Below you’ll find a list of media (much of it open access) that I’ve found to be particularly inspiring or helpful when it comes to thinking about building a better world. While the list is far from complete, and will continue to be updated from time to time, I hope it serves as a helpful starting point for anyone interested in learning more about climate change, just transitions, economics for a better world, greener agriculture, livable cities, and more.
- This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs the Climate – Written by the brilliant Naomi Klein, This Changes Everything reframed the debate on climate change, helped inspire a new generation of climate activists, and took a niche idea mainstream: climate change is the result of a broken system, and so to prevent the former you have to do away with the latter.
- Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change: AR5 Synthesis Report – The work of the IPCC remains the single best reference source for detailed, yet readable, information on climate change. Used by governments and policymakers worldwide, if you have to read only a single document on climate change, this is it.
- Climate Justice Charter Movement – Put together by two South African NGOs, this is probably the best all-in-one movement laying out a roadmap of a just transition for the South African context. If you’re interested in how South Africa, and Africa as a whole, can move towards a more just, sustainable future, this is a great place to start.
- What can I do? – As the article states, when it comes to climate change most folks (including myself) struggle with the “but what can I do?” question. If that’s you, read this.
ECONOMICS FOR A BETTER WORLD
- Living Well Within Limits (LiLi) – Headed by Dr Julia Steinberger, LiLi is an academic research project which embraces a coherent, cross-disciplinary approach to answer some truly fascinating questions about achieving human wellbeing with limited resource usage.
- Wellbeing Economy Alliance – A global collaboration of experts and organisations, WEAll’s goal is to focus the attention of our economies not on growth for growth’s sake, but on wellbeing. Rather than focusing on policies and thinking designed to maximise GDP, we should embrace policies designed to maximise human and planetary wellbeing.
- Doughnut Economics – First explored in a 2012 Oxfam report and then popularised with Kate Raworth’s book of the same name, Doughnut Economics explores the kind of new economic approaches needed to embrace sustainable living within the boundaries of our planetary resources.
- Maryland Genuine Progress Indicator – GDP, many economists, policymakers, and governments are beginning to realise, is an outdated, often dangerous way to measure our economies. The Maryland GPI offers an alternative, measuring not just mindless growth and wealth accumulation, but genuine economic welfare for society at large.
- Heterodox Economics Directory – ‘Heterodox economics’ are those approaches which contrast with or move beyond mainstream neoclassical economics (which is increasingly coming under fire as an out-of-touch, faintly psychopathic discipline). If you’re interested in alternative economics as an academic pursuit, this is a great place to find graduate programs, books, and other helpful resources.
- Getting Started with Degrowth – Degrowth, originally of French origin, is a growing movement and school of thought which challenges the basic premise of contemporary economic life: that GDP growth is the key to prosperity. Arguing also that the obsession with GDP growth has caused vast societal and ecological damage, degrowth will no doubt continue to offer fascinating insights into alternative economies.
THE FUTURE OF WORK
If you have something you think I should add to this list, please let me know.