatch between Canada’s professed climate goals and its actual policy, and you find the lack of a global agreement on a fair way to allocate the remaining carbon emissions budget.
- The mobility maze
Why transportation planning dedicated to mobility can make it hard to get anywhere
- S-curves and other paths
Must economic growth continue up, level off, or drop down? A review of Doughnut Economics by Kate Raworth
- Guns money and oil
A three-part series on Empire and Energy
- Energy And Civilization: a review
Vaclav Smil’s latest book chronicles the role of changing energy technologies through history
- More than one way to fall off a cliff.
The Energy Cliff is an important concept in ecological economics. Should it be read as a historical phenemonon as well as a simple mathematical function?
- A renewable energy economy will create more jobs. Is that a good thing?
The 20th century fossil-fueled economic growth spurt happened not because the energy industry created many jobs, but because it created very few jobs.
- Accounting For Energy
A four-part series on the work of Vaclav Smil.
- Does your city have a future?
In the past, as in the future, local ecosystem resources were the key to the economies of cities. A review of America’s Most Sustainable Cities & Regions.
Some favourite sites:
- Strong Towns
A superb resource and organization, with daily posts on walkable and bikeable towns, genuinely conservative zoning codes, and development policies that won’t bankrupt the next generation.
A digest of articles on Energy, Economy, Environment, Food & Water, Society and Resources. A program of the Post-Carbon Institute.
- The Great Simplification
This podcast by Nate Hagens provides in-depth discussions with a wide range of guests exploring “the systems science underpinning the human predicament.”
- Low-Tech Magazine
Lucid discussion of technologies both old and new.
- The full text of Ivan Illich’s pioneering 1973 work Energy & Equity, which explains why high-speed transportation never lives up to its promise.
The per capita wattage that is critical for social well-being lies within an order of magnitude which is far above the horsepower known to four-fifths of humanity and far below the power commanded by any Volkswagen driver.” – Ivan Illich
- Strong Towns