Category Archives: Socio-ecological Systems

The Fragility of Authoritarianism


I am fascinated by our propensity to tilt toward authoritarianism in certain times. They provide a delusion of hope.  Someone promises to make it all better, and something in us is attracted to the personality cult of bullies and what … Continue reading

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Trust … in our Economy


They don’t think of ‘trust’ much when they talk about the economy. They split it up. They, the technocrats. They put such things as ‘trust’, ‘integrity’, ‘truth’ and ‘justice’ in the box marked ‘social’; something to deal with “after we … Continue reading

Posted in Building Regional Economies, Linkages, Resilience Thinking, Socio-ecological Systems, Thought Pieces | 5 Comments

Putting Culture back into Nature


We have spread across and changed our world. Change is the constant. But it is maintaining the integrity of our systems that is more important than whether there is any particular ‘natural state’. Continue reading

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Nature and Corporate Neoliberal Economics in Conflict


The laws of nature and the laws of corporate-based neoliberal economics are in conflict. Continue reading

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Creative versus Extractive Economies


The sands of Iraq and the karst mountain bones of the Grecian hills tell a story. These were once fat lands; the Tigris/Euphrates fields of Sumer, the Arcadia of Greece. They were once Mediterranean empires, now struggling countries of a … Continue reading

Posted in Building Regional Economies, Land Use, Thought Pieces, Wicked Problems | 11 Comments

The Minimum Wage and the Extractive Economy


There is a question that political economists used to ask, “What sort of society do we want to live in?” That question was a central core of the wider study of political economy, the study of our real economic experience. It … Continue reading

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Ways of Seeing III: Looking for the Many Moving Things


 “The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposing ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function.“ F. Scott Fitzgerald I read that Fitzgerald quote in a book by Roger … Continue reading

Posted in Land use policy, Socio-ecological Systems, Ways of Seeing | 4 Comments

Climate Change: from a Protest to a Movement


We dread the horror documentaries on climate change. “This is what is happening. If we don’t do something about it, these are the consequences.” It has the effect of stunning us. It’s better to put our head under a rock. … Continue reading

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Choice: A Bigger Machine, or Democracy & Culture


What are the critical factors determining good local governance? The recent amalgamation debate in Hawke’s Bay was certainly raised some issues, but the debate was narrow – focusing on the idea that bigger is better. The logic of the Local Government Commission, central … Continue reading

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Morality & Strategy Trumped by Financial Expedience


After reading the enthusiastic trumpeting of the sale of our water overseas in Saturday’s paper (17th Oct) I wondered when what is morally right got trumped by what is expedient to the financial minds.  Certainly it took a major turn … Continue reading

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