Author Archives: admin

News from Shaun Chamberlin

Shaun recently lead authored a peer-reviewed academic paper on David Fleming‘s TEQs (Tradable Energy Quotas) system, which was published earlier this month.

chelsea green

He is delighted to let all know that the right ‘home’ for David’s work has been found: Chelsea Green, who published Shaun’s Transition book some years ago, have just signed a contract to publish David’s Lean Logic in full and will also be simultaneously publishing a paperback ‘abridged version’ that Shaun has edited into a more conventional read-it-front-to-back format.

As editor Shaun now has a lot of work to do ahead of delivering the manuscripts in August. The publication of both new versions is anticipated for somewhere around the end of this year, and he hopes might even be as soon as the fifth anniversary of David’s death, at the end of November, commenting: “ Experience teaches though that this may be pushing it!”

Lean LogicSome of David’s closest friends and family arranged a self-published edition (left) in the summer of 2011, but Shaun hopes that this new version will do full justice to David’s vision for the book, with the benefit of careful editing and with an established publishing house who are excited at the project putting their full efforts behind its production and promotion.

He is also hopeful that the paperback version may prove more attractive to ‘Fleming newcomers’ (as publishers had suggested to us might be the case) and hence generate a wider audience for the full work.

The earlier self-published version may well come to be seen as a collector’s edition, and the royalties from all the books will continue to flow to David’s estate and be used in support of his work and legacy.

Shaun asks readers to spread the word (Chelsea Green’s own promotional efforts will kick in later in the year).

News from Christine Parkinson

Christine is dividing her time between the Doula community health project in Birmingham UK and fundraising for the Butterfly Project in Uganda, which was co-founded by her son Ben.

butterfly project header

Working through those children from rural areas and urban slums who have a selfless attitude and ideas for their community, an evolving and reliable mechanism for change in the villages is being developed.

The Millennium Development goals, with poverty and human rights are at the top of the agenda. The young people are trained in a whole range of subjects – social enterprise and entrepreneurship, ethics, international citizenship, ICT, problem-solving and much more, while they attend the Chrysalis Centre.

chrysalis food programme

Each member must undertake a project of their own, both in the local slum district and in their home village, so that they gain experience of leadership and practical problem-solving.

Ben writes:

In December we sent 18 young people to Nairobi, to be part of the Ashoka Changemaker Youth Conference. This included three children from remote villages, who had never travelled outside their local area, but were already running their own local changemaker projects:

  • Sharon(14) has set up a large dance project for girls.
  • Beckham (12) has started football training for children who don’t go to school to help them avoid crime
  • Daniel (12) is starting a poultry farm to help build more latrines in the village.
  • Gilbert (19) has set up a Slum Cookery Business involving local girls and a few boys who will learn how to cook different things, develop their knowledge of food and evolve a local business to generate income for the participants.

Chrysalis Christmas party 1

News of Ben Dyson and colleagues – cross reference

News about Ben is often placed on the Attwood website. The kernel of the latest message:

In the UK, the general election is only weeks away and no-one can predict the outcome. Politicians are keen to tell how they will tackle the pressing issues society is facing. But as we know, whilst the power to create money rests in the hands of the banks, their hands are tied.

We need to make sure money creation is on the political agenda. To do this, we need your help. Soon after the election, if we reach our target, Positive Money supporters are going to deliver the petition to 10 Downing Street, home to the new Prime Minister. We have over 9000 signatures so far. Our target is to double that.

To read this and search for other news about Ben’s work go to:

News from Helena Norberg Hodge

Helena in JapanThe latest ISEC message sent by Helena gives some feedback on the Economics of Happiness Conference, hosted in Portland, Oregon, from February 27 to March 1, 2015, including links to photos and proceedings.

We particularly valued a Local Futures blog by Steven Gorelick , Managing Programs Director at Local Futures (International Society for Ecology and Culture), author of Small is Beautiful, Big is Subsidized, co-author of Bringing the Food Economy Home, and co-director of The Economics of Happiness who frequently teaches and speaks on local economics around the US.

He summarises the growing awareness of economic inequality, referring to an Oxfam report, which tells us that the world’s 85 richest people now have as much wealth as the poorest 3.5 billion; that the richest 1% will own more than half the world’s wealth by next year; and that in the US, the wealthiest one percent captured 95% of income growth since 2009, leaving the bottom 90%

isec inequalityCropped from shot taken in China by Taro Taylor:

Stephen asks if morality has any place in conventional economic thinking

He notes that ‘the overseers of the global economy’ are beginning to see problems with the wealth gap for reasons that are neither moral nor ethical, but purely practical: extreme inequality, they fear, might threaten the continuance of the system itself. Two examples:

  • Billionaire and self-described plutocrat Nick Hanauer is even more concerned: “if we don’t do something to fix the glaring inequities in our society, the pitchforks will come for us.”

Gorelick revisits a famous memo signed by one of the most influential economists of our time, Lawrence Summers in 1991, when Mr. Summers was Chief Economist of The World Bank. In it he argues that heavily polluting “dirty industries” should be located in the less developed countries (LDCs). This is because the ‘cost’ of illness and premature death is based on lost earnings, and so the lives of the poor are less valuable than their wealthier counterparts.

He comments: “In other words, any moral qualms about dumping toxic waste in poor people’s backyards must be suppressed, because acknowledging the validity of those concerns would call into question the legitimacy of the entire “liberalization” package ­of deregulation and free trade pushed by The World Bank, IMF, WTO and other institutions”.

As a sister site points out from time to time, failure (incompetence, gross misjudgment and more) is rewarded. Not only did Summers hold on to his position at The World Bank, his career path continued ever upward and he eventually became Secretary of the Treasury where he presided over the deregulation of the financial industry was chosen by President Barack Obama to head his Council of Economic Advisers.

Gorelick records that in the following years dirty industries migrated to the less developed countries – accounting for both environmental improvements in the rich countries and blighted environments in places like China. Waste is now routinely traded to the South, with cargo ships bringing discarded plastic, e-waste, and other effluent of the consumer culture to Third World countries for disposal or “recycling”, at great cost to their environment and the health of their citizens.

The “impeccable economic logic” which Summer embraced is deeply troubling. people who are admired in their communities, loved by neighbors, friends, and family may have countless admirable traits, but the only one that matters to mainstream economists is their contribution to global economic output. If in that arena – measured by their monetized earnings – they are deemed deficient, their worth becomes negligible. And as the wealth gap grows, millions more are joining the ranks of the expendable every year.

Their only hope: that many more decision-makers grow to fear the extreme inequality which might threaten the continuance of their personally profitable system.

News from Rashneh Pardiwala and Katy Rustom in Mumbai

Rashneh and Katie have sent news of CERE’s latest publication, Walk on the Wild Side – a handbook on Urban Biodiversity. CERE has designed this book for city youngsters, students, teachers and parents to help take them closer to nature, in order for them to bond with it. Conservation would be a natural outcome of this bonding with wildlife.

walk wild side cover2

The following features of the biodiversity book make it unique:

  • Visually appealing.
  • Informative and motivational.
  • Makes wildlife identification simple. Will help young naturalists identify birds and other animals they see in their own neighbourhoods and communities.
  • Generates ideas and techniques on creating habitats even in small spaces like balconies in urban areas in order to increase biodiversity.
  • Motivational case studies prompting all sections of society to work towards biodiversity conservation.
  • Gives a host of practical ideas on children’s projects on nature and lists easy outdoor activities that teachers and parents can conduct with reference material.
  • Helps increase urban biodiversity through proactive conservation and innovative ideas in creating urban habitats for wildlife.
  • Will help improve the quality of life in our cities through the conservation efforts spelt out in the book.

To get a copy of “Walk on the Wild Side“, please visit

News from Geoff Tansey

geoff tansey 3Following our news about the Food Systems Academy, Geoff chaired the Fabian Society’s Commission on Food and Poverty, launched on November 10th, which brought together experts, as well as those experiencing poverty, to look at the roles of government, civil society and the food industry in increasing the availability and accessibility of sustainable, nutritious food.

It looked at the UK food system through the lens of low income households with a view to making recommendations for a fairer and more sustainable food system. Recent research has shown that emergency food use is just the tip of the iceberg – many more people do not have access to the levels of nutritious, sustainable food that most people would deem socially acceptable.

fabian commission food poverty header

The Commission also included leading representatives from across civil society, trade unions, academia and the food industry.

The hearings covered money and affordability, context and access, health, the environment, and the supply chain and society. The first hearing, on ‘money and affordability’, took evidence from Prof Liz Dowler (University of Warwick), Dr Clive Black (Shore Capital), and Martin O’Connell (Institute for Fiscal Studies). Download paper from website’s link.

Sheffield University’s Grantham Centre of Sustainable Futures and the Research Exchange for the Social Sciences hosted the Fabian Society Commission on Food and Poverty’s fourth ‘Environment’ hearing.

Read about all five hearings here.


News from FEASTA

feasta logo

FEASTA (the foundation for the economics of sustainability) was co-founded by our valued colleague, the late Richard Douthwaite and Caroline Whyte has agreed to liaise with us on his behalf.

cap global carbon logoCapGlobalCarbon project sets out a global system for addressing climate change. Since the CGC website went public we’ve been working hard to attract visitors and answer questions. We are collecting these questions which we intend to include in a FAQ on a later stage. This is what happened during the last two weeks:

John Jopling published a 21 page article on the Green House UK platform. “In this new Greenhouse gas, John Jopling of the Irish think-tank Feasta argues that the situation calls for non-governmental actors to set up the necessary system of global regulation that governments seemingly cannot deliver.”

Erik-Jan van Oosten wrote “Making sure we’ll be safe – a global solution to avert disastrous climate change” for the Valhalla Movement. This article goes into the arguments why governments would want to endorse CapGlobalCarbon based on what they can and cannot agree upon.

cap global carbon header

The OECD insights blog features an article about CapGlobalCarbon by John Jopling. “This post suggests how the OECD could play a crucial part in helping to establish an effective global response to climate change.”

A detailed explanation of the scheme including the history behind CapGlobalCarbon, specific arguments for governments and business and the differences with other capping schemes is now accessible on our website.

The Guardian newspaper featured a letter from John Jopling in reaction to the ambition of the paper to work towards practical solutions to climate change.

CapGlobalCarbon can now be found on twitter and Facebook. We are providing links and quotes which we hope you will share with your friends and colleagues. We are looking for people who want to join the core group. Every Monday at 11.00 GMT we meet on Skype and invite you to join us. In this stage we mostly need help with media, strategy and contacting key figures. To see who’s involved in the core team see the about us page. Email us at if you’d like to be invited into the core group and briefly describe what you think you can add to the team.