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Our local Transition initiative in Los Angeles hosted a vigil this past weekend as part of the worldwide actions organized by 350.org   These actions were coordinated to take place during the weekend midway through the Copenhagen climate talks. As a 350 organizer, I have been watching the news services and the 350.org site for mention of progress.

The photos from the weekend were breathtakingly beautiful.

One of the most brilliant, well-written pieces I have read about the economy is "The Wrong Tree" (as in "Barking up the ..."). Written by Jerry Mander of the International Forum on Globalization, it is found as part of the introduction to the the latest publication of peak oil sage Richard Heinberg.

First, about Heinberg: Richard Heinberg 's Searching for a Miracle: 'Net Energy' Limits and the Fate of Industrialized Society is a serious analysis of just about every form of alternative energy and its potential (read: lack of potential) to fulfill our energy demands as we devour the declining second half of our planetary oil supply.

A post on WorldChanging by Alex Steffen has sparked an active online discussion, including comments on his post, a response by Rob Hopkins on Transition Culture, and comments on Rob’s response.

Steffen’s piece, which was a commentary on the role of the Transition movement, was critical of a perceived focus on “collapse”, as well as a perceived lack of focus on high-tech solutions. Alex went on to outline the characteristics of the sort of movement he believes would be beneficial, a “Bright Green” movement.
 

Murders, political scandals, celebrity escapades ... mainstream media feeds a willing public a steady diet of it.  The American public spends hours on the stuff, immersed in the horror tales and vapid sagas all played out on bigger-bigger-still-bigger plasma screens. 

But in the early 1990s I figured it out:  you don't have to read the news.  You don't have to watch the TV, you don't have to listen to the radio, you don't have to take the "news" as media dishes it out.  You can turn it off.  You can step aside. 

It’s here - what will be the largest ever coordinated worldwide demonstration of caring - for our planet and perhaps even our species - Saturday October 24th, the International Day of Climate Action. You can find several actions in your area by looking up your zip code at 350.org.

One global action that caught my eye is one of the Boulder (Colorado) actions, the “item pass-along” - simply gather 350 objects you no longer use, photograph or list them, and sell or donate them. What better impetus to a fall cleanup!

7000 people registered their blogs and pledged to link their main topic to climate change  - this is one of them.

 

Climate change says we should change
whereas peak oil says we will be forced to change.

-- Rob Hopkins

 

Here in the U.S., the film "An Inconvenient Truth" made awesome strides in informing the general public about the reality of global warming.  The April 2007 Step It Up campaign got people in 1,400 U.S. sites involved in activism.  This month's 350.org campaign  will advance public awareness in two ways:  Firstly, the Oct 2009 350.org Day of Action is unfolding internationally, so it is an opportunity for citizens in non-U.S. countries to get involved, and secondly, it informs the general public about the target, the end goal.

On Friday, September 25th, several people active in Transition initiatives participated in a conference call to discuss funding issues for Transition. Participants included Transition US executive director Carolyne Stayton, Judith Katz, Linda Ellinor, Kit Miller, Niels-Michael Langenborg, and me.

Here’s a story from this morning’s NPR that grabbed my attention and reminded me that I have a constructive solution for this sort of thing. 

Apparently a Wells Fargo executive was disciplined for throwing lavish parties in a $12 million beach house the bank had recently foreclosed upon. The previous owners of the mansion had lost their fortune in the Madoff debacle.

My stomach turned and I felt a wave of nausea.

 My thoughts went like this:

In a conversation with a neighbor today, I learned that kiwi from New Zealand is cheaper than kiwi from California. My neighbor was wondering how that could be the case. Earlier we had been lamenting that the workers from our neighborhood’s landscaping company do not know (or care?) how to properly prune bushes. We understand that you get what you pay for when it comes to landscaping. Could that be the same for kiwi? 

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