De-Growth and deep ecology, a (book) crossing

Profondo Verde: Un’Etica per l’Ambiente tra Decrescita e Deep Ecology [Deep Green: An Ethics for the Environment Between De-Growth and Deep Ecology], Mimesis Edizioni (Milan-Udine), 2010

by Irene Borgna

On the morning of August 8 I was sitting on the bank of a beautiful lake inside Oxford’s University Parks. Besides watching the ducks and the ripples in the water and the twirls that feathers and leaves drew in the air carried by the wind, I finished reading “Profondo Verde: Un’Etica per l’Ambiente tra Decrescita e Deep Ecology” [Deep Green: An Ethics for the Environment Between De-Growth and Deep Ecology]. Although this work is written in Italian, I thought it was too good to pass up the chance to review it here. Read more

Celebrating the seasons

August is the month of the harvest, and as I had the chance to participate in the harvesting of grains in the mountains around Cuneo, I was reminded of a different rythm to the year, marked by unrepeatable natural events that take place at the turn of each season, and which come around only the following year. As little as 25 kilometres from my hometown, Cuneo, there exists a different world that still predominantly flows by these rythms.

Fun-sized revolution: the Barracks Lane Community Garden

I recently found myself in Oxford, UK, and had the opportunity to receive a guided tour of the Barracks Lane community garden, a community garden located just off the Cowley Road, Oxford’s multi-cultural district.

This was an experience that struck me profoundly, as it afforded me with a welcome diversion from the experience of Great Britain that I got from recent visits to Glasgow, a city with a vast display of scars from an industrialisation that is no more. Read more

Satish Kumar on Nature

This new “featured video” introduces the theme that will feature prominently in the posts that will come this month: the theme of nature, of our relationship to nature, and of the challenges that thinking about a different paradigm of man-nature interaction poses to mainstream economic thinking and beyond. Satish Kumar, a jolly good man I met some months ago, had a chance to speak about his life as an “Earth Pilgrim” on BBC, in a way that gently introduces this interesting debate.

Cooperatives and the embedded economy

The roundtable I attended on July 28, 2011 as part of the “Campeggio Resistente” Forum featured a range of speakers from different backgrounds and geographic regions within and without Italy. There was, however, a common thread which, I think, had to do with the unanimous recognition of the embedded character of economic activity (Polanyi and Granovetter being the de rigueur references in this respect). All of the speakers present at the roundtable, in fact, appeared to articulate – with respect to their peculiar cases – the fundamental social fact whereby economic activity is essentially embedded in a rich fabric of human, personal and cultural relationships, so that it is not just a matter of making and selling things, but also much more. Read more