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Mould:  The not-so-silent threat in people’s homes

In January 2023, I wrote about the silent threat lurking in people’s homes.  Surveyors have reported a tenfold increase in calls from worried landlords and homeowners who have discovered damp and mould hiding in their ­properties – and threatening to cause chaos. And how today’s standards may be tomorrow’s problems. Sooner than I expected, the BBC website …

Changing Priorities in a Shrinking Economy

There is a problem. The economy is shrinking. So, the relative priority of the blocks will be different from my implicit assumption, with some aspects fading into history. How should I deal with this? ChatGPT says: Addressing the changing priorities in a shrinking economy for your “Orcop – Prospecta” website involves acknowledging the shifting context …

The Replacement of Renewables

The following are copies of an exchange of comments on Tim Morgan’s Surplus Energy Blog confirming my view that the current policies being followed worldwide are misguided. ***** The resource requirements for RE expansion and replacement are enormous and would place vast demands on the legacy FF energy needed to access and process them.  Even …

Building houses in a shrinking economy

Me: Write a piece about where to build houses in a shrinking economy related to watersheds dealing with drinking water, flooding, generating electricity, animal farming and communication ChatGPT In the face of a shrinking economy, strategic decisions regarding housing development become even more crucial. As communities navigate challenges such as dwindling resources and environmental concerns, …

The central tenets of economic evolution

One of the central tenets of economic evolution is the concept of competition.  Just as organisms compete for limited resources in the natural world, firms compete for market share, customers, and profits in the economic realm.  This competition drives innovation, efficiency gains, and the selection of superior business models, much like natural selection favors traits …

Economics as an Evolutionary Process

Write a piece about economics as an evolutionary process ChatGPT Economics, as an evolutionary process, embodies the intricate dance of human interactions, resource allocation, and adaptation within dynamic environments. Rooted in the foundational principles of scarcity, choice, and opportunity cost, economic systems evolve over time, shaped by the interplay of diverse factors such as technology, …

Religion in localism

This piece is speculative.  Examples of what happens are required. In localism, religion may take on a unique and diverse character shaped by each community’s specific values, traditions, and histories. While some localist communities may adhere to established religious institutions and practices, others may embrace more eclectic or alternative forms of spirituality. At the core …

Do discretionary and essential spending and markets apply in localism?

Will the concepts of discretionary and essential spending and markets apply in localism when the economy is based on families and extended families? ChatGPT Yes, even in a localism-based economy centered around families and extended families, the concepts of discretionary and essential spending, as well as markets, would still apply. Here’s how: Localism often emphasizes …

Introduction

Prospecta is a narrative model of how the future might evolve. It is a forward-looking exploration of the possibilities that lie ahead. The project aims to give insights and glimpses into a world where reliance on fossil fuels is diminished or replaced. The core components of Prospecta are Building Blocks, each describing an aspect of …

Surplus Energy

Economic Cost of Energy (ECoE) is a pivotal metric for elucidating the genuine expenses associated with both energy production and utilization. Unlike conventional indices like the price per kilowatt-hour or the cost per barrel of oil, ECoE furnishes a more encompassing perspective by integrating financial outlays and the energy inputs indispensable for the extraction, manufacturing, …

Retail

In the contemporary era, communities encounter distinctive challenges marked by depleting resources and evolving economic terrains. Amidst these complexities, the imperative of cultivating self-sufficiency and resilience becomes pronounced, particularly in light of diminishing fossil fuel reservoirs and a contracting global economy. A pivotal aspect of this pursuit involves the establishment of local enterprises that address …

Local Telecoms Networks: Embracing Peer-to-Peer Technology

In an era marked by economic uncertainties and looming energy crises, the need for innovative solutions to sustain essential services becomes paramount. Among these services, telecommunication stands as a cornerstone of modern society, enabling connectivity, information exchange, and economic activity. However, traditional telecommunication infrastructures reliant on centralized systems and extensive fossil fuel consumption face challenges …

Harnessing Local Community Assets

As the economy shrinks and the availability of fossil fuel energy declines, the need for sustainable and resilient solutions becomes increasingly urgent. However, within these challenges lie opportunities for communities to harness their unique assets and strengths to build a more sustainable future. Communities comprise diverse assets, ranging from natural resources to social capital, infrastructure, …

Indigenous Culture

Indigenous cultures, spanning every continent on Earth, have long thrived in harmony with their environments, relying on traditional knowledge and sustainable practices to sustain their communities. However, the modern world’s dependence on fossil fuels and the relentless pursuit of economic growth has posed significant challenges to these ancient ways of life. As economies shrink and …

Building a Community Hall

An Imagined Story in the heart of a small, close-knit vilage nestled amidst rolling hills and lush greenery, a collective spirit was brewing. The community, facing the harsh realities of a shrinking economy and dwindling fossil fuel resources, embarked on a remarkable journey to build a sustainable community hall reminiscent of the Amish tradition. Their …

Making Music

Imagine living In a community bound together by the threads of music. In this community, music isn’t just a pastime; it’s a lifeline—a testament to the human capacity for creativity and connection. From the soaring melodies of choral ensembles to the intimate harmonies of chamber music and the grandeur of orchestral arrangements, every note is …

Leisure

Cultivating Community Resilience In an era marked by economic downturns and the looming spectre of dwindling fossil fuel reserves, leisure time, once considered a luxury, takes on new significance. As traditional modes of leisure and recreation face challenges from economic constraints and reduced energy availability, local clubs, sports, and communal gardening emerge as beacons of …

Sustainable Agriculture

The agricultural sector stands at a crucial juncture in the contemporary landscape marked by economic volatility and a pressing imperative to lessen dependency on fossil fuels. Conventional farming practices, reliant on synthetic fertilizers and machinery powered by non-renewable energy sources, are proving untenable in the long term. As global economic conditions fluctuate and access to …

The Crafting Community. Nurturing Tradition and Sustainability

Within every community, there resides a reservoir of wisdom and creativity, cherished and passed down through the ages like precious heirlooms. Home crafts embody the ethos of self-reliance and adaptability, encompassing a diverse range from weaving and pottery to furniture making and clothes design. Amidst economic turbulence and concerns about environmental sustainability, these traditional practices …

Being Disabled in a Localist Area

Economic downturns and the looming challenge of dwindling fossil fuel resources accentuate the difficulties confronting individuals with disabilities. This piece explores the complex interplay between disability, economic contraction, and energy scarcity within local communities. Through this exploration, we aim to understand the profound effects on individuals and the collective resilience required to navigate these turbulent …

Home Schooling

Communities worldwide are confronted with the necessity to adapt and innovate conventional systems in response to economic downturns and concerns over dwindling fossil fuel reserves. One such critical area is education, which is deeply intertwined with the societal fabric. As traditional educational models strain under economic pressures and the constraints of finite energy sources, an …

The Impact of Climate Change on Local Communities:

As the issue of climate change continues to gain prominence, its impact on local communities becomes increasingly apparent and concerning. In this examination, we explore the diverse effects of climate change on these communities, specifically focusing on the escalation of heatwaves, alterations in wind patterns, and the rise in flooding events. Heatwaves: A prominent consequence …

Land Ownership

Land ownership has taken on new significance in the wake of global economic downturns and the pressing need to transition away from fossil fuels. As societies grapple with shrinking economies and dwindling energy resources, questions about how land is owned, utilized, and distributed become increasingly urgent. This piece explores the intersection of land ownership, economic …

Schooling in Rural Areas

In the face of a shrinking economy and diminishing fossil fuel energy availability, the landscape of schooling is undergoing profound transformation. As societies grapple with the challenges posed by climate change, resource depletion, and economic instability, the traditional paradigms of education are being reimagined to foster resilience, sustainability, and adaptability. In this exploration, we delve …

Harnessing Human and Animal Energy

As the global economy grapples with the consequences of diminishing fossil fuel reserves and the urgent need to mitigate climate change, local communities are increasingly turning towards alternative energy sources to sustain their economies. In this context, using human and animal energy presents a compelling solution that reduces reliance on finite resources and fosters community …

Imagining a Local Economy Thriving in Self-Sufficiency

Imagine: A small town where residents are bound by a shared determination to thrive despite economic challenges. Cut off from external income sources, this community has embarked on a journey of self-sufficiency, recognizing the need to cultivate local businesses that cater to essential needs. In a world marked by shrinking economies and diminishing fossil fuel …

Terracing Hillsides

In the face of a shrinking economy and diminishing fossil fuel resources, sustainable solutions are paramount for ensuring food security and mitigating environmental degradation. Terracing hillside agriculture is a beacon of resilience, offering a viable approach to cultivating fruit and vegetables while conserving soil, water, and energy resources. In this narrative, we delve into the …

Setting up a Woodland Business

In the heart of the countryside, there lies an opportunity—a chance to revive the ancient art of woodland management and craft a sustainable future. Inspired by the pages of Thomas Hardy’s “The Woodlanders,” where the rhythms of rural life and the symbiotic relationship between humans and nature are vividly portrayed, a new generation is awakening …

Setting up a Local Brewery and Winery

Imagine In the heart of a small town nestled between rolling hills and verdant valleys lies a vision of sustainability and craftsmanship: a local brewery and vineyard where passion for the land meets the art of fermentation. As the world grapples with the challenges of a shrinking economy and dwindling fossil fuel energy, the founders …

Local Food Processing

In the wake of economic contractions and dwindling fossil fuel reserves, communities across the globe are facing unprecedented challenges in securing food supplies. As global supply chains strain and energy costs soar, the need for resilient, localized food systems becomes increasingly apparent. In this context, the revival of local food processing using regionally sourced ingredients …

Permaculture

Designing Sustainable Systems for a Regenerative Future In a world grappling with the impacts of climate change, environmental degradation, and unsustainable practices, permaculture stands out as a beacon of hope. It’s not merely a set of gardening techniques or agricultural practices; it’s a holistic design framework for creating sustainable and regenerative human habitats. Permaculture, a …

Adapting Barter Systems in a Shrinking Economy

In the tumultuous landscape of a shrinking economy and dwindling fossil fuel energy, the concept of money transforms from a mere medium of exchange to a vital instrument of survival. As traditional economic structures falter under the weight of scarcity and uncertainty, communities are forced to innovate, turning to ancient practices like barter in a …

Wilding

Wilding in Rural Areas: Nurturing Resilient Landscapes In the face of shrinking economies and diminishing fossil fuel energy availability, rural areas are poised at a critical juncture. The concept of wilding, advocating for the restoration of natural ecosystems and biodiversity, emerges as a beacon of hope amidst these challenges. This essay explores the significance of …

Contrasting the Static and Dynamic views of Highway Networks links to Urban Development

Highway networks serve as vital arteries connecting urban centres, shaping the landscapes they traverse and influencing the development patterns of the regions they serve. However, amidst economic contraction, the perception of these networks undergoes a shift, with both static and dynamic viewpoints adapting to reflect the changing socio-economic landscape. From a static standpoint, highways are …

Local Population

In the face of shrinking economies and diminishing fossil fuel resources, the dynamics of the local population are undergoing profound shifts with far-reaching implications for communities, economies, and ecosystems. As economic opportunities contract and energy-intensive industries decline, some regions and localities will experience outmigration and demographic change, while others are grappling with the challenges of …

Watersheds

As the global economy grapples with the challenges of economic contraction and diminishing fossil fuel resources, the management of watersheds emerges as a critical priority for building resilience and sustainability in communities around the world. Watersheds, which encompass the interconnected network of rivers, streams, and water bodies that supply freshwater to ecosystems and human populations, …

Alternative Health Practices

As the economy contracts and energy costs continue to rise, the National Health Service (NHS) faces a challenging future marked by difficult decisions and resource constraints. The NHS, a cornerstone of the United Kingdom’s social fabric, is tasked with providing healthcare services to all citizens regardless of their financial means. However, during economic downturns and …

Trams and Trains

As the global economy grapples with the twin challenges of economic contraction and diminishing fossil fuel energy availability, the role of public transportation systems, particularly trams and trains, has come into sharp focus. Long considered sustainable alternatives to individual car ownership, trams and trains offer a lifeline for communities striving to reduce their carbon footprint …

Extended Families

In the wake of economic downturns and diminishing fossil fuel resources, the concept of extended families is experiencing a resurgence in relevance and significance. As traditional support structures waver under the strain of economic instability and resource scarcity, extended families are stepping in to fill the gaps, offering a buffer against the harsh realities of …

Think of the Future as a Process, Not an End State

In the face of a shrinking economy and diminishing fossil fuel energy availability, it’s imperative to reconceptualise our understanding of the future as a process rather than an end state. This acknowledges the dynamic and interconnected nature of social, economic, and environmental systems. Thinking of the future as a process recognises that change is inevitable …

Local Food Economies

Amidst the backdrop of a shrinking economy and reduced fossil fuel energy availability, the resurgence of local food economies offers a promising solution to food insecurity, environmental degradation, and economic resilience. Local food economies prioritise food production, distribution, and consumption within a locality. By shortening supply chains and connecting consumers directly with local producers, they …

Discretionary and Essential Markets and Employment

In the context of a shrinking economy and declining fossil fuel energy availability, a critical distinction emerges between discretionary and essential markets and employment. Discretionary markets encompass non-essential goods and services, often associated with luxury or leisure, while essential markets encompass goods and services necessary for basic human needs. As economic contraction and resource scarcity …

How Government Spending and Borrowing give the Impression that the Economy is Growing

Government borrowing creates the impression of economic growth even in the face of a shrinking economy and declining fossil fuel energy availability.  This is due to several factors. Stimulus Spending: When governments borrow money, they use it for stimulus spending programs. These programs inject money into the economy, increasing consumer spending, business investment, and overall …

Electric Vehicles (EVs)

Electric Vehicles in a Shrinking Economy and Diminishing Fossil Fuel Reserves In a world facing the dual challenges of a shrinking economy and declining availability of fossil fuel resources, the role of electric vehicles (EVs) emerges as a crucial component in the quest for sustainability and resilience. As societies grapple with the implications of finite …

Telecommunications

The telecommunications industry stands at a critical juncture as the global economy contracts and fossil fuel energy sources become scarcer. In this shifting landscape, the demand for efficient communication networks remains as vital as ever, if not more so. This piece examines how the telecommunications sector adapts to the challenges posed by a shrinking economy …

Energy

As the global economy contracts and fossil fuel reserves diminish, the energy sector finds itself at a critical crossroads. The transition to sustainable energy sources is not just an environmental imperative but a necessity for economic resilience and long-term viability. This piece explores the challenges and opportunities of adapting to a shrinking economy and reducing …

GDP and Growth

GDP and Growth Strategies in the Face of Economic Contraction and Diminishing Fossil Fuel Resources The Conventional View In an era marked by economic contraction and diminishing fossil fuel resources, traditional measures of GDP and growth face scrutiny and reevaluation. This piece examines the complexities of economic development in a shrinking economy, exploring alternative metrics …

Delayering

As the global economy contracts and fossil fuel resources become scarcer, organizations face increasing pressure to streamline operations, reduce costs, and enhance efficiency. Delayering, the process of flattening hierarchical structures within organizations, emerges as a strategic imperative for navigating the challenges of economic contraction and reduced energy availability. This piece explores the rationale behind delayering, …

The Heart of Localism: Community Care

In the tapestry of a community, the care home should be a vital thread, weaving connections that bind neighbours, families, and individuals into a resilient fabric of support and compassion. At its core, localism will find a poignant expression within care homes, where relatives, neighbours, and residents come together in a shared journey of care …

Off-Grid-Development

In the tapestry of modern living, there’s a growing thread of desire woven into the fabric of society—one that yearns for a departure from conventional dependency on centralised systems. This thread manifests as off-grid development, a movement propelled by the desire for domestic independence. It’s a narrative of self-sufficiency, sustainability, and autonomy, where individuals and …

Localist Economies

Localism is a fundamental element of the future as the global economy grapples with the repercussions of shrinking fossil fuel availability. The reliance on traditional economic models fueled by non-renewable resources is no longer sustainable, necessitating a fundamental shift towards resilient, community-centric economies. In this context, the development of localist economies will emerge as a …

Renewable Energy

The imperative to transition towards renewable energy sources has become increasingly urgent as concerns over fossil fuel scarcity escalate. Renewable energy presents a viable solution to alleviate the constraints imposed by finite resources and mitigate the looming threat of climate change. This transition emerges as a crucial component of sustainable development, offering a promising trajectory …

Poverty

In the context of shrinking economies and diminishing fossil fuel availability, poverty is a pressing concern that demands innovative solutions and renewed commitment from policymakers, civil society, and the private sector. Poverty, characterized by inadequate access to basic necessities such as food, shelter, healthcare, and education, is a moral imperative and a barrier to sustainable …

House Design

In an era characterized by shrinking economies and diminishing fossil fuel availability, the design of our homes takes on renewed significance as we seek to create spaces that are not only comfortable and functional but also sustainable and resilient. House design shapes our relationship with the environment, influencing energy consumption, resource utilization, and overall well-being. …

Top Down Planning

In an era of shrinking economies and diminishing fossil fuel availability, traditional top-down planning approaches face unprecedented challenges, requiring a fundamental rethink of governance structures and decision-making processes. Top-down planning, characterized by centralised authority, bureaucratic inertia, and limited public participation, is ill-suited to address the complex and interconnected challenges posed by climate change, resource depletion, …