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The sufficiency economy: envisioning a prosperous way down

 
"I address this subject having been convinced that the growth paradigm has no future and that some alternative vision is therefore needed as humanity begins its inevitable transition to a world beyond growth. I put forward the sufficiency economy as the most promising alternative model, although it is one that I believe may ultimately be imposed upon us whether we want it or not, for reasons that will be explained. We can go the easier way or the harder way, so to speak, depending on our attitudes and actions. "

 

Absolute must-read analysis by Samuel Alexander of the real economic alternative to the crisis.

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The Great Transition
Policy news & blueprints for the transition to a new Sustainable and Social Economy
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A New Macroeconomic Strategy

A New Macroeconomic Strategy | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
Neither neo-Keynesians nor supply-siders focus on the true remedies for this persistent drop in investment spending. Our societies urgently need more investment, particularly to convert heavily polluting, energy-intensive, and high-carbon production into sustainable economies based on the efficient use of natural resources and a shift to low-carbon energy sources. Such investments require complementary steps by the public and private sectors.
Willy De Backer's insight:

Jeffrey Sachs is absolutely correct in his criticism of both camps of economists (supply-siders and neo-Keynesians). What we need is radical reform of our economies and of economists.

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EEA: Production and consumption systems need fundamental rethink

EEA: Production and consumption systems need fundamental rethink | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
Production and consumption systems in the European Union have large, global impacts on the environment. More sustainable ways of satisfying our needs are emerging, but they need more support, according to a new assessment.
Willy De Backer's insight:

The European Environment Agency admits we have to live within the limits of the planet, but still  clings to the growth ideology. Thinking beyond growth is clearly too fundamental.

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Eurozone stagnation is a greater threat than debt

Eurozone stagnation is a greater threat than debt | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
It would be wrong to think last week’s global market gyrations signal a return of the eurozone debt crisis. Sovereign bond spreads in the eurozone did not move by much, except in Greece. What happened last week is something rather different.
Willy De Backer's insight:

Interesting that the 'secular stagnation' narrative is convincing more economists and pundits. How long before they will recognise that we have entered the post-growth era?

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Price fall hastens decline of 'big oil' as Western majors retreat

LONDON (Reuters) - This year's fall in energy prices is hastening the decline of big oil, as the seven Western majors sell-off assets, cut investment, return money to shareholders and shrink in size,
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Want to Get into the Doughnut? Tackle Inequality

Want to Get into the Doughnut? Tackle Inequality | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
...we need to get into the doughnut: the safe and just sweet spot between social and planetary boundaries
Willy De Backer's insight:

must-read article by Kate Raworth.

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La légitime récompense de Jean Tirole

La légitime récompense de Jean Tirole | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
Il est juste et légitime que le jury néolibéral de la Banque de Suède honore l’un des plus brillants représentants de l’économie néolibérale, un des plus fervents défenseurs de la logique du marché concurrentiel contre les insupportables interventions étatiques, contre le droit du travail, contre les contraintes bureaucratiques imposées aux grandes entreprises et aux banques, lesquelles financent une bonne partie de ses recherches et de son salaire.
Willy De Backer's insight:

Great analysis by French economist Jean Gadrey of Nobel prize winner Jean Tirole.

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German model is ruinous for Germany, and deadly for Europe

German model is ruinous for Germany, and deadly for Europe | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

"France may look like the sick of man of Europe, but Germany’s woes run deeper, rooted in mercantilist dogma, the glorification of saving for its own sake, and the corrosive psychology of ageing."

Willy De Backer's insight:

Brilliant analysis in The Telegraph - 'The country has mistaken a confluence of exceptional events for permanent ascendancy. It cannot continue to live off exports of capital goods to China and the BRICS as they hit the buffers, or by stealing a march on southern Europe through wage compression, a zero-sum game.'

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Unions back Hinckley C State Aid decision

Unions back Hinckley C State Aid decision | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
Energy and construction unions have welcomed the final go-ahead given by the European Commission to build Britain's first new nuclear plant in a generation at
Willy De Backer's insight:

See how smart the nuclear sector is in getting the trade unions on board for defending its short-term interests: 'Unions have signed a ground-breaking industrial relations agreement to build the new station. The ‘Common Framework Agreement’ establishes how industrial relations will be managed on the project and guarantees that the signatory unions will be provided with the necessary facilities to ensure workers are treated fairly.'. Similar aliiances between the old energy complex (fossils and nuclear) and unions can be observed in the coal sector (e.g. in Poland).

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Economists Are Blind to the Limits of Growth

Economists Are Blind to the Limits of Growth | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

"For all their calculating nature, economists are surprisingly optimistic about humanity's ability to have as much prosperity as it wants. Express concern about the negative impact of excessive growth on our planet's ecosystems, and many will simply chuckle and say you don't understand what growth means."

Willy De Backer's insight:

Excellent article in Bloomberg views.

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Nuno Gaspar de Oliveira's curator insight, October 6, 5:23 PM

I'm not sure how economics broke free from the laws of physics and biology. Maybe we'll eventually leave the planet and live among the stars, escaping the limits of our Earth. Those dreams aside, the physical limits to growth apply as much to us as they would to a colony of bacteria expanding into a jar of sugar water.

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We’ve killed off half the world’s animals since 1970

A study comes to the radical conclusion that we should probably stop killing everything on earth.
Willy De Backer's insight:

Washington Post article on the new Living Planet report. When do we get a Court for crimes against nature?

 

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Record year for fossil fuel emissions pushes carbon budget to the brink

Record year for fossil fuel emissions pushes carbon budget to the brink | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
Graham Readfearn: Scientists release multiple journal papers showing increased challenge of cutting emissions as coal and China dominate growth
Willy De Backer's insight:

Great Guardian article with some interesting figures. We put 36 billion tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere in 2013 (new record) - Our remaining carbon budget is 120Gt - at this rate we will have used it up in about 30 years. For all the nice 'patting ourselves on the back' in New York, this week, climate chaos continues to speed up. Try to remain positive and optimistic if you can handle these realities.

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Fixing Climate Change May Add No Costs, Report Says

Fixing Climate Change May Add No Costs, Report Says | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
A global commission is challenging the widespread belief that efforts to reduce global warming would carry a steep price.
Willy De Backer's insight:

Another one of those reports written by a team of wise men, some of whom created the problem in the first place. No need to question our ways of producing and consuming, no need to change our ways of life, no need to stop the fossils. This kind of reports is what makes climate deniers win the debate.

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How new EU climate chiefs can make a green energy union

COMMENT: An open letter to Alenka Bratušek, vice president for Energy Union, and Miguel Arias Cañete, European commissioner for climate action and energy
Willy De Backer's insight:

Good recommendations for one of the new big priorities of the @Juncker team: the Energy Union. I strongly support the idea of a European Energy and Climate Security Observatory.

Energy and Climate Security Observatory
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The Future of Work, Leisure and Consumption

We’re going to have to deal with working hours, because that’s the only way to stop expanding the size of the economy in any sensible way. So the core of what we need to do is to get back on the trajectory of using productivity growth to reduce hours of work. And that then opens up incredible possibilities in terms of rebalancing the labor market, integrating the unemployed, and having a fairer distribution of hours.
Willy De Backer's insight:

Great must-read interview with economist Juliet Schor on the crisis, consumption and the need to reduce working time.

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The Great Transition

The Great Transition | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
This time, with sustainability, it is going to be different. Why is that so? Sustainability implies an economic regime that stays safely within the limits of a finite planet, subjugating the profit principle to the well-being of natural ecosystems. This is, for the first time, an absolute boundary on economic activities and the most wanted innovation would then be an answer to the question of what vision we have for the economy of a sustainability society.
Willy De Backer's insight:

Excellent must-read essay by Dr. Reichel on the need to change business models and organisational forms for a post-growth society.

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As cracks in its economy widen, is Germany’s miracle about to fade?

As cracks in its economy widen, is Germany’s miracle about to fade? | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
Philip Oltermann: As the markets tumbled last week, Germany, hailed only months ago for its resilience in the European crisis, came under fresh scrutiny. What lies ahead for the European powerhouse?
Willy De Backer's insight:

How Merkel's austerity obsession will kill the German and European economy.

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This new study explains why fracking won't solve the climate crisis.

This new study explains why fracking won't solve the climate crisis. | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
that natural gas is essentially useless as a climate solution unless it is buttressed by new policies that discourage carbon pollution and promote investment in renewable energy.
Willy De Backer's insight:

Summary of a new study in Nature on the fracking 'revolution' and its use to help tackle climate change.

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Julia C.'s curator insight, October 20, 9:39 AM

Mostly cons side.

Janet R.'s curator insight, October 21, 12:27 PM

Good page if you're looking for cons

Sophia L.'s curator insight, October 21, 12:41 PM

It's a good article

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The Age of Vulnerability

The Age of Vulnerability | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
Regardless of how fast GDP grows, an economic system that fails to deliver gains for most of its citizens, and in which a rising share of the population faces increasing insecurity, is, in a fundamental sense, a failed economic system. And policies, like austerity, that increase insecurity and lead to lower incomes and standards of living for large proportions of the population are, in a fundamental sense, flawed policies.
Willy De Backer's insight:

Must-read article by Joe Stiglitz

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Nuno Gaspar de Oliveira's curator insight, October 15, 5:58 PM

Regardless of how fast GDP grows, an economic system that fails to deliver gains for most of its citizens, and in which a rising share of the population faces increasing insecurity, is, in a fundamental sense, a failed economic system. And policies, like austerity, that increase insecurity and lead to lower incomes and standards of living for large proportions of the population are, in a fundamental sense, flawed policies.

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European Commission study shines light on the true cost of conventional and solar energy 

European Commission study shines light on the true cost of conventional and solar energy  | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

The European Commission study on "Energy subsidies and costs in the EU", released on October 13th, 2014, demonstrates that the direct total cost of conventional energy technologies, such as coal and nuclear, is much higher than the direct cost for solar energy, the European Photovoltaic Industry Association (EPIA) announces."

Willy De Backer's insight:

Interesting press release

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It’s Postgrowth, Stupid!

It’s Postgrowth, Stupid! | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
The growth era we are used to and that started after World War 2, is about to end – mostly out of economic reasons Gordon portrayed for the US but will most certainly apply to other economies as well; but also out of serious environmental limitations and a squeeze on resource prices, directing more and more investment into resource exploration and extraction as can be seen by the investment folly of fracking.
Willy De Backer's insight:

Good analysis of our current economic predicament

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Why Weren’t Alarm Bells Ringing? by Paul Krugman

Why Weren’t Alarm Bells Ringing? by Paul Krugman | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
Martin Wolf’s The Shifts and the Shocks is an extended, learned, and well-informed exposition of the consensus view about what went wrong with the economy. But is it the whole story? And are policy recommendations based on this consensus likely to solve our problems?
Willy De Backer's insight:

Interesting critique by Krugman in the NY Review of Books about Martin Wolf's new book on the lessons from the crisis.

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Getting Beyond the 2-Degree Threshold on Global Warming

Getting Beyond the 2-Degree Threshold on Global Warming | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
An author of a commentary questioning the value of a hard danger threshold for planetary temperature defends his views.
Willy De Backer's insight:

A fascinating debate has started on the 2 degrees climate target. Andrew Revkin in the NY Times summarises. I agree that it is time to look beyond this political target.

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Europe's austerity zombies: Nursing a dead theory

Europe's austerity zombies: Nursing a dead theory | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
Evidence is mounting that austerity isn't working yet Germany and other European nations have doubled down on it, says Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz.
Willy De Backer's insight:

Stiglitz on EU leaders who hate the evidence and therefore change the theory. Or how the EU will be buried by its idiots.

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On the Path Past 9 Billion, Little Crosstalk Between U.N. Sessions on Population and Global Warming

On the Path Past 9 Billion, Little Crosstalk Between U.N. Sessions on Population and Global Warming | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

Population should come back as a major world priority. There’s a need for the world as a whole to support families and governments in high-fertility countries improve access to contraception and education.

Willy De Backer's insight:

Very good article by Andrew Revkin on the global population challenge.

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EU polluters to land €5bn windfall under 'carbon leakage' proposal

EU polluters to land €5bn windfall under 'carbon leakage' proposal | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
European commission report assumes an unrealistically high carbon price, in move expected to cost governments billions
Willy De Backer's insight:

Polluters pay? Of course not, in the EU the polluters get paid ... and big time. Curious what are children and grandchildren will think about this  when they will suffer from climate chaos.

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