About the blog
Whether we like it or not, we have one planet. Despite the best intentions of .com billionaires, this is our only home. Earth is the one place we know that supports life. It is from this dust that we emerged, and to this dust that we will return. We are earthbound.
We should live as if we intend to stay.
How will make ourselves a lasting home on this one planet, in ways that provide a fair share to every human being? How will we do that without destroying non-human life, or disrupting the earth’s systems that we depend on?
This is the challenge that humanity faces in the 21st century, and the central theme of The Earthbound Report.
The story so far
The blog was started in 2007 under the name Make Wealth History, echoing the Make Poverty History campaign, and highlighting the fact that poverty would not be ended without a sustainable definition of wealth.
The blog won the Green and Eco category at the UK Blog Awards in 2016. Veulio named it the leading green blog in Britain in 2018.
In 2019, after debating it in my head for about five years, I renamed the blog The Earthbound Report.
About the author, Jeremy Williams: I grew up in Madagascar and Kenya, places that gave me a real passion for the environment, development and poverty. I wanted to write about these issues from an early age, and studied journalism, international relations and cultural studies to try and get a better understanding of them. I planned to return to Africa as a foreign correspondent, but found that my outsider perspective gave an interesting angle on Western consumer culture.
I work as a freelance writer and campaigner, specialising in social and environmental issues. I’ve worked with agencies including Oxfam, Tearfund, WWF and RSPB, along with a variety of business clients of one sort or another. My work is very diverse, and includes writing and editing books, public speaking, magazine articles, and book reviews. I’ve made short films, written for radio, curated a couple of exhibitions, art directed two comic books, built many websites, and occasionally publish a poem.
My latest book, Climate Change is Racist: Race, Privilege and the Struggle for Climate Justice, was published by Icon in summer 2021. As far as I am aware it is the first book on climate change and race that has been written for a non-academic audience.
My other books are Time to Act: A resource book for the Christians in Extinction Rebellion, which I edited in 2020, and The Economics of Arrival: Ideas for a Grown-up Economy, co-authored with Katherine Trebeck and published in 2019. You can get them from my web book shop, Earthbound Books.
If you want to collaborate, drop me a line: email@example.com
I’m an ideas person, and I love to support new ideas and start new things. I co-founded the Postgrowth Institute, Transition St Albans and Transition Luton. Current projects include the not-for-profit creative agency Earthbound Ventures, Edible High Town, People’s Park Cafe, and Park Church, an experiment in outdoor spirituality.
I currently live in Luton (UK) with my wife Louise, who is a radio journalist with the BBC, and our two young children.
The blog has on occasion provoked strong reactions, both positive and negative – some of which remain below. Before telling us what you think of us, you may want to read the Frequently Asked Questions, and the commenting policy.
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I quite agree. It’s a good plan, and something of a challenge. It’s the only way things are going to work though
I think this site is great – so encouraged to see other Christians really engaging with this issue and all it’s spin offs. Keep it up fellas
One question I have: instead of being 6 or 9 billions individuals aiming at voluntary simplicity, why not aiming at being 600 or 900 millions individuals all living as wise millionnaires?
Quality of desire, that’s what you touch upon. This is the pre-position, the conceptual change, the definition of “what is quality of life” should represent, that is what is refused to be debated. This is the taboo to be broken. Consider this: “one person less is exponential an impact for change as to reducing the individual footprint to a hundred percent(impossible, but for theoretical metrics sake) for one individual ”
The question of how many do we want to be(and with consideration for the planet, what our place is in the scheme of bio-diversity), not on the basis that ten billion people would or not be possible, but on the basis of whether it is desirable.
It all hinges on our potential as individuals and social groups, we transcent as humanity , or we regress as a species most probably. Read more: http://22.214.171.124/m/m.php
The following link, takes you to a “utopian” article, entitled “Home of the Brave?” which I wrote and appeared in the American Daily which is published in Phoenix, Arizona on March 14, 2006.
The books of E.F. Schumacher may be great resources that mirror your ideas on this blog. Check out “Small is Beautiful”
I was so thrilled when I discovered your site that I nearly tripped running upstairs to tell my husband about it! AS North American Christians we often feel alienated on environmental issues. Like yourselves we believe good stewardship is part and parcel of a lifestyle of “loving our neighbor as ourselves.” Keep up the great work, we are encouraged by your efforts!
Loved looking through your site today and it’s great to meet others of the mindset of positively embracing living with less!
I put together InterNational Downshifting Week which encourages people to ‘slow down and green up’ and extols the virtues of it.
Wishing you well on your quest!
Hi Tracey, funny you should show up, I was just preparing a post on International Downsizing Week. I’ll let you know when it’s up.
Thanks for stopping by!
Taken from the tune of the ‘Twilight Zone’,
“Do do, do do, do do, do do….!”
Do yell if you need, want or urgently desire any further info…
My name’s Will and I am totally new to this world of blogging. I’ve been searching around lookin for interesting topics and this blog fits the bill. I am adding your blog onto my blogroll. That would make you guys my FIRST official addon to the blogroll. I know nothing about living a sustainable lifestyle. But I promise that I will continue to reference this site to make serious steps towards one. I have been thinking about such topics for quite some time now, it’s nice to see them being put into words for me. If you ever get a sec, right now my blog is mostly Film/TV show reviews. If that is your cup of tea, check it out. It promises to morph over time. In the meantime, good luck with this valiant effort.
Just wanted you to know we linked out to you today: http://www.walletpop.com/blog/2008/09/18/starbucks-trades-in-fair-trade-for-shared-planet-worth-your-m/
Any links back are appreciated.
I just wanted to let you know that we linked to your site today on WalletPop.com, AOL’s hub for personal finance, which is the #1 money destination on the Internet. Here’s the link: http://www.walletpop.com/blog/2008/09/18/starbucks-trades-in-fair-trade-for-shared-planet-worth-your-m/
We’d appreciate any links back you can give us — adding us to your links page or referring to this write-up.
Thanks for your time.
Beth Pinsker Gladstone
Editor of WalletPop.com
I think this blog demonstrates a high level of miserabilism.
Why can’t we help the developing world reach our standard of living instead of cutting back our own?
Right, Dan. There was a joke about the Russian Socialist Revolution of October 1917. An old aristocratic lady was sitting at the window of her luxurious apartment in St. Petersburg when she heard shots and shouts from the street. She sent her maid to see what was going on. The maid returned with the news, “it is a revolution, Madam!” The lady asked, what it was about, and the maid answered, “It is about eliminating rich people”. “Strange”, said the lady, “my father taught me we should eliminate the poverty and make everyone rich”.
Because if we do we will fuck up this world twice as fast
It’s very simple Dan – if everyone on earth had the same lifestyle as the average American, we would need the equivalent of five earths to provide the resources. Since we only have the one, there isn’t enough oil, wood, water, food for everyone to live like we do in the West. That is unfortunately a fact.
As to the miserabilism, I beg to differ. Personally, I think there’s nothing miserable about cutting back our own lifestyles. We live stressed, fraught, unhappy lives. Slowing down and being less preoccupied with possessions is good for us, and not something to be lamented.
I 100% absolutely agree with you and I JUST found your website. I am so happy I did!!!
I completely agree with Jeremy too. There is nothing miserable about a simpler existence. It was an insight I gained when I understood the weight of possessions once I no longer possessed them.
Hi me and my best friend are doing some course work about poverty and we were hoping that you could send us some free stuff so that we could try and help younger years at our school about poverty
If you could send use some stuff then here is the address
Care of Miss Tickell
Horbury School a Specialist Language Collage
This argument for unsustainability is whats unsustainable.
I’ve yet to see such nonsense pushed by anyone other than spoiled rotten westerners. Particularly those with a childlike envy toward the inequality produced by naturally creative human lives.
This isn’t about the planet or resources and never has been. Its about people who reject the wonderful competitiveness that is absolutely natural to all forms of life.
FAQ number 8 seems to me to provide a good answer to any who feel this website is based on envy. Great website, Jeremy!
Steve, the first line of your comment shows you have no idea what sustainability is about. On that basis I’m going to assume replying to your comment in any detail will be a waste of time. Thanks for stopping by all the same.
Enjoyed your site. I see these ideas gaining ground slowly, but at the same time I feel it is an uphill battle against the “growth at all costs” economics that the world has been following for decades. Any hope that we can break that trend? Do you see signs of a shift in mentality? By the way, there is an excellent 20 minute video you might have already seen and might want to link to: http://storyofstuff.com
I think there is promise Tara. The Transition Movement, the Incredible Edibles Movement, the international scale of permaculture, the growth urban gardens and orchards, the Bhutan constitution for happiness (a country which is carbon positive), Ecuador’s bill of rights for animals, the success of participatory budgeting in many cities, cooperative housing….. I think a ‘critical mass’ will be reached which will challenge the dogma of economic growth and present viable alternatives.
Do you folks believe in the forced redistribution of wealth? Do you believe the government should be the arbiter of ownership, or that people should just learn to do it under their own volition?
Are you merely trying to influence people into being more generous, or are you advocating generosity at the behest of government?
Not a coercive redistribution, no. But there is a role for government to reduce inequality – that’s the basis for progressive taxation of course. That’s anathema in the States and enough for people to brand Obama a socialist, but it’s quite normal for people in Europe, especially Scandinavia.
It’s both government and individuals ultimately, because you need individuals to vote for a government who have progressive tax ideas. Like the US just did, in fact.
Just catching up to your blog, about 2 years later.
Nice comment about “the US just” voted for “socialism” under Obama.
Fast forward two years, Jer. It’s not 2011, January.
The US just rejected, whole-cloth, Obama, socialism, and your loony “sustainability.”
Why are you and your brother not huddled in a cave, burning your own dung for fuel? Not sure what a real “sustainably living” human would eat though. Can’t eat the grass, might kill it off. Can’t eat worms, might reduce the population. Can’t drink the water, might reduce the water available for clams.
Seems to me that you sustainability gurus are painted in a corner. There’s really no way to satisfy your insane cravings to do without, that is, without actually dying.
Why are you using a computer, any way? How sustainable is that? What’s in a computer? Rare earth, silicon, plastic, aluminum, and more. And how is it powered? Electricity. Where’d that come from? Burning cow methane? Probably not. In the UK, could be nuclear, maybe natural gas. How sustainable is that?
Don’t know, Jer, you and your brother might want to pack the whole technology thing in–woefully unsustainable. And probably no electric plug in a cave, any way.
Happy Sustainability New Year!
Well, that’s a friendly comment for a first time poster. Welcome. I would reply to your questions, but I’d obviously be wasting my time and don’t suppose you’ll be back. But happy new year to you too, just in case.
Jeremy, it seems that everytime someone disagrees with you, you issue the standard comment “I’d obviously be wasting my time”…so I won’t be back here because, you guessed it, I’d be wasting my time…..
Thanks for saving us all the trouble.
Thought you may be interested in the following. Its an Amicus Curiae before the South African Constitutional Court, more specifically in Support of a Radical Honesty Population Policy Common Sense Interpretation of the Promotion of National Unity and Reconciliation Act, with among others the following arguments:
[I] E. Ecolaw 101: Laws of Sustainability: Ecological Social Contract
III: POPULATION POLICY COMMON SENSE PRINCIPLES
A. Thou Shalt Not Transgress Carrying Capacity Prophets
B. Eco-Numeracy: Exponential Functions and Carrying Capacity
C. Tragedy of the Commons: Limited World, Limited Rights
D. Overpopulation: Resources Scarcity and Resource War Violence
E. Demographics and Violence: Youth Bulges
F. Population Pressures, Resource Wars and National Security
G. How and Why Journalists Avoid the Population-Environment Connection
It argues that Ecolaw 101, or sustainability is the sine qua non for all other rights; and hence
any legislation or jurisprudence such as the TRC Social Contract, which professes to advocate on behalf of human rights, peace and social justice, while ignoring their ecological basis – a stable human population at slightly less than the eco-systems carrying capacity – is endorsing and practicing legal dishonesty and hypocrisy; i.e. fraud. It is legislation and jurisprudence deliberately indifferent to the laws of sustainability, advocating misery.
PDF of Amicus avail at: http://www.scribd.com/doc/34551212/
List of Authority Evidentiary Documentation for Amicus: http://www.scribd.com/document_collections/2308879
Kent Clizbe said :
“The US just rejected, whole-cloth, Obama, socialism, and your loony “sustainability.”
Was the question of sustainability an issue in the US election campaign? I don’t think so. This is a pity because if it had been it would have shown that the American people have at last realized that our western way of life cannot continue consuming the Earth’s resources at the present rate.
They would have decided, if they had voted for sustainability, that those resources are becoming more and more scarce, as is shown by the rise in prices of basics. The increasing world population just cannot reach the standard of living of the west.
The scarcity of resources, together with the effects of climate change, will lead to great social upheaval and conflict.
Is this the sort of future you want Kent? If not, then have another think about “loony sustainability”
The idea you have that we sustainability supporters want to be cave-dwelling hermits is totally wrong. We live in a civilization which confers great benefits and facilities. We just advocate that we consume less in order to protect our children’s and the planet’s future.
Just came across this section of the blog and wanted to say thank you once again for your gracious replies to various commenters (and knowing when not to answer a fool in his folly!).
Excellent article and easy to understand explanation. How do I go about getting permission to post part of the article in my upcoming news letter? Giving proper credit to you the author and link to the site would not be a problem.
I post here under a Creative Commons license, so feel free to reproduce anything on the site. I just ask for a credit line to ‘Jeremy Williams, makewealthhistory.org’. What’s the newsletter?
Would you mind if I quote a few of your articles as long as I provide credit and sources back to your site? One of my websites is in the very same niche as yours and my visitors would truly benefit from some of the information you present here. Please let me know if this ok with you.Great website, regardless. Cheers!
Sure, be my guest. All content on the blog is published under a Creative Commons licence, so you’re free to republish it with an appropriate credit.
loved your blog from years ago – now I have found you again – good times
Nice to see that Plastic is Rubbish is still going too! Thanks for dropping by.
Hi, I just found your blog and so glad I did! Your premise “We are living beyond our means, and sharing the earth’s resources unequally. To restore some balance, we need to learn to use less, want less, and be more generous.” is something I completely agree with. Share and educate, work towards a sustainable future… That’s something which I think Western world members should do with the resources we have.. it’s our responsibility, in a way. I’d love to hear what you think about some of the issues I’ve raised on my blog, Sea Change, which is mostly about marine conservation, and how we can all make a difference. Drop by anytime! I’ll be following you guys 🙂
Thanks for dropping by, your blog looks great too and I’ll have a browse.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I really appreciate your efforts and I will be waiting
for your next write ups thank you once again.
The “About’ section and the ‘Problems’ menu somewhat ignore population. It is as if human numbers do not count. Yet every addition to the total population, locally or globally, ipso facto multiplies just about every problem and also makes it harder to solve. The detailed study by Murtaugh and Schlax, for example, showed that an additional baby born to a couple outweighed in footprint terms six major lifestyle changes they might make.
It is a problem of both appetites (consumerism etc) and mouths. It is irresponsible to ignore either … and the specific malign effects certain technologies add to the mix. Thus renewable ones begin to have costs than outweigh benefits beyond a certain point. Certainly they could never power anything remotely like contemporary society.
I also feel that the discussions on the website tend to ignore the ‘rate and magnitude’ problem i.e. could this or that ‘solution’ actually deliver the needed change in sufficient time and on a sufficient scale. Unless that question is satisfactorily answered, even the best laid plan has no future.
You’re right, I haven’t included population as a headline problem, and I should probably do that. I’ve written about it fairly extensively on the blog, so I’ll draw some points together and give it a page on the menu.
Yes, the discussion tends to get sidelined pretty quickly into ideology, which inevitably leaves out the urgency of the problem. But I tend to do that thinking before I post. If I don’t think an idea has some potential to make a difference, I tend not to write about it in the first place.
Thanks for your feedback!
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Plus, there’s no digital download available for the PS3 version yet.
The best thing about the Play – Station network card
is so it even allows one to get various items from an web shop.
They’re like one big experience farm, especially if your Pokemon are higher levels
and you can just breeze through them. You start your adventure
as a rookie trainer, collecting all 8 gym badges and stop an evil organization.
Its not a big deal as internet is the solution to every problem.
Great synopsis Jeremy. I think we’re completely on the same page. Sustainability can’t be achieved without an aspirational mentality that doesn’t involve around the accumulation of stuff–which in turn can’t be how our society measures success.
I just recently discovered your website and have found it really insightful and interesting. I came upon the site as the recent Nobel Economic laureate was announced and I was wondering why the award has a difference name to the others and I have always thought Economics was an odd ball out of the rest. This website is thought provoking and questions our current situation of wasteful living. Its message deserves to be spread more widely
Nice work Jeremy, it’s exciting to meet people with imagination! Keep up the good work.
Oooh, very happy to have discovered your blog. Look forward to reading your posts! S x
Thank You, I hope the kindness of your heart & compassion is well received and reciprocated, only a beautiful soul can take on such a champion move of this magnitude.
I have just had a Facebook message about the Solar Export Guarantee system which apparently replaces the FIT. Do you know anything about this, and could you do a post about it,unless you already did?
I haven’t written about this yet because details are relatively scant, but I will do. I’m interested to see how it will work, and whether or not it punch the solar industry in the face for a third time.
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