In April 2020, during the first wave of COVID-19, Amsterdam’s city government announced it would recover from the crisis, and avoid future ones, by embracing the theory of “doughnut economics.” Laid out by British economist Kate Raworth in a 2017 book, the theory argues that 20th century economic thinking is not equipped to deal with the 21st century reality of a planet teetering on the edge of climate breakdown. Instead of equating a growing GDP with a successful society, our goal should be to fit all of human life into what Raworth calls the “sweet spot” between the “social foundation,” where everyone has what they need to live a good life, and the “environmental ceiling.” By and large, people in rich countries are living above the environmental ceiling. Those in poorer countries often fall below the social foundation. The space in between: that’s the doughnut.

Amsterdam’s ambition is to bring all 872,000 residents inside the doughnut, ensuring everyone has access to a good quality of life, but without putting more pressure on the planet than is sustainable. Guided by Raworth’s organization, the Doughnut Economics Action Lab (DEAL), the city is introducing massive infrastructure projects, employment schemes and new policies for government contracts to that end. Meanwhile, some 400 local people and organizations have set up a network called the Amsterdam Doughnut Coalition—managed by Drouin— to run their own programs at a grassroots level. […]

THREE OTHER ARTICLES WORTH READING

  • Forget about a GOP crack-up, by Amanda Marcotte. Republicans rally around a defeated Trump because they understand power Sorry, but the GOP won’t tear themselves apart — they’re too attached to power to let Trump and QAnon break them up
     
  • Climate politics: What congressional Democrats can learn from state legislatures, by Barry G. Rabe. As the Democrats make the transition from Republican control of the Senate and White House, Virginia and Colorado, which underwent comparable transitions in the past two years, offer some potential lessons.
     
  • Unemployment Nation, by Katie McDonough, Laura Weiss, and Luis Feliz Leon. Stories from the pandemic unemployed, underemployed, or otherwise put out.

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“Sometimes my courage fails me and I think I ought to stop working, live in the country and devote myself to gardening. But I am held by a thousand bonds, and I don’t know when I shall be able to arrange things otherwise. Nor do I know whether, even by writing scientific books, I could live without the laboratory.” ~~Marie Curie

BLAST FROM THE PAST

On this date at Daily Kos in 2005—Why We Can’t Wait… And Why We Must:

Historically, Americans are reluctant to say going to war was a mistake. At no time during the Persian Gulf War in 1991 did a majority of Americans express that view. U.S. troops had been in Vietnam for more than three years before a thin majority said in 1968 that the war was a mistake. The figure peaked at 61% in 1971, the year President Nixon began to pull out U.S. troops in large numbers and turn over combat operations to the South Vietnamese. The last U.S. combat troops left in 1973. After the Vietnam War was long over, the number of Americans considering it a mistake climbed to a high of 71% in 1990.

The fact that the American public has doubts about the war now in such a short period of time is remarkable… (Internets, si… Wurlitzer, no) but that doesn’t mean (as in the election of 2004) that the public is ready to withdraw. It will happen. I think Iraq is already lost and the endpoint is inevitable. But 2006 may well be a very realistic timetable.