Short Circuit: Strengthening Local Economies in an Unstable World
Expanded online edition published June 2003 with updates by Richard Douthwaite, Joanne Elliott and Caroline Whyte.
The global economy can no longer be relied upon to provide the necessities of life. Even in wealthy countries, the vagaries of free trade and the unimpeded movement of capital pose a threat not just to job security but to food and energy supplies as well.
Short Circuit proposes that each community build an independent local economy capable of supplying the goods and services its people would need should the mainstream economy collapse. It details the financial structures necessary for self-reliance, and it describes the techniques already in use in pioneering communities across the industrialized world. These include local currency schemes and community banks that enable local interest rates and credit terms to differ from those in the world economy. Efforts to meet local food and energy requirements using local resources are also reviewed.