The Free Range Virtual Library
Action requires information – both to plan how we should act, but more generally to enable us to educate ourselves in order to decide what we should be doing to address our concerns. Getting access to information is the first practical obstacle any active citizen must master.
Free Range Library News & Events
22/12/16: 14 papers have been added to the Extreme Energy, Climate Change and UK Government sections.
22/11/16: 60 papers have been added to the Extreme Energy section.
1/11/16: New section added to library to support the Croughtonwatch project.
31/10/16: Updates to papers in Extreme Energy section.
29/10/16: Now that the Extreme Energy section has hit 500 files, five categorized sub-sections have been added to make browsing more manageable.
Since its beginnings in 1995/6, the Free Range Activism Website has maintained an "on-line library" containing information useful to grassroots activists and campaigners. In the beginning that mostly consisted of scanned Government reports and guidance notes. By the early 2000s, as Government took on that role itself the focus shifted – towards less easily obtainable 'official' information. Recently the greatest restriction on active citizens is easy access to scientific and technical information. For that reason the largest component of the Library recently has been scientific papers essential to current public debates.
Today the Free Range Library has grown to comprise over two gigabytes of files – some held locally on the FRAW server, while others are linked via free on-line sources.
Each file in the library can appear in one or more categorized listings. Each gives access to a separate index where the files in that category are listed in reverse date order, and alphabetically by their file ID (the alphabetic file ID is based upon the name of the lead author and the publication year of the report/study).
Each category has its own listing of the 20 most recently added files to enable you to watch for updates. To access a list of the 50 most recently added files across the entire Library, click here.
There are currently 34 categories in the Free Range library:
- ☮ Anarchism, Animal Rights and Decentralised Action (218 files)
- The "Anarchism, Animal Rights and Decentralised Action" on-line library area supports the general 'anarchism' theme with books/resources which explore aspects of anarchism theory, social organisation, human/animal exploitation, as well as more theoretical/historical texts on anarchism and the politics of the left. From squatting, to economics, to direct action and the rights of all beings, this section of the library reflects the broad range of issues covered under the 'anarchism and action' theme.
- ☮ Climate Change (253 files)
- The "Climate Change" on-line library area seeks to collect recent scientific papers and reports on climate change, its causes and impacts, relevant to the ongoing grassroots campaign on climate and lifestyle change. In addition to resources on climate, we also to provide information the wider debate on energy, environment and resource use which has to be tackled if we are to solve the general unsustainability of the human system.
- ☮ Croughtonwatch Resources (18 files)
- 'Croughtonwatch' is a monitoring campaign surrounding the operation of USAF Croughton and Barford St. John, the US Government's military and intelligence communications centre on the border of Northamptonshire and Oxfordshire. The files in this section relate to the intelligence, surveillance and cyberwarfare aspects of Croughton's operations.
- ☮ Cyberwarfare, Drones & Intelligence (31 files)
- Technology is not only changing the nature of conflict, but also the policy and political context which surrounds how conflict is planned and executed. The "Cyberwarfare, Drones & Intelligence" on-line library area is a collections of policy and technical documents examining the growing significance of cyber- and 'network centric' warfare to military planning, and to the political debate ove both foreign and domestic security policy.
- ☮ Direct Action and Protest (112 files)
- The "Direct Action and Protest" on-line library area seeks to collect together a range of resources relevant to direct action and creating grassroots change. From legal and technical information relating to protest, to the psychology and recent research on public opinion, developing a broad knowledge of current social and political trends allows us to take a more detailed approach to create purposeful and effective campaigns.
- ☮ Economics and Political Economy (354 files)
- The "Economics and Political Economy" library hosts some of the latest research and social science on economics and ecological limits, and the general issue of "The Limits to Growth". In addition to this ongoing debate over economic theory, the library also examines the economic aspects of ongoing debates over energy, environment, climate change and resource depletion.
- ☮ Energy Resources and Consumption (295 files)
- The "Energy Resources and Consumption" library section hosts reports and publications related to energy policy, energy statistics, and studies of energy production, consumption and efficiency.
- ☮ Electronic Smog, Electrosensitivity and Health (32 files)
- The "Electronic Smog and Health" library section contains information around the issue of electromagnetic radiation, electrosensitivity and human health. Some see the increaing use of high-frequency radio waves as the 'asbestos of the 21st century'. Though many dismiss the issue, if only for their own mental well-being as most are forced to use this technology today, there is increasing evidence of the harm that these new technologies cause to human health.
- ☮ Extreme Energy Sources (248 files)
- The "Extreme Energy Sources" library section provides access to an extensive library of reports, scientific papers and policy documents on various "extreme energy" technologies – in particular, shale gas, coalbed methane/coal seam gas and various damaging forms of allegedly 'renewable' energy.
- ☮ Extreme Energy: 'Climate Change' (125 files)
- The 'climate change' section of the "Extreme Energy Sources" library lists papers relating to fugitive emissions, climate change impacts, and the ongoing debate regarding inventory versus empirical measurements of methane leakage.
- ☮ Extreme Energy: 'Economic & Social' (51 files)
- The 'economic and social' section of the "Extreme Energy Sources" library lists papers on the economics of unconventional energy sources, economic impacts studies, and social science studies on the impacts of extreme energy developments.
- ☮ Extreme Energy: 'Nature' (38 files)
- The 'nature' section of the "Extreme Energy Sources" library lists papers covering the impacts of extreme energy on the natural environment, wildlife, landscape and conservation, and effects upon the natural systems such as earthquakes.
- ☮ Extreme Energy: 'Pollution' (222 files)
- The 'pollution' section of the "Extreme Energy Sources" library lists papers associated with pollution and human health. This includes air, water, land and other forms of pollution, and assessment of the health impacts of the pollution generated by extreme energy sources.
- ☮ Extreme Energy: 'Radiation' (25 files)
- The 'radiation' section of the "Extreme Energy Sources" library lists papers associated with the generation of radioactive materials, their impacts and disposal. This topic is considered separately from the more general 'nuclear' library which considers more conventional radioactive materials.
- ☮ Food, Genetic Engineering and Agriculture (92 files)
- The "Food, Genetic Engineering and Agriculture" library section provides access to scientific papers and reports on agriculture and the environment, and in particular the issue of ecological limits to the human system and how that interacts with food production and population.
- ☮ Free and Open Source Hard/Software and Gnu/Linux (20 files)
- The "Free and Open Source Hard/Software and Gnu/Linux" library section is an archive of information related to the use of free and open source hardware/software, and the reuse of of technology, and more importantly the over-arching issue of intellectual property rights and the economic/political control of society's means of communication and production.
- ☮ Hacktivism, Digital Rights and On-line Activism (100 files)
- The "Hacktivism, Digital Rights and On-line Activism" library area covers issues related to the use of technology for social and political activism, campaigns, as well as the state and corporate use of technology to exert economic, civil and political control. It also provides social science resources on the politics of technology. For that reason this issue overlaps with both the "direct action" and "free software" areas of the FRAW site.
- ☮ Land Rights, Countryside and Nature (73 files)
- The "Land Rights, Countryside and Nature" library area hosts a range of resources related to nature, development, and land rights & access, and the ecological impacts of human development. All these are related; taken together, our approach to development, land rights and nature is the baseline of the human relationship to the environment we inhabit.
- ☮ 'The Limits to Growth', Ecological Limits and Degrowth (222 files)
- "The Limits to Growth" library area contains an extensive collection of reports and papers related to the issues of ecological limits, environmental capacity and human development. In particular, the collection seeks to bring together a wide range of resource to promote an area of research which – because of its implications for the modern "consumer lifestyle" – is seemingly ignored across the political spectrum, and even by many parts of the environment movement.
- ☮ Neo-Luddism, Primitivism and Deep Ecology (189 files)
- The "Neo-Luddism Primitivism and Deep Ecology" library area provides a collection of reports, articles and texts which give a view across the issue of how humans live within their environment – and are intended to help those interested in these ideas to create their own personalised critique of modern society, and frame the type of personal changes required to achieve ecological sustainability. More importantly, what we seek to do in these resources is promote a "deeper" ecological debate, beyond the narrow confines of the ideas of sustainable/ethical consumerism which dominate the mainstream environment movement.
- ☮ Nuclear Technology, Waste and Safety (44 files)
- The "Nuclear Technology, Waste and Safety" library area provides a range of reports and scientific studies on nuclear power, uranium resources/production, radioactive waste management and the impacts of radioactivity upon health. Over recent years the nuclear debate has been reduced to a simplistic analysis of carbon emissions. If we look at the substantive differences between "pro-" and "anti"-nuclear environmentalists it's largely based upon how they interpret the wider relationship of nuclear technology to society and the environment – which is what the library seeks to explore.
- ☮ Peace, Nuclear Disarmament and Anti-militarism (46 files)
- The "Peace and Anti-militarism" library area provides resources on peace studies, military policy and related nuclear, technological and environmental issues. In particular, it explores the relationship between the developing "limits to growth", military policy and the increasingly technological nature of military conflict – and how the economic impacts of ecological limits will exacerbate the problems of military conflict.
- ☮ Peak Oil and Energy Depletion (189 files)
- The "Peak Oil" library area brings together papers, reports and research on the peak oil phenomena and related "ecological limits" issues. The resources here cover both the geophysical, military, economic and political exploration of the peak oil issue, and examines both "pro" and "anti" positions on the subject.
- ☮ Town & Country Planning System (45 files)
- The "Town & Country Planning System" library section covers the UKs development planning and regulatory processes, in particular the sustainability and ecological aspects of planning, and the involvement of the public/communities in the land development process.
- ☮ Politics, Power and Mass Media (218 files)
- The "Politics, Power and Mass Media" library section provides resources on politics, political theory and the mass media. This ranges from significant political texts (which intersects with other library areas, such as 'Anarchism' and 'Direct Action') to psychological studies of how the media is used and abused. The purpose of this is to provide support on understanding the media and politics, and improving the knowledge of how new "big data"-based and psychological techniques are changing both political campaigns and the operation of the mass media.
- ☮ Simplicity/Less (192 files)
- The "Simplicity/Less" library section provides information and resources on reducing our energy/material consumption, reducing the impact of our lifestyles, and the transition to alternative patterns of living which offer greater long-term sustainability. Whilst this section provides some practical assistance, it also includes resources which contrast the "low impact" alternatives to the ecological crisis with more mainstream economic/consumerist "solutions".
- ☮ Tools, Systems and Human Technology (157 files)
- The "Tools, Systems and Human Technology" library section primarily provides reports and research papers around the issue of ICT and the environment, and the negative impacts of our increasing reliance upon technological systems. From intellectual property rights, to the depletion of rare minerals, to the increasing pollution and energy consumption of the latest technological systems, this section seeks to provide a detailed overview of the problems with our modern society's use of computers and automated systems.
- ☮ Toxics, Pollution and Environmental Health (157 files)
- The "Toxics, Pollution and Environmental Health" library provides a selection of reports, research studies and articles on pollution, waste, toxic hazards, health and ecological quality. Covering different aspects of environmental pollution, to risk assessment, to more general human health and well-being issues, this library section seeks to provide information to support a wide variety of environmental campaigns.
- ☮ Transport and Movement (28 files)
- The "Transport and Movement" library section contains reports and research on the ecological impacts of transport – from the direct impacts of transport modes, to the impacts of using alternative fuels, to the general ecological footprint of different transport modes. The purpose of this section is to try and extend the debate on transport from a one-dimensional assessment of carbon emissions to a multi-factoral assessment of environmental, resource and ecological impacts, as well as a more general focus on the need to reduce the use of transport.
- ☮ Underground Coal Gasification (UCG) (47 files)
- The "Underground Coal Gasification" is a collection of resources around the issue of unconventional coal gasification technologies and their impacts upon the environment. Many mainstream agencies believe UCG to be the solution to energy demand in a carbon constained world. However, the 80-years history of UCG shows that it is a highly dangerous and polluting technology.
- ☮ UK Government and Executive Agencies (138 files)
- The "UK Government and Politics" library area provides a range of reports, guidance documents and other resources from a variety of government and executive agencies which have relevance for local campaigners. This theme cuts broadly across many of the other Free Range themes, bringing together the government-related resources/articles/links into one section.
- ☮ UK Parliament and Politics (15 files)
- The "UK Parliament" library area provides a range of reports, documents and other resources from central and devolved parliamentary committees and legislative organisations.
- ☮ Veganism, Vegetarianism and Dietary Footprints (22 files)
- There is a great debate which 'Western' society must have, but which few are willing to engage in. If we do the sums of the impacts of meat production, and the effects this has upon the climate and global ecology, it is not possible for humanity to function within planetary limits while keeping the percevied 'entitlement' to eating animal protein (not just meat, but also fish). The 'Western' diet – high in animal protein and processed ingredients – is fundamentally unsustainable. This section examines the evidence around the issue of veganism, vegetarianism and the planetary footprint of the human diet.
- ☮ Waste Management and Recycling (41 files)
- Separate from the 'toxics and health' area, the "Waste Management and Recycling" library section looks at waste generation, disposal, recycling and regulation – and the ecological impacts of waste processes and waste technologies.