It’s that netherworld between Christmas and New Year, and time to write up an entirely non-essential review of blog activity for 2019. This year I finally got around to rebranding the blog, something that I had been putting off for a while. Make Wealth History had served me well as a blog name for a decade, but when I had an email from a young reader and realised that they weren’t born when Make Poverty History was a campaign, I figured I ought to change it. It has become The Earthbound Report, and it’s working out fine so far.
Changing the name did result in a fall in traffic, as expected. I’ve never pursued visitor numbers as a metric of success, but I did wonder whether I’d done the right thing as traffic cratered over the summer. I’m pleased to report that they bounced back.
Thanks to the generosity of readers and a handful of regular givers, any extra costs for the rebranding were covered, and I’m very grateful for that. A big thank you to those who give, some anonymously. Your support helps to keep the site ad-free and honest, and is much appreciated. If you’d like to make a donation – and I only mention this once a year – here’s the link.
More ramblings below, but for those with less time on their hands – thank you for reading, for re-tweeting, for discussing. And a happy new year for 2020.
This year I wrote 277 posts, and some 128,686 words. There were 50 book reviews, and I’ll pick some favourites next week. I’ve written more about activism this year, as I’ve been more involved in Extinction Rebellion. And living in an airport town, that means I’ve written more about aviation. Luton Airport’s expansion plans are a good case study in how the drive for economic growth overrules environmental concern, and it’s been a bit of a theme.
I had intended to write more about our household project to get our home to an A rating for efficiency in 2020. Building work has gone slower than planned and there have been a couple of false starts, and it hasn’t been the regular feature I was hoping for. The project itself is potentially still on track for 2020 though, so we shall see.
Another big step this year was the publication of my first book, co-authored with Katherine Trebeck. The Economics of Arrival came out in January and that was a highlight of the year. It was a real learning experience too, especially how a book launches a conversation, and a week of Arrival posts on the blog helped to push that along.
Outside of the blog, a lot of time went into the launch and promotion of the book. Green Economy Coalition published a paper of mine, How green can be fair. I did a nice little project for Tearfund and finished off another for RSPB Scotland. I helped to launch Extinction Rebellion Luton, built a website for Christian Climate Action, and became a company director for the first time with the People’s Park cafe project. Most of my work this year has been unpaid. Once again I have pitched projects and started work on them because I wanted them to happen, and people have found ways to pay me afterwards. When people ask me what I do for a living, I really don’t know how to explain, but it works and I feel privileged to have diverse and rewarding work.
I also started on the next book, or three as it turns out. I knew that the book I wanted to write after Arrival was quite hard, and well out of my comfort zone. So I decided to do something fun in-between and wrote a children’s novel over the summer. With that out to some test readers, I started on my new project, only to put that on the back burner again when an opportunity came up to edit a book on Christian traditions of non-violent direct action. Time to Act is out in February and you can pre-order it now if you are so inclined.
So that was 2019, and I imagine 2020 will bring some twists of its own. Back to the usual posting schedule next week.