The Lean Economy Connection
Henri Rousseau, 1892 - Le centenaire de l'independance


Lean Logic and Surviving the Future (posthumously published in 2016)
- David Fleming

Footage from the book tour (2016/2017)
- featuring Shaun Chamberlin, Rob Hopkins, Jonathon Porritt, Chris Martenson...

Selected articles and lectures by The Lean Economy Connection

Video footage of David Fleming speaking (2006-2010)
- David Fleming

Articles in Prospect magazine (1999-2005)
- David Fleming

The Lean Economy - A Vision of Civility for a World in Trouble (2001)
- David Fleming

Building a Lean Economy for a fuel-poor future (2003)
- David Fleming

Community Powerdown Conference: The Community Lecture (2007)
- David Fleming

The Transition to Sustainable Resilience (2007)
- David Fleming and Lawrence Woodward

Wild Economics, Wolves, Resilience and Spirit - a study in interdependence (Transition Conference 2009) - David Fleming

Dark Optimism
- Shaun Chamberlin
(all aspects of Shaun's wider work)


Climate change links:

Start here A readable, straightforward guide to the basics of climate change. Or see the slightly more technical guide put together by The Royal Society in 2010, summarising what is clearly understood by climate scientists, and what is not. If you want to delve a little deeper into texts written in more scientific language, you may find Shaun's Climate Science Translation Guide a useful grounding beforehand. Or just let xkcd pretty well sum up all of climate science in a single comic strip panel ;)

Wake Up, Freak Out, then Get a Grip (video) Or if you prefer to watch than read, here's an ingeniously clear and engaging 11 minute animation explaining why the next few years are the most important humanity has ever faced, or will ever face. We who are lucky enough to be alive now are effectively the most powerful people who will ever live, and future generations are breathlessly watching our every choice. For a full-length, powerful 90 min feature film, try this instead.

NASA's 'Climate Time Machine' An exceptionally clear and accessible visual presentation of the recent history of global temperatures, emissions and Arctic sea ice extent, using the most robust data. Clear and regularly updated records of the key indicators in the present day are here.

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) The UN's conservative and consensus-driven IPCC stated in its Working Group II Fourth Assessment report (back in 2007) that "if warming is not kept below 2 degrees C, which will require the strongest of mitigation efforts, and currently looks very unlikely to be achieved, then substantial global impacts will occur, such as: species extinctions and millions of people at risk from drought, hunger and flooding, etc." Press release available here (pdf).

Climate science update Dr. Joseph Romm clearly and concisely summarises the latest science (as of Oct 2012) on the impacts we can expect from climate destabilisation, in a readable yet fully referenced blog post. For more, see this Dec 2012 list of the year's top climate stories, or this 2014 summary.

How to answer climate change sceptics There are still some arguments out there to the effect that man is not really causing severe climate change. Unfortunately the evidence clearly shows that that's not true - here are the answers to the common contrarian arguments. And here's another similar list. Or here are 99 one-liner rebuttals of popular (debunked) arguments. Or for a more philosophical consideration of the roots of such scepticism take a look at this outstanding slide show (pdf) or this 10-minute video (2010). Finally, here's an excellent piece on the shortcomings of media coverage of climate change.

Real Climate A climate change site run by climate scientists. If you're confused by some of the more complex aspects of climate change, this is the site that knows the answers.

James Hansen mailing list Dr. James Hansen, perhaps the world's leading climate scientist, sends out occasional mailings on the latest science and its implications, from a personal as well as professional perspective.


Oil depletion links:

Introduction to Peak Oil (pdf) A clearly written introduction to the science of peak oil, building up from the basics. That's written by Gail Tverberg, and for a deeper, and brilliant, exploration of the interactions between energy and the wider economy, I recommend her 2014 article. And for the real fundamentals of today's global energy crisis, amazingly we've still seen nothing better than this 1976 talk from M. King Hubbert!

Online energy conversion tool Confused by BTUs, petajoules, gallons, kilowatt hours and megacalories? This conversion tool is invaluable.

Dmitry Orlov Orlov is a thinker, writer and commentator with a powerful breadth of thought and insight, and a wonderfully blunt and humourous manner. Worth checking out.

Rob Newman's History of Oil (video) Ready for some light relief? Rob Newman is a renowned stand-up comedian who shows in this brilliant performance that he understands the problems we face. For more peak oil-related entertainment I also recommend the free (and quick) online game Oiligarchy. The outstanding clearinghouse for current information news and events regarding the peak in global energy supply, climate change and related topics.

Peakoil Films Links to the various Peak Oil films, documentaries and features available online. For related full-length films see here.

Peak Oil Blues All a bit too much? This excellent and friendly site is run by professionally trained psychotherapists to help those trying to come to terms with Peak Oil and its impact on their life and plans.


What can we do?:

Reclaim The Power The Reclaim the Power camps are an amazing place to discuss climate problems and solutions with all comers on an equal footing. And to take direct action against dirty fracking, if that's your bag.

The Transition movement The rapidly spreading Transition Towns movement is local communities working together to shape their future, in the context of climate change, peak oil and economic crisis. More empowering than protest and more significant than operating alone. There's probably one near you. This presentation is a good introduction, or check out the In Transition movie, available free online. Or here's Shaun and his local group!

The Ecological Land Co-operative The Eco Land Co-op exists to provide affordable opportunities for new ecologically beneficial projects and smallholdings to find land.

TEQs (Tradable Energy Quotas) Our own national framework designed to ameliorate the impacts of both climate change and peak oil, support local initiatives and guarantee a nation's emissions reductions.

Tactical Tech The Tactical Technology Collective advances the use of information and digital technologies by advocates and activists worldwide. If you disapprove of government reading all our emails, listening to our phone calls etc, here's a good place to start protecting yourself and those you love from it. See also Rise Up.

Carbon Trading - A Critique (pdf) An excellent, readable exploration of some of the shortcomings of our current systems of international carbon trading, such as the Kyoto Protocol and the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS). Edited by Larry Lohmann. This 2010 report by FERN also comes recommended.

Carbon offsetting? or If you're considering using a carbon offsetting service, why not donate to one of these charities instead? There is justifiably much controversy surrounding carbon offsetting, but these charities were carefully planting trees where they would be most beneficial long before offsetting became fashionable (and profitable). Just don't buy the myth that donating money gives you any ethical right to emit more carbon! See Shaun's blog post on the topic.


Future living links:

A Farm for the Future (video) A beautiful and fascinating 50 minute documentary from the BBC's Natural World series, exploring the future for food in a world of peak oil and climate change. If you want to download it for a showing you can do so here (right-click and save). Watching this requires Apple's QuickTime software or the VLC Media Player (recommended), which can be downloaded free here. And if you want more when you're done, we also highly recommend Dirt - The Movie.

The Man in Seat Sixty-One An extremely useful site for those of us who have decided not to fly (for whatever reason). This site gives detailed, friendly, first-hand information on how to get almost anywhere in the world by surface-based transportation.

Green Alliance report on 'Grid 2.0' (pdf) The Green Alliance have produced a clear and compelling piece of work on the new thinking that is needed for electricity distribution and the National Grid.

Soil carbon This important slideshow from the Soil Carbon coalition reminds us that the complete elimination of CO2 emissions would not solve our climate problem. We also need to draw carbon out of our atmosphere, and soil is by far the biggest carbon sink over which we have control. Using it for this purpose is nature's own process, and it can be done quickly. You may also be interested in this website, or Shaun's blog post on the subject. If you are interested in low impact living (natural building, renewable energy, local food production etc etc) then this free site is packed with resources and endlessly helpful, as well as being a great place to connect with others. As is Diggers and Dreamers, if you're interested in communal living.

Permaculture Principles Permaculture is often termed a design system. It is that, but it is also an entire way of seeing life, based around the principles of Care for the Earth, Care for People and Fair Shares. It is one of those beautiful ideas that get deeper the more you explore them, and this site is a lovely introduction. Also see this gem of a 9 minute video.

Freegle Freegle is a network of local groups facilitating the giving and receiving of free stuff! Got something you don't want any more? Freegle makes it easy to keep it out of landfill by giving to someone who does want it, and is all organised online. You may have heard of Freecycle - well they treated their volunteer members badly, so here in the UK Freegle was born. Same system, more ethically run.


Economics links:

A bird's eye view Professor Bernard Lietaer has written this clear and concise explanation of the problems with our current monetary systems, and how critical they are to all that we might wish to achieve. It features several links for those wishing to explore further. We also recommend this two minute video for a touch of comic relief.

Dr. M. King Hubbert A short extract from an interview with Dr. Hubbert, in which he outlines the clash between our understanding of Physics and our monetary culture. Also see his talk at the first link above.

Dr. Albert Bartlett Dr. Bartlett applies the arithmetic of steady growth to populations and to fossil fuels. Essential, a lot more interesting than it might sound, and available here as video, audio or text.

The Endangered US Dollar In this perceptive article from 2004 Richard Heinberg looks to history to find the roots of our present global economic position. In 2010 he also produced his 'Economics for the Hurried' articles: Number 1, Number 2.

The Crash Course (video) Chris Martenson undertakes the daunting task of presenting the overarching interplay of economics, energy and environment examined in all the links above. He not only pulls it off, but does so in easily digestible videos from 2-15 minutes long. Or there's an 'Accelerated Crash Course' that covers everything in an hour.

New Economics Foundation A UK organisation proposing alternatives to the dominant economic paradigm. Practising economics as if people and planet mattered.


Other links:

The Land magazine The Land is written by and for people who believe that the roots of justice, freedom, social security and democracy lie not so much in access to money, or to the ballot box, as in access to land and its resources.

The Dark Mountain Project A network of writers, artists and thinkers who have stopped believing the stories our civilisation tells itself. Seeing that the world is entering an age of ecological collapse, material contraction and social and political unravelling, we want our cultural responses to reflect this reality rather than denying it..

Radio Ecoshock An outstanding online radio station interviewing key thinkers and realistically documenting our times. Shaun's 2016 interview with them can be heard or read here.

On biodiversity and extinction (video) This watchable 9 minute video outlines the mass extinction event occurring now on our planet. As declared at a UN conference in 2007: "If things continue, in as little as 35 years half of all species of life will be extinct".

Human population John Feeney's site is an important source of understanding regarding the critical debate over sustainable human population levels. We also recommend David Attenborough's excellent documentary How Many People Can Live on Planet Earth?

Schumacher College A truly transformative place where space and time is given for learning, reflection and the exchange of ideas and experiences. Much of its unique character comes from the way the College community creates an expression of a sustainable lifestyle, with participants sharing in essential activities including cooking, housekeeping and gardening. If you have a chance to study there do not fail to take it.


If you know of an organisation that you feel should be listed on this page, please contact the webmaster.

TEQs links:
(for more up-to-date TEQs links click here)

UK Government pre-feasibility study into Personal Carbon Trading Having commissioned the Centre for Sustainable Energy's scoping study (Nov 2006), the UK Government conducted this pre-feasibility study into the TEQs concept (May 2008).

Responses to the pre-feasibility study Critical responses from The Lean Economy Connection (pdf) and the Centre for Sustainable Energy, as well as the IPPR's parallel research and the BBC's coverage of the House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee's full response. The Government's response to the EAC's comments (October 2008) can be found here.

All Party Parliamentary Group report The UK Government's All Party Parliamentary Group on Peak Oil and Gas published this report into TEQs with The Lean Economy Connection in January 2011. It details the features and benefits of a TEQs system and draws on the research linked above to argue that implementation is an urgent priority.

Plan B? The prospects for personal carbon trading The Institute for Public Policy Research produced this report in September 2009, examining the case for and against TEQs, and concluding that Government should prepare the ground for possible future implementation.

BBC Radio 4 (audio) In this 12 minute discussion of Peak Oil from BBC Radio 4's "You and Yours" programme (September 2008), John Hemming MP, Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Peak Oil and Gas explains why TEQs are the only just option for the UK Government.

Newsnight (video) David Strahan, author of The Last Oil Shock and TEQs advocate, is interviewed on the BBC's "Newsnight" programme (May 2008). Discussion of TEQs from the two-minute mark. A previous Newsnight discussion on TEQs can be seen here (March 2008).

Climate Policy special issue Yael Parag and Tina Fawcett edit a special Sept 2010 issue of the Climate Policy journal, looking exclusively at 'personal carbon trading', including TEQs and PCAs.

History and Policy paper Historian Dr Mark Roodhouse of the University of York examines the example of wartime rationing and concludes that "the use of taxes alone to control consumption was rejected in the World Wars, and they would not achieve the quick, dramatic cut in carbon consumption that we need now to avert environmental disaster. Tradable carbon rations would have a real impact".

Zero Carbon Britain This report was published by the Centre for Alternative Technology in 2007, laying out the challenges we face and presenting a bold, radical vision of how Britain could eliminate carbon emissions altogether within 20 years. The suggested policy framework is built around Contraction and Convergence at the international level and TEQs at the national.

Resurgence article - Shaun Chamberlin Our own Shaun Chamberlin writes on the need for a framework to encourage local-level solutions to our energy/emissions crisis (April 2009).

The Times article The Chairman of the Environment Agency, Lord Smith of Finsbury, states in November 2009 that "rationing is the fairest and most effective way of meeting Britain's legally binding targets for cutting greenhouse gas emissions".

Guardian article - Polly Toynbee Following Colin Challen MP's June 2008 letter to the paper arguing that the rapid behavioural change necessitated by climate change means that we must implement carbon rationing, Polly Toynbee's article derides the delay in implementing an idea described by DEFRA as "ahead of its time".

New Statesman articles Rowena Macdonald reports from the 2008 Climate Camp at Kingsnorth, and points Gordon Brown towards TEQs, while Peter Wilby comments on the moral challenges inherent in addressing climate change.

Sharon Astyk on energy rationing 2010 article in which Astyk considers whether energy rationing could be made politically palatable.

David Boyle article David Boyle looks back from 2021 to the day when TEQs were implemented in 2011!

The Ecologist Dr. Stephan Harding's article addresses economic growth and the potential impact of TEQs on the global economy. Mark Jansen's 2010 article provides an update.

Policy Studies Institute (pdf) Simon Dresner and Paul Ekins compare the impacts of various proposed policies for controlling greenhouse gas emissions from transportation (including TEQs/DTQs), focusing on whether they are likely to benefit higher-income or lower-income households.

Australia - Ian Dunlop (pdf) A submission to the Australian Prime Ministerial Task Group on Emissions Trading by a former CEO of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and former chair of both the Australian Coal Association and the Australian Greenhouse Office Experts Group on Emissions Trading.

Green Party of England and Wales (pdf) A briefing from the Green Party of England and Wales on their endorsement of the TEQs scheme, which is advocated in their 'Manifesto for a Sustainable Society'.

Carbon Reduction Action Groups (CRAGs) CRAGs are growing networks of people trying to implement TEQs-type schemes voluntarily at the community level, without waiting for Government implementation.


Nuclear Energy links:

David Fleming on The Oil Drum David Fleming summarises the findings of The Lean Guide to Nuclear Energy on The Oil Drum:Europe.

Storm Van Leeuwen and Smith Jan Willem Storm van Leeuwen and the late Philip Smith have produced an outstanding work of analysis on all stages of the nuclear life cycle. Also see Storm van Leeuewen's readable summary of the nuclear life-cycle (pdf), published by the Oxford Research Group.

The Red Book The "Red Book" is widely regarded as the most authoritative source on the quantity and quality of the remaining uranium ore, and of future prospects for production. It is prepared by the OECD Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) in partnership with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), and the 2005 edition was published in June 2006.

University of Sydney (pdf) A detailed report on the "Life-Cycle Energy Balance and Greenhouse Gas Emissions of Nuclear Energy in Australia" prepared for the Australian Government.

Rocky Mountain Institute (pdf) http://www.rmi.orh/.../ A 2009 paper in which Amory Lovins debunks the latest arguments in favour of nuclear energy.

A little makes a lot? A brief article by John Busby examining the claim that a relatively tiny amount of uranium generates as much electricity as a huge amount of coal. Also see his insightful longer article explaining why nuclear power is not a sustainable source of low carbon energy.

Dr. Helen Caldicott Founder and President of the Nuclear Policy Research Institute (NPRI), headquartered in Washington DC. NPRI's mission is to facilitate a far-reaching, effective, ongoing public education campaign in the mainstream media about the often-underestimated dangers of nuclear weapons and power programs and policies.

Europe's radioactive secret A Greenpeace report exposing illegal European exports of radioactive waste to some of Russia's most contaminated sites, with the waste being transported on non-purpose-built general cargo ships.

The Convenient Solution (video) A 9 minute video from Greenpeace UK highlighting the more sensible alternatives to building nuclear power stations in the UK.


GRIN (Genetic, Robotic, Information and Nano-technology) links:

The Center for Responsible Nanotechnology Like any powerful technology, nanotechnology has potential for both benefit and harm. The CRN believes that a stance of cautious optimism is called for. Caution demands that we understand the capabilities of advanced nanotechnology before it arrives, and work to prepare for the changes it will bring.

DEFRA on Nanotechnology The UK Government Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs is working to promote the responsible development and use of nano-scale materials, and hoping to manage any potential risks to the environment while maximising the benefits of nanotechnologies.

Organic farming could feed the world A July 2007 article in New Scientist on findings that a switch to organic farming would not reduce the world's food supply and could also increase food security in developing countries.

The Organic Research Centre, Elm Farm The Organic Research Centre, Elm Farm works to develop and support sustainable land-use, agriculture and food systems, primarily within local economies, which build on organic principles to ensure the health and well-being of soil, plant, animal, man and the environment.

The Soil Association The UK's leading campaigning and certification organisation for organic food and farming.


If you know of an organisation that you feel should be listed on this page, please contact the webmaster.