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Saturday, September 23, 2017

An introduction to the Flexible Pollutant Mechanism

Posted by steve on December 17, 2013

This short video explains the mechanism put forward by the Swedish Sustainable Economy Foundation for solving pollution with financial incentives.

Circular economy in diagrams: where logic breaks down and where financial incentives can work

Posted by steve on December 3, 2013

Are your circle economy diagrams confusing your audience? This article aims to help you communicate clearly. As a staunch aficionado of reaching a resilient economy through sustainability I am all for circle economy thinking- if it ensures people get food on the table and a roof over their heads. Unclear delivery will not help our cause. We talk of circle economy from two angles: economy as a form of housekeeping and economy in terms of monetary flows. These are not always the same thing. The final section suggests a solution.


WAIT! There is more to read… read on »

Shifting Power, Shifting Economy

Posted by steve on September 15, 2013


Lindsberg Conference Center basking in the late summer sunshine

Lindsberg conference center, just outside the Swedish town of Falun, saw three days of Powershift Sweden with PUSH, a youth movement conference for action for a fossil-free society. As a fellow of ISSS (the Institute of Swedish Safety and Security) and one of the founders of Transition Sweden, I brought the complementary currency ITK to the seminar  as the conference’s volunteer currency. WAIT! There is more to read… read on »

Complementary Currency Trial Shows How Communities Can Prosper

Posted by steve on August 1, 2013

Journalist BirGitta Tornerhielm shows off her vouchers for ITK

Journalist BirGitta Tornerhielm shows off her vouchers for ITK

A summary of the recent trial in Sweden, published at ,  presents a hopeful development with complementary currency as a driver of community development.

As economies fail throughout Europe it is becoming clearer that communities should come together to provide the security and safety that neither businesses or local authorities have the capability to provide. Rather than driving globalisation, the money system should  encourage these communities to become more self-reliant and resilient. WAIT! There is more to read… read on »

Experimental currency in Sweden

Posted by steve on July 1, 2013

Does your local community need and injection of money to usher in prosperity? No worry, just get your scissors out and make some! This is anyway what a group of local community developers in Sweden are trying. The initiative is a cooperation between Transition Towns in Sweden (the organization that works on a local level to prepare for a world without oil) and ISSS, the Institute of Swedish Safety and Security – an organization that is working to promote resilience and disaster preparedness.

Philip Wyer, chairman of ISSS, the project’s lead partner, explains that the role of his institute is to study the changes occurring in society and relate them to the safety, security and well-being of people. Understanding resilience and ways for society to show resilience in the face of change is a perspective that ISSS covers with the other partners, the Swedish Transition movement and Open World Villages. Most important is to understand the risks society might face and ways to mitigate those potential threats. Philip likens it to preparing for a journey: you cannot be sure of what to take with you until you know if the journey will be along smooth roads, in hot jungle or up freezing mountains. Having understood where you will be going, i.e. what situation society will be in, the analysis, assessment and recommendations follow, utilizing tools including R.A.I.D assessments. This acronym stands for risks, assumptions, issues and dependencies, which enable the organization to understand the current perspective on a potential scenario and analyze the effect of future changes. WAIT! There is more to read… read on »

New book shows the Power of Just Doing Stuff

Posted by steve on June 23, 2013

Recently published by Transition Towns founder Rob Hopkins, this new book “The Power of Doing Stuff” encourages everyone to engage with the food security challenge as well as resilience in general.

You can be a part of the change by engaging locally wherever you live. Around the world, people are seeing the limits – of carbon dioxide, energy availability and economic growth – as opportunities. They are not waiting for permission. They are coming together to create more stronger, more resilient communities.

The power of just doing stuff is one of the big ideas of our time. See the video, buy the book! Click on this link The Power of Just Doing Stuff: How Local Action Can Change the World.

Swedish Foundation sees fees on raw materials can create circular economy

Posted by steve on June 16, 2013

Product_matrixJust released, the latest version of the Swedish Sustainable Economy Foundation’s White paper presents in detail how nations can usher in the zero emission, no waste society using a special fee mechanism on raw materials. Download the paper from the Foundation’s web site

 People get worried that we should reduce consumerism, as our way of life is driving resource use and emissions. Just reducing will collapse the economy. Instead, the Foundation proposes fees on introduction of raw materials into the economy.  These fees are raised until the consumption and emission of materials ceases. But the money is redirected into  the economy – paid out equally to all taxpayers. This ensures people have money to buy what they need.

The paper is the result of several years’ work, including projects with the Nordic Council of Ministers on Carbon fees and fees on phosphorous and nitrogen.

It is essential reading for those working with the transition of society away from the resource-hungry to the equitable, sustainable future many long for. It provides a sound basis for practical approaches to pricing and managing pollution.

The paper, along with other versions and  the short summary can be downloaded here.

The circular economy can be ushered this way: substances that are not biological of origin ( iron, other metals,  mined substances etc) cost to enter the system, and the price is raised until they do not leave it. Biological nutrients circulate too, but enter and leave the economy without burdening recipient or reducing ecological maturity of the source. At the same time, money to enable these transactions circulates freely in the opposite direction.


From the Charles Eisenstein event

Posted by steve on May 18, 2013

  1. Last night’s event with Charles Eisenstein was like listening to a spellbinding story teller, the story of the old story and the story of the new emerging. I twittered like mad until my battery ran out. Here are the tweets unedited.


    #ceisenstein disrupt the old story with love and kindness; miracles happen when you come in the flow

  2. #ceisenstein change agents can offer experience of new story: connection, love, acceptance

     #ceisenstein now age of gifts. Leaders hold the story. Leaders encourage all to give gifts.
  3.  #ceisenstein sees mans exponential growth as childhood. Painful passage of rites ahead as we go to adulthood.
  4.  #ceisenstein money no longer created as debt would see universal basic income
  5.  #ceisenstein new story is give of your gifts all have gifts to give

  6. #ceisenstein despair and powerlessness built in to story.
  7. #ceisenstein activism coming together with spiritualism. See occupy!
  8. #ceisenstein impulse of heart validates acts against logic of mind.

  9. #ceisenstein the NEW story is no force no separation but validation of kindness
  10. #ceisenstein at the root of our current deep crisis is the mythology our institutions rest on. Separation % force
  11.  #ceisenstein I found where we get our ideas about what is possible comes from institutions that create the misery.
  12. #ceisenstein my optimism is not from ignorance of all negative in world.
  13. #ceisenstein economic growth merely about more services paid for not measure of development.
  14. Full house at #ceisenstein 
  15. #ceisenstein Hopi saying: we are the ones we have been waiting for
  16. #ceisenstein event kicks off with rousing song

We pick up the pollution bill and go hungry while corporations get the profits

Posted by steve on April 26, 2013

In a recent article in, journalist David Roberts explains that

None of the world’s top industries would be profitable if they paid for the natural capital they use

Citing a recent report [PDF] by environmental consultancy Trucost on behalf of The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB) program sponsored by United Nations Environmental Program, David Roberts explains

The notion of “externalities” has become familiar in environmental circles. It refers to costs imposed by businesses that are not paid for by those businesses. For instance, industrial processes can put pollutants in the air that increase public health costs, but the public, not the polluting businesses, picks up the tab. In this way, businesses privatize profits and publicize costs ….. if we take the idea seriously, not just as an accounting phenomenon but as a deep description of current human practices, its implications are positively revolutionary.

What is the actual tab that is being picked up by us? Trucost estimates that greenhouse gas emissions account38% of the use of natural capital. The effect on food security?

The British met office estimates (see their web page here) that some regions could benefit from climate change, while in others it may offset gains in food security from economic and social development. However, in the overall analysis some projections suggest that 100-200 million additional people could be at risk of hunger due to climate change by 2050.

So the costs of emitting green house gasses alone are negatively affecting the lives of millions. They are clearly picking up the tab, but not sharing in the profits.

Transition to biomass society with a complementary currency

Posted by steve on April 4, 2013

Cover_biomass_currency This white paper discusses the challenge of replacing fossil-fueled supply chains with less energy-intense renewable solutions whilst rapidly reducing the carbon in the atmosphere. It suggests that a complimentary currency, backed by carbon fees and pledges from landowners to sequester carbon using soil and biochar, could be the answer.

Read the paper here. A complementary currency R4