If you've ever looked for an iron-clad case that the fossil energy supply is out-of-control, over-the-top destructive --of planet, wildlife, people's health and culture-- then check out Energy, the latest publication of the Post Carbon Institute.
The word "breathtaking" has become cliche when put with "photographs" but here it really applies. You will gasp aloud as you turn each page. (even my teens did) And then you'll want to show the pictures to more people, because you can't keep this kind of stuff to yourself. Coal strip mines. Spawling oil fields. Landscape wracked by palm oil plantations. The debris of Fukushima. And of course the BP oil platform going down in flames.
Regardless of who wins the election today, that man will proceed forward with the knowledge that half of the voting public did not support him. Regardless of which candidate "wins," he will struggle to act with a similarly divided Congress. If there ever was a time for a book like Susan Clark's and Woden Teachout's Slow Democracy, that time is today.
Early in its pages, Clark and Teachout poke fun at their own title: who wants their democracy to be "slow"? Yet rather than snail's pace, Clark and Teachout had a very different definition in mind. Building from the energy of the Slow Food movement, they envision recapturing some of the more intangible and precious aspects of democracy -- aspects which America has abandoned in our relentless pursuit of "efficiency."
Maybe you just launched your town’s first rickshaw taxi. Maybe you sell vegetable seedlings at farmers market or you’re pioneering urban goat cheese production. At any rate, you’re still going to need a few of the tools that conventional businesses use, like business plans and accounting systems. May I introduce you to The Right-Brain Business Plan by Jennifer Lee
So you’ve read plenty about The Great Turning our society is going through. And you fully understand that the old ways are fading away, and that your “job,” your career, your livelihood is going to look kind of different.
But how do you find it?
It's late summer with hints of autumn, and the mourning dove nest in the pot on my baker's rack sits empty now. My family watched as the two little chicks had their flying lessons. The young doves lingered near the nest for another two nights, and then they left for good. On occasion, I still see them foraging -- not quite fully grown, nor altogether capable, but they do all right on their own.
As initiator of Transition action in Los Angeles, I've been doing a bit of the "empty nest" syndrome myself. For successful initiators in large areas worldwide, the empty nest phenomenon is part of the natural and evolving Transition journey of building local community.
In many spiritual circles, it is popular to talk about gratitude. Gratitude encompasses much more than a quickie “thank you.” It implies a much deeper state of mind, one that practitioners realize will position you to receive even greater abundance.
Gratitude – together with all the volumes that have been written about it – is very much an ingredient of the gift economy. A very beautiful ingredient, which enriches our hearts and spirits, at the same time as it potentially invites more substantial and tangible gifts.
Some communities are beginning to set up "gift circles" -- a collection of people who want to engage in gifting practices on a regular basis. But you don't need to wait for an official gift circle. Here's how you can get gift economy concepts rolling right now.
Gifts have the function of bonding communities together. ...
If your entire life is nothing but money transactions, ... then you don't have community because you don't need anybody.
-- Charles Eisenstein, http://youtu.be/cS07gM74tww
My dad just gave me a brand-new sawzall reciprocating saw. Yesterday its maiden voyage helped to repair the rainwater harvesting tanks at the community garden. In the spirit of gifting (in Maori they call it hau), with this “second giving” the sawzall entered into the gift economy.
Here are 7 things your group can do to further positive change.
Here is a link to a two-sided handout version (pdf) that I created in anticipation of a speaking engagement. It was written for church communities and other organizations which are interested in participating in the Transition process.
If you would like to edit the handout for use in your local area (for instance if you want to substitute your local climate change impacts for L.A. ones), email me and I will send you the raw Word doc (MS Word 2010)
I hastened to buy Local Dollars, Local Sense by Michael Shuman, because I was attracted to the title and had high hopes for the emphasis on localization. Shuman's book represents a small step in a needed direction, but I was yearning for much deeper.
The cover claims that it is "a Community Resilience Guide" -- I don't think so: not at face value, not without plenty of caveats and sidebar explanations to adapt Shuman's recommendations to a dramatically changing economic picture. Certainly, Go Local. But do so ready to adjust to the radically different landscape we now face. This new era of economic contraction alters many long-held presumptions.