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Welcome

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Hi! I am Deirdre Kent and I live in a retirement village in Waikanae, an hour north of Wellington in New Zealand. For the last 20 years I have been thinking and writing and acting on the topic of New Economics. This site has a lot of blogs about New Economics, including a lot about my last book. However, more recently my passion has been on advocating for Whole Food Plant Based Eating. So here you will find new material on that topic.

Because I am older, I started eating this way for health reasons, although others adopt it for environmental reasons and of course animal welfare reasons. I want to stay alive and I also am glad that eating this way is one of my small contributions to reducing emissions.

I will be blogging here and giving you links to material from the various authorities on this topic.

So enjoy!

Negative interest rates are very different from a demurrage currency

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With the prospect of New Zealand one day going as far as negative interest rates, we need to examine the consequences of that. The trouble is that those of us who know a little about demurrage currencies tend to think they are the same, whereas they are very different. Continue reading “Negative interest rates are very different from a demurrage currency”

What is the right figure for livestock’s contribution to emissions?

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Well I have never been in a subject where the figures show such a wide range. I think we get from 12% to 51% of total global emissions with everything in between. It started in 2006 with Livestock’s Long Shadow, a study that brought an alarming result for the beef and dairy sector and caused them to demand a partnership with FAO from then on. Continue reading “What is the right figure for livestock’s contribution to emissions?”

Repurposing some agricultural land for horticulture has revenue consequences

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New Zealand is incredibly dependent on its primary industry sector for revenue so I thought it worth looking at the current situation. If we are proposing that in order to reduce our methane  and nitrous oxide emissions, it has export revenue consequences. If we say some appropriate land should be repurposed for growing more plant foods, then it might pay us to look at the revenue we currently receive from our primary sector. Continue reading “Repurposing some agricultural land for horticulture has revenue consequences”

System Change not Climate Change – what to ask of a website

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Climate change is a symptom of our broken economic system. As Naomi Klein said, “The economy is at war with the climate.” Climate scientists have laid out the facts for decades now and politicians have failed to respond because they are afraid the economy might not grow. And the growth imperative is structurally built into the system. If the economy doesn’t grow the alternative is not equilibrium. It is collapse. Continue reading “System Change not Climate Change – what to ask of a website”

Zero Carbon Act means lower growth

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I’ve been doing some reading on embodied energy. If you google search this term you will find references to the embodied energy of buildings. Yes, eco-architects are on to it. Buildings have life cycles and the eenrgy involved in the extraction, transport, manufacture, assembly and end of life phases adds up. All this energy becomes “embodied” in a product. So when we engage in discussions of our renewable energy future we can say much more about it than what energy source we will use. Mostly the discussion is about moving to renewable energy sources from fossil fuels. Continue reading “Zero Carbon Act means lower growth”

Peak oil and climate change. Which do we worry about most?

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About 15 years ago I was co-founded Otaki Transition Town, part of a movement that focussed on both climate change and peak oil. We were predicting dire warnings of a fall off the cliff and reading books like “Why your world is about to get a whole lot smaller” by economist Jeff Rubin and “The End of Growth” and “The Party’s Over” by Richard Heinberg. Then when US discovered they could frack for oil and did so with great success, people forgot about peak oil and focussed their energies on climate change.
Continue reading “Peak oil and climate change. Which do we worry about most?”