Where: Off the Grid, Birrarung Marr (between the Yarra River and Federation Square)
Entry is free
Sam and I will be joined by Dr Sangeetha Chandra-Shekeran, Deputy Director of University of Melbourne’s Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute.
Sam and I will briefly introduce the book’s key themes, with Sangeetha providing context based on insights from her own research. Sangeetha will then moderate a conversation drawing on comments and questions from the audience.
We’re very much looking forward to lively, though-provoking and engaged audience contributions along the lines of past Rescope Project events, and aim to squeeze as much opportunity for this as we can from the time available.
Copies of the book will be available for purchase after the event for $25.00.
If you’re in Melbourne, we’d be delighted to have you with us, and if you can, please help us spread the word.
I’m very pleased to announce the release Carbon Civilisation and the Energy Descent Future: Life Beyond this Brief Anomaly, co-authored with Sam Alexander.
From the back cover blurb:
Carbon civilisation is powered predominately by finite fossil fuels and with each passing day it becomes harder to increase or even maintain current supply. Our one-off fossil energy inheritance is but a brief anomaly in the evolution of the human story, a momentary energy spike from the perspective of deep time.
Today humanity faces the dual crises of fossil fuel depletion and climate change, both of which are consequences of the modern world’s fundamental reliance on the energy abundance provided by fossil energy sources. Can renewable energy replace the fossil energy foundations of carbon civilisation?
This book examines these issues and presents a narrative linking energy and society that maintains we should be preparing for renewable futures neither of energy abundance nor scarcity, but rather energy sufficiency. For industrial societies, this means navigating energy descent futures.
While I’m on the announcements train, Degrowth in the Suburbs: A radical urban imaginary, by Brendan Gleeson and Sam Alexander (my co-author for the forthcoming book flagged in the status update just posted) has just been released. Full details are available from the publisher here (there’s also a page for the book on the website of the Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute, where Brendan and Sam both work). From the blurb: Continue reading →
It’s now well over a year since Beyond this Brief Anomaly went into one of its periodic and not exactly planned hibernations. If your are still sufficiently tuned in to be reading this, well thanks for hanging in there. A quick explanatory note, and a primer for some upcoming posts, is due. Continue reading →
Last week I attended the Eco-city World Summit in Melbourne. On Friday, permaculture co-originator David Holmgren presented an ‘alternative keynote’ based on his forthcoming book RetroSuburbia. The session was arranged and chaired by Sam Alexander, Research Fellow in Sustainable Economy and Consumption with Summit co-organisers Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute. Sam invited me to join award winning landscape architect and urban designer Kate Dundas in responding briefly to David’s presentation. My brief was to drill down a little further into the energy context and implications for RetroSuburbia. Continue reading →
Back at the start of May I was invited to speak at a business networking event run by Moral Fairground on the theme ‘The Unseen Cost of Travel’, alongside Intrepid Travel co-founder Geoff Manchester and Janine Hendry of Reho Travel. The invitation came about as a result of my posts here last year on the climate impacts of air travel. My brief was to cover the implications of carbon offsetting.
Here’s what I had to say, under the rough title ‘Carbon offsets or carbon penances? What a finite emission budget means for air travel and tourism futures.’
For a period pretty much identical to my own lifetime, travel for most rich-world citizens has effectively been synonymous with flying. In broader historical terms that’s a very small blip, and I’ll come back to that at the end in thinking about how those of us who take climate change seriously might deal with the dilemma that commercial aviation presents. Continue reading →