Great Transition Initiative

To Avoid Ecological Destruction, Prosperity Must Be Separated From Economic Growth

Endless economic growth, long the rallying cry of the conventional paradigm, endangers our future. Ecological economist Tim Jackson, author of Prosperity Without Growth: Foundations for the Economy of Tomorrowexplores the need to envision a post-growth economy with Allen White, Senior Fellow at the Tellus Institute.

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Modern Industrial Agriculture Is Incompatible With Nature - We Need a New Paradigm Based on Ecology

Modern industrial-scale agriculture has proven incompatible with the structure and function of natural systems. To reverse the abusive practices that are undermining the long-term health of the land, humans, and non-human species, a new agricultural paradigm that mimics rather than contradicts ecological principles is urgently needed. In this interview, I explore the nature and prospects of such a paradigm shift with Wes Jackson, founder of The Land Institute and a leader in advancing research in and public understanding of ecological agriculture.

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Big Ag Is the Biggest Obstacle to Global Food Security: Here's What Can Turn It Around

The primary obstacle to sustainable food security is an economic model and thought system, embodied in industrial agriculture, that views life in disassociated parts, obscuring the destructive impact this approach has on humans, natural resources, and the environment. Industrial agriculture is characterized by waste, pollution, and inefficiency, and is a significant contributor to climate change. Within so-called free market economics, enterprise is driven by the central goal of bringing the highest return to existing wealth. This logic leads inexorably to the concentration of wealth and power, making hunger and ecosystem disruption inevitable. The industrial system does not and cannot meet our food needs. An alternative, relational approach—agroecology—is emerging and has already shown promising success on the ground. By dispersing power and building on farmers’ own knowledge, it offers a viable path to healthy, accessible food; environmental protection; and enhanced human dignity.

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Why Michael Pollan Swears by Cooking From Scratch

In Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation, Michael Pollan describes his personal journey of stepping away from processed and packaged foods toward cooking from scratch, and highlights the grievous consequences of industrial modernity in the daily arena of eating and drinking. Specialization, Pollan argues, “breeds helplessness, dependence, and ignorance and, eventually… undermines any sense of responsibility.” Cooked persuasively illuminates how the industrial mindset fosters the domination of nature and distorts public governance, and offers, instead, justification and guidance for a healthier way of eating and a richer life.

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