Archive for the ‘green/alt’ Category

The Rebel Sell

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2008

The Rebel Sell (2004) by Joseph Heath and Andrew Potter

What a great read!

Joseph and Andrew argue that instead of capitalism and the “consumer culture” the basis of most problems of the (globalised) world are due to the inherently competitive behaviour of humans and in particular with the lack of understanding of prisoner’s dilemmas which tend to exacerbate said problems. Rather than self-restraint (which they argue is unrealistic — I agree) the solution is to limit competition via legislation and other enforceable rule sets. It is clear that this will curtail the individual’s freedom but for the common good. Very thought provoking and highly recommended! However, I very much agree with the Guardian Newspapers’s Review that at times the authors forget about the type of capitalism that exists outside of the USA which is a shame.

Despite some rather crude views and blanket statements, some of the stuff makes for beautiful quotes and I caught myself laughing out loud and/or nodding in agreement at many of their arguments. I’ll add a few later…

The Story of Stuff

Wednesday, February 27th, 2008

A simple (to some degree simplistic), fun and overall worthwhile presentation on the cycle (or lack thereof) of consumer goods:

Story of Stuff


Inefficient bio fuels

Monday, February 11th, 2008

The Independent reports on a recent reports by the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis in Austria and others on the inefficiency of first generation biofuels.

An acre of maize can produce just over 1,000 litres of ethanol a year, and an acre of soybeans just 227 litres.

The article features on possible solution: algae. It’s clear that it is essential to move towards biofuels that do not compete for space (required for food production or simply required to keep ecosystems intact) and do not rely on fertilisers.