Modern economies have become increasingly centralised in big cities and they have also increasingly become dependant on global trade. These two factors, globalisation and centralisation, are totally reliant on cheap energy. In the future fossil fuels will run out and the price of all energy will increase meaning that the goods to meet our fundamental needs – food, clothes, shelter, energy – will be sourced locally.
A localised economy means:
Decentralisation and diversification of economic activity. This would make economies more self-sufficient, resilient and stable, and also provide increased opportunities for more people. It would thus stop the erosion or rural and provincial communities and the flight towards cities.
Building human-scale businesses, especially for basic needs such as food, clothes, water and energy, but also in banking and finance, healthcare and the media. This means thousands of smaller businesses, rather than a handful of national or global corporate monopolies.
Greater dependence on human labour and skill, and less dependence on energy and technology. This means more local jobs and prosperity, and less resource use and pollution. It also means a slower pace of life, vital for human well-being.
Regulation of global trade and finance and deregulation of local trade and finance.
A reduction in the scale and power of transnational corporations and banks. This would increase the accountability of businesses and lead to greater local decision-making and democracy.
Less transportation, less packaging, and less processing. This would significantly reduce fossil fuel use and therefore human ecological footprint, particularly CO2 emissions. Our food would be local, seasonal and fresh.
Adapting economic activity to the diversity of ecosystems throughout the world. This would help to restore both biological and cultural diversity.
A deeper connection between people and nature. This connection is not only necessary for our physical and mental well-being, it is essential for understanding the intrinsic complexity and flux of local nature.
Rebuilding social interdependence and cohesion. This helps provide a more secure sense of identity and belonging, which in turn is a prerequisite for peaceful coexistence and general well-being.