In past recessions and depressions, a popular response from communities has been to create their own forms of money. The jobs aren't there, and the money has dried up, but needs remain. Avoiding dangerous climate change means cutting as much carbon out of our economies as we can, and we can do this by cutting unnecessary transport through localisation. How can local money facilitate this?
Pete North teaches geography at Liverpool University and has studied alternative currencies worldwide since 1992. He is the author of the forthcoming Transition Guide to Money, to be published by Green Books later in the year. Pete reported on recent research from Great Barrington, Massachusetts where he has been looking at the Berkshares project, local money that circulates between local businesses as an alternative to their losing trade to the big box retailers. Might such a local money help protect areas if Liverpool that have seen trade drop off as the recession has hit, and Liverpool One has drawn custom away from places like Bold Street?
We discussed the contribution of LETS, Time Money, Berkshares and recent transition currencies like the Totnes and Lewes Pounds to a Green New Deal for Liverpool. A couple of traders from Bold Street thought there might be some mileage in a loyalty scheme for the street, and the Social Centre wants to discuss a LETS or Hour scheme.
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