Renewable energy is booming and countries are finally beginning to act committed to saving the climate, just as we’re approaching game over for the stable climate. But carbon emissions keep rising every year, in tandem with economic growth.
Sharing, real sharing, could allow humanity as a whole to produce, consume, and emit less while improving quality of life through greater social interactions, fairer wealth distribution, and stronger community relationships. But sharing needs to go far beyond profit-seeking smartphone apps for unregulated taxi services (Uber) and vacation rentals (Airbnb).
This series explores the real sharing economy — where wealth and power are shared, not just consumer goods and spare bedrooms. These real sharing entities share resources, knowledge, and decision-making responsibilities as they co-create community goods and services. Then they share the abundance together.
Troublingly, a grow-grow-grow economy makes us all more reliant on money. Real sharing economy projects make money less important, like the Buy Nothing groups on the Facebook and tool-lending libraries that Grist already writes about. This series will tour examples of Seattle’s emerging sharing movement: a bike cooperative, an urban food forest, and a community solar program.
Planting the seeds of a real sharing economy is no easy task. But it’s easier to share the work than go it alone.
Stories in this series:
Former Grist fellow Sam Bliss just gave away most of his belongings and set off for the other side of the world. Here's hoping karma is really a thing.