A Catalogue of Writings

This is a selection in reverse chronological order, with minimum annotations.

These entries are not hyperlinked. To find originals, go to THE LIBRARY



 Of course these items vary enormously in scale and pretension, from squibs to books. Do they have any special significance?  I always feel there is no point in writing anything unless you are going to contribute something original. Others can be relied on to provide the standard points of view. My views are often considered extreme or eccentric, but I usually try not to be mindlessly partisan, and I try to subject my own perspective to the same criticism I offer to others. The whole corpus could be considered an ‘ice-core’ sampling the history of leftish environmental thought over the last forty (or so) years.

It will be noticed that many items were published in the Centre for Alternative Technology's house journal, Clean Slate. As a member of CAT staff it was only natural for me to use it as a vehicle. It was a point of principle at CAT that wherever possible work should be published in serious but 'grey' periodicals where they were much more likely to be read than if published in academic journals.

Some things I wrote and consider significant have not been published. These will not be found here, but might turn up elsewhere in the web site, especially in the Library section. Some items here are reproduced in part or in full, and will be hyperlinked.

The list is in reverse chronological order. Things I consider more important are printed in bold type. Look at these first.

"Decomposition for Decarbonisation: Evaluation of Decarbonisation Programmes Using an Extension of the Kaya Identity". Science Progress, 99 (3) 235-261 (2016).

"Alternative Technology in an Institutional Setting". Science as Culture, 25 (3) 415-431 (2016).

Zero-Carbon Britain: Rethinking the Future (multiple authorship). CAT Publications, 2013.

“What do carbon budgets tell us?”. Clean Slate No. 89, 2013.

“Permaculture: The Big-Rock-Candy Mountain”. The Land,  No 14, Summer 2013.” Reprinted in German, 2014. Reprinted in French, 2015.

Community Energy Handbook. CAT publications, 2012. With Allan Shepherd and Paul Allen.

“An All-Renewable Zero-Carbon Japan”, Biocity No. 48, 2011.

“An Interview with Peter Harper” Welsh Economic Review, Spring 2010.

ZeroCarbonBritain2030. (multiple authorship) CAT publications 2010. I wrote the Land Use Chapter and the Technical Appendices published on-line.

“The Lay of the Land”, Clean Slate, No. 76, Summer 2010 (with Josie Wexler).

“Failure is the Compost of Success”, 2009 Smithsonian Folklife Festival, Smithsonian Institution, Washington D.C. 2009.

“Gerard Morgan-Grenville, 1931-2009”, Clean Slate No. 72, Summer 2009.

“Values for Money: An Interview with Tim Lang”, Clean Slate No. 71, Spring 2009.

“The Land Turned Upside-Down”, Clean Slate No. 71, Spring 2009.

“21 Objects Symbolising the Sustainable Future”, Exhibited at the Guardian Hay Festival. Clean Slate No. 70, 2008.

“Land-use in Wales under a Zero-Carbon Strategy. With special Reference To Bioenergy And Carbon Sequestration. Policy Matters No.8, International Union for the Conservation of Nature, Barcelona, 2008.

“Life in Zero-Carbon Britain 2030”, Clean Slate No. 69, Summer 2008.

“The Crunch in 2012”, Clean Slate No. 68, Spring 2008.

“Wot, no cows? Implications for food, farming and land-use in a radically decarbonised Britain”, poster presentation at Association of Applied Biologists conference on “What is Green?” London December 2007.

Zero-Carbon Britain (multiple authroship) CAT Publications 2007.

“Income, Lifestyle and Sustainability”, Clean Slate No. 65, Summer 2007.

“Sustainable Lifestyles of the Future”, in Sustainable Energy: Opportunities and Limitations Ed. D. Elliott, Palgrave 2007.

“What is a sustainable diet?” Clean Slate No 62, Autumn 2006.

“Sustainable Communities: Focus on the Dyfi Valley” (with Andy Rowland) Clean Slate No 61, Summer 2006

“The Wind in My Sails”, Ecos 26 (2) 64-68, 2005.

“The Social Economy and Community Development: A Case Study of the Centre for Alternative Technology(CAT)”, Prospective Directions of Sustainable Society – Roles and Possibilities of Industry, Technology and Community. Proceedings of International Symposium on Business and the Environment, Kobe Japan. Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES), Kansai Research Centre, Kobe, 2005. (In English and Japanese).

“Wind Power—Ethics and Aesthetics”, Resurgence No.227, Nov/Dec 2004, 68-69.

“Wind or Nuclear: A Devil’s Pact?”, Energy and Environmental Management, Sept/Oct 2004, 8-9.

“Mary’s Flowers”, Maria, in press.

“How Low Can a Country Get?  Low Energy Futures Then and Now” (with Bob Todd), Renew No 150, June 2004.

“How to Start an Ecocentre”, Biocity No 24, 2003 (in Japanese translation).

"Self-Sufficient Food Production: A Veteran's Advice", in Ecovillage Living: Restoring the Earth and Her People, Ed. Hildur Jackson and Karen Svensson, Green books 2002.

"Paper Sludge and the Gardener", The Organic Way No 169, Autumn 2002.

"Keeping Cool", Cylchgrawn 3(2), Summer 2002.

"Songs of Experience" Whole Earth (USA) Summer 2002.

“Home Composting: Small Potatoes?” Resource, 1 (2), Jan/Feb 2002.

“The Centre for Alternative Technology:  Successes, Failures, Changes, Biocity No. 22, Autumn 2001 (in Japanese).

“The Lifestyle Lab”, Schumacher Society website, 2001.

“Striking the Balance”, Resurgence No 208, October 2001. Translated into Dutch as " 'Groen leven' straks nieuw statussymbol" in ZOZ Omslag, Eidhoven, Sept/Oct 2002.

Cool Composting. Factsheet, CAT Publications, 2001.

“Paper Sludge—A promising Material” Earth Garden (Australia) No. 114, December 2000.

“Recycling and Solid Waste”, “Water”, “Energy”, “Conducting Experiments” in The Permaculture Teacher’s Guide, Permaculture Association/WWF, 2000.

"What! Car Maintenance in a Design Course?" in The Permaculture Teacher’s Guide, Ed. Andrew Goldring, Permaculture Association/WWF, 2000.

"Paradoxes of Sustainability", Agenda,  Institute of Welsh Affairs, 2000.

Miscellaneous contributions to 25th anniversary edition of Clean Slate, reviewing the history of CAT and the green movement. Clean Slate No. 34, 2000.

"What is the Difference Between Ecovillages and Ecocentres?" GEN-Europe Newsletter, Spring 2000. Reprinted in Ecovillage Living, Ed. Hildur Jackson and Karen Svensson, Green Books 2002.

“The End in Sight?” Futures, 32, 361-384, 2000.

“Greening the Garden”, in The Garden of Wales, Ed., Andrew Sclater, Harper-Collins, 2000.

“A Life in Science”, Catalyst February 2000.

“Parallel Futures”, Town and Country Planning, 69 (1) January 2000.

“How do we know what ‘green’ is?” Clean Slate No. 33, 1999. (with Paul Allen).

Lifting the Lid: An Ecological Approach to Toilet Systems CAT Publications, 1999 (with Louise Halestrap).

“Techno-Anthropology in the Home”, Radical Statistics No. 71, Summer 1999.

“Gaia Logues”, Annals of Earth, 16 (4) 1998 (with Paul Allen).

Water Efficiency in the Home, Tipsheet, CAT Publications 1998.

“Experiences with Urine-Separating Toilets”, Clean Slate No. 30, 1998

“Doing the Numbers: The Art of Rough Calculations”, Permaculture No. 18 1998.

“Recycled Paper Mill Sludge - A promising Raw Material” Clean Slate No. 29, 1998.

“Water Efficiency in the Home”, Clean Slate No. 28, 1998.

“Rainwater Collection from Roofs”,  Duurzaambouw  (The Netherlands) 1998.

“Will the Real Planet Earth Please Stand Up?” Clean Slate No. 27, 1998.

“Weird Water”, Clean Slate No. 26, 1997; reprinted in expanded form in Network No. 66, 1998.

“The Economics of Growing Your Own: Some personal statistics”, Clean Slate No. 25, 1997.

“Why I Hate Wind Farms and Think There Should Be More of Them”, Renew 107, May-June 1997. Widely reprinted, e.g., in Helen Cothran, Ed., Opposing Viewpoints: Energy Alternatives, San Diego, CA: Greenhaven Press, 2002, p. 112-113.  Various versions circulating on internet.

“The High-Fibre Compost Heap”, Bug Magazine, 3 (4) 1997; reprinted in Here and Now, Spring 1997; reprinted in Country Garden and Smallholder,  May 1997; reprinted in Amateur Gardening, May 1997.

 “Complete Rubbish at No. 24”, Clean Slate No. 24, 1997. Widely reprinted.

“A Friendly Critique of Permaculture”, Permaculture No. 14, 1997. Reprinted in Dutch as “Permaculture vriendelijk-kritisch beschouwd”, De Twaalf Ambachten No. 92, Spring 1998.

"Does the Moon Affect Plant Growth?", Clean Slate No. 23, Autumn 1996.

"Tigers and Yoghurt Pots", Clean slate No. 21, Spring 1996. Reprinted in Annals of Earth, 15 (2) 1997.

"Alternative Technology and Permaculture: A Case of Yin and Yang?", Clean slate No.21, Spring 1996.

"The Centre for Alternative Technology", Ecovillages and Sustainable Communities. Findhorn Press, 1996.

"Natural Gardening", The Conserver, June 1996. Reprinted in Breconshire Wildlife and Naturalist No. 64, 1996. Reprinted in Futuregrow No. 2, 1999.

"2010: The Environment Strikes Back, Probably", Renew No. 100, 1996.

"Original Permaculture" New Farmer and Grower, Winter 1996.

"Getting Through to ‘Sweden’", Clean slate No. 20, Winter 1995. Reprinted in Annals of Earth, 15 (2) 1997.

“Composting Yourself”, Clean slate No. 20, Winter 1995.

"Make your compost top of the heap". Here's How column, BBC Wildlife Magazine, February 1996.

"Energy in England" Resurgence, Jan/Feb 1996.

"Another Dowsing Story", Network No. 59, December 1995.

"The Hidden Side of the Energy Debate" Geographical Magazine November 1995.

"What can be Composted?" Clean slate No.19, Autumn 1995.

"Warming the Soil with Black Plastic", Clean slate No.18, Summer 1995.

"Green Bookshelf", The Good Book Guide No. 87, February 1996.

Composting Secrets, Tipsheet No. 2, CAT Publications 1995.

"The L-Word: AT and Lifestyles", in AT 2000, ed. H. Herring 1995. Partially reprinted in Renew No. 95, 1995.

“Natural Sewage Systems”, Resurgence No. 29, Nov/Dec 1995.

Crazy Idealists!  CAT Publications 1995. Reprinted 2000.

"An Echo in the North", Clean slate Nos.15, 16, 1994-5.

Organic Growing. Resource Guide, CAT Publications 1995.

"Footnotes from the Quarry", Annals of Earth, 12 (3), 1994.

"The House at Poo Corner", Real World No. 8, 1994; reprinted in Resurgence 172, 1995.

"A Microcosm of Life", Resurgence 164, 1994; reprinted in Utne Reader, Summer 1994.

Fertile Waste, CAT Publications, 1994.

"Twenty Steps to Natural Gardening", Clean slate No. 12, 1994.

Slugs: What to do about them. Tipsheet No.1, CAT Publications 1994.

The Natural Garden Book, Gaia Books 1994. US edition 1994. Australian edition 1994. Spanish edition 1994. Japanese edition 1996, Polish edition 1997.

Organic Gardening, Poster Magazine, CAT Publications 1993.

"Millionaires No More", Permaculture International Journal No. 45, 1993.

"Standard of Living versus Quality of Life", Clean slate No. 10, 1993. Reprinted as "Dilemma of the Ecologist as Designer" in CHEC Journal No.12, Commonwealth Human Ecology Council, November 1995.

"Ecodesign", Proceedings of conference of Heads of Three-Dimensional Design, Sheffield 1993.

"In Search of Permaculture", New Farmer and Grower No. 35, 1992.

"p-p-Permaculture", Clean slate No. 7, 1992.

"Alternative Technology: Environment, Design and the Community", Proceedings of Conference on EcoDesign, RMIT, Melbourne, Australia, 1991.

"Coming to Terms with Success", Resurgence 148, 1991.

"Gaia: Vital Matter", Clean Slate No. 5, 1991.

"Gaia: An Idea Whose Time Has Come -- Again", Clean Slate No. 3, 1990.

"Told You So!", Clean Slate No. 2, 1990.

"Year One at the Quarry", Clean slate, No. 1, 1989.

"Community Technology: Songs of Experience:" Proceedings of conference on Community Technology, London 1988.

"A Vision and a Place", Resurgence 123, 1988.

"Defending Our Patch", Resurgence 120, 1987.

“AT and the Quarry: Looking Forward and Backward”, Quarry News, Winter 1985.

"Micro-organic Gardening" Resurgence 111, 1985.

"Ten Years After". Proceedings of conference on AT in the Eighties, Architecture Association, London 1984.

"So we know what development is?", Quarry News, Summer 1984. Reprinted in Peace News, November 1984.

“Alternative Technology”, in Alternative London, (q.v.).

“The Environmental Movement” in Alternative London, 5th edition, Ed. Georgeanne Downes, 1983.

“Stay Alive with Style”, in Non-Conforming Radicals of Europe: The Future of Industrial Society, Ed. Edward Goodman, Duckworth 1983.

“Visions” (six utopian graphics drawn by Cliff Harper), in Radical Technology (q.v.). Very widely reprinted.

“Directory and Bibliography” in Radical Technology (q.v.).

“Autonomy”, in Radical Technology (q.v.); reprinted in Architectural Design, January 1976; reprinted in abridged form in The Politics of Technology, Ed. G. Boyle, D. Elliott and R. Roy, Open University, Longmans 1980.

Radical Technology, Eds. Godfrey Boyle and Peter Harper, Wildwood House/Pantheon 1976. Reprinted 1979. German edition 1977. Japanese edition 1977.

“An Alternative Alphabet”, Architectural Association Quarterly, 6 (3-4), 1975 (with Lyn Gambles).

“Directory of Alternative Technology”, part I, Architectural Design, 44 (4) 1974; part II, ibid., 45 (1), 1975; part III, ibid., 45 (2), 1975.

“Technology for Socialist Development”, Entwicklungsländer, Spring 1975.

“Notes on Soft Technology”, part I, Theoria to Theory, 8 (2) 1974; part II, ibid., 8 (3), 1974.

“AT in the Shade”, Undercurrents, No. 7, July 1974.

“Soft Technology”, in Choice and Adaptation of Technology in Developing Countries, OECD, Paris 1974.

“What’s Left of Alternative Technology?”, Undercurrents No. 6, Spring 1974. Reprinted in Light Powder Magazine (Australia) summer 1974; in Vannbæreren (in Norwegian) November 1974; in Alternative Technology, Ed. Horace Herring, Smoothie Publications, Brighton 1975.

“The New, Improved Undercurrents Alternative Technology Guide”, Undercurrents No.6, Spring 1974.

“Transfiguration Among the Windmills”, Undercurrents No. 5, Winter 1973.

“In Search of Allies for the Soft Technologies”, Impact of Science on Society, 23 (4) 1973.

“Soft Technology and Criticism of the Western Model of Development”, Prospects in Science and Technology, 3 (2), 1973. Reprinted in Universities Quarterly, Spring 1974.

“Alternative Technology: A Guide to Sources and Contacts” Undercurrents No.3, 1972 (with Björn Eriksson). (First published use of the term ‘alternative technology’).

“The Great Doom Debate: A Likely Story”, Architectural Association Quarterly, 4 (4) 1972.

“Required Reading” Science for People, No. 8, October 1972.

“The Left’s Reaction to A Blueprint for Survival”, Architectural Association Quarterly, 4 (3) 1972. Reprinted in International Organisations, 1972.

“Environmental Education as an Arena of Creative Conflict”, International Understanding at School, No.23, April 1972.

Soft Technology: A Proposal for Alternatives Under Conditions of Crisis”. Commissioned by Youth Division, UNESCO, Paris 1971. Also published in Dutch as “Meerzoeken Naar Alternative Technologie”, Katernen 2000, December 1972. (First published use of the term ‘soft technology’).

“Ravings of a Fatigued, Drunken, Young Ex-Scientist,” Conference on Young Scientific Workers and Contemporary Society,  Enschede, The Netherlands 1971. Published (anonymously) in Notes for the Future: An Alternative History of the Past Decade, Ed. Robin Clarke, Thames and Hudson 1975. Widely quoted, reprinted and misattributed.

“Recent Physical Problems Connected with Science, Technology and Industrial Activity”. Symposium on Culture and Science, UNESCO, Paris 1971. Also published in Dutch as “Technologische Ongelukken”, De Gids, December 1971.

“Ludd Rides Again”, New Humanist, July 1971.