Thursday, 31 May 2012


Our industrial-affluent-consumer society is extremely unjust and ecologically unsustainable. The argument below is that these problems cannot be solved in a society that is driven by obsession with high rates of production and consumption, affluent living standards, market forces, the profit motive and economic growth. Most people do not realise the magnitude of the overshoot, the extent to which this society is unsustainable. Because this is so great there must be vast and radical system changes if the big global problem are to be solved. A sustainable and just world order cannot be achieved until we move to very different lifestyles, values and systems, especially to a new economic system.
The alternative we must work for is The Simpler Way, based on frugal "living standards", co-operation, high levels of local economic self-sufficiency, and zero economic growth. The final section below argues that the top priority for people concerned about the fate of the planet should be starting to build these new lifestyles and systems within existing towns and suburbs.

  • Material living standards must be much less affluent. In a sustainable society per capita rates of resources use must be a small fraction of those in Australia today.
  • There must be mostly small scale highly self-sufficient local economies.
  • There must be mostly cooperative and participatory local systems whereby small communities control their own affairs, independent of the international and global economies.
  • A very different economic system must be developed, one that is under social control, geared to meeting needs as distinct from maximising profits, not driven by market forces, and without any growth.
None of this is possible without radical change in values, away from competition, self-interest and greed, and to cooperation, participation, giving and non-material satisfactions.

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Wendell Berry

“To live, we must daily break the body and shed the blood of Creation. 
When we do this knowingly, lovingly, skillfully, reverently, it is a sacrament. 
When we do it ignorantly, greedily, clumsily, destructively, it is a desecration. 
In such desecration we condemn ourselves to spiritual and moral loneliness, and others to want.” 

Wendell Berry, The Art of the Commonplace: The Agrarian Essays


"" ""
I choose to live by choice,  not by chance;
To make changes,  not excuses; 
To be motivated,  not manipulated;
To be useful,  not used;
To excel,  not compete;
I choose self esteem,  not self pity;
I choose to listen to my inner voice;
not the random opinions of others.
"" ""


Walt Whitman

This is what you shall do:

 Love the earth and sun and the animals,  despise riches, give alms to every one that asks, 
stand up for the stupid and crazy, devote your income and labor to others, 
hate tyrants, argue not concerning God,
 have patience and indulgence toward the people, 
take off your hat to nothing known or unknown or to any man or number of men, 
go freely with powerful uneducated persons and with the young and with the mothers of families, 
read these leaves in the open air every season of every year of your life, 
re-examine all you have been told at school or church or in any book, 
dismiss whatever insults your own soul; 
and your very flesh shall be a great poem and have the richest fluency not only in its words
 but in the silent lines of its lips and face and between the lashes of your eyes and in every motion and joint of your body…

Walt Whitman 

Listen to his audio book when doing other things