Category Archives: Issue 5

World News Digest – Issue 5

With the fast pace of today’s news cycle it can be hard to know what to pay attention to, and information overload is often the inevitable result. Listed under the categories of Economy, Energy, Environment and Geopolitics, our selected news highlights bypass celebrity gossip and partisan politics, cutting through the crap to shine the spotlight on the world affairs that affect us most strongly.

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Top 10: Ways to Slash your Ecological Footprint

A scratch to the surface of our everyday habits reveals a wide range of things we could all be doing better, and it’s not just a matter of switching brands within a ‘green consumer’ paradigm – less is most definitely more where our ecological footprint is concerned. Here are SHIFT’s Top 10 footprint reduction measures we can all implement…

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The Population Taboo

By the time you finish reading this article there will be an extra 1,200 human beings on the planet. If that doesn’t seem too bad, let’s extrapolate. This time tomorrow there will an extra 200,000 people on earth, and this time next year there will be an extra 73 million of us – yes, that’s correct, 73 million extra humans, out there, all over the bloody place: eating, shitting and competing against each other to get ahead in the madness of the human race.

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Shining a Light: Interview with Jay Taber by Cory Morningstar

Jay Taber is an associate scholar of the Center for World Indigenous Studies, a contributing editor of Fourth World Journal, and a featured columnist at IC Magazine. Since 1994, he has served as communications director at Public Good Project, a volunteer network of researchers, analysts and activists engaged in defending democracy. As a consultant, he has assisted Indigenous peoples in the European Court of Human Rights and at the United Nations.

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Planetary Boundaries: A Framework for Staying Cool, Calm and Connected

If life on earth was a nine hole game of golf, humans have hit three balls out of bounds, we just got out of the bunker on the fourth, are facing major hazards up ahead on the next three and we have two holes that we are currently playing blindfolded.

We will need to have a much better understanding of the field of play and the rules that apply, and play as best and fairly as we can. Cheating will not be tolerated by that ultimate umpire we call Nature.

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Innovate our Way out of This Mess? Don’t Bet on It!

When you take a really honest look at the track record of technology and innovation, it is sobering. It’s very difficult to get it all right when there are over 7 billion of us doing it. Add to that aspiring to be materially richer year after year, and we have a recipe for large-scale disaster. When you fully consider the track record, betting on innovation to keep the party going is about as rational as investing all your retirement savings on a lottery ticket.

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Feedback Loops – A Death Spiral?

Individuals are able to abandon a fossil fuel-fueled lifestyle with minor costs, including the disparagement that comes from living outside the mainstream. But, as illustrated by Jevons’ paradox and the Khazzoom-Brookes postulate, individual choices do not translate to societal choices. An individual change in consciousness rarely leads to societal enlightenment. Jumping off the cruise ship of empire will not prevent the ship from striking the iceberg, and it nonetheless results in near-term death of the individual.

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