Book highlights: Weather from the Ground Up: Biodiversity Helps Shape Local Climate. And Dirt to Soil: Journey into Regenerative Agriculture

Dirt to Soil: One Family’s Journey into Regenerative Agriculture, by Gabe Brown (Chelsea Green Publishing, 2018) from Loretto Earth Network News, May 2019 Picture this exchange. I’m at a Motherhouse Farm and Land Management Committee meeting when I mention that I was so excited about reading Dirt to Soil that I read it straight through while I was on vacation in Florida.  After a brief pause, one …

Barry Lopez: “We’re in emergency times. We’ve created a suicidal society in order that some can buy a 70 ft yacht”

By Edward Helmore, The Guardian, Books We must learn from the wisdom of traditional societies, says the writer whose new book Horizon describes his life through his experience of six geographical regions Tue 7 May 2019   Barry Lopez: ‘We’re living in emergency times and our effort to ensure democratic forms of government are not there.’ Photograph: Ulf Andersen/Getty Images While Extinction …

Highlights from The Patterning Instinct

Highlights from The Patterning Instinct Alexander and Ashoka: Two divergent ​conceptions of power:  A Study In Contrasts A pattern that emerges from history is the propensity of Europeans to use innovative technologies to change the rules of the game and thus gain a power advantage. This proclivity seems to arise from a deep structure in European cognition that identifies power as a …

Short book highlights from Concrete Economics, a New Consensus recommendation

Central to Hamilton’s view was protecting America’s infant industries, so up went the tariff, about 25% in 1816  Given the huge costs of shipping in the early 1800s, this was a formidable exercise in protectionism as well as a major source of federal government revenues.  And up it stayed, over the opposition of agriculturalists who were buyers, not producers, of …

Anand Giridharadas: ‘What wealthy people do is rig the discourse’

The author of Winners Take All assesses the relationship between philanthropy and antiracism in an era of growing wealth among elite changemakers Anand Giridharadas: ‘What wealthy people do is rig the discourse’ by Christopher Petrella, The Guardian, Feb 28, 2019, Excerpt… Socialist Cedric Robinson’s idea of racial capitalism as “ruling-class dance moves”… On the commonsense language we unwittingly or reflexively employ with respect …

What cities and the executive branch should be doing to get to good, fair internet access for everyone. Book review: Fiber: The Coming Tech Revolution — And Why America Might Miss It.

What cities should be doing? We celebrate Chattanooga and Lafayette and Wilson…so many of these cities that are heroes now have depended on their existing municipal electric utilities as a first step towards breeding fiber, but there are only a few thousand cities in the United States that have a municipal electric facility available, so there has to be a broader …

Creating an Ecological Society: Under capitalism, people are at the service of the economy, as workers and consumers of goods and services. In contrast, the economy of an ecological society will be at the service of humanity and its needs

How does capitalism impede the development of an ecological society?  By its very nature capitalism operates in ways that harm people and the broader environment. The purpose of capitalism is to produce something (a good or a service) using hired labor, raw materials and machinery and sell it for more than the production cost. The motivating and driving force of the …

How to Hide an Empire

The word “empire” has a distinct place in the American lexicon: readily applicable to other countries but rarely, if ever, to the United States itself. Even in the spring of 2003, when American forces were occupying Iraq and Afghanistan and government officials were writing torture memos, the defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld seemed almost offended when a reporter asked whether the United States was …

Book of the Day: Elinor Ostrom’s Rules for Radicals,Cooperative Alternatives beyond Markets and States

Originally published in Pluto Press. Elinor Ostrom was the first woman to win the Nobel Prize for Economics. Her theorising of the commons has been celebrated as groundbreaking and opening the way for non-capitalist economic alternatives, yet, many radicals know little about her. This book redresses this, revealing the indispensability of her work for green politics, left economics and radical democracy. …